When do you mix your seasonings into your meat?
KnucklHed BBQ last edited by
I’ve been making bratwurst for a pretty long time and I’ve always mixed my seasonings with the cut up meat added water & ice and then ground it. I give it a good folding/mix after and it’s ready to stuff.
Every book and recipe out there says to grind then mix in seasonings, why??
It’s always seemed far more efficient to me to mix then grind since the grinder is going to “mix” it together far better and quicker than by hand or a mixer, right?
Also the slurry helps the meat slide down the chute much easier, i haven’t had to use a pusher in so long I seriously don’t know where it’s at…
Am I missing something in the process that adding seasoning after grinding helps with?
And if it means anything, it’s usually batches of 50+lbs at a time that I’m working with.
First of all you are not doing anything wrong. Plenty of people follow similar processes, either because they do not have a mixer or they have a mixer grinder. We recommend mixing separately for a few reasons, one being that as soon as you add seasoning or cure that is going to begin the protein extraction process which can make it more difficult to grind if the product is not very cold. Another reason is some of the seasoning is going get lost in your grinder, not much but some and I find it makes the grinder harder to clean, though doing it your way you don’t have to clean a mixer so it is sort of 6 of one 1/2 dozen of another there!
When making a fresh product like it sounds like you are with bratwurst you want good particle definition, meaning you don’t want much protein extraction so I would recommend that you grind and then mix in your seasoning. You can do this by hand as you are just trying to distribute the seasoning across your meat.
However, I always tell people unless you are experiencing issue with your product don’t change it. If you have found something that gives you a product you are happy with stick with it!
KnucklHed BBQ last edited by
@Jonathon interesting points on proteins and particle definition… I think part of my lack of issues with doing it my way is that I grind once through a 5/16" plate. It gives a more rustic bite and been pretty popular around here… I might try mixing in after and see if I notice a difference.
I agree with Jonathan, 6 of one half dozen of another. We usually debone venison and store in muscle groups so when we are ready to make a batch we’ll grind venison, then the pork separately. I make a slurry of spice and ice water, 50/50 meat mix into the mixer and directly to the stuffer. I don’t like letting the mix sit long before stuffing, it really stiffens up. Over the years i’ve honed my process. My rule now is I make it the way my crew likes it, if someone wants us to make some-we make it our way. I will also add I’ve never stuffed off the grinder, always use a 3-step process: grind, mix, stuff.
I will admit that I have 3-6 people helping so I don’t have to run the manual mixer but I did take pity on them this year and added the large Weston mixer to the stable, we’ll see how it works.
@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?