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  • Deli Meats Deli Meats 104 - Basics For Making Fresh Deli Meats

    Attend this entry-level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    Injecting Meat Smoked Meat Slicing Meat What Is Deli Meat?

    Deli meat can be made a few different ways, it can be fresh, which will be a whole muscle cut that has been cooked and then sliced like a roast or some turkey. Or it can be reformed from smaller cuts or even an emulsified product that is then sliced and sold by weight for sandwiches and subs.

    Meat Block

    Eye of the Round
    1 Bag of Soluble Pa’s Black Bull BBQ Soluble Seasoning


    Walton’s Automatic Syringe Injector


    The first thing you need to do is decide if you want to remove the fat cap before or after you cook this. I like to remove it first when making deli meat. Cut off as much of the fat as you can without cutting too far into the meat. Remove any silver skin or membrane still attached to the meat.

    Choose a marinade that includes phosphates of some sort, phosphates allow the meat to retain more moisture through the cooking process and since we aren’t going to cure this we can’t step it up in slow stages so moisture loss can be a major problem. Mix your seasoning into your water, making sure everything is fully dissolved. Inject your meat evenly with as much of the seasoning as the meat will accept. You will know that your meat is fully seasoned when the marinade start shooting back out the injection holes.

    Vacuum Sealing

    Hold the product overnight (or at least for a few hours) to allow the seasoning to more evenly disperse in the meat. My favorite way to do this is to put the meat in a vacuum bag and seal it. It does not need to be a perfect vacuum, simply remove as much of the air as you can from the bag, this will allow more of the marinade to stay inside the meat and will keep anything that leaks out to stay in contact with the meat, adding to the flavor.

    Topical Seasoning

    Before you put your meat in the smoker or oven you might want to rub the outside with an additional seasoning. I like to try to choose something that will either compliment the marinade I used or something that will juxtapose it strongly enough to be easily noticebale. Rub as much as you want on the outside of the meat, since we are going to slice this so thin and this seasoning will only stay on the outside it is almost impossible to overseason a topical rub when making deli meat.


    The cook schedule will be very simple for this type of meat. If you are using a smoker an important decision is to add smoke or not. When I made this I used our PK-100 Smoker but did not add any additional smoke to it.

    Thermal Processing & Smoking

    225° until the internal temperature is 132°


    Remove from the smoker and cover in tin foil for at least 20 minutes. This will continue the cooking process for a few minutes and let the juice and blood absorb back into the meat. If you slice it too soon the juice will leak right out of the meat.


    For sandwiches, it is preferable to slice your meat as thin as you can. This will depend on your slicer, trying to slice at the thinnest setting might not give you full pieces, select the lowest setting you can that will still produce full slices.

    Wrap up

    Making homemade Fresh Deli Meat is really very simple. You have probably made roasts in the oven before and this is the same process, just make sure you are marinating with a seasoning that contains phosphates and you slice it as thin as you can.

    Additional Tips If your preferred seasoning does not contain phosphates you can add some to the marinade to increase the water holding capacity of the meat, just make sure you do not exceed a usage of 2 oz per 25 lb of meat or you might get a soapy taste to your meat. Other Notes

    An important note is that once we have sliced it we have exposed the entire area to bacteria, this means we need to treat it like a ground product now and it needs to be refrigerated and consumed within 3-5 days.

    XXXXXX Watch WaltonsTV: Deli Meats 104 - Basics For Making Fresh Deli Meats Shop waltonsinc.com for Bratwurst Seasoning Shop waltonsinc.com for Meat Grinders Shop waltonsinc.com for High-Temp Cheese Shop waltonsinc.com for Boning Knives

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  • Deli Meat Deli Meat 103 - Common Additives

    Attend this entry level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    Cold Phosphate Complicated Ingredients

    Have you ever looked at the ingredients on the back of the package of deli meats? It can be a pretty eye-opening experience, they are usually filled with things that most people have no idea how to say let alone the purpose of them. Generally, the fewer ingredients in meat products the better, but this is not always true. Let’s start with a few of the more common and benign ingredients and we will look at some to avoid in later posts

    Common Ingredients

    Citric Acid – This has a few different functions as an additive, it is going to protect the flavor of the meat and as it is a strong antioxidant it is also going to play a role in keeping the color of the meat and prevent it from looking brown or grey. Depending on the amount used it can also add a certain amount of tang to the taste.

    Papain – This is an extract from Papaya fruit and it is used to help break down the proteins in the meat to help them form into loaves more efficiently. It is also a common ingredient in meat tenderizer solutions.

    Phosphates – This ingredient covers a few different types of phosphates including cold phosphate and sodium phosphate. It functions as a moisture retainer and it helps your meat stay juicy, commercial processors also like it as it can increase their final yield by allowing the meat to retain more water through the cooking or smoking process. It does this by increasing the ionic strength by raising the pH of the meat from around 5.5 to 6.

    BHA and BHT – It is a form of vitamin E and a powerful antioxidant that is used to fight off rancidity in taste and keep the color looking fresh.

    Sugar/Corn Syrup – Widely used as a sweetener in meats and a ton of other foods. I’m fine with this as an ingredient as long as it is not the High-fructose corn syrup

    Nitrates/Nitrites - These are used to kill off botulism spores in your meat, as you smoke or slow cook meat you are creating the perfect temperature and humidity range for the growth of these spores and without a Nitrite based cure you could quickly have spoiled meat. Nitrates break down into nitrites which then break down into nitric oxide, so for slower cures, a mix of nitrates and nitrites are used to provide nitrites right away and a source for them later during the curing process.

    MSG - Mono Sodium Glutamate is used as a flavor enhancer to provide a more fresh taste or enhance an already present flavor. Some people do have a negative reaction to this, however, it is not as common as it is made out to be.

    Hydrolyzed Protein - Used as a flavor enhancer in the meat industry.

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Additives Shop waltonsinc.com for All Natural Seasonings

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  • Deli Meat Deli Meat 102 - Safety Tips for Buying Deli Meat

    Attend this entry level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    What Is The Danger

    The big thing we are trying to avoid here is any meat tainted with the listeria bacterium, which can cause the infection listeriosis. While very rarely deadly listeriosis is a serious problem that has a variety of unpleasant effects on the human body. The quality control at the processing plant where your deli meat was made might be top notch, with a USDA inspector on site and watching the process to make sure the plant is producing safe food but what happens once it gets to the deli or grocery store? Keeping an eye on the conditions where they are slicing your food is a good idea.

    Simple Things To Look For

    Are the employees wearing gloves? Does the slicer look clean? What is the temperature in the meat case? When the meat is removed from the meat case, how long is it left out?

    How Long Is It Safe For?

    Once you have brought the meat home you should only keep it for 3-5 max, beyond that you run the risk of spoilage. When it was in its loaf form the inside was protected from any germs and it was kept, hopefully, at a controlled temperature. But now it has been sliced, exposing everything to possible bacteria so be safe and throw out older cold cuts. Another thing to look for is any slime on the surface of the meat, this is a good indication that the meat experienced some significant temperature fluctuation and is no longer good to eat, again just be safe and throw it out.

    Pre-Packaged Cold Cuts

    When buying prepackaged cold cuts keep an eye on how they are stored, are they properly refrigerated and is the packaging intact?

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Walton’s Turkey Cure Shop waltonsinc.com for Ham Cures

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