chuck last edited by
Ive been making summer sausage for about 2 yrs now I use the fibrous casing and pack it as tight as i can Matter fact had some break so tight Im smoking at low temp 140 then 160 180 till 160 internal temp Im getting alot of shrinkage in the meat Ive use 80/20 85/15 and 90/10 I shower the meat when done with cold water Every think im supose to do according to recipe What is going on The tase great just not pretty looking
@chuck Since you have been stuffing them tight and showering them after I would say the two most likely issues would be either low to no humidity in your smoker or not enough protein extraction. To try to combat the humidity issue you can add a water pan to your smoker, this will add some (not a lot but better than nothing) humidity to the smoker and prevent it from drying out. For protein extraction you can do a few things, you could add a binder like Excaliburs Sure Gel or just make absolutely sure you have achieved the correct level of protein extraction when mixing.
A few other things just to think about.
Have the casings soaked for 30 minutes in hot water before stuffing?
Are you using a prepackaged seasoning or a home recipe? If the salt content is off you might have an issue with this.
Are you cooking them too long?
How long are you showering them? I generally find an ice bath is a little easier if your smoker doesn’t have a shower cycle. Evaporation energy from showering will actually cool the product more efficiently than an ice bath will but that’s assuming that your shower cycle is set correctly.
The most likely issue though is either too low humidity or not enough protein extraction.
Anyone else have thoughts?
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.