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  • RE: Brining & Smoking Raw Fresh Ham

    @calldoctoday
    I think Country Brown Cure is the best choice when making hams. A little bit of wine would definitely be a nice and interesting addition. I haven’t tried that, but I think it would be worthwhile to try. Wine barrel staves for wood during smoking would be an awesome choice too. I know there are quite a few people out there that do that, but another thing I haven’t ventured into yet.

    You will not want to use the full 5 lb of cure in only 2 gallons of water. That will be extremely salty. The ratio of Country Brown Cure to Water for making a brine soaking solution is a 1:1 ratio (lb to gallon). Country Brown Cure also already has the nitrite in it you need, so you would not want to add any additional cure, like prague powder.

    For a brine, you soak it for 5 to 7 days, and you want to use 1 lb of Country Brown Cure for each 1 gallon of water. You need at least a gallon of the solution, but maybe more, it depends on what container you put it in. You just want to make sure the ham is fully submerged in the brine solution while it is soaking.

    I usually use one of our storage containers, which is kind of like a 5 gallon bucket, and make up 2-3 gallons of solution, place the ham in there submerged and keep it in a refrigerator or somewhere between 32 and 40 degrees.

    However many gallons of water you need for the brine to cover the ham fully, just use an equal amount (in pounds) for the Country Brown Cure.
    Examples: 3 gallons water with 3 lb Country Brown OR 2.45 gallons water with 2.45 lb Country Brown, etc.

    Let it soak in that solution for preferably at least 5 days, but up to 7 days total is fine too. After the soaking period, then you can remove it and rinse it very thoroughly (helps remove excess salt/brine), and proceed on to the smoking and cooking process.

    Let me know if you need anything else!

    posted in Smoking & Grilling
  • RE: Sausage casings on a grate....?

    @bpcook428
    As long as you are using low temps and slowly increasing them, you won’t have an issue with laying summer sausage on the grate to cook. Try to follow the temps as outlined in our summer sausage recipe as best you can. You could end up with a very slightly flattened side, since gravity can take it’s effect and press the meat a bit into the grate, but it usually is hardly noticeable if you stuff the casings firmly.

    posted in Smoking & Grilling
  • RE: Brining & Smoking Raw Fresh Ham

    @calldoctoday
    Are you planning on using sodium erythorbate or another cure accelerator?

    Depending on if that is yes or no will affect how I would answer the rest of your questions. It is an optional ingredient, but it does change the process.

    Let me know and I’ll get a more in-depth answer for you!

    posted in Smoking & Grilling
  • RE: Slaughtering and Butchering By Dynah Geissal Issue #23 • September/October, 1993

    @davhi8
    I wish we could help out more on this one, but this is using someone else’s recipe and process in a way I don’t feel comfortable with (since they recommend not using a cure or nitrite/nitrate). There really isn’t an answer I’d feel safe giving you since this is not something we’ve done and tested like this before.

    My suggestion on hams is always to follow our standard recipe here:
    https://meatgistics.waltonsinc.com/topic/203/how-to-make-homemade-smoked-ham-recipe

    My best alternative suggestion is to look for more information from a state University Meat Extension Department. They have usually done the proper research and development to provide better guidance. The University of Missouri has an article here that might be of help: https://extension2.missouri.edu/g2526

    For the future, I’ll see if we can develop a recipe and process here to provide better guidance towards processing hams in this manner.

    posted in Smoking & Grilling
  • RE: Specialty Sausage 103: Making Landjaeger

    @woodduck
    A cure should be used. We’ve updated the recipe above to reflect that.
    @Jonathon was probably just sleeping when he posted this one… haha!

    For this version of Landjaeger, we did actually cook it. It could be made differently, but for our entry level MeatgisticsU course, it’s easier and safer to give instructions on doing a proper thermal processing. (Someday we will have to try to get to doing a completely traditional dry cured version.)

    Smoked Meat Stabilizer and Sodium Erythorbate are similar to each other, but definitely not a replacement for a real cure, like Sure Cure. They simply act as cure accelerators, speeding up the conversion of nitrite in sausage during thermal processing. Using an accelerator (like one of these, or Encapsulated Citric Acid) allows you to skip the holding stage after stuffing and go straight into the smokehouse.

    posted in Specialty Sausage
  • RE: Snack stick question

    @tswohl6
    You shouldn’t have a noticeable difference in stuffing based upon the difference of using a grinder or a bowl chopper.
    Your biggest help in making stuffing easier will be using plenty of water. At least 1 quart per 25 lb meat block, but up to 2 quarts is even better. And, your lean to fat ratio will make a difference. Leaner meat will be harder to stuff while a higher fat content will make things easier. Keep the meat as cold as possible too and that will help make things a little easier to stuff as well.

    posted in Meat Processing
  • Specialty Sausage 103: Making Landjaeger
    Cured Sausage

    Specialty Sausage 103: Making Landjaeger

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

    Breaking Down Beef
    Flushing Natural Casings
    Grinding Meat
    Protein Extraction
    Flatenning Out Sausage

    What is Landjaeger?

    Landjaeger is a German sausage that is made from a combination of beef and pork. It is stuffed into natural casings and can be smoked and semi-dried or just smoked. Before smoking, it will be pressed either flat or formed with a mold to give it its classic flattened look.

    Meat Block

    6 lb of Untrimmed Pork Butts
    4 lb of Lean Beef
    1 Bag of Landjaeger
    1 Bag of Sure Gel
    1 Bag of Encapsulated Citric Acid
    1 oz of Sure Cure (Included with purchase)

    Equipment

    Weston #12 Butcher Series Grinder
    Walton’s 11 lb Sausage Stuffer
    20 lb Meat Mixer

    Process

    Landjaeger needs to be stuffed into a natural hog casing for it to really be an authentic landjaeger and we also want to press and form it so natural hog is the best choice. I’m using a home pack of hog casings so they need to have the salt rinsed off of the casings, then the insides need to be flushed with running water and then let them soak for an hour in warm water.

    We need to cut up our beef and pork into pieces that a grinder will easily handle. The smaller the grinder you are using the smaller you will need to cut up your product. With something like this Weston #12 Butcher Series, we want to cut our product into chunks between 2 and 3 inches.

    I have had our meat in the freezer for about 45 minutes before to make it ice cold, cold meat will always grind better than warm meat. We will we are going to grind the beef once through a 3/16th plate, before we started we made sure our plates and knives were well oiled to prevent any friction between the plate and knife, this would cause the plate to heat up and it would add unnecessary wear and tear on our equipment. Then we will grind the pork twice, first through a 3/16th-inch plate to break down the meat and then through a 1/8 plate to finish it off.

    Meat Mixing

    We are going to smoke this so we need to get good protein extraction when mixing. Place in a mixer with water, seasoning, and cure and mix until you have achieved protein extraction. Remember to mix it an even amount of time forward and reverse, about 8 minutes should do it. Remember if you are using Encapsulated Citric Acid like we are that it needs to be added during the last 60 seconds of mixing or you run the risk of breaking the encapsulation.

    Sausage Stuffing

    Before you load your stuffer you should oil your piston gasket with White Oil to make sure it moves smoothly along the walls of the canister. Load your stuffer, being careful not to create any air pockets in the canister and stuff it somewhat loosely into the casings, you will want to stuff them loosely so you can form them before smoking.

    Thermal Processing & Smoking

    Lay them out on screens in a smoker and cook with no smoke at 120° for 30 minutes, then 140° for 1 hour, again with no smoke at this stage and dampers still wide open, then at 145° with smoke for an hour and finally 180° until internal temp reaches 160°. The smoking process is a lot easier with something like the Grilleye Pro Plus thermometer that can track your temperature and alert you when you have reached your desired temps. Adding a water pan is a good idea to help add some moisture to the smoker.

    Cooling

    Once you are done smoking them leave them out for an hour at room temperature to allow them to cool and then place them in a fridge for 24 hours before vacuum packing.

    Wrap up

    All in all the largest difficulty we faced was flattening the Landjaeger out. Other than that it was really very similar to making any other cured sausage. Adding more water might have made the flattening the meat out easier and allow it to hold it’s shape better, if we do this again we will try that.

    I would also either use less Encapsulated Citric Acid as the seasoning appears to have some tang to it by itself. So if you still want to use a cure accelerator I would recommend Smoked Meat Stabilizer or Sodium Erythorbate

    Additional Tips

    • As always make sure you keep your meat as cold as you can before grinding. This not only helps speed the grinding process but also helps with food safety which is especially important here if you are going to try to flatten it out.
    • *In the end, flattening out the sausage was the hardest part, getting it between two hard surfaces with a LOT of weight is important. *

    Other Notes

    We also tried to take an extra stuffing tube and flatten the opening with a vice to give us the desired flattened outlook. I was limited in how much I could flatten it out and still be able to get the hog casing over the flattened out portion. Once I stuffed the meat into the casings it immediately took on the shape of the casing so it did not work.

    Watch WaltonsTV: Specialty Sausage 103: Landjaeger

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Cured Sausage Seasoning

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Meat Grinders

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Sausage Stuffers

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Boning Knives


    posted in Specialty Sausage
  • Specialty Sausage 102: Making Lebanon Bologna
    Cured Sausage

    Specialty Sausage 102: Making Lebanon Bologna

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

    Cutting Meat
    Grinding Meat
    Stuffing Lebanon

    What Is Lebanon Bologna?

    Lebanon Bologna was originally made by the Pennsylvania Dutch in the 1800’s. Traditionally it is a dark bologna, similar to salami in appearance and texture and it has a tangy flavor. It is often eaten as cold cuts and it can be slow cured and cold smoked or smoked using more modern methods. We are going to be making a version today that will not be slow cured or cold smoked as that makes it more difficult for the average home user.

    Meat Block

    7 lb of Untrimmed Pork Butts
    3 lb of Lean Beef
    1 Bag of Lebanon Bologna Seasoning
    1 10 lb Capacity Bologna Casing
    1 Bag of Sure Gel
    Sodium Erythorbate

    Equipment

    Weston #12 Butcher Series Grinder
    Walton’s 11 lb Sausage Stuffer
    Weston 20 lb Meat Mixer

    Process

    If you can you should cut the fat off of your pork and grind your pork fat separately through a 3/16th plate twice. Then grind your beef and lean pork through a 3/8 plate and then through a 1/8 plate. Keep ground pork fat separate. Making sure EVERYTHING but especially your pork fat is cold before you grind it is very important here for particle definition.

    Meat Mixing

    Place lean meat in the mixer. While mixing add Lebanon Bologna seasoning, Sure Cure and Ice Cold Water. Mix for 5 minutes. Add ground fat trim, sodium erythorbate and mix for 3 more minutes. Lastly, if you are using Encapsulated Citric Acid add it during the last 60 seconds of mixing. If you add the Encapsulated Citric Acid too soon you could break the encapsulation and release the acid into the meat too soon.

    Sausage Stuffing

    Stuff your meat into fibrous casings that have been soaked for at least an hour in water that is 80 - 100° so the casings are pliable. These casings are tough and durable so don’t worry about blowouts just stuff them fully but make sure to leave enough room to get a hog ring on the open end. When stuffing larger diameter casings it is important to choose the largest of the stuffing tubes that your casing will fit over and make sure you are gripping it nice and tight, we want these casings packed nice and solid.

    Note

    You can also use Fibrous or Non-Edible Collagen casings, we chose this as it had the capacity we wanted and it presented the product well.

    Thermal Processing & Smoking

    To smoke start them out with 125 for 1 hour, then 140 for 1 hour then 165 for an hour and finally at 180 until the internal temperature reaches 155°.

    Cooling

    Place it in an ice bath or shower for 20 minutes to bring the temperature back down and then hold at room temperature for 2 hours and then move to a cooler or freezer before vacuum packing. I let this sit in a refrigerator overnight before slicing to make sure the temperature was brought all the way down.

    Wrap up

    All in all, this is very similar to making a salami or even a summer sausage, the main differences are separating out the pork fat from your lean and using the correct ratio, seasoning, and casings. The fried Bologna sandwiches were very good!

    Additional Tips

    • Removing the fat cap before you break down your pork butt is easier sometimes, it all depends on how it looks before you start cutting into it.
    • I put very little smoke on this as I didn’t want that to dominate the taste so I filled my smoke tray about 1/4 of the way full. I am glad I did it this way as it allowed for the Lebanon taste to come through more.

    Other Notes

    I added X-Tra Hot Red Pepper to this to help give it a nice zip and to cut some of the sweetness. I used it at a ratio of 3 oz per 100 lb of meat and since I was doing 10 lb that means I used .3 of an oz.

    Watch WaltonsTV: Specialty Sausage 102: Making Lebanon Bologna

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Cured Sausage Seasoning

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Meat Grinders

    Shop waltonsinc.com for High-Temp Cheese

    posted in Specialty Sausage
  • Specialty Sausage 101: What is Specialty Sausage?
    Specialty Sausage

    Specialty Sausage 101: What is Specialty Sausage?

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

    What is Specialty Sausage?

    As much as you might love bratwurst, summer sausages and snack sticks sometimes you want a sausage that is a bit more unique. It might be a recipe you tried once in another country, one that your grandparents used to make or something just sounds really exotic like blood sausage. Recipes and knowledge of how to make these types of sausage are often passed down from generation to generation.

    For whatever reason, these types of sausages have fallen out of favor and are sadly relegated to the specialty stores of the home processor. Maybe opinions have changed on the type of meat used, the way it is cooked or the seasoning or spices used in the original seasoning. The good thing about this is it gives you the opportunity to “rediscover” plenty of types of amazing sausages.

    Types of Meat Required

    Sourcing the meat might be a little harder for this than a normal sausage but a quality butcher should easily be able to get you pork liver, trim and even pork blood that you will need to make some of these. Others like Lebanon bologna and some landjaeger only require a mix of pork and beef and a special seasoning.

    Casings

    Many specialty sausages will also require a special or a specific casing to be used. Braunschweiger has a special plastic casing specifically for the production of that product and others like landjaegar simply require that you use a natural casing like hog or sheep intestine.

    Smoking

    Smoking and cooking will also be different with a lot of these sausages, a normal smoke schedule might not work for your needs on these products. We will be making Landjaegr, Lebanon Bologna and Blood Sausage in the 10’s and then go for some even more out there products in the advanced classes

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Jerky Seasonings

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Vertical Smokers

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Weston Dehydrator 160L Pro Series

    posted in Specialty Sausage

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