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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@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!