Tips & Tricks
Meat Fact Friday - White Crystals or Powder on Jerky
Join us every Friday when we share an interesting and helpful fact about meat or meat processing and how that can effect your product!What are the White Crystals on Jerky?
Most of the time this isn’t really something to worry about as all it is is the salt, sugar or tyrosine which is an amino acid being pushed out of the interior of the meat as the jerky dries. The salt is soluble in the water and oils of the meat so as the water is removed from the meat the salt no longer has anything to be bound up in and it is deposited on the outside of the meat in the form of dry white powder or crystals.How to Prevent it from happening
To prevent this from happening you can make sure that you are using the correct amount of seasoning or salt in your jerky as an overabundance of salt is the main cause of this. Another common reason for this to happen is overdried jerky, so if you are seeing this all of the time try adjusting your drying times.
Also, you can make sure your jerky is at or below room temperature before packaging it.What else could it be?
Now, there is also a small chance that this could be mold. A good way to make sure it is not mold is to vacuum seal your product after it has been dried, mold needs the presence of oxygen to grow so if you see the white crystals or powder on the surface of the meat while it is vacuum packed you can be assured it is not mold.Removing it
You can wipe it away with a damp towel if the appearance is something that really bothers you. This might be somewhat difficult depending on the level of dryness and texture of your jerky.Shop waltonsinc.com for Sausage Stuffers Shop waltonsinc.com for Meat Slicers
Meat Fact Friday - Why Use Pork Fat?
Join us every Friday when we share an interesting and helpful fact about meat or meat processing and how that can effect your product!Why Add Fat
When making any type of sausage out of leaner cuts we always recommend that you add pork fat. Fat plays a few important roles in sausage making including binding, flavor, and texture, wild game or lean cuts just don’t have enough fat to give you a quality sausage. You can add other types of fats but pork fat does have some characteristics that make it uniquely suited for use in sausage.1) Best Creaminess
First pork has the lowest melting and solidifying temperature of any of the major red meat fat sources. This is part of the reason that it has such a nice creaminess to it, this helps coat the inside of your mouth when you are eating it and allows the flavors from the sausage to linger longer. As you can see here the texture of this pork fat is much different than the beef fat. Now, part of that is the pork is belly fat and the beef is fat I trimmed from the round but the larger portion of it is the general difference between beef and pork fat.2) Appearance
Second Pork Fat is a nice Bright white color making it very appealing in products like Summer Sausage, Pepperoni or Salami where we are really looking for particle definition. Beef fat tends to have a light yellowness to it that just doesn’t pop as well as the pork fat does. The only other red meat fat that I am aware of that is as nice and white is goat and that brings us to another reason, flavor.3) Flavor
Pork fat has a very neutral flavor to it meaning that it won’t interfere with the flavor of your sausage much, if at all. Beef fat tends to have a pretty strong beefy flavor which isn’t necessarily unpleasant but it is strong.Shop waltonsinc.com for Sausage Stuffers Shop waltonsinc.com for Meat Slicers
Meat Fact Friday - Using Cold Meat
Join us every Friday when we share an interesting and helpful fact about meat or meat processing and how that can effect your product!Using Cold Meat
When making homemade meat snacks like Jerky, Summer Sausage or Snack Sticks at home it is important that you keep the meat as cold as possible before and during processing. This isn’t only to keep the meat out of the “danger zone” that zone between 40 and 140° F that bacteria will grow most rapidly, though this is important. The other reason is that it is going to make things easier and give you a better-finished product.Slicing
When slicing jerky a cold almost frozen piece of meat will slice much easier, cleaner and more consistent than a warmer piece of meat. It will help prevent the meat from “tailing” where it fails to cut through the back edge of the meat and creates what looks like a tail on the piece of meat that is on the carriage.Grinding
When grinding meat for Sausage you will notice that close to frozen meat will grind much quicker than warm meat. This might be surprising but it is giving the auger a more solid surface to push down the throat of the grinder and towards the plate and knife. This is especially effective on the second grind of meat where we are typically using a plate with smaller holes as well as trying to force already broken down meat towards the plate and knife. Since the meat is in a much softer form at this point it has a tendency to spill back over the auger instead of traveling forward as it should. On a second grind, you can often finish 2 to 3 times faster when your product is ice cold vs when it has just been taken out of the refrigeratorStuffing
You will notice a significant difference when you are stuffing your sausage into casings. This happens because as you cool the meat especially the fat, it becomes less sticky. This means it will take less energy to turn the crank and push the meat through the tube and into the casing, not only will it be easier to stuff but your meat will be less likely to cause problems inside the casing as well.Shop waltonsinc.com for Sausage Stuffers Shop waltonsinc.com for Meat Slicers