Breakfast Sausage Fat Content.
Can a too high fat content overpower the seasonings?
We have done 350 pounds of Holly breakfast sausage for several years now and all of them have turned out great, except our last batch. It has a very strong fresh pork taste to it. Everything has been done the same:
Ground and mixed in 25 pound batches
Stuffed in 1 pound meat bags and froze.
The only difference this year was our hogs had more fat on them. Could that be our issue with the strong “pork” taste?
Usually, adding fat to sausage will add to the overall flavor and help the seasoning flavor come through more, but at some point, more and more fat can overpower in a way. Too much fat can start to make the meat just taste fattier and the texture can be slightly different which can slightly affect flavor. However, with a breakfast sausage, it is typical to see fat ratios between 20 and 30% and even up to 40% at times. I wouldn’t expect to notice the fat ratio affecting things adversely until it was pushing that 40% mark.
Do you have any idea on what your fat ratio would have been?
Do you have a way of comparing the taste between the different 25 lb batches to see if it was just a few select batches and the mixing not being perfect, or did the meat bags get mixed up together afterwards?
@Austin We do not have any way to accurately measure the fat content.As the mixing is done in bulk and the different tubes of sausage have had a consistent flavor.The hams,roasts, chops and bacon all turned out great. So it wasn’t “bad” hogs.
@Bruce56BB Was the seasoning recently bought, or was it leftover from an older purchase?
Seasoning doesn’t go bad, but we recommend to use it within 1 year because potency can dissipate over time.
If the seasoning was newer, I’ll see what else I can find for possible causes, but there is a chance it could be older seasoning.
@Austin No, the seasoning was purchased just prior to processing.
@Bruce56BB I’m running out of ideas. Probably is just the fact that the hogs had a bit more fat, and they have just a slightly different/stronger flavor. There’s nothing else I can really associate to it other than that.
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@Bruce56BB one thing to look at is if any of the hogs were boars or possibly cut late. They can give off a strong taste in fact old boars are sometimes condemned for it at slaughter.
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.