Meatgistics: 5 Tips to Mix like a Pro
Meat Hacks: Mix Like a Pro at Home
Learn how to Mix Like a Pro with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.
How can I Mix Like a Pro at Home?
A few weeks ago we showed you guys some tips on how you could take some of the things that commercial processors do when grinding meat and adapt them for use at home. We are continuing our effort to help you guys make the best homemade product possible so today we have some tips for you on meat mixing.
1 Protein Extraction is the Key
When mixing large batches of Summer Sausage, Snack Sticks or any other product that requires protein extraction a commercial processor is going to use a large commercial mixer and the paddles on the mixer creates mechanical energy that will break down the proteins in the meat and allow them to bind together with the fat, water, additives and seasonings. While you don’t have a large commercial style mixer you can use home mixer to get the same results, either the 20 or 44 lb Weston mixers will work for your purposes, the 44 lb mixer even hooks up to the #22 and larger Weston pro series grinders and does the work for you. You will also want to use both the forward and reverse on your mixer in about equal amounts to make sure the seasoning is mixing in as thoroughly as possible. You know when you have enough protein extraction when you pick up a handful of it and try to pull it apart and it stretches before breaking.
2 Use a Binder
Almost all commercial processors are using some sort of binder when mixing their meat for a cured product. It helps with protein extraction and it increases the final yield by keeping more of the water bound up in the product. The next time you plan on making summer sausages or snack sticks add some sure gel or carrot fiber, it will make protein extraction easier and give you a better consistency.
3 Use the Correct Amount of Excalibur Seasonings
Commercial processors are also using seasonings with the correct amount of salt in them and salt plays a key part in protein extraction. This is another reason why we always recommend you use Excalibur Seasonings, they have already calculated all of this out. Your home recipe is not going to be as accurate.
4 Add Ingredients in the Correct Order
Make sure you mix in special ingredients like Cheeses or any Encapsulated products last. Mixing too early can smear the cheese or break the casing on an encapsulated product which can cause the encapsulated ingredient to start working too soon in your product.
5 Keep Things Cold
Many commercial processors with do their mixing in a cool room which helps keep the heat down. If you have a room large enough for you and your mixer then by all means do that but since most of you don’t have that ability. So, after you grind your meat put it in a freezer for 30 minutes or so to cool it back down after grinding.
We will be back in a later video showing you some things you can do to stuff like the pros.
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Just an FYI, everybody that received snack sticks for Christmas last year loved them… I just ordered another batch of Willie’s Snack Stick spice blend to do it again this year!
Jonathon, I have to agree that 275 is too hot… If you have the time I’d shoot for 225, but if it needs to be “done”, then 250 would be the max I would do…
I have always filled the water pan for everything I smoke… 2 reasons, first it does tend to add moisture during the long cook thus keeping the bark from turning to shoe leather… and second because the water pan acts as a heat sink and helps maintain the temperature (in my vertical propane smoker) a bit more accurately… I’ve heard folks tout using apple juice in the water pan to impart a sweeter flavor, but I’ve never tried it…
On the other hand, my dad smoked for years, mostly in a converted fridge with an electric hotplate in the bottom… he never used a water pan and never had an issue with dry meat…
As for the type of wood to use, that’s just a trial and error, personal preference thing… I happen to like steaks cooked with oak… that may be too strong a flavor for your taste (my GF hates it)… Recently I have been using a lot of maple for NC bbq, chicken and even cheese… I like the maple for the meats, but next batch of cheese will go back to the hickory / cherry mix that I was using…
I followed the instructions on the video. It may have something to do with the sausage not getting as firm as it should. I used the cotto salami on duck breast with pork fat. It sure tastes good. But it’s a little soft.
I’ve done a lot both ways. I would highly recommend a stuffer and I have the Weston grinder with the auger stuffing attachment. It’s slow, but if you’re doing 5# or 10# batches, it’s not that bad. I’ve had small 5# stuffer, old school cast iron Enterprise, 11# vertical and now a 35# hydraulic. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t trade the hydraulic but the 11# vertical I got on amazon had a lot of versatility. I think your bigger decision should be what type of stuffer should I buy. I would recommend the taller, smaller diameter instead of the large shorter one. The smaller diameter allow for a higher pressure for doing sticks with cure in them. The large short ones would be great for doing pork sausage or larger diameter casings, not 19-22mm sticks with cure. It would be fine as long as you’re doing fresh like breakfast or something like that. If you go the stuffer route I’d get it from Waltons and get the Weston-they stock parts, other no name from amazon is a one shot deal, once ours broke couldn’t find parts. Plus they have so many tube sizes now and Walton’s does a great job helping with casing and stuffing horn sizes, they carry them all.
I purchased a stuffer off Amazon for under $100 and would never go back to using the grinder. With the grinder, it was always a two man job and took forever. The stuffer is much faster and have no problems doing it all by myself. Plus with a hand crank stuffer, no electricity usage and wear and tear on your grinder.
Thank You Sir: