I'm taking the advice of another poster on here and laying out my sausage making plan to get comments to make sure I'm doing this right for my first sausage smoking experience.
I have ordered casings, seasonings (bratwurst and sweet italian from sausagemaker.com) along with instacure # 1. I have pork butts in the freezer and will begin thawing them in the fridge starting tomorrow.
I am planning on doing some small batches (probably 5 lbs each) of the italian, then a mixture of regular brats, cheddar and jalapeno cheddar. I want to do some small batches and see which one I like.
I plan on grinding Saturday morning, mixing the dry and wet ingredients and mixing them. I have read where you should mix the spices into the wet ingredients to help dissolve and mix them.
So here's question number 1: Do I put the instacure in with the wet ingredients or keep that dry, sprinkle over the meat and then mix, or can I just mix it in the wet ingredients as I do with the seasoning packet?
Question number 2: After stuffing, do I need to let the meat sit for any amount of time in the fridge?
I'll then be smoking the sausage with mesquite chunks (or apple chips or both. Hell, I don't know. That's why I'm here.) Planning on starting the smoking process temp at 130 then gradually raising it to 160-165 and smoking until an internal temp of 152-155.
Then into an ice water bath until internal temp is 120. Then hang with fan on and dry for about 30-45 minutes.
Question # 3: I am going to vacuum seal them so do I need to let them "rest" in the fridge for a day (or any length of time) before vacuum sealing?
One of the recipes calls for Soy Protein Concentrate. I forgot to order that, and all I could find around town was Soy Protein Isolate. From reading they look like they're both similar and will do the job needed, but just want to make sure.