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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@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!