Excalibur Seasoning: Part 2 - Seasoning Storage & Quality Control
Excalibur Seasoning: Part 2 - Seasoning Storage & Quality Control
This is Part 2 of a mini-series about Excalibur Seasoning, featuring John Brewer, the VP of Sales & Marketing. We asked John a few questions about storage of seasonings, shelf-life, and quality control. Many more videos will be released over the course of the next two weeks, so be sure and subscribe to WaltonsTV on YouTube or the Walton’s Blog section on Meatgistics.com to be the first to know when new videos are released.
Excalibur Seasoning Mini-Series
Many more episodes in our mini-series with John Brewer and Excalibur Seasoning are waiting to be released in the next 2 weeks. There is a ton of great content waiting to be released, and you won’t want to miss a single episode. Plus, we have things like our $100 gift card giveaway going on, plus some other great coupons to be released along with the upcoming videos.
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In this episode we talked with John Brewer, the VP of Sales & Marketing at Excalibur Seasoning, about the storage of seasonings and we also asked some quality control questions.
What is the best way to store your seasonings?
In a cool dry place, with low humidity. Humidity is one of the biggest enemies of seasoning blends because it causes seasonings to harden like a brick and become very difficult to use. This increases more and more as you have seasoning blends with more sugar in them.
Does storing in the freezer or cooler help with shelf life?
Not really. Most of the advantage by storing in the cooler is the lower humidity and eliminating clumping and caking in seasoning blends.
What is the expected shelf life for seasonings and does that vary between spices, blends, and cures?
2 years is the most that you should store seasonings. Anything past that, and the seasoning is not longer of the same quality. If you have held onto a seasoning for 2 years, you may not be using enough of it to justify keeping around anyways.
What happens when a seasoning is held past it’s shelf life?
The seasoning loses its flavor profile or “pop” because the volatile oils that give you the taste tend to dissipate, and you lose having the same touch in the seasoning.
Is it still safe to consume past the expiration date or shelf life?
Absolutely! It just will not have quite the same taste or potency. You will not get sick from eating/using seasoning that is old.
What kinds of quality control does Excalibur Seasoning use in their process?
From Excalibur’s SQF Level 3 certification (detailed further in another video), every input is logged and lot coded, and all of those lots that are input into a seasoning blend are tracked and the resulting seasoning blend is lot coded as well. Everything is tracked, documented and logged. Excalibur has an extremely high level of detail that they put into tracking all of their products and maintaining the highest level of quality and traceability.
Does this apply to all types of seasonings, blends, spices, and cures?
Yes, the 2 year limit and same principles applies to all varieties.
How does a customer know if there is a recall on a seasoning?
In most cases, the product would never have even reached the end-user. Recalls are typically found and dealt with before the spice ever is inserted into a blend or sold to an end-user. If a recall was to happen, Excalibur would contact Walton’s, or other customers who purchased from them with details on exactly which spices or blends and exactly which Lot codes were affected.
Has Excalibur Seasoning ever had a problem with a recall?
No! To this date, Excalibur Seasoning has not had a recall due to any problem on their end. This is highly attributable to the high level of care that Excalibur takes during their manufacturing process and their SQF Level 3 certification. Quality is of the utmost importance, and Excalibur logs every input into a seasoning and tracks its usage and the controls are so tight that they simply have not had an issue. That is not to say that they never would have an issue, BUT, given the requirements that they follow and their proven track records of excellence in producing safe products, they have not had any problems to this point.
Does Excalibur irradiate their seasoning, or use irradiated ingredients?
Excalibur does not irradiate their seasonings, but the ingredients they use are already irradiated.
Does Excalibur grind their own seasonings?
No. They buy spices that are already pre-ground according to the specifications they need.
I believe the recommended curing time is 12 hours but can I go less than that? I was expecting my order to be here tonight and it won’t be here till tomorrow morning now.
I was going to mix up my batch of jerky tonight but will have to do it tomorrow on my lunch break. Just wondering if tomorrow evening would be long enough to let the meat cure.
Your recipe calls for 1. Sure Cure, 2. Sure Gel Meat Binder, and 3. Smoked Meat Stabilizer. I have all but the Sure Gel Meat Binder. Can I get by without using this? Second question- Is Excalibur’s Cure Excellerator the same as Sure Cure?
@andyman Great question, Carrot Fiber holds up to 26 times its weight in water, and while the 80 oz is still well inside that I have never done that before. I max out (even with Carrot Fiber) at 64 oz which is 2 qts. My only fear with doing 80 is that it might take a lot longer to cook as it will have more water content that will be trying to evaporate. Most of that water should be bound up in the carrot fiber though so it wouldn’t really be available to be cooked out. Hmmm, my recommendation, to be safe is to stick with 64 oz of water.
Now, as to should you add more seasoning, some people will taste the difference if you did not add additional seasonings and some (most) will not. Your water and your seasoning is technically part of your meat block (anyone who is reading this who doesn’t consider this don’t worry!) so adjusting your meat block to include your water is sometimes done. If you do decide to add more spices or seasonings I would add aromatics and things like Rosemary and Basil, don’t add more salt as that is formulated specifically for the meat block.
Hope this helps and if you do decide to go with 80 oz of water then I would be very interested in the results!
i use denuded round. higher cost, less waste, cleaner eating
@jonathon I enjoyed this line of questions and comments, it made me think. Here is my related question: Assume I use 25 lbs. of meat to make summer sausage and add one package, 4 oz., of Carrot Fiber and 80 oz. of water. The ratio is 20 times the weight of water to the weight of CF. In other words, I am adding 5 lbs. 4 oz. of water/CF paste to my meat dough. Should I adjust the amount of salt and spices, I add to the dough? I am concerned that the flavor will be weaker if I don’t add spices for the new total, 30 lbs. curious as to what y’all thinking.