Quick Jump Links:
Quick Steps to Sausage Making
Sausage Making Tips
Sausage & Jerky Recipes
Basic Smoking Procedure
Storage Time for Freezing Chart
Sausage Making Tips
General Sausage Making Tips
Natural Casings FAQ
Collagen Casings FAQ
All the information contained on this page, general sausage making tips, sausage & jerky recipes, etc are available in a single pdf file:
Sausage Making Tips, Tricks & Recipes booklet
(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader v3.0 or higher)
Sausage & Jerky Recipes
Click this link to go to a page with our sausage recipes, jerky recipes, corned beef, bacon & ham brine recipes. Oh, don't get your hopes up, as these are general recipes and not the recipes of our secret blends of spices & seasonings. ;) We will soon have our wild game/pork mixture ratio chart up, so check back soon.
Botulism is a serious form of food poisoning caused by eating food contaminated with the deadly toxin botulin. Food borne botulism was first identified in Europe during the 1800s as a problem in - sausage. The name botulin even comes from the Latin word for sausage, botulus. Botulin is particularly dangerous because it can exist without a foul odor or other sign of contamination. This is probably going to be more than you care to read about botulism but it is a very serious form of poisoning and precautions must be taken to prevent it. Symptoms of botulism poisoning usually appear suddenly within 18 to 36 hours after eating contaminated food. These symptoms include blurred or double vision, droopy eyelids, dry mouth, slurred speech, difficulty in swallowing, vomiting, diarrhea and muscle weakness. Botulism can lead to death without the proper medical treatment. The toxin is usually found in contaminated or improperly prepared canned foods. If you ever see a bulging can of food, do not open it - throw it away! It may very well be contaminated. Botulin can also exist in sausage. The conditions that are necessary to produce foods contaminated with botulin include lack of oxygen, low acidity, the presence of moisture, and temperatures between 40° and 140° F. All of these conditions can be present when smoking sausage: lack of oxygen from the smoking, low acidity and moisture in the meat and smoking temperatures in the above range.
What is Trichinosis?
Trichinosis (trick-a-NO-sis) is a disease caused by a worm called Trichinella, which lives in animals including pigs, bears, dogs, cats, and horses, and wild animals, such as bears, polar bears, foxes, wolves, walrus, seals, and rats. Trichinosis is rare in the United States.
How is Trichinosis spread?
You can get trichinosis by eating raw or undercooked meats, especially pork products and wild game, such as bear meat, seal, or walrus. Trichinosis is NOT spread from person to person.
What are the symptoms of Trichinosis?
How severe the symptoms are depends on how many worms were eaten in the meat. Most people have no symptoms or very mild symptoms. Symptoms usually begin 1 to 2 weeks after exposure. Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps appear first, followed by muscle pain, eye swelling, fatigue, headache and chills. With severe infection, some people may have difficulty moving around or breathing. Death can occur.
How do I know if I have Trichinosis?
You cannot tell without seeing your doctor. Your doctor may collect a blood sample or sample of muscle tissue (biopsy).
How is Trichinosis treated?
Your doctor can prescribe medicines (antibiotics) to treat the infection.
How can Trichinosis be prevented?
Always wash hands after handling raw meat. Do not eat raw or undercooked port or wild game meats. Cook meat products until juices run clear or reach an internal temperature of 170° F. Curing, drying, smoking or micro waving does not always kill the worms. Use separate cutting boards for meat and other foods. Carefully clean all grinders, cutting boards, work surfaces, and utensils with soap and hot water after preparing raw meat. Cook all meat fed to pigs or wild animals. Do not allow pigs to eat uncooked carcasses of wild animals, including rats.
Basic Smoking Procedure:
Pre-heat smoker to 90°F.
Hang product in smoker so that no parts being smoked are touching. Heat for 6 hours with damper wide open without smoking chips.
Then add moistened smoking chips or moistened sawdust and increase temperature to 130°F and smoke for 5 hours with top damper closed to 1/8 the way and bottom damper open to ¾ of the way.
Increase temperature to 150°F adding moistened chips or sawdust as needed.
After 4 hours, increase temperature to 170°F and smoke until internal temperature of the meat product is 150°-155°F.
Cool down to 100°F and place in cooler.
Storage Time for Freezing:
This chart below is the recommended maximum storage times in months:
|Item to be frozen:
|Beef, Lamb, Mutton, Veal & Venison
|Opossum, Rabbit, Squirrel
|Oysters, Crab, Lobster