When to add spice pack to meat
Just watched a sausage making video and wanted to get your opinion on when to add the spice pack. Last year I changed from adding spice then water to the meat in the mixer to making a slurry, mixing water and spices, then adding it to the meat. My brother likes to mix the spice into the chunks of meat before he grinds. I don’t think i’ve seen a difference other than the spice seems to suck up the water and I’m thinking that it allows more liquid to stay in the meat. Of course i have no scientific reason or proof. I’m interested to see if others have tried it different ways?
@parksider A lot of people mix in the seasoning either before they grind or between the first and second grind. If I didn’t have a mixer, and I was making a cured product where I needed protein extraction, I might add the seasoning after the first grind and then grind it again. I don’t do it this way with a cured product because it is usually a while until I can get to cleanup and seasoned meat seems to be harder to clean than unseasoned. I wouldn’t do this if making a fresh product as I’d worry about the protein extraction starting too soon but that is probably me just being overly careful.
Mixing the water in with the seasoning before the meat is fine and plenty of people do it. In the end, it really shouldn’t make any difference as long as you mix the meat enough once it is all added. However, I always tell people if they have found something that works for them don’t change! If that process works for you (and considering the sized batches you do who could argue with it?) then stick with it!
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.