Chicken Brats Made From Thigh Meat
Meat Hacks: Chicken Thigh Brats?
Learn what happens when we use chicken thighs instead of breasts to make bratwurst with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.
Using Chicken Thighs for Bratwurst
On the community section of meatgistics.com the user knuclehead BBQ was talking about how he likes to use chicken thighs as they have a higher fat content and are generally less expensive. I’ve done this once before but it has been a few years so I wanted to do a video on the process to show you guys what the differences are in the process and in the finished product.
To start I bought some chicken thighs with the skin on them so I need to bone them out, take the skin off and then I need to weigh them again to know how much meat I am working with. Since I am going to grind this I’m not too worried about how I get the chicken off the bone but basically what we want to do is to expose the bone by making slices on either side of the bone and then you will be able to get your knife behind it to cut it away from the rest of the meat. I’m removing the majority of the skin but we aren’t too worried about a little bit of skin making it in as we are grinding it.
I am going to grind this twice first through a 3/8th plate and then through a 3/16th plate. I’ve oiled the plate and knife before starting the grinder to prevent the plate and knife from creating too much friction which will heat the plate and it will help extend the life of the plate and knife. As always we want to make sure our meat is cold before it goes through the grinder, this will speed up the grinding and obviously keeping meat cold is good for food safety. The speed of the second grind is always going to be a little bit slower than the first but it’s not taking too long.
Since I don’t need protein extraction for this I am going to mix in the seasonings and additives by hand. After deboning this we have 3 lb so we need 2 and 1/4 oz of seasoning, 1/2 an oz of carrot fiber, 1/4 of an oz of cold phosphate, 3 oz of water and just over a 1/4 lb of cheese. I am going to add the cheese during the last stage of mixing to prevent smearing it. Since I am using cold phosphate I am using about 1.5 times the amount of water I normally would with bratwursts, you don’t have to do this but it the increased water holding capacity of the meat means it should be able to handle it and it will make stuffing easier.
I have loaded the stuffer being careful not to create any air pockets and I am using 30mm fresh collagen. I’ve selected the largest stuffing tube that my casings will fit over and am ready to stuff. My hand is gripped around the tube near the opening and I am applying gentle pressure so that the casing is still able to flow off of the tube but it is filling the casing nicely. If I was to use too little pressure the casing would be understuffed like this, or if I used too much I would either get a blowout or backflow. Backflow is when the meat comes up and around the tube instead of out into the casing.
I’ve grilled these and for anyone wondering I like to start chicken brats out around 275 for about 5 minutes before turning the grill up to 350 t finish them off. This prevents them from cooking too fast and popping the casing and helps preventing them from over drying.
So using chicken thighs instead of breasts gave us a nice juicy product and adding the carrot fiber and cold phosphate helped even more so these are practically bursting with juice! Also the South of the Border Cheddarwurst is awesome for people who like a little bit of heat but don’t want something really hot. It’s got a great flavor and a decent amount of heat without it being overpowering at all. This is a brand new seasoning and it should absolutely become a Walton’s favorite in no time.
I think the taste difference was significant, I came back a few days later and made a few more lb from chicken breast and yes the chicken thighs absolutely make a better tasting finished product than using just breasts!
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stanca last edited by
When using cold phosphates with a fresh product, do you have to hold overnight before cooking? I have used the same techniques above for ground jerky and snack sticks (of course with the addition of pink sure cure), held overnight and then smoked to great success. How fast acting are cold phosphate’s properties to drop the level of ph? When should a fresh product be ready to cook?
You do not need to hold a product overnight with cold phosphate. You only hold a product like jerky or snack sticks because of the cure, not phosphates.
Also cold phosphate will not drop the pH. It actually does the opposite and it can increase the pH of meat by a couple points. Maybe 0.1 to 0.3 or so increase in pH value.
If you are making a fresh product, as soon as you stuff the sausage and twist link, you are fine to throw them on the grill right then and there! You can cook immediately.
stanca last edited by
@austin Gracias! No sweat then! I will be making the Excalibur Asian Sriracha with the High Temp Sriracha Cheese for a last minute party this evening. Spicing the thigh meat at 125% (20 lb of thigh meat for 1.18 lb seasoning) with carrot binder and cold phosphates. All is right in the world again. Cheers!
Hello from Alpine, Texas.
Gary T. From Branford CT, I’ve been making jerky for some 30 years now, not sure how I missed Waltons site but I’m glad I found it, great to see all the videos tips and forums.
Trying the Waltons BOLD Jerky seasoning today in a restructured mix, I normally try a mix as is the 1st time then alter to my taste later on, I needs TONS of flavor so I’m hoping this one does the trick. I also bought the Teriyaki & Cajun to try.
Thanks for the invite. Gary T.
Quick question? Why is it NOT recommended to mix your cure and seasoning until it’s ready to be used??
Because the Excalibur Jerky Seasoning comes in bags suited to use 25# of meat I wanted to break it down into smaller mixing batches, I know I don’t mix 25# of meat at a time, I usually cut it in half for 12.5# each. Anyway I’d really like to mix all the cure and seasoning once then break in down for smaller batches of meat for later use, also when I say later I only mean like 1-3 months.
Thanks Gary T.
This is my tounge recipe. I get the tounge usually from people I work with that buy freezer beef from a farmer. They usually throw them out or feed them to the dog. NO WAY. Here is how I process the tounge.
Rinse the tounge well as it is dipped in a antiseptic. State law I think. Lay it out on your cutting board. Cut the tounge into at just back from where it tarts to narrow as the narrow part of the tounge has very little meat . Now take your sharp fillet knife and skin the little well marbled roast. Now lets make the juice. I like to use Mrs. Smiths dill pickle / Jalapeno mix follow the directions on the mix.
Then smoke it with your favorite wood till the internal temp for beef reaches 160 degrees . I then remove from the smoker and let cool for 20 minutes. I then cut the tounge into chunks about the size of sugar cubes and pack into a qt. jar. I then slice a Vidallia onion into rings and add to the qt. jar. I pour the pickling spice over it covering all of the tounge and onion. Install a lid and refrigerate for 2 days and enjoy. I take this to work and always bring home a empty jar. Another version is brad and butter pickle mix.
Haysville Ks. Smoking and grilling for 10 years. Limited meat processing about 8 years
Most recipes I’ve researched suggest an IT of 152° - 155°. My question is, what’s the most efficient method of taking the IT of a snack stick. Should I use a probe and slide it into the center of one of the snack sticks hanging in the smoker? Is it better to slide the probe into the top of a snack stick as it hangs or up from the bottom? Thanks in advance for your help!