Annually, about 250 million Americans consume sausages regularly throughout the year. So it’s no surprise that many have ventured to make homemade smoked sausages and other sausage recipes. Sausages are famous throughout Canada, the USA, and the EU. In addition, they have a “fat bomb” in Vienna called the Käsekrainer, the perfect solution for late-night hunger cravings.
If you’re interested in making sausages at home and with cheese, you have to become more familiar with regular cheese and high-temp cheeses.
Can I Use Regular Cheese Instead of High-Temperature Cheese?
If you’re planning to smoke your homemade sausages with lots of cheese inside (preferably a pound of cheese for every ten of your meat,) then the answer is no, you can’t. This is why people also ask if they need to know more about high-temperature cheese vs. regular cheese.
To make the best of your homemade smoked sausages or just about any sausage, you need to put cheese in the meat that will naturally withstand the heat of a smoker or grill.
There aren’t many choices in this scenario – either you skip the cheese altogether or add high-temp cheese to the mix. High-temp cheeses have much lower moisture content, are more aged, and will impart great flavors to your sausage without causing a nasty, wet mess.
You can create the most beautiful sausages and meals at home using the right kinds of cheese. Unfortunately, high-temp cheeses are certainly niche, so you may not be able to find one easily in your neighborhood store.
If you want the best experience while cooking, it’s best to order online. Just make sure that you have sufficient storage in your freezer for these if you are planning to order large bags. High-temp cheeses also come in smaller packages and different slices and shapes, so you will enjoy experimenting with them.
What’s the big deal about high-temperature cheeses anyway? While regular cheese can easily be sliced and even spread on bread or crackers, high-temperature cheeses specialize in just resisting heat during the cooking process.
Resisting heat means the cheese chunks in your sausage will maintain their shape while remaining relatively soft and creamy to the mouth. High-temperature cheeses are usually manufactured to complement a variety of meets, from ground chicken meat to high-value wagyu meat. So don’t worry about flavor and texture compatibility issues. They will work just fine in your recipes! Many brands of high-temp cheeses are made in the United States; make sure you check if they’re shipping to your location if you live outside the US.
What Kind of Cheese Do do You Put in Sausage?
The problem with high-temperature cheese is that it might be expensive or difficult to find. The producers provide them in convenient packaging, making sausage production more accessible, but that may not be what you want. Maybe the cheese you have on hand has a low melting point, and you’re not sure if you should use it in your summer sausage.
Low-temperature cheeses are also known as everyday cheeses. Regular cheeses with a lot of moisture aren’t the best choice for summer sausage, but they’ve worked for many folks. Swiss cheese, as well as Cheshire cheese and mozzarella, fall under this category. On the other hand, some cheeses like brie are too soft for summer sausage and would not be the ideal choice.
How Much High-Temperature Cheese Do You Add to Summer Sausage?
Experts recommend adding one pound of high-temp cheese to ten pounds of meat. You can also increase this depending on your goal in making the sausages.
Summer sausage is a form of cured meat that originated in Europe before the invention of refrigeration. People were able to manufacture a sausage that would not spoil without refrigeration “during the summer months” by combining several preservation technologies. Summer sausage is the result of the customs in making the sausages.
Summer sausages come in various flavors (think salami, pepperoni, and Spanish chorizo), but genuine German summer sausage is softer and less dry than these ready-to-eat meats. But, again, this is because of the German climate and the fact that the heart didn’t need to be dehydrated as much during the summer to stay fresh.
Snacks, picnics, and charcuterie boards are great places to use summer sausage. It’s usually served thinly sliced, and it goes well with both wine and cheese. It’s also delicious on sandwiches. Of course, summer sausage is also fantastic fried or in a casserole, but the natural beauty is that it’s easy to make, ready to eat, and tastes great at room temperature.
While summer sausage was initially designed to be stored without refrigeration, we now know more about food safety, and refrigeration is luckily commonly available. Many sausages can be left out of the cooler, but keep in mind that not all summer sausages are made equal, and some commercially-made ones must be refrigerated to stay fresh.
Consult with the sausage maker if you’re unsure whether your sausage needs to be refrigerated. You may also check the box; if it says “Refrigerate after opening,” you can store it in the pantry until you need it. Put it in the fridge if it indicates it needs to be refrigerated. You might also consider where you bought the item in your grocery shop. If you got your snack at the checkout counter, it’s probably shelf-stable, but it’ll need to keep cold if you got it from the refrigerated case.
Which Cheese Is Best for Sausage?
Let’s look at the features of summer sausage before choosing a cheese to go with it. First, it has a semi-dry texture (semi-hard). Because of the lactic acid fermentation, it’s salty, smokey, and sour. Contrast is what you’re looking for in a cheese.
Choose a slice of cheese with a creamier texture and enough fat to counteract the acidity. Smooth, semi-soft cheeses like butterkäse, Havarti, or Muenster are ideal because they provide a neutral backdrop for the sausage’s flavors. A strong Cheddar (any Cheddar, actually) or Swiss cheese is also a great match, with nutty overtones that suit the sausage’s smoke and acidity.