How To Preserve Sausage Without Fridge? An Expert’s Guide

Are you looking for ways to preserve your sausage without a fridge?

Whether you’re camping, living off the grid, or simply want to extend the shelf life of your sausage, there are several methods you can use to keep it fresh and edible.

From dehydrating to freezing, we’ve gathered some tips and tricks to help you preserve your sausage without the need for refrigeration.

So, let’s dive in and explore the world of sausage preservation!

How To Preserve Sausage Without Fridge?

1. Dehydration:

Dehydrating sausage is a popular method that has been used for centuries. All you need is a dehydrator or biltong box, which can be purchased online or at an appliance store. You can also build one yourself using a light bulb and a fan. Dehydration removes the moisture from the meat without removing any nutritional value, making it a great way to store meat without a fridge. Once dehydrated, wrap each portion of sausage individually in plastic film wrap or seal it in heavy-duty freezer bags or vacuum-style food sealer bags.

2. Freezing:

Raw and cooked sausages can be frozen. Separate them into portion sizes before freezing so that you can defrost exactly what you need. Over-wrap the sausages in a sheet of aluminum foil, a second bag, or a second layer of plastic wrap to protect them and extend their storage life. Label and date the outside of the package with a permanent marker so that you know how long it’s been in storage.

3. Smoking:

Smoking sausage is another traditional method of preservation that has been used for centuries. The smoke helps to preserve the meat by inhibiting bacterial growth and adding flavor. You can smoke sausage using a smoker or even a homemade smokehouse.

4. Salt Preservation:

Salt preservation is another ancient method of preserving meat that involves rubbing salt onto the surface of the meat to draw out moisture and create an inhospitable environment for bacteria to grow. Once salted, the meat can be hung to dry or smoked.

5. Canning:

Canning is a great way to preserve sausage for long periods without refrigeration. The process involves placing the sausage in jars and then processing them in boiling water to create an airtight seal.

Introduction To Sausage Preservation

Sausage preservation is a traditional food preservation technique that has been used for centuries. Primitive societies learned that adding dried berries and spices to dried meat could help preserve it. The word “sausage” comes from the Latin word “salsus,” which means salted or preserved by salting. Sausages have evolved into a wide variety of flavors, textures, and shapes resulting from variations in ingredients and manufacturing processes. Sausage preservation is important because it allows us to store meat for long periods without refrigeration. There are several methods of sausage preservation, including dehydration, freezing, smoking, salt preservation, and canning. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, but all are effective at preserving sausage without a fridge.

Dehydrating Sausage

Dehydrating sausage is a great way to preserve it without using a fridge. However, it is important to take safety precautions to avoid any risk of bacterial growth. To ensure safe dehydration, start by heating the sausage to the top setting, being at least 71 °C (160 °F) and poultry to 74 °C (165 °F) at the commencement of the dehydrating process. This step assures that any bacteria present will be destroyed by wet heat.

After heating, maintain a constant dehydrator temperature of at least 54-55 °C (130 °F) to 60 °C (140 °F) for the remainder of the drying process. A low drying temperature is crucial to avoid forming a crust on the exterior of the meat that does not allow the interior moisture to evaporate.

Once the sausage has been dehydrated, wrap each portion individually in plastic film wrap or seal it in heavy-duty freezer bags or vacuum-style food sealer bags. This will help to prevent any moisture from getting in and compromising the quality of the sausage.

By following these steps, you can successfully dehydrate sausage for long-term storage without using a fridge.

Smoking Sausage

Smoking sausage is a traditional method of preservation that not only extends the shelf life of the meat but also adds a unique flavor. The process involves placing the sausages in a smoker or even a homemade smokehouse.

Before smoking, it’s important to choose the right type of sausage and wood flavor. Most sausages can be smoked, but it’s best to use ones that are not pre-smoked for maximum flavor. Popular choices include Italian sausages, bangers, bratwursts, boudin blanc, chorizo, kishka, weisswurst, and breakfast sausage.

To smoke sausage, preheat your smoker or grill to about 225°F. If using a grill, set it up for 2-zone cooking with the sausages on the indirect side. Add wood to the direct heat side after the meat goes on and smoke while the meat is cold. Cold surfaces attract smoke.

Place the sausages on the top grate, spaced at least an inch apart to allow for smoke circulation. Alternatively, you can hang the sausage links. Fill the water pan and place it in the smoker near the meat. Leave room between each sausage and the water pan. Add wood to the firebox, close the smoker lid and leave to smoke. After 45 minutes, open the smoker and turn the sausages. Repeat this every 45 minutes and check the water level in the water pan. Refill if needed.

Cook until the internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C). This ensures that the sausages are pasteurized and safe to eat for an extended period without refrigeration. Once smoked, you can serve them with your favorite toppings like sour kraut and Dijon mustard on a whole wheat bun alongside air fryer tater tots or save them for use in many different recipes throughout the week.

Canning Sausage

Canning sausage is a great way to preserve it without the need for refrigeration. However, it’s important to note that the quality of the sausage may not be as good as when it’s frozen. Canned sausage tends to come out soft and crumbly, so keep this in mind when deciding which preservation method to use.

To can sausage, start by choosing fresh, chilled meat. If using venison, add one part high-quality pork fat to three or four parts venison before grinding. Use freshly made sausage seasoned with salt and cayenne pepper (sage may cause a bitter off-flavor). Shape chopped meat into patties or balls or cut cased sausage into 3- to 4-inch links. Cook until lightly browned. Ground meat may be sauteed without shaping.

Remove excess fat from the sausage and fill jars with pieces. Add boiling meat broth, tomato juice, or water, leaving 1-inch headspace. Add 2 teaspoons of salt per quart to the jars if desired. Adjust lids and process according to the recommendations in Table 1 and Table 2 according to the canning pressure you’re using.

It’s important to note that there are no home canning directions for cured or specialty salami-type sausages as their densities are different. Freeze surplus of these types of sausage instead.

Canning sausage is a great space-saver in the freezer where you are suddenly hit with an abundance of sausage to preserve and little freezer space to deal with. The broth from the jars is also a tasty addition to a collection of stocks for soup in tubs in the freezer.

To enjoy your canned sausage, remove the lid, warm the jar in the microwave to melt the fat, drain the fat and meat juices from the jar into another container that you keep for meat drippings for broth (freezer). You can then use the meat in tacos, chili, sloppy joes, etc., or slice it into four hamburgers and put them on buns. It only takes a few minutes to heat up the meat in a pan or microwave.

Freezing Sausage

Freezing sausage is a convenient and easy way to preserve it without a fridge. Both cooked and uncooked sausages can be frozen, but it’s important to store them properly to prevent freezer burn. Before freezing, separate the sausages into portion sizes so that you can defrost only what you need.

To freeze sausage, start by removing them from their original packaging and placing them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Make sure to leave some space between each sausage to prevent them from sticking together. Flash-freeze the sausages for 2-3 hours until they are frozen solid.

Once frozen, transfer the sausages into a freezer-safe container or a freezer bag. Be sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing the bag or container to prevent freezer burn. Label and date the package so that you know how long it’s been in storage.

It’s important to note that not all sausages freeze well. Fresh sausages, such as Italian sausage, may become dry and rubbery after being frozen, while smoked sausages like bacon or ham may become chewy after freezing. On the other hand, cured sausages like salami can be frozen without any negative impact on taste or texture.

Sausage can last in the freezer for up to 3-4 months before it starts to lose some of its flavor and texture, so it’s best to use them within this time frame. Freezing is a great option for storing sausage without a fridge, but it’s important to follow proper storage techniques to ensure that the sausage stays fresh and delicious.

Salting Sausage

When it comes to preserving sausage without a fridge, salting is one of the oldest and most effective methods. Salt not only enhances the flavor of the sausage but also acts as a preservative by inhibiting the growth of bacteria. It also helps to firm up the texture of the sausage and prevent water loss during storage.

When salting sausage, it is important to use non-iodized salt as iodized table salt can affect the flavor. Kosher salt is a great option as it lacks any additives that can mar the flavor of your links. It is recommended to use between 1.5-2% salt by total weight of the meat and fat for fresh homemade sausage. For example, for a standard 5-pound batch, which is 2268 grams, at minimum, approximately 23 grams of salt or about 5 1/2 teaspoons should be used.

It is important to weigh out the salt for consistency in every batch rather than estimating salt per cups or spoons, as not all salts weigh the same per unit volume. Salting by weight also allows for the use of any type of salt desired, such as Pacific Ocean harvested salt or other non-iodized salts like sea salt.

Curing salt, specifically sodium nitrite, is also commonly used in smoked sausages for food safety and flavor purposes. It can prevent listeria and botulism and give smoked sausages that rosy, hammy flavor. However, it is important to use either curing salt or regular salt when making smoked sausages and to avoid using both together.