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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@parksider Thanks for the follow up!! I was really watching the internal temperature when they were in the rolling (HOT) water and making sure to pull them right at the 165. And then right into the ice water bath.
You guys got a great job! Im pretty passionate about this kinda stuff. I enjoy it a lot and love doing R and D stuff! Keep up the fun work!
@Jonathon Yes Jonathon-it’s in your head
@mikeihuntr My only advice is to keep the water around 170F, not a rolling boil. If the casing are too tight they WILL explode then you have a really big pot of bad soup! A nice simmer is the way to go, take them out 155-160 and into a water bath. Here is a pic, we just use the turkey fryer with the basket. It makes it really easy to remove from the water and rinse. I will also recommend keeping a temp probe right in the meat you can see the wire going into the water. Good luck!!
This was a big topic of conversation because we do freeze/thaw/process/refreeze venison and pork, never an issue. As a former restaurateur and certified food handler here is what Dept of Agriculture has to say. I’ll defer to the experts:
Author: Alice Henneman, MS, RDN
The U. S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) advises:
Once food is thawed in the refrigerator, it is safe to refreeze it without cooking, although there may be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost through thawing. After cooking raw foods which were previously frozen, it is safe to freeze the cooked foods. If previously cooked foods are thawed in the refrigerator, you may refreeze the unused portion. Freeze leftovers within 3-4 days. Do not refreeze any foods left outside the refrigerator longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F.
If you purchase previously frozen meat, poultry or fish at a retail store, you can refreeze if it has been handled properly, according to USDA.
DO NOT thaw meat at room temperature, such as on the kitchen counter.
Safety will depend on whether the raw product was handled properly before it was frozen, refrozen shortly after it was thawed, cooked to a safe temperature when it is eaten and handled safely if there are any leftovers.
What temperature should I pull my cured and smoked bacon out of my smokehouse?
@jonathon it is printed on the Box. I’m looking for a bag that has a evoh barrier. Does Waltons carry a four or five mm evoh High barrier bag?