First batch of meat sticks last night....
angler last edited by
So I have a few questions about the product quality. I have a lot of experience making fresh sausages and doing traditional cured sausages. I have an ancient #12 Hobart that is probably 1hp. I’ve always used it as my stuffer too.
I used another brands spice mix that I had on hand for a 10 pound batch. I boned out one of my own pork shoulders and added no additional fat. I ground it in a single pass through a 4.5mm plate. I added the spice mix, 1oz pink salt and 2oz of encapsulated citric acid then mixed in two batches in a KitchenAid for 4 minutes or so, adding the citric acid in at the end. I tried to stuff using a 3/8" tube with my grinder (with no knife and a stuffing plate) and it just made pink mush. I ran out and bought a 10# vertical stuffer and stuffed the rest.
I hung it in my Masterbuilt smoker and followed the directions on my spice mix; 1 hr at 110, 1hr at 130, 1hr at 150 (with water in the pan), then at 170 until it hit 160 internal. It plateaued at 145 for hours. Took it about 8 hours to hit 160. Used no smoke.
So the stuff that mashed into pink paste was super dry and had grainy consistency. The vertically stuffed batch had great consistency but was a little dry. I figure my shoulder was about 80/20. I think I over dried the product, even though it never reached 160. The casings are a little wrinkled. Some of my casing from the properly stuffed batch are partially filled with a jelly like substance.
My questions are: Why are they dry? Too little fat or too long in the smoker? If too long in the smoker, what do you do when your product plateaus for so long? Finally, what is that jelly like substance in some of the links?
I do know that I will be buying a proper meat mixer. The KitchenAid sucks for meat.
@angler I have a couple of pointers that I think will help you.
The seasoning you are using may or may not have played into it, salt content could have been an issue but with it being a seasoning we don’t carry I just don’t know. This is why we recommend using Excalibur Seasonings, all of the ratios for salt has been correctly calculated already.
A single grind through a 4.5mm (3/16) plate is probably not enough for a snack stick. I’d recommend doing two grinds, the first one through a 3/8th plate and the second through a 1/8th plate. This will make protein extraction during the mixing process much easier.
1 oz of sure cure is enough to cure 25 lb of meat, so unless they are using a different formulation (and they might be, did they send you 1 oz package for a 10 lb batch?) then this would be too much cure for 10 lb of meat.
Stuffing off of a grinder is always going be a little harder than with a stuffer. You made the right decision in investing in one, it will make all future projects much easier.
Adding the citric acid last in mixing is the correct thing to do, it prevents it from breaking down and being released too early into the product. However, putting it back through the grinder, even just to stuff, probably started breaking down the coating and released the citric acid into the meat. You have already fixed this issue though by purchasing a stuffer.
I’d say you are right to look at a mixer as I think this stage is where the majority of your final issues stemmed from. When mixing for a cured sausage product, like snacksticks or summer sausage, you need to mix until you have protein extraction, this allows the meat, fat, water and seasoning to bind together. Mixing times necessary to achieve protein extraction can vary but 4 minutes in a kitchen aid mixer doesn’t seem like it would be enough. Watch this video to see what correct amount of protein extraction looks like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wStH-RtQUY8. Also you might want to consider adding a binder like Carrot Fiber as that will help everything bind together.
So on to your actual questions! I am willing to bet they were too dry because they “fatted out” which is explained in the above video but basically it means you did not get enough protein extraction so when you cooked them the fat rendered out of the meat. This would also explain the jelly like substance on some of the links.
Smoking snacksticks can take a long time, generally around 5-6 hrs for our process. Starting at 110° seems unnecessarily low to me, check out this post for a better smoking schedule and for more information on making snack sticks https://meatgistics.waltonsinc.com/topic/182/how-to-make-homemade-snack-sticks-recipe/2
I hope that answered your questions, if anyone else has any other thoughts chime in!
angler last edited by
That was awesome, thanks!
I dug the pink salt package out of the trash and it was only 11.34 grams, so it was only .4 oz which sounds correct. I had assumed it was a 1oz package.
I’ll watch the video and incorporate those instructions into my next batch.
@angler I was glad to be able to help. If you have any questions after watching that video let me know!
I have the a Himalayan Salt Slab, but really didn’t know how to prep before cooking or clean it, so I have only used it once.
Thanks for the education on how to use my salt block, great video.
I picked up brisket at the Kroger Chain grocery already for $1.99 a lb. on sale. Walmart has some very nice full brisket with the round for $3.94 a lb. I have checked several butcher shops and they normally stock packer 6 full briskets with the round on it to a box @ $4.99 to $5.99 per pound or most butcher shops would sell you a individual brisket. You did not have to buy a whole case.
It’s a vinegar, oil, and spice marinade, very popular in upstate NY. Usually chicken cubed in 1"ish pieces and marinaded for a few days, grilled on kabob skewers, and served on a sausage roll. We do halves of game birds, marinade in 2gallon zip locks then indirect grill. Keep some of the marinade to baste with since wild birds are very lean.
Meat Hacks: Cooking on a Himalayan Salt Slab
Learn about cooking steak on a Himalayan Salt Slab with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.Meat Hacks
Cooking on a Himalayan Salt Slab
Salt is a key ingredient in almost any meat recipe. It improves the general flavor of almost any meat and has many other benefits as well. What happens when instead of putting salt on your steak you put steak on your salt? Himalayan Salt Blocks Like this one from Cameron’s have been increasing in popularity as a cooking and grilling surface. The Camerons Himalayan Salt slab is 8" x 8" and is 1.5 inches thick.
It appears to offer a few advantages over traditional methods like cooking on grill grates or cast iron. Since it is a solid slab of natural Himalayan salt it will season your meat as you cook it, so you don’t need to add any rubs or seasonings to your steak, if you don’t want to. This can help cut down on your sodium intake as even though you are cooking on a salt slab and will get some salt into your food the transfer will be less than a fully seasoned steak. Himalayan Salt also has a stronger flavor than regular salt so you don’t need as much to get the same flavor. Aside from the flavor Himalayan salt also contains micro nutrients that are not present in regular table salt.
These Salt Slabs are very good at heat retention, once you get them up to heat they will maintain a nice even heat and are suitable for cooking at extreme temperatures. These Himalayan Salt Slabs have a melting point of over 1,400 degrees so they can be used for almost any application. The surface is not very porous and the salt helps dry out and kill bacteria so it is a very hygenic cooking surface.
To get this ready to cook on we need to heat it in stages. Camerons recommends to preheat this slowly, so we will do 15 minutes on low, 15 on medium and 15 on high. This will work well because I like to give my steaks 45 minutes to come to room temperature before cooking them.
We are cooking a ribeye today, so we want to get this salt block up to around 500°, we are going to check that with the Laser Infrared Thermometer but if you want to know when you Slab is properly pre heated you can sprinkle some water on it and it should immediately sizzle. I am going to cook the steak for 3-4 minutes a side, as I want to get this steak to around 130°. When using a Himalayan Salt Slab it is recommended that you use a metal spatula or tongs, no plastic.
You could also cook vegetables or seafood directly on this but steak was the first thing I wanted to try.
So we have a Medium Rare Ribeye with a beautiful crust on it, that is partly because the salt from the block helped draw out the moisture from the outside of the meat and it crisped up beautifully.
To clean this you will need to let it cool first, so turn off your grill and leave it in there for about an hour or until it is cool to the touch. Then wipe it down with a moist towel or sponge until all the food particles are gone. Do not use soap on this or place it directly under running water or soak it.
All in all the Camerons Himalayan Salt Grilling Slab is a great tool to use in your kitchen or grill for when you want to try something different or impress your dinner guests. It cooked a very tasty steak and was a lot easier to use than I initially thought it would be. As a bonus it can be used as a serving dish and it looks great when left out on a counter or on a shelf.Subscribe to WaltonsTV
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Easily subscribe to any category or topic on the Meatgistics community site by clicking the green “Subscribe” button to get an email each time a new post is made!Shop waltonsinc.com for Himalayan Salt Slab Shop waltonsinc.com for Himalayan Salt Slab Holder and Brush Subscribe to WaltonsTV on YouTube Broil King Signet 320 Broil King Baron 420
I often thought about both, grinding and making my own burgers from brisket and sou vide, now for sure I going for it and with the brisket burgers I will add the bone morrow, man that has to be so good!
Hi I’m looking for a meat department manager with experience at a chain retail supermarket near NYC area. I work for my family’s butcher shop with multiple locations. I’m looking to change up our operations and potentially even pay consulting fees too.