Excalibur Seasoning: Part 2 - Seasoning Storage & Quality Control
Excalibur Seasoning: Part 2 - Seasoning Storage & Quality Control
Learn about Excalibur Seasoning and why you should trust them to blend your seasonings. In part 2, you'll get answers to frequently asked questions about storage of seasonings, shelf-life, and quality control. Watch the video, read the highlights here, and then post your comments or questions below.
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.
@scottwaltner i too used to have that same problem until I made my mix about 30 percent fat added non fat powder milk for a binder and mixed till it gets good and sticky and then the rest cooking temp and water shower @ end.
@parksider I am using fibrous casings and soaking in warm water for alt least 30 minutes. I mixed the meat, 20 pounds for about 12 minutes. The casings were tight when I was stuffing them. I was processing at 125 for 1 hour, 140 for 1 hour, 155 for 2 hours and 170 until the internal was 165. I water bathed them, forgot to hang them over night, but just put them in the refrigerator. I didn’t take the internal temp after I water bathed them.
The outside of the sausage does not appear fatty and the flavor is great.
Ive been wrong many times before lol! But i dont feel like it would turn out super good unless you found a seasoning mix that would blend well with the bacon taste which might take some nasty sticks to figure it out. Possibly willies snack stick from waltons might be ok… if you do this please let us know how it turns out. Commercially seems like a bit of a bad thing, the cost of bacon/pork fat is huge. Profit margin would be horrid!
@scottwaltner i agree with parker on a few things. You always need to soak your fibrous summer sausage casings for sure! At least 30 minutes if you got time. Also you dont want the casings to stick too much to the meat either though. Fine line there. I think maybe you need to mix the meat longer for that protein extraction would be the main thing. Also you want to stuff those casings about as tight as you can with out exploding, but those casings are tough. What temperature is the summer sausage after cooling them down?
I want to make fresh not smoked nitrate free Hot Dogs. After stuffing I am hot bathing them to 160. These are all beef I must add. What can I use to keep the color so they don’t end up grey looking and have that nice pink color?
Very similar process. Try dividing the spice into 1/3’s. Rub 1/3 on each day for 3 days. Yes it’s very thin, doesn’t take much. Local hardware store had crocks on sale so i got 2. I rub, and rotate each day.
After day 3, rotate each day for 5 more days. If it’s cold out i leave on the floor in my garage, if not it goes in the fridge-great either way just depends on weather.
Hang one day-i never rinse. Cold smoke (100F) for 6 hours. rest overnight, cold smoke for 6 more hours. Rest overnight.
I like mine to be a deep cherry color, that’s how i determine when to stop smoking. If it’s not that rich cherry color, smoke it more! Then rest it for 3 days and slice. We slice it on a slicer so i get super thin slices. Uncle Cecil said slice it thin enough that you can read the paper through it!
One tip-Walton’s has the little drying pouch that’s in the store bought jerky, They are cheap and make it last forever in the fridge or freezer. I also vacuum seal to 98% with the chamber vac or it get too hard. Here is a pic of what I’m looking for. The fellas have named this George Washington Jerky. It was the only way i could explain it to them before i made it. Told them we were going VERY old school, and now they love it!