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What is Summer Sausage? And Other Wisconsin Summer Sausage Questions, Answered!

what-is-summer-sausage-1What is summer sausage? Good question! It’s that stuff that usually comes in a cheese and sausage gift box. It’s ready to eat and you don’t have to refrigerate it until it’s opened, and it’s great for parties since it goes nicely with Wisconsin cheese. Place a slice of summer sausage and a slice of cheese on a cracker with a dollop of mustard and you’re in cheese and sausage heaven! That’s about all I know, and I’m leaving a few questions unanswered, but I’ve done some research to answer all of your summer sausage questions.




Where did summer sausage come from?

what-is-summer-sausage-2Summer sausage is a seasoned meat, usually pork or beef or a combination, that doesn’t need to be refridgerated until it is opened. Back when refrigeration wasn’t widely available, summer sausage allowed people to enjoy sausage in the warm months, hence the name summer sausage. This type of cured sausage was popular in countries around the world, especially Eastern Europe.



Who makes the best summer sausage?

One word: Wisconsin! We’ve got some quality summer sausages, for example:

Nueske Applewood Smoked Summer Sausage Nueske is most famous for smoking bacon, but they’ll applewood smoke just about anything! Their summer sausage is a winner. It comes in pork and beef, and all beef varieties.

Bavaria Sausage Kitchen Summer SausageSummer sausage lovers will enjoy tasting the different varieties made by Bavaria Sausage kitchen: all beef,cajun, pfefferjager (a peppery German style blend), and cheddi-beef.

Navarino Elk and Bison Ranch Summer SausageThe artisans at Navarino stand out from other sausage makers by using Elk and Bison meat.



How long can I keep summer sausage for if it’s opened?

Whenever I have questions about how long my food will be good for, I consult Here is what they have to say about summer sausage. These charts are for the best quality summer sausage, you can keep it in the freezer forever and it will still be safe to eat.




















Wise Geek: What is Summer Sausage?

Still Tasty:



  1. My favorite way to eat summer sausage is in a sandwich – just slices of summer sausage between slices of bread spread with mayonnaise and yellow mustard. YUM! Oh, and wash it down with a cold Point Special Beer, of course. 😉

  2. Hi Pattie!
    That sounds tasty. Someone on our Facebook page also said to cut it in half, fill it with cheese and kraut and put it on the grill! I want to try that next for a future post!

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