As One Summer Season Ends Another Begins

Autumn is summer sausage season in Wisconsin. A snacking staple while watching Badger and Packer games, summer sausage is the faithful platter companion of crackers and Wisconsin cheeses.

What makes summer sausage so popular is the subtle marriage of smoky and tangy flavors. Our summer sausage develops this unique flavor while hanging for 24 hours over smoldering hardwood fires in our old fashioned brick smoke houses.

For over 130 years Usinger’s has made it the same way…. Quality meats, natural spices and know how. NO MSG, Gluten Free and NO Artificial Flavorings.

Our summer sausage comes in many different sizes. We even make one in the shape of a football!

Welcome to the Fair

Hard to believe it’s already August. Time for the Wisconsin State Fair and Usinger’s is proud to be part of this great Wisconsin tradition!  It’s a terrific showcase for Wisconsin agriculture and meat producers as well as food producers of all types.  Which is why we love being there too.  Look for us in the Wisconsin Products Pavillion right inside the main entrance.  We are featuring four sandwiches each priced at only $3.  All are served on locally made Miller Bakery Pretzilla soft Pretzel buns and include our famous Frankfurter, Italian, Bratwurst and new this year our smoked Jalapeno Cheddar Bratwurst served Reuben style with sauerkraut and thousand island dressing.  It truly is the best Meal Deal at the Fair!  Hope to see there!

Finding Your Favorites

One thing I hear from time to time is that a customer can’t find some of our products at their local grocery store.  Some of grandma’s favorite dishes that you remember as a kid may require a product that isn’t available at the local grocer.  At Usinger’s, we make over 100 different types of sausages and meats.  That’s more shelf space than you’re going to get from a typical store.  You can however, find all of our products at Usinger’s retail store on Old World 3rd street in downtown Milwaukee.  Many of the items we make are specialty sausages, these are the kind of things you won’t find at chain stores, but can find if you take a trip back in time at our turn of the century store.  There are also some great bargains on our famous seconds table.  This includes over runs, slightly over or under weight products, new products that aren’t yet being mass-produced, all types of things that are bargain priced but have the distinct flavor of Usinger’s.  I invite you to stop in.  I’ll bet you’ll find just what you’re looking for.

 

 

Grilling Season

Before you start the grill, know your sausage.  While they all taste great, there are differences in how Usinger’s products should be prepared.

Usinger Cooked Brat –  The white brat.  Bavarian style made with finely chopped Pork and Veal.  These are the type served all over Germany.  When grilled they actually swell and get plumper as they are cooked.  Grilling gives them a crispy outer skin and smooth flavorful center.

Usinger Fresh BratMy method for grilling a fresh brat is “low and slow”.  It’s the opposite of grilling a steak, which you sear right away to seal in the juices and then cook them at a lower temperature.  With a fresh bratwurst it has to acclimate to the heat slowly.  Too much heat too quickly can cause the brat to swell so much that it will break the casing, which is what you are really trying to avoid.  If the casing breaks, all of the juices and spices wind up in your grill.

Usinger Natural Casing Beef Frankfurters These are meaty, juicy and have more than a hint of fresh garlic.  Grilling enhances the “pop” when you bite into the natural casing.

Usinger Smoked Andouille SausageThis is a great sausage with lots of complex flavors.  Spicy, smoky and tangy all at once.

Additional tips – Personally, I’m not a fan of parboiling.  It can change the texture of the casing and dilute the flavor of a perfectly spiced sausage.  If you’re short on time, the pre-cooked are quick and don’t require the care of fresh meat.

If you like Kraut, try our Festival style sauerkraut.  It’s pre-cooked also and may be the only condiment you need.

Enjoy!

Real Smoke

Real smoke means real flavor.  At Usinger’s, our sausage is smoked in authentic two story brick smokehouses, just like it was back in 1880.  Usinger’s doesn’t use artificial smoke flavor injections or spray tan like coatings on casings.  We prefer natural hardwoods like Hickory, Oak and Ash.  Our smoke products spend hours over smoldering sawdust and logs, more like cooking over a campfire.  It takes time and some acquired technique to make sausage this way, which is why a lot of companies don’t do it.  When you do it right however, the taste is unmatched.  That’s the taste we’re looking for at Usinger’s.

 

 

Do You Need MSG?

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), what is it? Simply put, MSG is a flavor enhancer. It provides a savory background flavor so fewer expensive spices are needed. Some people have sensitivity to MSG and get headaches from it.

We don’t use MSG in Usinger products. Instead we use natural spices and herbs to season our sausages the same way they were made 133 years ago by my great grand father. Many companies use MSG. Read the ingredients statement on the package label.

At Usinger’s our philosophy is that the shorter the ingredients statement is, the better the product is.