Food & Drink

What is Summer Sausage and How to Eat It? Tips and Tricks for This Savory Snack

Summer sausage, a savory snack made of beef or pork, has been enjoyed worldwide for centuries. This versatile food can be eaten as part of a meal or enjoyed independently. To make summer sausage, ground meat is mixed with spices and then cured and smoked until it becomes firm yet tender. Whether you’re new to summer sausage or just looking for ways to enjoy it differently, here are some tips and tricks for eating this tasty treat. View details at eatingwithyourhands to add an interactive element to your next summer sausage feast.

ss-9 Summer sausage is a cured and smoked sausage traditionally made from beef or pork. The meat is finely ground and seasoned with garlic, pepper, nutmeg, coriander, mustard seed, paprika and sometimes sugar before being stuffed into casings and cured over an open fire. Many modern versions use other ingredients such as cheese, nuts or fruits to flavor the sausage. 

Types of Summer Sausage 

Many types of summer sausages are available on the market today, including traditional varieties and flavored options like jalapeno-cheddar and teriyaki. Some popular brands include Landjaeger (a German-style snack stick), Thumann’s (an American brand), Old Wisconsin (a Wisconsin-based company) and Applegate Farms (which makes organic sausages). 

How to Select Summer Sausage 

When buying summer sausages, look for deep red sausages with no visible mold or discoloration. The texture should be slightly firm but still give a little when lightly pressed between your fingers. It’s best to avoid packs that show signs of freezer burn or obvious punctures in the wrapping, as these could indicate spoilage before the sale.  

Storage instructions 

Generally, it’s best to store uncooked summer sausages in the fridge, which will keep fresh for up to six weeks if unopened. Once opened, they should be consumed within three days. Otherwise, they may start to dry out and lose flavor over time. If you plan to store them for more than two weeks, it’s important to wrap them tightly in cling film before returning them to the fridge to prevent air from getting in and causing them to spoil too quickly.  

Serving suggestions 

Summer sausages taste great served hot from the barbecue with potatoes or vegetables as a main course. They make a great addition to sandwiches as their flavors blend well with condiments such as mayonnaise or mustard. For something lighter, try combining thin slices of summer sausage with crackers, cheese, olives, pickles, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers on an hors d’oeuvre platter. You can also add diced pieces to salads for extra protein.  

How do you cook summer sausages? 

Summer sausages can be cooked in several ways, depending on your preference; frying is probably one of the most common techniques, as it allows you to brown both sides evenly without getting too much oil everywhere. Preheat a frying pan over medium heat, add your sliced link(s) and cook for about 5 minutes on each side until lightly browned all over, turning once during the cooking time. Once cooked, allow cooling slightly before serving either alone as a side dish with vegetables/potatoes etc., on sandwiches, wraps, pizzas etc., sliced & mixed into salads etc.  


Tips For Making Summer Sausage At Home 

Making homemade summer sausages requires patience due to the curing process, but there are several tips you can follow when doing so:

  • Ensure all meats used are fresh – this will ensure maximum flavor when done!  
  • Use high-quality spices – don’t skimp here because good spices will make all difference in taste!   
  • Keep track of time – how long each stage takes so you know when everything’s ready.    
  • Avoid direct sunlight – sunlight accelerates oxidation, reducing shelf life, so keep away from windows/doors while drying out links.    
  • Store correctly – vacuum seal bags work best, but if not available, wrap tightly with aluminum foil/plastic wrap, ensuring no gaps letting oxygen enter the bagging mix.
James Norris’s editorial director. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from New York University and a BA in English Language and Literature from Rutgers.