Encapsulated Citric Acid question
I’ve recently used encapsulated citric acid in some snack sticks resulting in the “tangy” taste. Followed that up with a batch of summer sausage also with the citric acid. The texture of the meat was altered in the summer sausage to more closely resemble a hot dog than a summer sausage. Is this normal and do you have a recommendation on how to get the “tang” in a summer sausage without altering the texture.
@ksand The citric acid should not alter the texture of the meat in that way. If you add the encapsulated citric acid and then hold the product overnight before smoking it you can end up with a dry crumbly product especially around the edges of the summer sausage. What it sounds like happened was that the product was emulsified when grinding and mixing. Did you grind first with a 3/8 plate and second with a 1/8 plate? If you did was there anything odd about the grinding process? A very dull plate and knife while grinding might have played a part in this. When the meat was grinding do you remember if you could see particle definition in your meat? Can you give me any more information on your process?
Thanks for your feedback Jonathon! My process is that I used the same grinding method (single grind using a 3/16” plate) with no noticeable difference than other grindings. 80% beef/20% pork Also just had my knife sharpened by my local sausage supply vendor. Mixed by hand til meat mix became sticky then added the citric acid just prior to stuffing into summer sausage casings. Smoked starting at 120 gradually raising temp to 165. This is the same method used for the snack stick using the citric acid which provided a very nice result in both flavor and texture. Just seems strange that there is such a texture difference between the snack stick and summer sausage. Any more thoughts??
Different topic but would you give me your thoughts about the benefits to “double grinding”. I’ve always used a single grind with the results being satisfactory but I see double grinding mentioned on your website and on many recipes. Your thoughts?
@ksand Your process and cook cycle sounds good and since you hand mixed your batch and had a clean knife I cannot imagine it was over emulsification. I can say that there would be no scientific reason for the Citric Acid to have been the cause of it though. Hopefully it was a one-time thing, don’t let this get you off of the Encapsulated Citric Acid though, it really is a good thing to use. Just to be clear when you say more of a hotdog consistency you mean it was very uniform and no particle definition right?
The double grinding is going to give you a “better” consistency with a more even product, that is why we recommend grinding twice on products that are going to be smoked. It’s not 100% necessary but in general it will give you the consistency that most people associate with that product.
Thanks Jonathon, Not quite emulsified like a hot dog but the no particle definition is an accurate description. I prefer a coarser grind which is partly the reason for not double grinding. What is your recommendation for plates when double grinding? 3/8" then 1/8"? Thanks again for your quick replies and I will definitely try it again and see if the results are the same. Happy New Year!!
@ksand I’m always happy to help! As for what plates to use I do 3/16" then 1/8" on anything I am going to smoke. There is a few reasons for that, we think it gives a more even product it seems to make protein extraction a little quicker though that might be up for debate. When I am doing Brats I use a 3/8 twice since I want that a little coarser. Like you said though, it is up to what you want really! Happy new year to you and everyone else as well, 2018 is gonna be a lot of fun here!
It sounds like you used casings that were intended for semi-dri, smoked or fermented snack sticks. For a fresh breakfast sausage you would want to use a “fresh” collagen or natural hog or sheep casing.
@papag Thank you!! That is what I had intended to do but wanted verification.
On the measurements, I measured & calculated the five pound container of cure mix three times & got three different answers as would be suspected for something that should be weighed. However, since I do not have a food scale anymore I settled for about 2.25 cups to equal 1 pound of cure mix. Thank you for the suggestion on the liners & I will look into that too. I tried to find a food safe five gallon bucket, but was unable. I used my typical Aluminum Turkey Pot that I usually use with up to 2.5 gallon freezer bags for smaller turkeys, butts, briskets, etc. However, since this ham was so big, I had to go & get a 10 gallon freezer bag to use for the ham & put that into the Turkey Pot to keep it together. That ham has been taking a bath now for a day. Thank you all for all your help.
Please help me if you can. Let’s say I wanted to mix two flavors like habanero and ranch yup that’s the request from the wife and friends and I’m down to try. Would I mix for the whole 25 lb batch or cut each in half? Main question is are there salts in these blends or just flavor?
I made a batch of breakfast sausage. This is my first time using collagen casings. I used 19mm Mahogony edible collagen casings.
Well, I pan fried them this morning and the casings were like rubber. I was able to slide the sausage out of the casings so all was not lost.
Any ideas why the casings were not really edible?
Thanks in advance
I smoked many a summers on my traeger. Turning them a few times during the process will ensure that you won’t get “cooked product” on the side that is facing the grill.