QUESTION - Why cook to 160 degrees when using sure cure and smoked meat stabilizer in summer sausage?
Weathered100 last edited by
I have trouble getting the internal temp of venison/pork summer sausage and snack sticks up to 160 degrees without shrinkage and drying. If using sure cure and smoked meat stabilizer, why cook to that high a temperature? Doesn’t the cure kill the harmful bacteria?
@weathered100 I’m sure Jon or Austin will comment about the science but you still need to cook the meat-you don’t want raw sticks. If you’re having trouble getting sticks to temp we smoke for 2-4 hours to get the color right then into a water bath at 170F until sticks reach temp. We use a turkey fryer the strainer basket makes it easy to remove and rinse in cold water to stop the carryover cooking process. I’ve been questioned about the water bath, and no it doesn’t remove the smoke flavor, no it doesn’t make the meat watery, we use it with natural, cellulose, and collagen casings. Cooking in water is a very soft even heat, some use a sous vide cooker. I’ve never tried it we just put the pot on top of a wood stove in the shop works great, just put a temp probe in one stick and wait for it to hit 160F, shower with cold water we hang to dry, an hour or so, then into the cooler.
@Weathered100 First, great question! Second, @Parksider , as usual, is correct. Adding cure to a meat product is going to retard the growth of botulism spores but it is not going to make the meat safe to eat by itself, it still needs to get to 160° to fully kill off any harmful bacteria growing inside it. The same is true with Smoked Meat Stabilizer, it speeds up that conversion of Nitrite to nitric oxide faster than E. Coli can grow but it won’t kill it on its own, it still needs thermal processing to make it safe to consume.
As far as moving it to water, I have never done it but there is no reason it would not work and with a summer sausage the only “smoke” you would lose is what has accumulated on the outside of the fibrous casing. As you don’t eat a fibrous casing, this will not affect the taste.
I would vac pack it first just to be sure but I also don’t think finishing cooking it in water would make it watery. In fact, I think I would more worry about the opposite, that it would cook too much of the moisture out of the meat by cooking it directly in water.
Having said that though, if @Parksider has done it in the past and has not seen any noticeable deficiency in his finished product I would say it is probably fine to do it that way!
I believe the recommended curing time is 12 hours but can I go less than that? I was expecting my order to be here tonight and it won’t be here till tomorrow morning now.
I was going to mix up my batch of jerky tonight but will have to do it tomorrow on my lunch break. Just wondering if tomorrow evening would be long enough to let the meat cure.
Your recipe calls for 1. Sure Cure, 2. Sure Gel Meat Binder, and 3. Smoked Meat Stabilizer. I have all but the Sure Gel Meat Binder. Can I get by without using this? Second question- Is Excalibur’s Cure Excellerator the same as Sure Cure?
@andyman Great question, Carrot Fiber holds up to 26 times its weight in water, and while the 80 oz is still well inside that I have never done that before. I max out (even with Carrot Fiber) at 64 oz which is 2 qts. My only fear with doing 80 is that it might take a lot longer to cook as it will have more water content that will be trying to evaporate. Most of that water should be bound up in the carrot fiber though so it wouldn’t really be available to be cooked out. Hmmm, my recommendation, to be safe is to stick with 64 oz of water.
Now, as to should you add more seasoning, some people will taste the difference if you did not add additional seasonings and some (most) will not. Your water and your seasoning is technically part of your meat block (anyone who is reading this who doesn’t consider this don’t worry!) so adjusting your meat block to include your water is sometimes done. If you do decide to add more spices or seasonings I would add aromatics and things like Rosemary and Basil, don’t add more salt as that is formulated specifically for the meat block.
Hope this helps and if you do decide to go with 80 oz of water then I would be very interested in the results!
i use denuded round. higher cost, less waste, cleaner eating
@jonathon I enjoyed this line of questions and comments, it made me think. Here is my related question: Assume I use 25 lbs. of meat to make summer sausage and add one package, 4 oz., of Carrot Fiber and 80 oz. of water. The ratio is 20 times the weight of water to the weight of CF. In other words, I am adding 5 lbs. 4 oz. of water/CF paste to my meat dough. Should I adjust the amount of salt and spices, I add to the dough? I am concerned that the flavor will be weaker if I don’t add spices for the new total, 30 lbs. curious as to what y’all thinking.