Whether you’re looking for a tasty addition to your picnic basket or a portable snack to take on the move, summer sausages have you covered. As the demand for these cured sausages continues to rise, retailers have introduced a plethora of new varieties and brands in recent years.
But how can you prepare the perfect summer sausage? High-quality ingredients, little fillers, and the ideal ratio of ground meats to seasonings are what make for the ultimate summer sausage. The best summer sausage is cured in the traditional way and matured to perfection for maximum taste.
Do you want to feed your loved ones the finest summer sausages? Find out what we think are the top qualities of a good summer sausage and where we recommend purchasing them.
What Is Summer Sausage?
A variety of sausage that may be kept without refrigeration is known as summer sausage. To inhibit bacterial development, they are produced utilizing procedures including fermentation and salt curing. They are then vacuum-packed to maintain their shelf stability at room temperature.
Sliced summer sausage is served with salt, seasonings, garlic, and two hot peppers.
Although summer sausages can take many different shapes, they often consist of a combination of ground pork and additional meats like beef or venison.
They frequently contain components like mustard seeds, garlic, salt, black pepper, or sugar that are heavily seasoned. In order to impart a deeper flavor and extend their shelf life, some summer sausages are also smoked.
Summer sausages are a useful addition to many cupboard shelves because they don’t need to be kept in the refrigerator. Without taking up important fridge space, you can keep them on hand and ready to use whenever you need them.
Summer sausages can be eaten in a variety of ways, and many people just slice them up and eat them that way. They can also be included on a charcuterie board or utilized as pizza toppings, lunchbox snacks, or sandwich fillings.
There are several options accessible if you’re looking to select the greatest summer sausages. Let’s discuss how to choose the ideal item for your culinary requirements!
How To Choose The Best Summer Sausage
There are so many different types of summer sausages available that it might be difficult to find the best one for you and your family. Are all types of summer sausage the same, or are there factors to consider while purchasing summer sausage? If you’re looking for the best summer sausages to buy for your family, here are some things to consider.
Type Of Summer Sausage
Unbeknownst to you, many of the cold meats we like are actually variations of summer sausage. Salami, pepperoni, and chorizo are all considered summer sausages because they are produced using same methods.
The term “summer sausage” was invented to describe a sausage that could be preserved without refrigeration during the summer months. Therefore, strictly speaking, any type of cured sausage might be included.
However, purists will insist that the word “summer sausage” refers to a sort of sausage produced in Europe many centuries ago.
Originating from Germany, a country with a milder climate, these sausages did not require as much water removal to remain fresh during the summer. This indicates that summer sausage is softer and less dry than other cured sausages, such as pepperoni.
Storage Method And Shelf Life
The availability of refrigeration has improved greatly since the invention of summer sausages several centuries ago. In addition, we now know the dangers of storing meats at room temperature and other issues related to food safety and hygiene.
However, many manufacturers now advise refrigeration, despite the fact that summer sausage was originally conceived as a preserved meat that can be kept at room temperature. This is typically required by law to ensure that food is safe for consumption.
Choose a sausage that doesn’t need to be refrigerated if you don’t have much room in your fridge or if you’re packing snacks for an outdoor excursion.
Flavorings And Seasonings
Summer sausages are available in a wide variety of flavors and seasonings, from mild and delicate to robust and flavorful. They frequently contain strong flavors that permeate the entire sausage, like garlic, mustard, or chili.
Summer sausages that have been smoked typically taste sweeter and more delicate. The majority of unsmoked ones tend to be meatier and more pungent. Instead of sausage made with herbs, you are more likely to discover summer sausages that are seasoned with warming spices.
The various meats utilized might also impact the sausage’s overall flavor. Pork-based sausages are often milder, whereas those produced mostly from beef or venison have a more gamey flavor.
It is nearly hard to avoid chemical ingredients entirely when it comes to summer sausages. This is due to the fact that they are typically necessary as part of the curing process in order to comply with food safety laws. Summer sausage is also heavy in salt, which is required in the curing process.
Although an additive-free summer sausage is difficult to be found, some selections are superior to others. If the label has a slew of E-numbers and additives, the product should be avoided.
Quality And Welfare Standards
Nowadays, many individuals seek out high-quality meat that satisfies the strictest welfare requirements. This is not simply out of concern for the welfare of meat-producing animals, but also for our own health and the environmental impact of meat products.
Standards can vary greatly from country to country, but there are a few fundamental terms to keep in mind when searching for the highest quality summer sausage:
Organic. This indicates that the animal has been raised using chemical-free methods, including the food they consume.
Free-Range The animal must have been able to spend the majority of its life in the wild. If you can afford it, it is a good idea to choose free-range summer sausage, as this farming style promotes animal welfare.
No antibiotics. Unfortunately, current farming procedures necessitate the administration of antibiotics to numerous animals in a manner that many consider needless or unhealthy. Choose antibiotic-free meats if you wish to minimize your exposure to antibiotic residues in your diet.
Best Summer Sausage
There are a plethora of summer sausages to pick from, ranging from inexpensive varieties suitable for families to upscale organic labels with a focus on animal welfare.
1. Old Wisconsin Premium Summer Sausage Original Flavor
Summer sausages from Old Wisconsin consistently rank at the top of bestseller lists, and with good reason! Their original recipe, which uses a combination of ground pig and beef, captures everything we love about a great summer sausage.
The flavor is just right because to the meticulous blending of spices and herbs, and the flesh is firm without being overly dry, smooth without being mushy, and of the texture.
In order to give these authentic summer sausages a delightfully sweet, smokey flavor, hardwood is gently smoked them. They don’t have any extraneous binders or fillers, and the sausage casing is simple to peel away.
According to us, if you had to pick just one summer sausage, this straightforward but delectable original blend would come out on top every time!
2. Hickory Farms Farmhouse Premium Beef And Pork Smoked Summer Sausage
The Hickory Farms summer sausage comes in second place, with many of the same outstanding traits as our top pick. However, because this dish is more heavily seasoned and saltier than the Old Wisconsin version, it may not be to everyone’s taste.
The beautiful thing about this sausage is that it can be eaten on its own and does not require pairing with cheese or other meals. The deep hardwood smoked flavor matches the thick, spicy meat wonderfully. The texture is strong without being overly dry, thanks to a combination of beef and pork.
3. Stonie’s Summer Sausage With Cheese And Jalapeno
Taking a daring departure from traditional summer sausages, our next selection blends grass-fed beef and pig with real cheddar cheese and dried jalapeno pepper flakes to create an exquisite and tasty sausage!
Outside of the original-flavor summer sausages, we consider this cheese and chili mixture to be among the best available. Smooth and luscious, it is crafted from all-natural components.
Although this is a cured summer sausage, the producer recommends refrigerating it to extend its shelf life. Before ingesting, allow it to reach room temperature for optimal enjoyment.
4. Deli Direct 100% Pure Beef Summer Sausage
For the purists among you, try this summer sausage made entirely of beef! This sausage has a powerful dose of meaty taste with only the bare minimum of seasonings to bring out the flavor.
It is prepared from all-natural materials and subtly smoked over hickory to impart a delicate, sweet flavor. Because the sausage is bigger, you can cut it into large rounds that go great with a piece of aged cheddar cheese.
5. Dan The Sausageman Roasted Garlic Summer Sausage
We’ve discovered that garlic sausage can be a little too, erm, garlicky. We understand that garlic sausage should taste like garlic, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
The light garlic taste of this roasted garlic summer sausage is not overbearing, and it is wonderfully matched by red bell pepper to bring sweetness and depth of flavor.
As a result, the summer sausage is incredibly delectable without being overly spicy (or garlicky)! If you like it hot, mix it with a dab of hot mustard for a true taste sensation.
6. Pearson Ranch Hickory Smoked Venison Summer Sausage
If you’re searching for something a little more different, this deer sausage combines the fantastic qualities of summer sausage with the flavorful gameiness of venison. This hickory-smoked venison variety is a client favorite at Pearson Ranch, which has long been a market leader with its odd sausage varieties.
On its own, venison may be rather potent, but the addition of pig to this blend makes the sausage sweeter and more succulent. It is composed of natural ingredients and contains no added nitrites.
7. Usinger’s Thueringer Summer Sausage
This summer sausage is a welcome departure from the typical smooth texture of sausage meat due to its traditional preparation using coarsely ground beef and pig. The white peppercorns give the meat a wonderful tangy flavor.
All of Usinger’s sausages are smoked for days over hardwood slabs in authentic brick smokehouses. This method produces a flavor that is robust without being overbearing or rough.
8. Pepper Joe’s Carolina Reaper Slow Smoked Spicy Summer Sausage
Don’t let the fact that this summer sausage is not for the weak of heart deter you! The world’s hottest chili pepper, the Carolina Reaper, is added to this beef and pork summer sausage to give it both a fantastic chili flavor and a strong heat.
The sausage’s robust, pungent flavor is given deep, smoky undertones by slow smoking it over hardwood. It is a terrific addition to a charcuterie table because of the solid yet moist texture. Just keep in mind to let your guests know that this one is more hotter than your typical summer sausage!
9. Foustman’s Naturally Cured Artisan Lamb & Rosemary Salami
Foustman makes summer sausages in a variety of flavors using time-honored dry-curing techniques. It’s difficult to pick a winner, but this novel combination of lamb and rosemary stands out from the rest.
The lamb summer sausage is a unique addition to any picnic or party plate because it is not commonly found. The rich, salty ground lamb is complemented wonderfully by the subtle flavor of rosemary.
Foustman’s summer sausages and salamis are fantastic since they contain no nitrites or nitrates and are created with few other ingredients.