I make fresh sausage that I won't smoke. I don't add any cure. How do I dry them without the cure in them?

  • When you say 'didn't add any cure', is it safe to assume that you didn't add curing salt or some other food preservative to it? – Joe Oct 12 at 16:50

This is going to be tricky.
The problem is the fat. Cured and/or smoked meat is filled with delicious flavors and preservatives. In particular, smoke has antioxidants that keep fat from going rancid:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoking_%28cooking%29#Preservation

Jerky is generally made with as lean meat as possible because the quantity of air and time to dry meat is a perfect recipe for rancid fat. The salt in the jerky will not help prevent the fat going off.

Sausage, on the other hand, is designed to be cured- or to be refrigerated and eaten fresh. It is made with quite a lot of fat. Drying sausage like you would jerky will result in a lot of nasty, oxidized fat. Not tasty and not good for you either.

You could use very lean ground meat and sausage spices, shape into thin strips, and dry the meat like jerky. It would not be like sausage but would dry to a meat stick style jerky that can be quite tasty.

Additionally, the shape of the meat will be an issue. Jerky is sliced thinly so that it can dry before bacteria have an opportunity to take hold. Sausages are thicker and would take a long time to dry. The salt in the recipe might be enough to inhibit bacteria while it dries but the recipe isn't intended for this purpose and it might be risky.

If you want your sausage to be similar to actual sausage then you will need to use traditional recipes which add cure and/or smoke and dry and/or ferment. This is really the only option if you want normal, thick, high fat, sausage.

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