I will tell you one thing. I am mighty happy with all the charcuterie and frozen meat I made back in January! Here is my emergency food supply I keep on the ready in the fridge, daily! Priorities.
Mexican Chorizo is one of my favorite sausages. I have been making it every year for the past three years. I have no idea what Walton’s mix is like, and I am absolutely certain it is awesome, but you can make it by hand. It is one of those things you put a lot of love into. It is mostly Guajillo peppers. I think it is like Mole, it is a very traditional, family type recipe.
I love your pictures. Even if it comes from a mix, the liquid looks the same as what I make!
I also learned to not stuff it. I did that the first year and we were cutting them open all the time. We eat the chorizo in tacos and breakfast burritos. It is so good!
This past weekend I did 10 lbs of Spanish Chorizo which is hanging in my garage. Can’t wait until it is dried.
We make it differently and don’t have problems. What we do is stuff them in the fibrous. Then we cold smoke them in a smoke house (it is like an old wooden shed on the farm that breathes a lot and is not insulated). Then we cook them in a kettle with water. Then they hang a bit to dry. Into the vacuum seal bags and freezer. When they thaw out the fibrous casing is usually loose and comes right off. With this method I think you get a lot more moisture into the product though. I should mention that we don’t use a commercial spice/cure mix. We have our own recipe and we use tender quick to cure.
Made my first this weekend. Bought Walton’s ingredients. I followed the recipe, except I did not use Encapsulated Citric Acid (instead held overnight for about 16 hours) and no cheese. My meat block was 19 lb fairly lean venison, 3 lb of shoulder and 3 lb of back fat. I estimated that to be about 70/30 lean to fat, which is maybe slightly more lean than the recipe.
Instead of using a mixer, we chose to grind ours twice and do a little hand mixing before stuffing.
The stuffing absolutely was the hardest part. We have old cast iron hand crank (Enterprise) lard press/stuffer and the only tube I could find was a 12mm to fit the 1.5" diameter opening. It was some hard cranking. I am thinking very hard about a motor driven stuffer in the future!
We smoked ours on a Green Mountain Danielle Boone pellet grill. We held it at the lowest 150F setting for about 2 hours, then went to 160F and 175F. If you use a grill, recommend you either take your time and go longer at lower temp or do not use the lower grate. We had some sticks getting crispy down there! Also, 25 lb is about all that grill can fit, and it probably was too much.
They were so good when done!! Great bite and flavor. Casing nice and firm and bonded to meat. Got many compliments. I am really happy with Walton’s product and recipe.
My friend uses UMAI and they make for an easy and consistent way to make charcuterie. Probably safer too. Most recipes you find use sodium nitrate (pink curing salt #2) to protect from bad things. There are books on charcuterie you can read, but I never bought any yet. I found a lot of good teaching info on the internet and recipes too. I usually make soppresat and chorizo. We are making lanjaeger and metworst this year after my friend made some smaller batch and it was great. YooperDog and banger king are right in that using a controlled system is better to get good results. I have made a few batches hanging in my garage in the winter. That usually is fine for temperature but I the humidity is uncontrollable. Also, most recipes ferment the sausage before drying/curing. Don’t be afraid to to hang the sausage at room temperature for the period of time the recipe calls for (usually a half a day to a day). Fermenting is also tricky. To do it right people use an instrument to measure the pH to tell when the fermentation is right. Last year I made Chorizo and I over fermented. It had the consistency and sour taste of pepperoni. They were rock hard. Oh and if you decide to use casings Waltons has 2.4x12" salami casings that are pre cut and have a string on one end. They are really nice for this. Good luck!
Since I had a great experience with Walton’s meat sticks and I have a surplus of pork sausage in the freezer, I am planning to make pork hot dogs in a few weeks. Our family butchers every year and I don’t want all the sausage I get from half a hog. I would like to make 10 lb of it into hot dogs. Do you think 100% pork would be okay? I have no idea if I am going to leave skins on or not. Still have to do the research!
I am interested in this thread. Every year we cure our bacon in submersion and then cold smoke in the smokehouse. Since we do this typically in February, the smokehouse is really cold. I suspect it is only 10 or 20 degrees above ambient, so we are talking 30-50F. We also smoke the bacon in the smokehouse over a period of maybe 2 days (not smoking all the time as the “fire” goes out). I am talking a smokehouse constructed of barn board and fairly open air flow to the environment.
This year I decided I wanted to cure my on slab because I wanted to try a different recipe with spices and sugar in the cure. I smoked mine for about 3 hours in my pellet grill, with the grill off, and using one those smoke tubes and pellets.
The product turned out fine, but I noticed that the bacon is different than when smoking at low temperature with thermal processing. It seems more pungent and strong. I was expecting to have to smoke the bacon maybe 3 times at 3 hours a piece, but given how strong it was after one session I stopped there.
Is there a difference in the quality of smoke with cold smoke vs. warm smoke? I seem to recall people saying when cooking with smoker you want to wait until the quality of smoke gets better at higher temperature. If I smoked the bacon at higher temperature like thermal processing would I get a better result?
Jonathon Great video. The information you have out there never stops amazing me. Until this year, my knowledge base was always hog casings for the last 30 years. We still buy a hank and salt them and freeze them to re-use for quite some time. But it is a lot of work. I more recently help make lots of sausage with a friend who still uses the natural casings and they use the tubes which is a huge improvement. However, I am beginning to think the collagen casings are the way to go.
I was just putting my meat block together as well. Last year I made snack sticks for the first time and I thought they were awesome. I used 19# venison, 3# shoulder and 3# back fat. It was more meatier but with the high fat still moist. Based on my calculations this is about 70% lean meat, but it would depend on how trimmed your venison is.
What I need help with is I am going to purchase a new stuffer. This old thing from the farm that we have just doesn’t cut stuffing anything that has a lot of binding or goes through small tubes. I would really like a motor driven. Anyone have a suggestion?
I am posting all over tonight. We had a meat making party this weekend. Made 25 lb venison sticks, 30 lb venison bacon, 30 lb italian pork sausage, 20 lb soppressata and 10 lb of spanish chorizo. Oh and 40 lb of venison ring bologna (that was an old family recipe not using Walton’s). We had about 75 lb of chunked venison to start. We got a half hog from the butcher because it was cheaper than buying shoulders and belly (belly is $5/lb!). The amount was perfect! We only had a roast from the hind quarter and ribs left over to freeze.
For the bacon I found a kit online at another vendor. I would love it if Walton’s had one and if someone knows please let me know for the next time. I used 3 kits, each for 10 lb. My meat block for each was 6 lb of venison and 4 lb of pork belly. We ground it once and mixed by hand for a while until it was pretty sticky. Packed in 13x9x2 aluminum cake pans. Let it set overnight. Smoked the bacon on a pellet grill the next day and put back in cake pans and refrigerated overnight. Next day sliced it all up.
It turned out great! Plenty of fat and so good. Beats the fake turkey bacon by far.
Jonathon We made Willie’s and the bottle is what was left of orange creamcicle cello I made! It was nice snowy weekend in PA, perfect for hanging out and processing meat and having a few beverages!
I really love the Willie’s. Classic meat sticks flavor. I cannot get enough. I take these over ring bologna for sure!
s.a.m Thanks for that. We actually lined the pans with plastic wrap to allow the loaf to easily come out. I am with you though and have had aluminum do weird things with certain foods before after it sits in it for a while. I think the plastic wrap is a must.