We had some Willies that we didn’t stuff into sticks because we were rushed for time (last February). We put it in 1 lb bags for fry patties. It was 50% deer 50% pork butts with sure gel and smoked meat stabilizer. I’m thinking about thawing out the packages I have and stuffing into sticks now. I should be alright to do this shouldn’t I?
Am curious what your tips and tricks are.
I’ve been deboning my butts and grinding one day and mixing/stuffing the next. I do 25lb batches so certainly easier to break up the equipment cleaning of grinder and stuffer. Also think the extra fridge time is nice on the ground meat before stuffing. Processed 50lbs today to stuff tomorrow.
Would love some second grind tips as it just seems to be a bit of a mess for me. Took 20 min to second grind 25lb from 10mm to 4.5mm today in my #22 grinder. But perhaps it just takes a lot plunger effort normally?
After many attempts at venison snack sticks over the years, producing decent but not always reliable results, I think I have the process nailed.
This batch was 50% deer, 20% domestic pork fat, 20% lean wild hog, and 10% canada goose breast. I used the waltons pepper and garlic seasoning.
Keys to the success of the batch.
-Fresh pork fat. I’ve tried to use some that was maybe a bit frezer burned, and seemed to have some gristle in with it, and that was a mistake. I get the fat from a butcher here locally.
-Cold meat and fat. I think we all know this. But we get impatient. But I let that meat sit in the freezer between grinds, and if I am doing more than about 12 pounds, I pull it out of the freezer in two individual batches.
-I built a propane powered smoker with a separate firebox, and I set chunks of apple or whatever wood in the firebox where they smolder and smoke. I start at 120-130 for an hour. Then 140-150 for an hour. Then target 155 for a 3rd hour.
-I keep a water pan in the smoker, with an automotive sponge in the water. I have had one batch years ago that got dried out on the outside, and the center wouldn’t get up to temp. With the higher humidity from the water and sponge, this won’t ever happen again.
-Rather than finish the sticks in the smoker, I heat up water in a “dedicated for food” 4’x2’x1’metal tank to 170. After 3 hours the sticks were about 130-135 internal temp. I drop them in the tank over a propane burner, and they finish quickly. Like 30 minutes quick. The other advantage is they all seem to get done at the same time. The water is a great expediter and equalizer. Then I dump the hot water from the tank, and fill it with cold water for another 15 minutes or so. Using water works great for me. No more overcooked ends of the sticks. They all look perfect from end to end. Zero fat-out issues.
This process was of course perfected through trial and error, as well as through tips learned here at meatgistics.
My typical process for snack sticks and hotdogs is after slow cooking to vacuum seal the product and then sous vide to finish them. Would printing a business card size label, then hot laminate them, and place them inside the vacuum bag prior to sealing and sous vide’ing them work? Is it okay to have the laminate material touch the product? Would it hold up to the sous vide and ice bath process? Better ideas for labeling vacuum seal bags?
I’ll be harvesting hogs soon, and I plan to save as much fat as I can for sausage and render the rest into lard.
After reading a few other posts about the importance of fresh fat in sausage and snack sticks, I’m now wondering if I should put any in the freezer or if I should keep it in the fridge until I use it. I am not sure how soon I would be able to make the sausage, as it may be a couple weeks after butchering before I can circle back to it.
I am not opposed to vac sealing and freezing if that helps it keep longer. Or would it be wise to coarse grind and pack into 2# meat bags to freeze until use. We’ve put a lot of time, effort, and expense into these animals and I’d hate to ruin something so close to the finish line.
My family likes summer sausage with light or no smoke so I have stared to do entirely sous vide
sv 1.jpg Blooming/drying after cook
Basic heat schedule except heat transfer is so fast with SV I set the finishing water at 155 and then Ice bath
Only change to basic recipe is to lower water Liquid loss in vac bag about a tablespoon
Color is reddish because I cure the farce
Total cook 2 hr.
Actual cook was 2.5 hr., I forgot 10 minutes for SV to raise temp for each of the last 3 stages
My next project is little smokies. I already have 21mm fresh collagen casings on hand that I use for breakfast sausage. I am considering using them instead of ordering some natural sheep casings. The plan is to stuff and twist them, put in fridge overnight, clip links apart and lay out on screens to smoke.
I have 21mm smoked collagen casings, but I really don’t want that thick of a casing. You think the fresh casings will work ok since I am not hanging them?
So I have never had boudin before but people have told me how great it is. Sounds like something I need to make. Ordered boudin seasoning from Walton’s and gave it a whirl.(beginner tip: when doing something new, if they have a seasoning for it, use it. That way you know what the base flavor profile is and have a reference point if you want to try your own spice mix.) It unreal how good this is. This shoots right to the top of favorite things I have made. Boudin, Hatch green chili brats, and Kielbasa. That is my top three and I can’t pick which order they are in.
5 1/2 pounds pork butt, cubed
2 pounds back fat (these were pretty lean for a butt so I added the back fat)
1 pound calf liver
3 cups onion
2 cups bell peppers
2 cups celery
10 teaspoons minced garlic
7 1/2 oz Excalibur Boudin seasoning
5 cups of rice cooked in unsalted chicken stock
1 cup green onion
1 cup parsley
Mixed pork, fat, liver, onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic, and seasoning in tub. Covered with plastic wrap and in the fridge for 24 hours.
Next day, added everything to stock pot and filled with water till everything was covered by about 1/2”. High heat and brought to a boil. Turned heat down and simmered for 3 1/2 hours. Put rice and chicken stock in rice cooker. Pushed button down. When done, transferred rice to bowl and covered till meat mixture was ready.
After 3 1/2 hours, used a spider and spooned everything out of the stock pot into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, used a sieve and strained the liquid. Dumped the spices and bits from the sieve into the meat mixture bowl. Reserve the juice.
Added rice, green onions, and parsley to meat bowl and mixed by hand. A few seconds is all it takes. Got my stand mixer out and transferred the mixture to my stand mixer bowl. Using the paddle attachment, mixed on lowest speed. While mixing, used 1/4 measuring cup and skimmed the fat off the top of the reserved juice and added to mixer. Didn’t keep track, but would guess I added about 3 cups. You want it wet but not runny.
Set up stuffer with 32mm hog casings and stuffed the sausage while still hot. Spun into links and cleaned up.
I’ve heard Jonathon and Austin speak on the subject and benefits of thermal processing but I don’t have a dedicated smoker that can go low enough. My question is: could you technically start the processing in the oven (proofing), baking and process from there to the pellet grill for the addition of smoke?. Part Deux of this question is: when would you transfer to the grill since the lowest my grill goes is 180 F
Took the week off and decided clean out some of last years harvest. Hopefully getting more this fall.
First up, 15# jerky and first chance to use new slicer. Cut semi frozen meat to just under 1/4 inch. Used the dehydrator and finished in the smoker.
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Ended up with 7# finished.
Did a quick 14# of burger per request. PXL_20210922_182020355.jpg
25# of sticks were next. 12.5# each of Willie’s and Jalapeno. Pepper cheese added to both. Added extra cayenne and mustard seed to the Willie’s this time. Just got a few end pics of this.
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Newby here. I’m wanting to get the “All Natural Ham and Bacon Cure” to make some batches of beef bacon. Is the separate Celery Juice Powder an optional or a required ingredient? If it is an optional ingredient, what would be the benefit of adding it to the formula?
I accidentally ordered the Cajun andouille fresh sausage seasoning instead of the cure and I am planning on making the sausage tomorrow. Is it going to hurt anything to smoke and freeze those sausages without the cure? If not, is there a substitution I can use for the cure? I don’t know where I could get the cure in such a short time. Thanks!