The Importance of Protein Extraction in Snack Sticks
Meat Hacks: The Importance of Protein Extraction.
Learn about the importance of protein extraction when making a snack stick or other cured sausage with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.
Why is mixing correctly so important for snack sticks?
One of the most common issues home processors have with snack sticks and cured sausages is not getting enough protein extraction during mixing. Protein extraction allows the seasoning, water, meat and the fat to all bind together by breaking down the protein in the meat. If you do not have a mixer and are relying on your hands to not only mix the seasoning with the meat but also get enough protein extraction you are going to have a difficult time.
You will know when you have enough protein extraction when the meat is sticky or tacky to the point where when I pull it apart, the meat stretches as it is already binding together, if it pulls apart cleanly you are going to have to keep mixing. There is no real set time for how long to mix for, there are too many variables including the age, type and living conditions of the animal you are processing. Salt also plays a key role in protein extraction, this is one of many good reasons to use Excalibur’s seasonings, they have ensured that each mix has the correct amount of salt, vs some random recipe you found online.
Check out the video for some tips on when you have enough protein extraction and for common issues that not getting enough protein extraction can cause.
If you have an issue with your snack sticks that you would like us some help in figuring out leave a detailed post in our community section and we will try to recreate your issue and give you some tips to fix it!
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How do you know how much sure cure to put on your mix if it’s less than 25 lb ?
@peculiarb You can have an issue with pickled jalapenos and getting the meat to properly bind to them.
You can blanch fruits and veggies before adding them to sausage and that will help. Some people add them straight in, but blanching will help the meat bind together with the jalapenos. Not a requirement though. If the jalapenos don’t bind perfectly into the meat, when you slice the summer sausage, the jalapenos may not fully stick to the meat and just fall off the slices. It won’t hurt the sausage, but it may not be 100% perfect. I would at least dry the jalapenos thoroughly, but blanching would provide the best results.
Has anyone ever used pickled jalapeños in their summer sausage? I have a buddy who gave me a jar of picked jalapeños to add to his summer sausage I am going to make for him. Is this a bad idea? I’ve always used dried jalapeños in the past. Please advise! Thanks.
I have only made about three batches of snack sticks so far but, I have found that adding an extra ounce of water ( per 5lb batch) over what is called for in the recipe, makes the meat “flow just a little easier when stuffing into casings.
So far, the texture of the finished product has been great and I have had no problem with casings breaking etc. from the excess moisture.
I recently had a 26 lb batch of summer sausage end up with brown spots here and there? Could this be from cure not evenly mixed ??? Or from encapsulated citric acid not fully mixed in??? I’m thinking eca wasn’t mixed in good enough because cure was put in initially with spices and binder and I mixed by hand till I got good protein extraction because it was very sticky ???
I am going to be making a 10 pound batch of pepper stick snack sticks how much water do I add for easier stuffing. or is the water that I mix the sure gel in enough for the batch is there a ratio for sure jell to water?