Lebanon Bologna Mix
brian r last edited by
Having trouble with all the juices cooking out when baking my Excalibur Lebanon Bologna mix. Tried twice. HELP.
@brian-r Can you give me your entire process? I am going to guess the issue is either in mixing or smoking schedule but the more detail you can give me the better the chance I will be able to figure out what is going on and see if we can’t get it solved for you! If you don’t want to post it here feel free to use our chat service and send it to me.
brian r last edited by Jonathon
@jonathon I was making a 5lb. batch using all beef . I used 7 oz Lebanon Bologna Mix, .3 Sure
Cure , .6 oz Capsulated Citric Acid, 12 oz Water . I don’t grind the ground beef after adding the seasonings. I mixed the meat by hand thoroughly, the meat got tacky. I stuffed the all the meat in one 4 inch casing The first time I tried making this recipe I poked a few holes in the casing . I baked the bologna in the oven at 125 degrees for 2 hours, 2 hours at 140 degrees, 2 hours at 200 degrees. The first batch the juices cooked out of the pinholes starting halfway through baking the bologna ,all the juices cooked out , I still finished baking it . After cooling the bologna was dry crummy.
The second time I did the same recipe, but I DID NOT put any pin holes in the CASING. I baked the bologna at the same temperature. The only difference this time is , At 5 hours of baking everything looked good . At this time I wanted to check the temperature with a probe. THAT WAS A BIG MISTAKE. When I inserted the probe all the juices sprayed out. The temperature was 149 degrees. I finished baking the bologna and let it cool. IT IS DRY .
I feel I followed the instructions on the Excalibur Lebanon Bologna Seasoning Bag ,except it does not say anything about how much water. I CALLED WALTON, they said that you should add 3 OZ . PER POUND. I ONLY ADDED 2 OZ . PER POUND BOTH BATCHES. Why wouldn’t the seasoning mix tell me the amount of water ?
ANOTHER QUESTION IS , WOULD USING EXCALIBUR COLD PHOSPHATE WORK ? I would hate putting any more money
in it if not sure what I’m doing wrong.
THANKS FOR WRITING BACK
@brian-r Thank you for all the information, that helps a lot! Your weight in seasoning, cure and citric acid are all correct so that is not the issue.
The first thing to check is that when you are using Encapsulated Citric Acid that you are not then holding your product overnight, it acts as a cure accelerator and the product needs to go directly to the smokehouse. When using Citric Acid the dry crumbly edges can absolutely happen if you hold the product overnight after stuffing and before going to the smoker. You didn’t list that though so I am assuming you went directly to the smoker.
The next thing that stood out is hand mixing, it is hard to get the proper amount of protein extraction by hand, it can be done it is just hard. Check out this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wStH-RtQUY8 and go to the 1:20 mark for what good protein extraction will look like in a product. It also goes over “fatting out” that might have been an issue so watching the entire video could be beneficial.
If you think your product had that amount of protein extraction then we want to look at some additives.
You might want to add a binder like Sure Gel or Carrot Fiber, they are not a required ingredient but if you are having issues with a dry product it can help as Carrot Fiber will hold up to 26 times its weight in water and it will keep it bound up in the meat. Cold Phosphate would be another option for sure as it increases water holding capacity of the meat.
The third thing that MIGHT be an issue is finishing it up at 200°F. We would recommend a lower cooking cycle but you have correctly stepped the temperature up in stages so I don’t see this as a likely culprit. Also this wouldn’t really give you a dry crumbly edge, just a less moist product.
They do not put a recommendation for how much water to use as a lot of people use different amounts, for example we generally ad 2 qts to a 25 lb batch but a lot of people only use 1 qt. We do it partly because it makes it easier to mix and stuff but it does add time to the cook cycle. Other people find that too soupy of a mix and want a shorter cook cycle.
I hope this helped! If anyone else sees anything that stood out to them let us know!
brian r last edited by
@jonathon THANKS for the information, first
thing I did not hold the bologna over night.
With your information and the video, I think
the problem is hand mixing. I never had
problem with my home recipes.
I HAVE NEVER USED CITRIC ACID.
I WILL WRITE BACK AFTER I TRY THE
NEXT BATCH, IT MAY BE A MONTH OR
TWO . I WILL PROBABLY TRYING THE
CARROT FIBER . AND MIXING BETTER
THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!
Cooked a batch of summmer in PK 100 casings are 1 7/8 by 12 cooked at 120 for one hour then 140 two hours then 180 tell internal of 152 but when I went to pull them the fat had liquefied any ideas
Tom T from Boise, ID
Oh… I ground the pork fat and the venison at the same time. 2 chunks of venison, 1 chunk of pork, back and forth…
Yes… sure cure and sure gel binder. The venison and pork fat were both still partially frozen when I ground them. First through the large course plate, then again through the small plate. (Not sure of sizes, but these are the plates i normally use for summer sausage). I probably should have put the meat back in the freezer before seasoning but i was pressed for time. I mixed by hand for 14 or 15 minutes. I also think I might have added to much water. The video said 2 quarts for wild game 2 pints for fatty pork. I put in 1 quart and about another cup. I mixed until it got tacky and then mixed some more. The meat seemed soupy to me but the video said that would be ok.
The shriveling occurred before I bumped the temp up. I was using a digital thermometer with a probe, when the temp stalled for a couple hours, I suspected the temp might be reading inaccurately so I opened the door to confirm with a dial thermometer. The digital was accurate but the sausage was already shriveling.
Another thing that bothered me was the casings… these had perforations for some reason. I e never used perforated casings before and seemed like I was losing a pot of moisture through them. Did I have the wrong casings? The other fibrous casings in the catalog said you were supposed to poke them anyway.