scott williams last edited by
I have a question about my left over seasonings, once opened how long will they be good for? I have a vacuum packer so I can reseal them and should they be refrigerated? The seasonings in question are the jalapeño and cheddar cheese summer sausage blend. I noticed on my second time making the sausage that the texture was different ( not as good as my first time ) making it, does this come from over mixing or under mixing
@scott-williams What was wrong with the texture? Was it too coarse or too smooth, almost like a hot dog? Under mixing it will normally cause 2 issues.
First, the fat, meat , additives and water will not bind and if you are smoking them at lower temperatures for long periods of time the fat will render out of the meat and you will end up with a dry product. If you overmixed it (it is possible) you can end up with an odd texture as well, sort of seems rubbery if this happened.
I’m not sure about your seasoning as it doesn’t sound like one we carry, or maybe you meant the Jalapeno Seasoning and you added Hi-Temp Cheese? For Excaliburs, you could reseal it (vacuum packer is ideal) and store it in a cool dry place like a pantry and get another year out it. This is assuming that it was not introduced to a lot of moisture when you opened it previously.
scott williams last edited by
Jonathon it is jalapeno seasoning and added Hi temp cheese. I only made a half batch of sausage this time
because a full batch is hard to mix in my mixer. I will vacuum pack the rest of my seasoning and store it in the pantry. As far as the texture goes it seemed to be a little dry, not as appealing to the tongue, when I made the sausage I used 10lbs of venison 2.5lbs of pork fat and I cut all of the seasonings in half using tablespoon and 1/4cup measurements and 1 quart of water, when I smoked the sausage I started 120deg. For 1 hour 145deg. For 1 hour 175 deg. For 2 hours and then 190deg. Until temperature got to 160deg. The only thing I changed is I added a little more cheese than before, not sure what I did but it is different. Any other idea’s. Thanks for your help.
@scott-williams First, I’d recommend you use a binder like Sure Gel or Super Bind or a moisture retender like Carrot Fiber. This is always the first thing I recommend when someone has an issue with the texture of their sausage.
Your fat content is correct and it sounds like you used the correct amount of seasoning. 190° is a little higher than I would recommend, but we have all been there when it’s just taking too long so you dump it a little more than you really should! I don’t think that is the issue but check out this post titled Summer Sausage Nightmare specifically @Parksider’s response to finishing it up in water. It’s a good tip and I am going to be doing some tests on it here to verify a few things.
What I think probably caused your issue was the mixing in some way. When adding pork fat to your venison I think the best time to add it is during the second grind, it’s possible that your fat didn’t really mix in well with the venison, that would explain why it seemed dry even though you had the correct fat content.
It also could have been lack of protein extraction, I looked through your posts and can’t tell if you have a mixer or are mixing by hand? With cured sausages, I always recommend using a meat mixer as getting the right level of protein extraction. I am guessing that you had some fat out where the fat renders and cooks out of the product.
Hope this helps!
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.
@Newbe There might be some breaking down of the meat but this shouldnt cause you too many issues. I have bought pork butts fresh, then froze them then processed and froze the product again. The taste might not be the BEST possible but it certainly wont be bad.
@vjbutler no problem let us know