Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The sausages I make shrink in the dehydrator - What am I doing wrong?

Kendall from Chapin, IL said:
I have tried making summer sausages and snack sticks. When I cook them in an oven or dehydrator, they always shrink badly. But, when I get them done professionally, the casings and meat stay nice and smooth. What am I doing wrong?

My Favorite Question!! Be sure to watch the Summer Sausage video on my Hunter's Butcher Shop blog to learn the secret! 

Add some non fat dry milk to your meat batch. 1/2lb for every 25# of meat. The non fat dry milk does not change the flavor at all, but will help bind and hold additional water during the cooking process. This will keep your product nice and firm. 

Another secret in the video is to use ice rather than water during the grinding process so you don't break down the proteins in the meat by overheating the meat. 

Always remember when cooking in the oven, you are applying a very dry heat that tends to really dry out your product so placing a large pan full of water into your oven will help create humidity and reduce the shrink on the product. 

Also use Hi Mountains Summer Sausage mix as it already contains additional binders to help keep the product firm during the cooking process. 

For even further instructions see the Advanced Sausage Processing DVD on the website as well. If you're a sausage maker, you will absolutely love it!

Brad Lockwood

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