I think using gloves and hand mixing is a very effective way to mix, I divide a 25 lb batch into 2 pans , split the spices and water and mix each thoroughly and then combine in one pan and mix some more and have had excellent results.
I have had issues with the 73MM casings and here are some of the things I have done to my smoker to help. I put a oven convection fan in to try and keep a constant temp thru out the smoker. I added a shelf over my burner to put a pan of water on during the final cooking stages of smoking when the temp is turned up to 150-180degree to add moisture for better heat transfer. I have found even with all this it still takes 10-12 hours to get to 156 degrees internal meat temp, but I have a good looking product and the fat does not separate. As for making sausage I use 2 1/2 lbs of beef fat and 10 lbs of lean meat (venison, elk, moose, or caribou. I try and keep the meat and fat just above freezing when grinding and grind the meat 3/8" the first grind. I then grind the fat 1/8" and then combine the two mixing well. I then regrind the mixture thru the 1/8" plate twice stopping in between to rechill the meat so it will grind properly. Meats Grinds Best when it is cold especially 1/8". You can put it in a thin layer in a pan in your freezer and it chills very quickly. I always use a binder 1/2 Lb per batch. I then hand mix in all spices, cure, water and binder. I just tried to make ring trail bologna for the first time with great results and found out that the smaller 43mm casings finish cooking in half the time of the 73mm casings I make my other sausage recipes in and am considering them all in 43mm casings, faster, quicker and great presentation. One problem with the 43 mm ring cases is my that my hog ring crimper does not close tight enough and I have to recrimp the ring with players to get it to hold tight
Living in Alaska I have access to lots of fresh fish and wild game meat and have been smoking salmon and making sausage for over 30 years. This year I decided I wanted to make trail bologna and did a lot of research on line to find a recipe that would duplicate Troyers trail bologna made in Ohio where I grew up. I found two recipes and made up 2 10lb trial batches with great results, great presentation, texture, color and flavor. Everybody loves it but it does not have the distinct flavor of Troyers. Many years ago I had some homemade by the Amish and it duplicated the flavor I am looking for. Does anyone have a recipe that duplicates the Troyers flavor and would be willing to share it?
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