Understand that when you use a grinder, the finished product will not look like or have quite the same texture as the highly emulsified store bought hot dogs you are used too eating. When you process using a grinder, there will still be some visible meat/fat particle definition but they will have all the flavor.
Elk Hot Dogs Question
I am planning on making some elk hot dogs and have ground elk with 20% beef fat added.
So, first question is: If I use the ground elk how much (if any) fat (I have pork fat) should I add?
Second: Would I be better off grinding elk round steak and adding pork fat and what percentage?
Miller Great questions! So, the 20% fat with elk would be acceptable but on the low end of what you should shoot for, personally I would shoot for closer to 25% and maybe even 30. Pork fat is superior to beef fat when making sausage because it has nice and bright white, has no real flavor on its own and most importantly it has a really nice creaminess to it that pork fat can’t match.
So, I think you would get best results if you ground the whole muscle and added pork fat but you already have some ground product and with those whole muscle cuts you could do roasts, whole muscle jerky or anything really, with whats already ground you are limited so it might make more sense to use that up and just add 5-10% pork fat to that.
I’ve never done Elk Hotdogs but processing wise I can’t think of any reason it would be much different than a beef/pork dog. Make sure you grind at least twice with the 2nd being through a 1/8" plate. 3 times would probably be better with the last 2 through that 1/8 plate . You really want an emulsifying plate or bowl chopper to make hot dogs but I have done them plenty of times with a grinder and they are really good, they just won;t have the same exact texture as store-bought hotdogs might.
Jonathon, Thanks for the response. I do have a 1/8 plate, however, I am unfamiliar with an emulsifying plate. I have a #8 grinder do you guys carry one? Or, could I emulsify in small batches in a food processor? I also have a 20lb meat mixer. Is sure gel okay to use or should I use another binder?
Thanks again for the help.
An emulsifying plate is really something only a commercial style grinder, usually a #52 or bigger I think, is going to have. To the best of my knowledge, they don’t make them for smaller grinders so you 1/8" is the best option and will work well. Sure gel is always a good binder when making any type of cured sausage like a hot dog, snack sticks, summer sausage, etc., as it adds proteins to the mix making protein extraction easier and it helps keep the moisture in the meat.