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Bierschinken (Beer Ham) – No Beer, No Ham, Still Delicious

In this post I’ll show you how you can make Bierschinken yourself. It is a delicious classic Bavarian cold cut.

The literal translation would be “beer ham sausage”. However it has no beer and no ham in it.

The name came about because this was traditionally eaten while drinking beer and having a snack in the afternoon.

I use my Schinkenwurst as the base for this. It has beef in it but you can also go with 100 % pork.

You can watch the Bierschinken recipe as video or read it. Let’s start.

Making Bierschinken at home – What do you need

Bierschinken-all Ingredients

Ingredients for a classic Bierschinken:

For 1000 g Schinkenwurst (the base):

  • 40 % lean pork (400 g)
  • 30 % pork backfat (300 g)
  • 20 % lean beef e.g. shoulder (200 g)
  • 10 % crushed ice  (100 g)

The version without beef can be found here.

In addition, you also need the “Einlage” (these are the meat pieces which will be added to the sausage base):

You can use between 35% and 55% of lean pork for this. 

How much you use depends on your taste. 

I used 35%. This means that I used 350 g of lean pork meat for 1 kg of the base sausage meat.

Important: The “inlay” should be salted 24 h before preparing the final sausage. For more details, see the step-by-step explanation below.

Spices per 1000 g sausage base:

Spices per 1000 g “Einlage” (these are the meat pieces which will be added to the sausage base):

Equipment needed to make Bierschinken

Meat Grinder

You need a meat grinder to “grind” the meat. The meat is chopped into small chunks with it.

Food processor / Thermomix

In a food processor, the minced meat and ingredients are mixed into a very fine mass. If you have a Thermomix, you can also use it for this process.

Artificial casings / Jars

To fill your sausage you need either 45 caliber artificial casing or jars to boil it down.

Homemade Bierschinken – Step-By-Step Instruction

Day 1: We prepare the “Einlage”

1. Cut the lean pork into cubes. You can adjust the size depending on how big you want them to be in the final sausage.

Bierschinken-lean pork

2. Put the meat pieces together with the salt, seasoning and cure into a vacuum bag and vacuum seal them. Alternatively, you can use a zip-lock bag (the air should be squeezed out as much as possible).

Bierschinken-vacuum bag

3. Now let the meat rest in your refrigerator for at least 24 hours. This process is not a real curing process, but helps pre-seasoning the pieces.


Day 2: Let’s make the sausage

4. Cut your meat and back fat into strips. The size varies depending on how big your meat grinder is. The bigger the grinder, the bigger your pieces of meat can be.


5. Put the meat in the freezer for 1-2 hours. This will help later on with the grinding process and the temperature.


6. Grind your spices (except for the cutter phosphate) to a fine powder.


7. Now it’s time to grind the meat. Grind the meat through the finest perforated disc (2mm). Let the meat through the meat grinder twice.


8. Put the meat mixture into a sausage cutter or your food processor.

Bierschinken-food processor

9. Add the spices and cutter phosphate and let it mix. 

Bierschinken-add spices

10. Mix the meat and add some crushed ice from time to time. The crushed ice is used to make your mixture nice and creamy. Mix until it forms a nice cohesive mass. Measure the temperature in between. The meat should not be warmer than 12 C° (53,6 °F), otherwise your mass will lose its binding and the sausage will crumble later on.

Bierschinken-12 C°

11. Get the “Einlage” out of the fridge and dab it dry with a clean kitchen towell. Add it to the base sausage meat and mix everything well.


12. You can fill it into artificial casings or jars. Make sure that not much air gets into the jars.


13. Now put the jars into a pot with water and at 100 °C /  212 °F  for 120 minutes

If you want to use a casing you need to poach your Bierschinken for about 1 minute per mm caliber in 80 C° hot water (176 °F). This means that if you use artificial casings caliber 45 -> You poach them for 45 minutes. The core temperature of the sausage should then be between 70 – 72 C° (158 – 161 °F). 

Bierschinken-120 minutes

14. Let it cool down and there it is… Your Bierschinken. Enjoy!

How long does the Bierschinken keep?

The Bierschinken can be kept in the refrigerator for about 4 – 5 days when cut open. In an airtight casing it can be kept refrigerated for about 14 days. Cooked in jars, it can be kept for several months. 


Cooked Sausages

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Questions or feedback? Leave me a comment below...

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    1. Hey Aage,

      I will publish some extensive articles on those topics. In short: Cure #1 or Prague Powder #1 is Salt with nitrites that help with color and shelf life. Cutters Phosphate are phosphates that help with the emulsion and binding of the meat and water without adding any taste.

      Hope that helps

  1. Daniel, probably the best word in the English language for einlage could be ‘insert” given the context of the theme

    1. Hey Edward,

      thanks makes sense. Pretty straightforward. I thought of it but thought it would be a literal translation no one will understand 😀


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