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What Is Summer Sausage?

Summer sausage is a type of cured meat that was developed in Europe prior to refrigeration technology. Using several types of preservation methods at once allowed people to make a sausage that would keep from spoiling without refrigeration “in the summer months.”

Hence the name, summer sausage.

There are many types of summer sausages on the market (think salami, pepperoni, and Spanish chorizo), but traditional German-style summer sausage is a bit softer and less dry than these ready-to-eat meats. This is due to the German climate and the fact that the meat didn’t have to have as much water removed in order to stay fresh through the summer.

How Do I Use Summer Sausage?

Summer sausage is perfect for snacking, picnics, and charcuterie boards. It is typically served thinly sliced and pairs well with wine and cheese.

It is also great on sandwiches.

You can also fry it up or toss it in a casserole, but the real beauty of summer sausage is that it’s simple, ready-to-eat, and tastes great at room temperature.

Do I Have to Refrigerate Summer Sausage?

While summer sausage was originally developed to require no refrigeration, these days we know a bit more about food safety and, thankfully, refrigeration is widely available. There are many sausages that are perfectly safe to leave out of your cooler, but be aware that not all summer sausages are created equal and some must be refrigerated to stay fresh.

If you’re not sure whether your sausage needs to be refrigerated, check with the manufacturer. You can also look on the packaging – if it says “Refrigerate after opening,” you’re safe to put it in the pantry until you’re ready to use it. If it says “Needs refrigeration,” toss it in your fridge. You can also think about where in your grocery store you purchased the item. If you grabbed a snack at the checkout stand it’s probably shelf-stable, but if you found it in the refrigerated case it probably needs to stay cool.

About Hempler’s Summer Sausage

Hempler’s makes two varieties of summer sausage that are available year-round – not just summer, as the name may imply. Our traditional summer sausage is made with a mix of beef and pork, and we also offer an all-beef variety. Both are gluten-free and contain no MSG.

Our summer sausages are fully cooked and need no refrigeration until after they are sliced, making them a perfect food to take on your holiday picnics, hiking adventures, or camping trips. Or just use them for a quick & easy dinner!

See where you can find them here, and if your local store doesn’t carry them, ask a manager to add it to their inventory!

Do you love summer sausage? How do you prefer to enjoy it?