Seasoning & Additives 105 - Common Additives
Seasoning and Additives 105 - Common Additives
Attend this entry level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!
What Are Additives?
Additives refer to any ingredients added to your product that serve a function other than taste. The reasons for adding this can be moisture retention and yield enhancement, cure acceleration, color enhancement, meat binding just to name a few. Familiarity with these products can help you make a better product and might ease some of your concerns when reading ingredient labels on store-bought packages.
Moisture Retaining Additives
Additives with moisture retaining properties include Cold Phosphate, Corn Syrup Solids, Dairy Blend and Sodium Tripoly Phosphate. These products are designed to allow the meat to more effectively bond the water so that it stays in the product during the cooking process. This will give you a finished product with more moisture and is especially important in products with a lower fat content. These products also act as yield enhancers as the more water that is bound up in the product the more volume and weight it will have. For the beginner who wants to use one of these products, I would recommend Cold Phosphate, just be sure to check the ingredients on the seasoning you are using first to ensure that it does not already contain phosphates, as adding too much phosphate can give your product a soapy flavor.
Cure accelerators interact with the cure in a way that speeds up its conversion from Nitrite to nitric oxide gas and allows you to go directly from stuffing to the smokehouse. When these are used you do not need to hold your product overnight to allow the cure time to work. Cure Excellerator from Excalibur and Sodium Erythorbate are cure accelerators that have minimal if any, the effect on taste. Encapsulated Citric Acid acts as both a cure accelerator and a pH reducer, it is what gives meat snacks that nice tang. Smoked Meat Stabilizer should be used mostly with wild game and should not be used in a cover pickle, as it will gas out rapidly and create a dangerous cloud of gas, it should not be used in products that you are adding water to assist in mixing. just mix it in when making sausage or snack sticks and it will kill bacteria faster than it can reproduce. For the beginner, I would recommend encapsulated citric acid.
Liquid Smokes are popular color enhancers that are sprayed on during the smoking process to give meat the nice smoked appearance. Two common types of this are C-10 and Supreme Smoke and are often used with Hams, Bacons or any other smoked whole muscle meat. Pn-9 Liquid smoke is another type that has a neutral pH but really should only be used in a smokehouse that can atomize it for spraying. Cures also have a coloring factor but we will get into that in later videos.
Meat Binders like Soy Protein Blend and Sure Gel contain some protein which will make protein extraction more efficient as more of it will be available. The Soy Protein blend has a grain or cereal like appearance and will look like oats if you soak it in water but it will dissolve into your product so it will not leave any noticeably different consistency. Both of these have allergens in them though so you need to be somewhat careful with that. Carrot Fiber is a binder that is able to hold 26 times its weight in water, is allergen free, inexpensive and imparts very little if any, taste into your cooked product. Any of these products are going to improve the texture of your finished product.
I do it all the time. Still remember my mom saying it’s not a good idea. I’m sure if you are buying a nice steak and intend it eat it as a grilled T-bone you might notice some flesh cell break down (texture change). If you are going to use it in sausage you will not notice any difference. Made brats last night. Once frozen pork and elk. Refroze the brats. I do it time and time again.
Here is a link to a website that has a handy Excel spreadsheet. It is, as it says a free non-commercial site.
As for Waltons dropping the ball, I vote they are doing a great job.
I think for all of us there are general guidelines, but unless you have a temperature and humidity controlled environment, both for the preparation, cooking (if you cook them) smoking, hanging etc, the results are bound to vary from batch to batch.
Personally, I am searching how to get my home made smoked and dry cured pepperoni to the exact texture and firmness of Margarita pepperoni from the store.
Through trial and error I have the flavor where I want it, but not the texture or firmness. I know time, temperature and humidity are all crucial, but the best I can do is in the basement and then subject to the environment that is there.
I figure as long as I am not killing anyone or making anyone sick I am making progress. Thanks Waltons for all of the great information so far.
Having said that, it would be nice to have your chart in an Excel spreadsheet.
Thanks Jonathon! One question tho! You eluded to 178 being high for a temp! Don’t you guys recommend setting the temp at 175 during the final stage to completion to internal temp? Three degrees shouldn’t make that much difference should it??
Sounds reasonable. Thanks for your input. Pulling the meat at 152 will make a big difference I bet! Thanks again.
@Kinger Thanks for the information. Your process, other than going to 178, is on in my mind. The only thing I do differently is an ice bath for 20 minutes. Showering for 10 minutes, if you are running a cycle and a fan in your smoker can work, but I still think an ice bath would bring it down faster and more. Last time I did thick summer sausage it was down to 110 in 20 minutes, I also tried showering it at 2 minutes on 2 minutes off for 20 minutes and it was only down to 136 (ish) but i did not have a fan running on them.
One more thing you might want to try, if you are stalled towards the end you can finish them up by putting them in a vacuum bag (I have done then hot, right from the smoker, some condensation in the bag but it still gets a good vac) and get some water going at around 165, it should get up to temp in under an hour depending on the thickness.