Meat Vaca Day 1



  • Was thinking about using the bragging topic but was just a little shy. Casings got a bit tight. Hard to do solo but not terrible. Excalibur Blue Ribbon Brat and Holly PSS seasonings.
    12.5lbs brats
    5lbs breakfast sausage.

    1557193651514.jpg 1557193651754.jpg 1557193651678.jpg 1557193651602.jpg IMG_20190506_204718-1209x1612.jpg

    The first bite of the Blue Ribbon was very different than what I was used to. But as I continued on this was very good. The Holly stands in a class by itself. This was incredible.

    I’d give 5* to both, but an extra star to the Hollys’.


  • Walton's Employee

    @PapaSop Looks awesome, no reason to be shy with that! Best tip I can give you on stuffing solo is to get a wood clamp and clamp your stuffer to the table, removes the rocking and makes everything MUCH much easier. You have a nice clean processing area set up, I like the liners in the lugs keeps clean and makes cleanup easier.



  • @Jonathon
    Thanks. I did have a clamp on the stuffer but not in that photo. That table works very well and looks dirty in a few spots but it’s pretty old. I always clean and sanitize everything. The lug liners work very well, wish I had them years ago.



  • More meat vaca. One success and a huge failure.

    Using the last of my venison trim for sausage and snack sticks. 60/40 mix on both(first time using this, usually 70/30).

    Sausage first… Used Excalibers pepper and garlic jerky seasoning. The ratio was a little in question for summer sausage. The other brand I’d been using used a 10oz package to 15# of meat. Figured that was a good starting point. Added hi temp cheddar to the last six pounds to try that. Results were perfect. Definite taste difference between the two mixes. The 60/40 had a lot more of pork fat feel to it. Similar to a store bought commercial brand. Now I’m torn between the two. Cheese was a very good addition but the rest of the family is so so on this. More for me!

    My youngest son stop by to help and actually did most of the work(good kid)IMG_20190508_154335-1209x1612.jpg IMG_20190508_163610-1209x1612.jpg IMG_20190508_162051-1209x1612.jpg

    1557496374335.jpg 1557496371046.jpg

    1557496371300.jpg When it hit the stall I decided to try the water bath to finish according to @Parksider . This worked very well and brought to temp in 40 min.
    1557609977861.jpg

    This happened just before the end of the mixing process. We heard metal hitting metal and then a snap. 1557497866350.jpg.

    First time using the 44# mixer. 15# batch should not of done this. Figured this was metal fatigued and a bad weld. E-mailed Walton’s customer service who sent me straight to Weston. One call and an e-mail and new one is on the way. Great service from both.

    Now the fail… A few pics to show the good part.

    IMG_20190509_144651.jpg Walton’s commercial? 1557435356803.jpg 1557609978001.jpg

    The sticks on the left were my third try with these smoked collagen casings. Came out very wrinkled and tough again. Guess just a bad batch(not from Walton’s)rest on the way to landfill. Can’t even chew these. Peel casing off and meat is fine. The other are 21 mm fresh casings(Walton’s) came out much better and easily chewable.

    Final test is the taste…There was very little. Used Willie’s many times and this was not it.

    Here’s the recipe–

    10#s meat
    .94oz Willies
    1.6oz carrot fiber
    20oz H2O
    3c pepper cheese
    .4oz cure

    Did ya catch it? Actually needed 9.4oz Willies. After I weighed it out I even looked at it thinking this doesn’t look right and it still didn’t click. I’m chalking this up to a senior moment. Damn…really considered not mentioning this but…Lesson learned, double check ingredients.
    I’ll still eat it😖


  • Walton's Employee

    @PapaSop I think it is important to point out when we make mistakes during processing, trust me it happens to everyone! There is not a single honest person who would tell you they have never done anything like this! I once left the sure cure out of a 15 lb batch and had already stuffed them so I had to cut and squeeze them out of the casings and put them back in the stuffer for another go around. Those were not the best textured sticks I have ever made, I can tell you that!

    Breaking a mixer in the middle of processing doesnt sound like fun but Weston does a very good job standing behind there products in my opinion. Glad the new one is on its way and Im glad you are passing along the knowledge/enjoyment to the next generation. I think 10 years ago there was a worry that this would be a lost art form but the younger generation now cares more and more about making their own food and seems to really enjoy making specialty sausages.


  • Walton's Employee

    @PapaSop Oh, one more thing, with the over wrinkled casings, did you ice bath them? It could be that or it could be that with less seasoning the salt content wasn’t enough to make the proteins soluble in the meat.



  • @Jonathon I did ice bath them but those casings were already shriveling two hours into the smoke.IMG_20181210_173133.jpg 1544483403311.jpg

    These pics from last Dec. using the same casing. Ended up peeling them all off. Never had an issue with this type of casing until these. Still think they were old or bad the day I bought it. BTW…I had the recipe right on this one.LOL.



  • @PapaSop Those all look great. I just bought my 44lb mixer a couple of weeks ago. I plan on using it this Friday for the first time to make a 25lb batch of Jalapeño Cheddar summer sausage and snack sticks. I’ll let you know if I have the same issue with the mixer. I hope not, but I’ve seen a couple of other people post pictures of snapped blades.



  • Brats grill test.
    The initial test of the brats was a patty, pan fried, but needed the real thing. Grilling is the only way to go on these. The diameter difference on these was intentional. Wanted to see if there was a difference. I did indirect these for about 15 minutes to warm them before putting directly over the coals. The larger ones were a bit juicier which is not surprising. The Blue Ribbon seasoning is outstanding. I would challenge anyone from “brat land” to try this. If you’ve never had a bratwurst, then this is your chance.

    No side condiments as you can see. Just a taste test. I do love a little kraut on my brat.

    I used a pork butt on this that had a nice fat cap. Not sure of fat ratio but maybe the scientists will chime in.😉
    IMG_20190516_183501.jpg


  • Power User

    @PapaSop I’ll have to give the Blue Ribbon a try!


  • Walton's Employee

    @PapaSop and @Joe-Hell I tend to gloss over the blue ribbon because we have had it so many times but it is an excellent seasoning and our best selling bratwurst seasoning. Maybe it would be helpful if we started a post on each type of seasoning and everyone could leave their opinions on it…have to flesh that idea out more but I think I like it.

    So it would be its own topic under the Waltons community and in there we would break it down further by type of seasoning like Snack Stick, Bratwurst, Jerky, etc., and then when you click on that you would get a list of every seasoning and then anyone could add their opinions. We could even have a link to link your review to waltonsinc.com…I like it! I will leave it to Austin to figure out how to do this, it is very nice to just come up with Ideas and have @austin have to figure out how to implement them as I am almost illiterate with technology!


  • Power User

    @Jonathon That’s a good idea! Anything we can do to make @Austin work harder will be a benefit to everyone! Win, win!



  • @Jonathon Great idea!



  • New mixing shaft just arrived. Again, great service from Weston and Walton’s.
    IMG_20190517_180331-1209x1612.jpg


  • Power User

    @PapaSop It might be a good idea to have the old one repaired for a back up just in case!



  • @Joe-Hell Yep. Was thinking about that. I’ll have to find someone who welds. Haven’t done that in years and never on stainless. Thanks.


  • Power User

    @PapaSop In my area we have a lot of qualified stainless guys due to the 150+ wineries, breweries and distilleries. Many will barter for goods/services too!



  • Pulled pork

    Injected the butt last evening using Pa’s and auto injector. This went very well. Injector worked perfectly. Wrapped in the lug liner and into the fridge overnight. I was able to inject a quart of the Pa’s. Problem is that left a quart. Can this be saved? Or halve the mix next time? Really don’t like wasting anything.

    IMG_20190517_184906-1612x1209.jpg IMG_20190517_185832-1612x1209.jpg

    Today. Woke up to rain and strong gusty winds blowing right at my garage. Having already postponed this cook twice before for same reason I didn’t care. Going to push through this. Fired up the smoker and lit the pellet tube. Applied a barbeque rub and into the smoker.

    The wind is a definite factor today. Ended up moving into the doorway of garage and put two coolers around the smoker to block some of it out. This helped a lot. The pellet tube ran out after 2 1/2 hours because of the increased wind flow. Refilled and used a piece of foil to act as a shroud around it. This really helped slow the pellets down. OK. I think it’s finally time to let the smoker do its job.

    I won’t be denied today!

    IMG_20190518_062826.jpg IMG_20190518_063707.jpg
    IMG_20190518_091122.jpg

    Back later with the finale.


  • Power User

    @PapaSop today is our local window of outdoor opportunity so I’m doing ribs, wings and bacon burnt ends! Up first is the ribs!

    C0C725A4-8CE3-471A-B5B3-6A36697146F8.jpeg



  • The results…
    When I sat down to do this I realized I’d only taken one pic of the final product. That’s ok, hungry people waiting. The meal was the pork, fresh burger style buns from local bakery, corn muffins, baked beans(also went in smoker) and cole slaw. I was the only one to use bbq sauce, onion and slaw on a bun. They didn’t want to spoil the taste of the meat(thank you very much).

    The Pa’s seasoning was outstanding. Very nice moist finish. The rub provide a great crust. The overall taste was wonderful and will be doing this more going forward. Total cook was 11.5 hrs. I did flip the butt once about eight hours in and sprinkled on more rub.

    IMG_20190518_142336.jpg
    IMG_20190518_180350.jpg IMG_20190518_180354.jpg
    At least I got a pic of the muffins…Like candy to me!
    Got a better pic of the finished product after getting it all pulled.1558298041032.jpg


  • Power User

    @PapaSop Right On! That looks great! I just finished my wings on the grill and I’m minutes from pulling the ribs.

    CA45A9DE-238D-4716-8AC0-5FB7300EB650.jpeg



  • @PapaSop im wondering what your smoking/cooking schedule was. Thinking maybe cooked too fast? Also i never use a binder in mine. Yes they were wrinkled but we dont have the wet bulb option as the big processors do to maintain moisture



  • @PapaSop im not impressed, those welds are terrible and doesnt appear to have good penetration. Also if i can give some advice to the manufacturer of the blades where it is welded should not be a flat welding on round stock. Cut a half moon in the flat stock so it slides over the round stock by half of of it. This will give alot better stability and welded surface


  • Power User

    @PapaSop These don’t suck one bit!

    9B3AE042-B737-4C8D-B3F7-D1E822C39079.jpeg



  • @twilliams
    My smoking schedule is basically identical to Walton’s recommended one. I do use a pan of water for humidity but have no idea how well it works. As I said those mahogany casings have came out the same the last three times I’ve used them. That’s the reason I went with a binder this time to see if it would make a difference.

    As far as those welds I agree with you. The new shaft is welded the same as the first. I haven’t welded in years but I noticed that as well. May take the new on along and have that reinforced.


  • Walton's Employee

    @PapaSop did you know this would be one of the most epic user-generated posts we have had on here? Awesome posts, awesome pictures, some have already made it onto our social media accounts and others will!



  • @Jonathon Wow. Thanks.


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