Dr_Pain All too true, and I have 30 years into this…
Meatgistics Trouble Shooting Document
This document is to serve as a quick reference guide for people who have a specific issue and are looking for fixes and ways to avoid this on future projects.IssueProductCasingCauseFixDry Crumbly Sausage
1.Low Fat Content
2. Denatured Protein
3. Fat rendered out during cooking process1.70/30 Lean to Fat
2. Do not add acidic ingredients
3. Achieve protein extraction and use binder
Dry Crumbly Sausage
1.Low Fat Content
2. Denatured Protein1.70/30 Lean to Fat
2. Do not add acidic ingredientsCasing Not Sticking
Summer SausageFibrous/Inedible Collagen1.Casings not properly prepared
2. Put in cooler too quickly
3. Not enough protein extraction1.Fibrous Casings must be soaked for 30 minutes in hot water before being used / Inedible Collagen casings must be soaked in 15° C 15% salt solution for 15 minutes
2. Summer Sausage must be left out to air dry for at least an hour after they are taking out of the ice bath to allow them to dry, otherwise moisture will build up
3. When mixing you need to achieve the proper level of protein extraction or the fat will render out and become stuck between the casing and the meat.Casings Not Peeling
Cured SausageFibrous/Inedible Collagen1.Casing not properly prepared
2. Product was not cooled down properly1. Fibrous Casings must be soaked for 30 minutes in hot water before being used / Inedible Collagen casings must be soaked in 15° C 15% salt solution for 15 minutes
2. Once you have reached an internal temp of 160° you must either plunge the sausage into an ice bath for 20 minutes or shower it with cold water for 20 minutes on and off every minute with a fan blowing. This helps "set" the casingToo SaltyBaconNo casing
1.Too Much Cure Was injected
2. Product was not adequatley rinsed1. Measure carefully with an accurate scale and inject
2. Rinse off the bacon with running water for 20 minutes instead of sitting in a meat lug of water.
Split Casing Cooking/Stuffing
SausageNatural/Collagen1.Casings were stuffed too tightly
2. Casings were twisted too much
3. Casings are old 4.Cooked at too high an initial temperature1.Leave casings slightly under stuffed, you can always tighten them up with a few extra twists
2.If casings are full to bursting twist as little as possible
3. Depending on how they were stored and how old they are casings might have become dry and brittle. You can try leaving them uncovered in a refrigerator overnight to slightly rehydrate them.
4. Start sausage at a lower temp so the meat and water do not expand as rapidly.Seasoning Clumping
1.Seasoning Improperly stored
2. Exposed to moisture
3. Seasoning Old
1.You can put seasoning in the microwave to help loosen it but it must then be used quickly or it will harden back up
2. Store in cool dry place, or vacuum seal for long term storage
3. Discard and replaceMeat won't get "sticky"
1.Meat has not been mixed enough
2. Proteins have been denatured
3. Meat is too warm
1.Mixing by hand will require a long time to achieve proper protein extraction. If you are using a machine mixer you will still have to mix for about 8 minutes
2.Something has happened to the proteins of your meat to denature them. It could be that they were exposed to an acidic environment or were previously exposed to too much heat but once they have been denatured you will not be able to get protein extraction.
3. Protein extraction will not work once the meat has gotten over a certain temperature, it is somewhere around 50° F. Unless you can quickly get the meat back under 40° the meat should be discardedCasings Blowing Out While Stuffing
1.Casings are stuffed too tightly
2. Casings are either old or were not cared for properly
3. The casings are being twisted too much
1.Stuff casings are less full. For collagen this means until you can barely see the swirl pattern running down the casing, for natural casings leave casing under stuffed and tighten up when forming links.
2.Check casings before use, if they are dry or brittle discard casings.
3. Do not make as many twists on each link. With natural casings 2-3 twists is enough, for collagen the twist won't hold anyway, so just twists until links are separated.Meat is Grey
1.Cure was not added.
2. Cure was not activated.
3. Hasn't gone through thermal processing yet
1.Add cure when mixing meat.
2.Cure was not left in the meat long enough and no cure accelerator was used.
3. When mixing cured sausage the meat will turn a brownish grey, it will not become the classic pink until it has gone through thermal processing.Texture of Sausage is loose
1.Add cure when mixing meat.
2.Incorrect grinding size.
3. Proteins were denatured before cooking.
4. Meat was too lean.1.Mix until the meat is sticky and tacky. You want it to stretch before breaking..
2.Fresh sausage should have some larger texture to it. For cured sausage it should be smooth with very little particles.
3. Do not add anything that can denature the meats, such as acid, while mixing meat. Make sure the meat you are using is in good condition.
4.Do not use meat less than 15% fat but if you do then use a binder like sure gel or carrot binder. Also, consider adding cold phosphate to increase the pH of the meat.Stuffing is going slowly
1.Meat does not have enough fat/water.
2.Meat is too warm.
3. Trying to use too small stuffing tube/casing.1.When mixing in seasoning and additives add additional water
2.Put meat in freezer before stuffing to bring down the temp and make the fat less sticky..
3. Increase the size of stuffing tube and casing..
I bookmarked this one just because !
Jonathon Awesome chart Jonathan, thinking of printing and laminating and giving to a friend for reference, he is just starting out. Helped him with elk summer sausage the last couple of days and I think he was pretty nervous about it until we took it off the smoker and got it out of the ice bath and tried a piece. You should have seen the smile on his face then. (If printing out is ok with you)
Jonathon very useful !
I think a troubleshooting chart has real value. Could be one of those “Look here first” items for posters with questions.
A couple of comments.
Under causes for Dry Crumbly Sausage you listed fat rendering as a cause, but failed to list keeping internal temperature below 160 degrees as a fix.
When you consider the number of problem batches that can be traced to too high processing temps, this should be a point that is emphasized.
On the salty bacon row, you may want to add cause and fix language that applies to Equalization Curing method in addition to the stitch pumping method.
Also dry crumbly sausage and texture too loose are categories that kind of overlap. You may want to add some more descriptive detail of the problem to differentiate the categories or else combine them.
Jonathon When adding liquid, is it best to mix with seasonings or just adding the liquid by itself after. Be it water, beer, wine, vinegar,etc. This is not a discussion to be responded here. It’s an expansion of the topics portion above.
Jonathon It looked good once I looked at it on my laptop, hard to understand looking on a phone, but I know there is nothing you can do about that. Maybe could point that out at the top, or it could just be me. Also if someone is new to sausage making, a little glossary of some of the lingo might be helpful (thermal processing, protein extraction, denatured protein). I do like it, and I too am going to print it out for a couple buddies who are just getting into making sausage.
Jonathon Are the casings not sticking and casings not peeling turned around? Shouldn’t not peeling be with summer sausage?
Way to much to read through. I’ll just post a question to you. LOL
Really though, this should help people.
bocephus LOL awesome catch! This is why this “soft opening” was a good idea! PapaSop lol yeah there is that method of course! This isn’t designed to stop anyone from asking questions, more because I have become aware of a rather large and fairly consistent “lurking” crowd, people who read but don’t post. I wanted to get something out there that would help answer lots of questions in one area. kyle yeah…I don;t know how to solve for that. Maybe we will be able to make it look better when we finally get the new Ap up and running? zbigjeff good one, I will get it added. Cabelas90 Thanks for the confirmation I sometimes feel boring telling people that it was probably one of those 2 things so often but they are SO important! processhead thanks for the notes, I will get those added and adjusted as well.
Also bocephus I responded earlier about waiting to print because this was just a test run and more will be added to it. Yes, printing it is fine if it is going to help someone! Also, we are finally going to have the Seasoning Breakdown Chart in this years retail catalog!
I was going to leave this up 24 hours and then take down utr I might leave it up for the weekend as these are all really good notes.
Jonathon As usual, great information. It is difficult to print and maintain the format, but as long as it is available on line, all is good.
I almost see this falling into a flowchart. Starting at the top, looking at different issues with a yes or no answer. That format would be great for beginners.
Jonathon First and foremost, nice job and forward thinking !
I got a couple of things for your consideration:
Under Stuffing is going slowly, also too large of a diameter stuffing canister to push too small of a tube diameter for snack sticks.
And other one is to mix your seasonings thoroughly in the water to be added to the mixer makes for a more even distribution of the seasonings.
Jonathon Split Casing (#3 Solution) Leave casing uncovered in fridge (Should this be uncovered in a bowl of water in fridge)?
YooperDog Team Orange Masterbuilt Big Green Egg Dry Cured Sausage Sous Vide Canning Power User last edited by
Jonathon this a pretty good product. Quick easy to use, a lot of good input from above, will take a bit of tweaking and then a solid product.
OKay, thank you to everyone who gave their input. I am going to take it down, for now, then we will make some changes and launch it in a while with links to it from the header and from waltonsinc.com Thanks again guys!
No, no Jonathon, THANK YOU!
Jonathan,definitely thank you for all your work on it, I think it will help a lot of people.
I’m just really impressed with how much the Walton’s team interacts with the customer and not only seeks out their input to make their store better, but actually tries their suggestions.