Sdickey1960 All things being equal use meat you just ground. If that isn’t possible then buying ground beef with the correct fat content is fine but it is never going to be as good as meat you just ground. Also, for sticks, I highly recommend pork or at least pork fat. It is creamier, lighter in color and has less of a taste than any other fat that is readily available.
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!