Packaging Meat After Cooking
Meat Hacks: Packaging Meat After Cooking
Learn the steps to follow when packaging meat products after smoking or cooking with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.
How to package meat products after cooking
Whenever you cook meat snacks like smoked sausage, jerky, snack sticks, or any other smoked and cured meats, there are a couple steps we recommend following before packaging. First, cool the product immediately after your smoking and thermal processing is done. You should NOT cover the product while it is cooling down, so you can prevent condensation from forming and so that the outside of the meat product can be dry, especially if you used a cold water shower or bath as part of your cooling process you’ll want the product exterior to dry out before packaging. Once you’ve cooled the meat products, you should then let them sit out at room temp for 1 to 2 hours before packaging to begin equalizing with the ambient room temp so you again don’t have condensation begin to form. For a product like snack sticks or jerky where shelf stability is the goal, you can also lose shelf stability when moisture is introduced into the packaged product because moisture creates an environment where mold can potentially grow. Snack sticks and jerky are also meant to have a lower water activity and if you do not let the product cool before packaging and condensation forms in the package or the outside of the meat snack, then you won’t have the same effect and ability for a longer storage time without some packages and product going bad, growing mold, etc. Another benefit to removing moisture from the product and preventing condensation before packaging for meat snacks with casings is to prevent small ice crystals from forming and going through multiple freeze and thaw cycles which can actually separate the casings from the meat and in turn also lose the snap or bite the casing helps add to the meat snacks when biting and eating.
To sum things up, when you are ready to package your meat snacks or other products, the product to be packaged should have a dry exterior and should be equalizing with the ambient room temperature so you can avoid moisture on the product or condensation build up in the package, which will help with your overall product quality, reduce chances for mold to grow, and help products with casings stay intact if they are frozen and thawed.
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I believe the recommended curing time is 12 hours but can I go less than that? I was expecting my order to be here tonight and it won’t be here till tomorrow morning now.
I was going to mix up my batch of jerky tonight but will have to do it tomorrow on my lunch break. Just wondering if tomorrow evening would be long enough to let the meat cure.
Your recipe calls for 1. Sure Cure, 2. Sure Gel Meat Binder, and 3. Smoked Meat Stabilizer. I have all but the Sure Gel Meat Binder. Can I get by without using this? Second question- Is Excalibur’s Cure Excellerator the same as Sure Cure?
@andyman Great question, Carrot Fiber holds up to 26 times its weight in water, and while the 80 oz is still well inside that I have never done that before. I max out (even with Carrot Fiber) at 64 oz which is 2 qts. My only fear with doing 80 is that it might take a lot longer to cook as it will have more water content that will be trying to evaporate. Most of that water should be bound up in the carrot fiber though so it wouldn’t really be available to be cooked out. Hmmm, my recommendation, to be safe is to stick with 64 oz of water.
Now, as to should you add more seasoning, some people will taste the difference if you did not add additional seasonings and some (most) will not. Your water and your seasoning is technically part of your meat block (anyone who is reading this who doesn’t consider this don’t worry!) so adjusting your meat block to include your water is sometimes done. If you do decide to add more spices or seasonings I would add aromatics and things like Rosemary and Basil, don’t add more salt as that is formulated specifically for the meat block.
Hope this helps and if you do decide to go with 80 oz of water then I would be very interested in the results!
i use denuded round. higher cost, less waste, cleaner eating
@jonathon I enjoyed this line of questions and comments, it made me think. Here is my related question: Assume I use 25 lbs. of meat to make summer sausage and add one package, 4 oz., of Carrot Fiber and 80 oz. of water. The ratio is 20 times the weight of water to the weight of CF. In other words, I am adding 5 lbs. 4 oz. of water/CF paste to my meat dough. Should I adjust the amount of salt and spices, I add to the dough? I am concerned that the flavor will be weaker if I don’t add spices for the new total, 30 lbs. curious as to what y’all thinking.