Sausage Making & Food Smoking!!
For the Hobbyist and those that like to do it themselves!
A Proud Member of the NorthWest Meat Processors Association

 NorthWest Smokin', it's content and layout are copyright © 1999-2000 Jerry Fowler
Use of recipes for personal reasons is allowed and encouraged.

Holding meats at temperatures between 40 and 165 in an oxygen free environment and promote unhealthy organism to flourish in the meat/meat product. The use of cures is highly recommended and go by the names of Insta-Cure #'s 1 and 2, Prague Powder #'s 1 and 2 and Morton's Tender-Quick.  A lot of the following recipes do not list use of a cure since the particular author may have a hang up against adding nitrates/nitrites to his product.  In these cases, more salt is generally added than may be palatable to you or to your blood pressure. The decision to use or not to use the cures is yours, and yours alone.  Neither I nor my website will accept responsibility or liability of the use of any recipes found on this website.


Types & Cuts for Sausage - In older times, any thing that wasn't for a specific purpose went into sausage. For pork, you had your hams, chops, ribs and roasts, You had your bacon... but what about all the other parts of meat that were left over?
    For Beef, you have roasts, steaks, briskets, ribs, and hamburger. Meat loaf gets old and so does those fried/grilled burgers, so what to do with it that'll be most tasty? 

Yep.. Grind it, Spice it, stuff it, then cook and enjoy. There are some cuts of meat that make for nice sausages without the hassle of trying to find lean meat then fat for it. My local grocer does provide me with pork fat for free, but the younger generation does subject me to curious looks when I ask for it. Usually the head butcher grins for he knows what I am using it for.

Cuts that take the guess work from fat to lean rations:

Pork - Boston Butts or Pork shoulder. These are approximately 75% lean to 25% fat which is perfect for almost any type of fresh sausage. You can purchase these boneless or bone in... Bone in is cheaper, just be sure to weigh the actual meat for proper amounts before starting the process.

Beef - Chuck Roast, 7 bone roast, Blade cut roast, pot roast or any cuts form the shoulder or chuck works just great as is with the correct % of lean to fat.

Veal - Any cut of veal is good to use, especially if you are going to make Bratwurst.  But unfortunately, it's too damn expensive unless you have access to some home butchered.

Other - You can add chicken, turkey, game hens, duck and goose to sausages too. Actually, you can make whole sausages out of them. Any white fish can be mixed with the more expensive shrimp or crab or lobster or oyster o clam meats to make a seafood sausage that is to die for.  Just remember that the breast is the leanest, and the thighs and drumstick meat is the fattiest... so additional fat may be needed.
    Most recipes will call for some amount of lean, and then usually around a quarter of that weight in the amount of fat. I have successfully taken a pork loin and trimmed it of fat, and then ground it up, adding a couple of pounds of bacon (already smoked) or back fat to bring the lean/fat up to about 75/25 (which is the max I have tried... and the percentage I prefer).  Be creative.  Add more fat or less fat to suit your particular tastes, but fair warning, Every time I use less then 15% fat, my smoked sausages come out with a texture of sawdust, and it not very palatable to me, but the kids still eat it... (grin).

Types & Cuts for Smoking - This section could exceed my web page space just by itself. Basically anything that you can cook can be smoked. Like I said earlier... if it's able to be grilled, then someone, somewhere has added wood chips to the fire to add a little smoked flavor, and since they have already tried it, then why grill, SMOKE it! Of course, I do not mean to include "T-Bone "steaks" or any other steaks... it would be UN-American to not grill these awesome cuts of meat. But everything else is open for discussion.

    Beef.jpg (188683 bytes)       Lamb.jpg (175312 bytes)       Pork.jpg (205058 bytes)       Veal.jpg (185480 bytes)

    In the course of a normal day/diet, if you were to separate out the fat from all the products that you eat, the average person consumes 8 tablespoons of fat. Can you imagine sitting down to the table and eating that with a spoon? Well, not to get to carried away, fat is necessary for good health. Certain vitamins are carried through the body while it is processing fat. It is beyond the scope of this site to teach the benefits of saturated and/or unsaturated fats, I just wanted you to know that while sausages are somewhat fatty, they can fit into a normal diet and be enjoyed.
    Fat is necessary in sausage to give it the textures and flavor that we know and love. I know that when you take an extremely lean cut of meat and salt/pepper it then cook it, not only does it taste like leather, it has the same texture.  So fat, taken in properly, is not only needed for good health, it is necessary for flavor.

Cuts/Items that I have smoked include the following:
Beef Brisket (trimmed and untrimmed)
Pork shoulder (Ham)
Pork Butts
Pork leg (half and whole) [Big HAMS]
Pork Ribs
Prime Rib Roast
Standing Rib Roast
Slab Bacon
Corned Beef (Plain and prepared for Pastrami)
Sirloin Tip
Baron of Beef
Beef ribs
Pork (or "Country Style") Rind
Various roasts
Beef Jerky (along with turkey, salmon, tuna, halibut and even ham jerky)
Beef heart
Pork heart
Beef tongue
Pigs feet
Bones for Indy (my English Springer Spaniel)
Rawhide chews and soup bones for him too.

Need I go on? The list of what I have smoked is exceptionally long.  But if you need any more ideas about what you can smoke, just browse the meat counters of your favorite grocery store, I am sure if it comes from an animal and it's edible it can be smoked.  It's all just a matter of time and temperature. And with all the different ways to cook a roast, I cannot and will not attempt to list the things that can be smoked... well except for the following stuff.. (grin).

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2 Pork Shoulders ready to become Hickory Smoked Hams.

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Same 2 shoulders that are now Hams.

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1 Side of Pork ready to become Hickory Smoked Bacon.

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Same Side, Now very flavorful bacon.