What is a Meat Binder and Why Does Meat Get Sticky?


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    WaltonsTV: Using A Meat Binder To Make A Better Meat Product

    Meat Hacks: Using A Meat Binder To Make A Better Meat Product

    What does it mean when we say "meat binding"? Watch the full video, read the highlights here, and then post your comments or questions below.

    What Are Meat Binders, What Do They Do, and Why to Use Meat Binders?

    A lot of people ask us what is meat binding and why do you want to mix until the meat gets sticky? What we are doing with mixing and ultimately meat binding, is we are trying to extract protein. You can tell that your protein extraction is beginning because your meat will become sticky. Protein extraction is going to allow the proteins in the meat to encapsulate fat and hold fat and water together in the final sausage or product. Meat binders help cover fat particles and have a strong affinity for water, which holds more water and then keeps fat from clumping together. Then, the protein holds onto itself like velcro, around the fat particles. Good protein extraction will also allow the meat block to bind better to the sausage casing and reduce the tendency for fat to migrate to the outer layer of the sausage, or as some people say, fat-out. Having a good protein extraction and meat bind will help with increased juiciness from retained water, provide a better mouth feel, give your product a better appearance, and make the product have better slice-ability if you’re slicing summer sausage, deli or lunch meats.

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Meat Additives & Meat Binders


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  • M

    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

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  • @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?

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