• Yearling

    Well, taste is obviously the most important so I am happy to go for that and not have to worry about trying to make the color “right.” Can I ask you one more sorta related question? I still struggle with the ECA and pink salt directions. I know all about if you use ECA don’t hold overnight so the acid doesn’t release too early, etc. But, can the pink salt be mixed in with the spices and mixed into the meat, then hold the meat overnight and the next a.m. add in the ECA and onto the smoker?

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User Kansas

    JerL Yes you can do that but there are some dangers with it and that is the meat setting up before you mix in the ECA. Some people do exactly what you are talking about often if not most of the time BUT if something goes wrong and you mix a little too much and get the proteins really extracted then you might be in trouble. I assume you are asking about this from a time standpoint? Like, get home from work, grind and mix, and then don’t have time to smoke? If possible I’d recommend all at once but we all do what we need to do. I’d recommend you stop well short of protein extraction and then mix more and then add the ECA to sort of loosen everything up. Even better would be ground the first day, mix and stuff the 2nd though.

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Big Green Egg Dry Cured Sausage Sous Vide Canning Power User

    JerL I agree with Jonathon when I had limited time I would grind and got everything ready for the next day. Making fresh sausage isn’t to much of a big deal, but I would still need to loosen things up to ease stuffing. If I didn’t use an accelerator I would stuff and hang overnight then finishing the next day. Making a cured sausage things get a little more tricky with protein extraction, cure, cure accellerators, etc…
    If I needed to go that route I would grind, mix in my seasonings and let sit overnight, the next day add the cure, water as needed, mix to protein extraction, add accelerator, stuff, smoke, cook and enjoy.

  • Yearling

    Thank you, Jonathon and Yooper! Your advice is appreciated!

  • Yearling

    Okay…last rookie question about pepperoni. I made a batch this weekend. I would categorize it as coming out so-so. I followed the recipe to the letter (pork was the coarser grind) except for the smoking part and herein lies my question. It was super cold outside yesterday where I live. I stuffed the casing and hung them in my smoker - it’s a Big Chief electric that only gets to 165 degrees on warm days - so it was never going to get to temp. I let it smoke with apple wood for about 1.5 hrs and finished them on racks in my oven set at 175 degrees and pulled them at 160. Did the proper cooling and wait time before sampling. Taste was pretty good - texture more like summer sausage which I knew it would be. My issue is the lack of particle definition between fat and meat - there was almost none. It looked nothing like the pepperoni picture on Meatgistics showing nice pieces of fat. Going back to the whole process - the only thing done differently was the smoking. The Big Chief isn’t adjustable so the “smoke at 120 for an hour…140 for an hour”…etc. isn’t an option. I think the links were at about 125 degrees after smoking and they went right into the oven at 175. So, is that perhaps the reason for lack of particle definition…that I didn’t stair-step up the temps? What is the purpose of increasing the temps in a graduated fashion?

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User Kansas

    JerL Your issue there isn’t going to be your smoke schedule but how you grind. If you want nice particle definition you should grind your lean meat twice, 1st through a 3/8 and then through a 1/8" plate and your fat either once or twice through a 3/8 plate depending on how big you want the particles. Now, when you have large clumps of fat like that in your sausage some of it is going to render almost no matter how slowly you cook it, so just be aware of that. I have done it numerous times and I have always been pleased with the results!

  • JerL JerL i think that adding a little extra paprika and Turmeric will give you the color that you are looking for.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User Kansas

    covcreo Just out of curiosity, did this come up under random? I actually think the random is one of the better changes of the last 2 or so years. Brings back up some old but good threads.

  • I don’t have Carrot fiber can I use milk powder instead?

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User Kansas

    covcreo While I can’t speak to that exactly as I have never used it, my favorite binder Sure Gel Meat Binder is a milk-based binder so I would say yes, as long as it is non-fat dry powdered milk. A quick google search says .5-1 cup for every 5 lb of meat but I’d suggest you look up the brand of powdered milk you have as others might be different. Binder is an optional ingredient, so whether you use Carrot, Sure Gel, Soy Protein or old school powdered milk, or nothing you can still make a good sausage!

  • Yearling

    I see you say I can use 100% of other meats like turkey or wild game. Is there anything different I should do if I use 100% turkey to make this pepperoni?

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