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Salt Amounts for Making Sausages – (Simple Ratios, Tables)

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Writer / Enthusiast / Meat Curer / Forager / Harvester | About Tom

For decades, immersed in studying, working, learning, and teaching in the craft of meat curing, now sharing his passion with you through eat cured meat online resource.

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I’ve been studying, teaching, and making sausages for decades. Salt is always included in every recipe. I’ve also used many different types of salts for sausage, which I’ll elaborate on.

Sauages can be defined into three broad categories first being cured and dried.

Second, fresh raw meat is then grilled or poached to finish (ie. Bratwurst).

Lastly, a ready-to-eat sausage hot smoked or cooked as part of the recipe and process (Hot Dog – which is emulsified a sub-category).

A dry-cured (hard) salami needs a higher salt level for curing and preserving.

The last two categories, which are cooked sausages, (here is a massive list of cooked sausages) need less salt since salt is desired for its seasoning/taste level.

I will go into detail below about the types of salt for sausage, in summary, the types to use for all sausage making whether raw or dry cured sausage/salami are Pure Sea Salt -fine, Kosher, Pickling, or Canning Salt

Salt Amount Depends on Type of Sausage

Let me give you a general rule of thumb for those not interested in accuracy, and then I’ll explain why you will sometimes have variations using volume as a basis, e.g., a tablespoon or teaspoon.

Left to right cooked/smoked hickory hot dogs, raw merguez sausage, raw nurenberg sausage, slim jim smoked venison sausage  all using sicilian fine sea salt
Left to Right Cooked/Smoked Hickory Hot Dogs, Raw Merguez Sausage, Raw Nurenberg Sausage, Slim Jim Smoked Venison Sausage – all using Sicilian fine sea salt

For a fresh sausage or ready-to-eat sausage, it’s about seasoning

One tablespoon per 1000 grams / 2.2 pounds of meat

For a dry-cured hard salami sausage, a minimum cure amount is needed

One and a Half tablespoons per 1000 grams / 2.2 pounds of meat

(this would include pink curing salt; this is another subject matter in regard to curing and salami making)

To explain this in detail, I’ve provided tables and further information below.

Salt Sausage Amounts

Sausage making is as much an art as it is a science.

One of the key ingredients that can make or break your sausage is salt.

The right salt balance is crucial for flavor, texture, and safety.

For a Fresh Sausage to be Cooked Or a Hot Smoked Sausage

Specifically, this is about grilling sausages, such as bratwurst or hot dogs. The type of sausage that needs cooking. In Italy, this raw type of sausage is often heavily salt seasoned, since it used for stews, casseroles and other dishes to increase the base flavor.

Salt as a Ratio to the Total Weight of the Meat

Salt % to Meat Total Meat (grams)Total Meat (pounds)Salt (grams)Salt (ounces)Salt
*tbsp 15g
Minimum (1%)1000g2.2lbs10 g0.35oz⅔ – 1 tbsp
Common (1.5%)1000g2.2lbs15 g0.53oz1 – 1⅔ tbsp
Maximum (3%)1000g2.2lbs30 g1.06oz2 – 3½ tbsp
*assuming a tablespoon is 14 -25 grams of salt, depending on the size and type of salt – more on this later

For a Dry Cured Salami or Salami, that will not be cooked, but cured, and dried over time. Another range applies below.

Salt Amounts for Dry-Cured (Hard) Salami

Salt % to MeatTotal Meat
(grams)
Total Meat (pounds)Salt (grams)Salt
(oz)
Salt *tbsp 15g
Minimum (2%)1000g2.2lbs20g0.71oz1⅓ tbsp
Common (2.25%)1000g2.2lbs22.5g0.79oz1½ tbsp
Maximum (4%)1000g2.2 lbs40g1.41oz2⅔ tbsp
*assuming a tablespoon is 14 grams of salt (definitely not always the case)

For the dozens of recipes I regularly make of raw sausage, 1.5% is the amount of salt I use. For hard dry cured salami (article I wrote about dry cured salami making), 2.25% is the amount I use.

Many of those who make salami also use these amounts from my research into the matter.

I’ve tasted salami in various Southern, Central, Eastern, and Western European countries. Certain cultures have a very high tolerance to salt, 4-5% in some cases. I’ve found this nearly unedible. Everyone does perceive taste differently, though.

Saltiness in Sausage Perception

Saltiness is subjective, varying from person to person. While some may prefer a saltier taste, others may find it overpowering.

Understanding your taste preferences and those of your audience is key to achieving the perfect level of saltiness in your sausage.

It took ten years of experimentation to find the salt seasoning I preferred for sausages and salami (differences I wrote about).

Different Salts and Different Volume Amounts

Not all salts are created equal, which also holds true for their volume equivalents.

Different salts have different densities, meaning that a teaspoon of one salt may not weigh the same as another. Understanding these differences is essential to ensure accurate seasoning in your sausage recipes.

Pretty important if a recipe calls for “one tablespoon of salt”- dinner might be over salted with fine sea particles, and under salted with Kosher flakes. Of course, if recipes used weight instead of volume measures, there wouldn’t be a problem. One ounce of salt is one ounce of salt atoms, no matter how many tablespoons it takes to measure out that ounce.

Geninue Ideas

Types of Salt: Differences and How They Affect Your Sausage

Salt TypeSuitability for Sausage MakingComments
Coarse Sea SaltUnsuitableToo concentrated, doesn’t spread evenly in ground meat
Table SaltSuitable for Raw Sausage MakingCheck for additives such as anticaking agents or iodine
Finishing SaltNot RecommendedCost-inefficient, lightly structured, not ideal for universal distribution of salt in sausage making
Kosher SaltSuitable for All Types of Sausage MakingNo added agents, texture between coarse and table salt, appropriate for sausage and curing
Pickling & Canning SaltSuitable for All Types of Sausage MakingMaybe Suitable, Potentially inconsistent
Himalayan Pink SaltMaybe Suitable, Potential inconsistentContains minerals, may vary in mineral content between batches

For a visual look at various salts, I found this article useful.

Categories:

  • Coarse
  • Kosher
  • Fine (Pickling, Canning)
  • Finishing/Flaky

These are the main categories of salt.

Coarse salts or large chunks are unsuited for sausage making since the goal is to universally spread the salt throughout the meat. Coarse rock salt will be too concentrated in the ground meat.

Sea Salt – Coarse

It would also fall into this category of being too concentrated.

Table Salt

Fine sea salt is suitable for raw sausage making. Table salt sometimes contains agents used for anticaking or added iodine, which can have an unwanted adverse effect on cured meats.

Finishing Salt

Often in a more crystal form or flaky.

This lightly structured, it could be used for sausage, but is cost inefficient. Not recommended.

Kosher Salt / Pickling Salt

Due to Jewish beliefs, no added agents are used in processing. Kosher salt works for sausage. Its texture is between coarse and table salt. It’s suitable for all types of sausage and curing.

Pickling salt is the same without Jewish Belief certification.

Pickling & Canning Salt

No agents or additives also finer/smaller than kosher salt. Appropriate for sausage-making.

Himalayan Pink Salt

In rock or fine grinds, below is the chunky rock type.

Himalayan pink salt
Himalayan Pink Salt

It contains mainly minerals—I’ve used it successfully for meat curing and sausaging. However, from batch to batch, it may also contain unwanted minerals.

Not to be confused to pink curing salt, which is nearly flourscent pink.

Pink curing salt 2

Measuring Salt – Tips

When it comes to measuring salt for sausage making, precision is key. Here are some tips to ensure you get it just right every time:

  • Use a kitchen scale for the most accurate measurements.
  • If using volume measurements, fluff up your salt before scooping.
  • Consider the density of the salt you’re using and adjust your measurements accordingly.

Volume Isn’t Accurate Vs. Weight

While volume measurements are common in many recipes, they can be notoriously inaccurate regarding salt.

This is because salt’s density can vary widely depending on factors such as grain size and moisture content. Using weight measurements with a pocket scale (accuracy to 0.1 grams or 1 decimal place)is far more reliable for achieving consistent results in sausage-making endeavors.

By understanding the nuances of salt sausage ratio ranges and adopting precise measurement techniques, you’ll be well-equipped to create perfectly seasoned sausages every time. Happy sausage making!

Writer / Enthusiast / Meat Curer / Forager / Harvester | About Tom

For decades, immersed in studying, working, learning, and teaching in the craft of meat curing, now sharing his passion with you through eat cured meat online resource.


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