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.
In the past while making summer sausage I have used ground beef 80/20 about 8 pounds and about 4 pounds mixed together… what mixture do you use for summer sausage
@KSHusker First, yes they should be safe to eat. You cooked them to 160° which will kill anything harmful. Now, obviously use common sense and your senses, if it smells bad don’t eat it!
The first thing to know is if you used sure cure (or another version) or not? From the sounds of it, you did but I just want to make sure we are looking at all possibilities. Were the butts untrimmed? If they had a nice fat cap on them then you should have been okay, I still like to use a little more fat than that but you should have been in the realm. How did you mix it, was it by hand? If you mixed for 30 minutes in a meat mixer that is a long time to be mixing it (I don’t think this was your issue, just pointing it out). Starting at 200 is a little high but it also sounds like it came down to 180° pretty quickly but this would be my thought on why the casing stuck, cooking too high can cause this.
For the color, the only thing I can think of (if you used a cure) is that it looks pinker around the edges because you got a nice smoke ring around it? How deep does the nice pink color go and what type of casing did you use? With wild game, I always use some sort of cure accelerator, either Encapsulated Citric Acid, Smoked Meat Stabilizer or something, it helps burn the color more and then you can skip holding it overnight and go right from stuffing to the smokehouse.
Anyone else have thoughts?