I had similar complaints trying to get my summer sausage correct. It was “de-fatting” with loose casing, dry, and a terrible texture, although the product tasted pretty good. Jonathan and Austin walked me through the process, but for me the key issue was mixing the meat long enough to get good protein extraction. I bought one of the Walton’s 20 lb. mixers and it works great–easy to turn and reverse; does a great job and was surprisingly well built at the price. It made a huge difference in my summer sausage–came out looking as good as it tastes, moist, and with a great mouth feel.
Try mixing for 8-9 minutes with a meat mixer or twice as long if mixing by hand. When you get the right mix, it emulsifies the water and fat to the meat protein so that the final product stays plump and moist. Smoke your product for 3-4 hours and finish in a water bath poaching to bring it up to 160F internal temp. Chill in an ice water bath when done.
How To Make.... Meat Recipes
@jonathon the turkey definitely saves on a few calories and the fat content. I think that my favorite is the 50/50 beef/turkey. Less saturated fat than the “real” bacon out of pork belly. I use a wet cure for my pork belly and it takes a few days. The ease of using the imitation seasoning puts a good tasting product in the freezer very quickly. I’m not sure much more smoke flavor I actually got out of using hickory chips in the smoker. It may be just as easy and just as tasty to put the meat loaves in the oven. I may try that as the weather gets colder.
Thanks for site and the tips.
@srtcanopy Out of all the imitation we made I think Turkey was my favorite in that it was unique, the ham and beef tasted VERY close to normal bacon, the turkey tasted like something else. I really liked it…speaking of that I have some in my freezer!
@gadahl SHHH dont tell anyone I have too much time on my hands, ESPECIALLY Austin, as far as he is concerned I am 100% busy at ALL TIMES!
I actually just made some dry rubbed bacon for our Cured Whole Muscle Section of the new Meatgistics University! Videos for all the Meatgistics University classes are going live this Monday around 4 pm CST. If you are free join us at waltonsinc.com/live for a live stream where we will being giving away a stuffer, some Waltons hats, some discount codes and we will also be giving out a coupon code so everyone gets something!
Imitation Bacon??? Austin and Jonathan, you guys have too much time on your hands. Why not buy that good 'ol pork belly and make real bacon! Bacon is easy and tastes fantastic with your pre-packaged seasoning and cure. Plus, it’s REAL BACON. REAL. The only reason to make “imitation bacon” from beef or turkey is, IMHO, for a dietary or religious prohibition against pork; otherwise, go REAL!
Thank you @jonathon! Appreciate your prompt response.! I have 4 pounds of beef, 4 pounds of turkey, and two pounds of 50/50 beef and turkey on the smoker now! Perfect amount to use up 1 package of the bacon seasoning. I loafed them on a foil wrapped grate on the smoker (poked holes in the foil and seemed to work fine). I was a little worried that the turkey only would not hold up to a block but it seemed to do fine.
@srtcanopy If you hold it overnight or about 12 hours, then it will be perfectly fine! I wouldn’t hold it too much longer than 18 or so.