Meat Hacks: Cooking cured sausages at the correct temperatures
Meat Hacks:Cooking cured sausages at the correct temperatures
Learn about the importance of protein extraction when making a cured sausage with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.
Why is cooking cured sausages at the correct temperature so important?
One of the issues a lot of home processors have with cooking snack sticks or other cured sausages is that they end up with an overly dry snack stick. A snack stick is not supposed to be as juicy as a bratwurst but it should retain some of its moisture. There are a few reasons for this, the two most common are that you did not have the correct fat content or you cooked your product at too high of a temperature. You want to start cooking a cured sausage of any kind at a low temperature and gradually step it up 15-20° every hour or so. This allows the meat to cook evenly throughout and retain as much moisture as possible.
For snack sticks you really want to start them out at 125 for 1 hour and then 140 for 1 hour before moving on to 155 for 2 hours and then 170 until the internal temp of the meat reaches 160. Some people go right to the 170 degrees to cook the snack stick, this is going to cause a few problems for you. First it is going to dry them out and second if it overcooks the outside of the product it will stop transferring heat to the inside and you end up with a burnt outside ring and an undercooked center!
To show you what happens we are mixing and stuffing two batches the exact same way together but we are going to cook some of them with the approved method and some of them we will start out at a high temperature and let you see the results when they are done.
The snack sticks are done cooking and as you can see the ones that we cooked at the correct temperature are pretty much perfect. The other batch however are tough, dry and the casing looks very unappetizing as well! So on your next batch of cured sausages make sure you are stepping up your cooking temperatures gradually!
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I wish we could help out more on this one, but this is using someone else’s recipe and process in a way I don’t feel comfortable with (since they recommend not using a cure or nitrite/nitrate). There really isn’t an answer I’d feel safe giving you since this is not something we’ve done and tested like this before.
My suggestion on hams is always to follow our standard recipe here:
My best alternative suggestion is to look for more information from a state University Meat Extension Department. They have usually done the proper research and development to provide better guidance. The University of Missouri has an article here that might be of help: https://extension2.missouri.edu/g2526
For the future, I’ll see if we can develop a recipe and process here to provide better guidance towards processing hams in this manner.
New to the forum and excited to learn! Looking to smoke my first batch of summers on my smoker. I noticed they have strings for hanging, but my smoker is set up more like a traditional barrel grill.
Questions: If I lay my summers on the grate of the smoker, will the casings burst/burn?
Thanks in advance!
The article does not cover when to cold smoke a cured ham. I have 16 wild hog hams in brine as of last night. I need to know at what point do I put them in the smoke house for this phase of the process.
For this version of Landjaeger, we did actually cook it. It could be made differently, but for our entry level MeatgisticsU course, it’s easier and safer to give instructions on doing a proper thermal processing. (Someday we will have to try to get to doing a completely traditional dry cured version.)
Smoked Meat Stabilizer and Sodium Erythorbate are similar to each other, but definitely not a replacement for a real cure, like Sure Cure. They simply act as cure accelerators, speeding up the conversion of nitrite in sausage during thermal processing. Using an accelerator (like one of these, or Encapsulated Citric Acid) allows you to skip the holding stage after stuffing and go straight into the smokehouse.
In the ‘Meat Block’ you don’t list using a cure. The packet of Landjaeger seasoning I purchased came with a packet of Cure.
As this is a sausage that is ment to be consumed without cooking shouldn’t a cure be used. I know you put in the wrap up about using Smoked Meat Stabilizer or Sodium Erythorbate are they equivalent to using a true cure.
You shouldn’t have a noticeable difference in stuffing based upon the difference of using a grinder or a bowl chopper.
Your biggest help in making stuffing easier will be using plenty of water. At least 1 quart per 25 lb meat block, but up to 2 quarts is even better. And, your lean to fat ratio will make a difference. Leaner meat will be harder to stuff while a higher fat content will make things easier. Keep the meat as cold as possible too and that will help make things a little easier to stuff as well.