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!!
Just an FYI, everybody that received snack sticks for Christmas last year loved them… I just ordered another batch of Willie’s Snack Stick spice blend to do it again this year!
Jonathon, I have to agree that 275 is too hot… If you have the time I’d shoot for 225, but if it needs to be “done”, then 250 would be the max I would do…
I have always filled the water pan for everything I smoke… 2 reasons, first it does tend to add moisture during the long cook thus keeping the bark from turning to shoe leather… and second because the water pan acts as a heat sink and helps maintain the temperature (in my vertical propane smoker) a bit more accurately… I’ve heard folks tout using apple juice in the water pan to impart a sweeter flavor, but I’ve never tried it…
On the other hand, my dad smoked for years, mostly in a converted fridge with an electric hotplate in the bottom… he never used a water pan and never had an issue with dry meat…
As for the type of wood to use, that’s just a trial and error, personal preference thing… I happen to like steaks cooked with oak… that may be too strong a flavor for your taste (my GF hates it)… Recently I have been using a lot of maple for NC bbq, chicken and even cheese… I like the maple for the meats, but next batch of cheese will go back to the hickory / cherry mix that I was using…
I followed the instructions on the video. It may have something to do with the sausage not getting as firm as it should. I used the cotto salami on duck breast with pork fat. It sure tastes good. But it’s a little soft.
I’ve done a lot both ways. I would highly recommend a stuffer and I have the Weston grinder with the auger stuffing attachment. It’s slow, but if you’re doing 5# or 10# batches, it’s not that bad. I’ve had small 5# stuffer, old school cast iron Enterprise, 11# vertical and now a 35# hydraulic. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t trade the hydraulic but the 11# vertical I got on amazon had a lot of versatility. I think your bigger decision should be what type of stuffer should I buy. I would recommend the taller, smaller diameter instead of the large shorter one. The smaller diameter allow for a higher pressure for doing sticks with cure in them. The large short ones would be great for doing pork sausage or larger diameter casings, not 19-22mm sticks with cure. It would be fine as long as you’re doing fresh like breakfast or something like that. If you go the stuffer route I’d get it from Waltons and get the Weston-they stock parts, other no name from amazon is a one shot deal, once ours broke couldn’t find parts. Plus they have so many tube sizes now and Walton’s does a great job helping with casing and stuffing horn sizes, they carry them all.
I purchased a stuffer off Amazon for under $100 and would never go back to using the grinder. With the grinder, it was always a two man job and took forever. The stuffer is much faster and have no problems doing it all by myself. Plus with a hand crank stuffer, no electricity usage and wear and tear on your grinder.
Thank You Sir: