Thoughts on Adding some Apple to the Bleu Cheese & Apple Summer Sausage Seasoning?
I was also wondering what you guys thought about adding some diced apples to the mix? I have a local meat market that makes Apple/Cinnamon brats with apple added and they are really good.
If so, how much should I add per pound?
Would it be better to dehydrate the apples prior to adding to cut down on the water content?
Any other tips or is this just a bad idea?
Adding other ingredients to sausage is definitely not a bad idea and it will work fine. It’s hard to say exactly how much to use because that is very subjective, but I’d recommend around 10% of the rest of your meat block. You just want to use enough to get a good dispersion in the meat and then not use too much that the flavor is overwhelming. It would be kind of like what we recommend with adding cheese at a 10% level. You can use less or more, but I’d stay in a 5% to 20% range.
If you dehydrate the apples first, you’d want to use less weight compared to your meat block and I’d compare that to how we recommend adding something like dehydrated jalapeno flakes at a 3-6% ratio of your total meat block. I don’t think you’d need to dehydrate the apples first though.
The biggest problem I’d say you could face with adding an additional ingredient like this would be the meat binding effect and if it changes. You could have some issue with getting the meat to bind to certain ingredients. Some people will blanch fruits/vegetables first before adding them, but I also know a lot of people that just put fruit/vegetables straight into sausage as well with great results! Blanching first would help with getting the meat to bind better to the fruit or veggies, but it’s not a requirement for it to still work fine. Some guys will add whole jalapeno slices to sausage, and if the meat binding is not adequate and you slice the sausage right through a chunk of jalapeno, that piece may not stick completely to the meat and want to fall out, but it doesn’t hurt the sausage at all. I’d expect an easier time with apples and the smaller the size of diced pieces that you used.
Let us know if you have any more questions!
Thank you for the reply. I will give this a shot.
I wonder if the lower water content of a dehydrated apple would reduce the issues with the meat binder working?
FYI, I will be using the Sure Gel meat binder.
@NDKoze You shouldn’t have an issue with water content when adding apples. Apples should have a low enough water capacity to not greatly influence the product. The difference between dehydrated or raw apples might just come down to a texture variance. Adding Sure Gel will help in protein extraction and your overall bind. Sure Gel adds protein and phosphates to increase the available proteins for during protein extraction/mixing and the phosphates will help hold and bind water as well. Just make sure you mix for an adequate time so the meat is very, very sticky. However, I would recommend that you don’t add the apples during any grinding stage. I’d hold them until the end, like high temp cheese, and add in during your last mixing cycle after all grinding has been completed.
Perfect! That is what I will do.
@NDKoze Glad I could help! Let us know how it turns out!!
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.