Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Wrinkled Casings When Making Homemade Sausage

Dave of Elkridge, MD asked:

I make a lot of bologna and sausages and would like to know if you have any idea why my products stick to the inside casings. Also: When I take out the sausages, they are terribly wrinkled. Help!

Hello Dave,

Thanks for the great question and I believe I have the answer! Water..... Most home processors don't add enough water to the meat block during the grinding and mixing process. 

Here are the facts: Your smoker will steal 12-15% moisture from your product no matter what you do. Adding a pan of water to the smoker helps create some additional humidity in the smokehouse cabinet, but that still won't stop all the evaporation from occurring. If you know your smoker will steal 12-15% , the best thing to do is give it to it! Add it in while grinding and mixing. I'll typically add 3% water to the meat block when I add the seasonings. I do this to help mix and blend the seasonings. If I grind the product a second time, I'll add another 3% before the second grind. After I've finished grinding I finish adding the rest of the water, mix and then let stand unit the water is absorbed into the meat. Last but not least, stuff and smoke. The reason your meat is sticking to the casing and wrinkling so bad is because you don't have enough moisture in the meat to start with. When making a smoked sausage product, no matter if you grind it once or twice, be sure to soak in 12-15% good cold water before stuffing and you will notice an amazing difference in your smoked items. 

One side note, remember this is only for smoked products, not fresh sausage products that are not smoked.

Good luck Dave, add the additional water and you'll cure the problem.

Brad Lockwood

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Stuffed Back Strap How To

Craig Newnam of Fort Worth, TX wrote:

You had a show on stuffed back strap, but I did not see it. Could you post the recipe? 

Hello Craig,

Here is the Stuffed Venison BackStrap segment:

You can make some great products from wild game meats if you just think outside the box a little bit. I made a crown roast from a bone in backstrap once that was a big hit! Oftentimes, I inject my backstraps, marinate for a day and then grill them whole just like prime rib, slice medium rare and serve. Shayna Bane with Weston Brands has some great wild game recipes that you may want to check out as well: Blog.WestonProducts.com.

Thanks Craig and have a great hunting season.

Brad Lockwood

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

How to Make Canadian Bacon from Venison Backstrap

Travis from Hancock, MD wrote in:

Watched your marination video. How do you make the Canadian bacon you mentioned in the video?

Hello Travis,

The process of injecting venison backstraps to make Canadian bacon is very similar to the video segments that you watched for making cured and smoked venison hams. Mix your brine and inject every inch all over the product. The muscle tissue will only hold so much liquid and the rest will run out. The only change that I typically make is to increase the salt content of the brine. Typically the brine for bacon contains more salt than that of a ham, however you can use the ham recipe as a base formula and just add some additional salt to give it that bacon flavor. I would recommend increasing the salt content of a standard ham brine by 4% and that should give you that salty flavor you've come to know and love in a bacon type product. Follow the brine directions for hams, smoke the product in the same fashion you normally would and you'll have a great product.

Thanks for the question and good luck! Let me know how it turns out!

Brad Lockwood

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

How to Make Low-Sodium Sausage

Greg wrote in:

I ordered the advanced game processing library & learned a lot. Is there a way to make sausages, summer sausages and the like with no sodium or very little sodium? Due to my health, I had to go to a no/low salt diet.

Hello Greg,

Have you ever heard of Nutra Salt?

I've used this product many times for low sodium recipes and it works very well. There are cooking recipes that allow you to use different fruit juices to increase salt flavor without increasing sodium drastically, but in meat products you can't do this because the acid from the fruits breaks the protein bind in the meat and your product will turn to mush. Take a look at the Nutra Salt product and I think you will find that it works very well for providing salt flavor without the high sodium content and it also comes with other various flavors that make it pretty interesting! The spicy Cajun works well in jerky products!

Good luck Greg and thanks for the question.

Brad Lockwood