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Ingredients Questions

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 


So I've been doing alot of reading and research here lately trying to understand a little more about sausage making.  I've looked over this page about the ingredients used  http://www.susanminor.org/forums/showthread.php?674-SAUSAGE-INGREDIENTS
I am getting ready to order some spices and ingredients from Butcher Packer.  I see some of Rytek's recipes call for soy protein concentrate or NF dry milk....and Dextrose or Corn Syrup solids....then I see some recipe's like Len Poli's snack sticks use NF Dry Milk, Phosphates, and Sodium Erythorbate.  I talked to someone from Butcher Packer and asked about their Special Meat Binder and they said it was phosphates and could be interchanged for the soy protein and used where phosphates are required.  I was also told that the Erythorbate can be left out?? 
Alot of these ingredients have similar characteristics in sausage making. My question is how do you know if one can be interchanged for another?  I have several different recipes I want to try that uses many of these ingredients....I panned on following the recipes exactly since I'm new to this....I currently have several of these in my cart but if I can interchange something it would be nice
Also, many of Rytek's recipes call for fermento....I've read that buttermilk solids can be used instead....the guy at Butcher Packer said most people use Bactoferm......however, they recommend using 1/4 of the packet at one time....on Len Poli's recipes, he uses like 1/4 of a teaspoon.....is that ok to do?


post #2 of 23

Best advice I can give you is to start with a simple sausage first.  If you have no experience grinding meat and mixing spices you may want to try  simple fresh breakfast sausage.  If you want to try your stuffing skills why not try a simple polish or andouille sausage first.  Many us us never use fillers, erythrobates, soy protein and make wonderfully delicious sausage.


To answer specific questions cure accelerators like ascorbic acid and sodium erythrobate do the same thing but the quantities you may use may be different.    Soy protein and milk solids add body and fillers but absorb water differently


Once you have a bit of experience you can make substitutions in spices and fillers.  We do not recommend substituting cures because a mistake could be a safety issue


Good luck


If you want a simple sausage recipe just ask. Everyone that contributes to the forum regularly can recommend a good sausage recipe



post #3 of 23

Some guys can help more than I, You are BITING off a BIG CHUNK here if you are new to Sausage!  


Soy Concentrate and NF Dry Milk aid in Binding and Moisture Retention.


Dextrose and Corn Syrup Solids are Sweeteners.


Phosphates and Sodium Erythorbate, Speeds up the action of Cure #1 and helps Color developement.


Bactoferm is Bacteria, varient of Penicillan, that lowers the Ph of Dry Cured sausages like Salami, to add flavor and make it Acidic and a less friendly environment for NASTY BUGS to multiply. It is frequently used with the ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY Cure #2. For DRY CURED sausage.


Additionally I hope you are well versed in Sanitation and the Proper handling of Raw Meat in sausage making.


You will need some specialized Equipment or Environment to SAFELY Dry Cure Sausage...Including a Fermenter and a Curing Cabinet or other area that can maintain 55*F and between 70 to 90% Relative Humidity for Days to Weeks.


Then there are Casing, Grinders, Stuffers, Scale and so forth.


I don't know your experiece level and DON"T want to Scare You, But Sausage ain't no Joke! Done wrong a Single Link...Can put you and yours in the Hospital or KILL YOU...


Your Work so far has been BEAUTIFUL, stay with us and the EXPERTS here will have you up and Sausage Making in Short Order...JJ


BTW...Guys if I made a mistake let me know, I'm still learning too...JJ

Edited by Chef JimmyJ - 8/18/11 at 3:29pm
post #4 of 23

I think you did pretty good.  the corn syrup and dextrose also add "food" if you are using the bactoferm.  they also act as binders.


I think you got some good advice by starting off slowly.  Stick to the recipes in the beginning and don't stray until you have developed some expertise.  Food poisoning is a nasty illness and can make you and yours ill for some time.


Any particular sausage you are trying to make, give a shout out and I'm sure we can help.

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

Al, that's what I plan on doing.....although I don't want to start with fresh sausages....I like smoked/cooked sausage better and hardly ever eat fresh ones....I plan on starting with either a hotdog or bratwurst recipe first.....however, I need to order my casings, spices, and cure, so I'm gonna get everything I need to do those sausages as well as snack sticks and summer sausage.


For the Weiners/Brats, I am using Rytek's book recipes.  He says to use NF dry milk powder or soy protein concentrate, so I know both of those are substitutable....I know the amounts may be different.....I talked to the guy at Butcher Packer and he said I can use the special meat binder instead of the soy protein, again using different amounts.....so it seems to me that if I can use NF dry milk, or soy protein, and if the special meat binder is a substitute, then I could just use it and not have to get the other 2 things.....that's what I'm wondering....I do realize I have to use cures and to use proper amounts....I've read Ryteks book about 5 times now and have read for many many hours on the web....I have also made snack sticks a few times using an LEM mix and cure with collagen casings



JJ, yes I feel I can handle sanitation....I can use gloves, and sterilize surfaces, keep the meat chilled etc.....I'm not planning on jumpin into dry cured sausage right yet and I feel like I can handle smoked sausage, snack sticks, and summer sausage, especially since they are all cooked.....the guy from Butcher Packer said I can use Bactoferm instead of fermento.....I already have a grinder, stuffer, scale, mixing tubs will be coming, etc....I know about the dry cure temp needing to be around 55*f and around 70-75% humidity....I am working on a dry cure cabinet that will be able to do both fermenting and dry curing (tho dry curing sausages will be come later)


I do think I can handle fermenting a snack stick or summer sausage, though I'm going to try Encapsulated Citric Acid first (i have read how to use it as well)....the LHP pack states: "Optimum growth @95°F internal meat temperature and a relative humidity of 95%. This should be done in a smokehouse and controlled at this temperature until the culture has dropped the pH of the meat below 4.90pH. Fermentation usually takes a minimum of 8-12 hours depending on temperature and humidity."  I plan on doing some tests in my smoker before I ferment anything to make sure I can reach those levels but I feel sure I can....also plan on getting some test strips to make sure I reach the proper acid levels


Looking back I guess my first post wasn't really clear lol.....In Ryteks book, he says Sodium Erythorbate as well as phosphates aren't needed for home sausage making since they are preservatives/accelerators...they guy at Butcher Packer said Sodium Erythorbate wasn't needed as well....so in the following recipe, can I leave them out? http://lpoli.50webs.com/index_files/Snack%20Sticks.pdf  The reason I ask is because I am going to start making different sausages and I'm going to buy everything I think I'll need all at once to keep down shipping costs...if I don't need phosphate or erythorbate then I won't order it.


 Thanks for the comments/help!

post #6 of 23

The point of our posts where to tell you that until you get more familiar with sausage making do not make substitutions.


Find a recipe with the ingredients you want and make that. 


I still have a bunch of stuff I have never used sitting on my shelf that I ordered thinking the same way you did. 


I appreciate your excitement to get into sausage making but there are so many simple delicious recipes that after making sausage for more years then I care to mention I still do not use accelerators and cultures.  Cultures will require temp and humidity control chambers, great attention to details and a certain amount of skill.  A new sausage maker would be better served perfecting a couple of simple, clean recipes before branching out into more complicated methods.  The money you save on shipping will probably be wasted on discarded spices, cultures and chemicals that have absorbed humidity and are no longer usable.


Casings and pink salt are available at your local butcher shop.  Spices at your local grocery.


Just my advice, all 2 cents worth 


Good luck with what ever you decide.



post #7 of 23

CFred, you are definately on the path to greatness. I hope you were not insulted in anyway by my giving so much info that you were dedicated enough to learn on your own. On subjects This Serious, I try to give as much complete info as possible.


Can't wait to follow your continued  success...JJ

post #8 of 23

Start off easy and go slow..I have been making sausage for many years and have never even wanted to use any of that fancy stuff. I like to use the tried and true everyday sausage recipes. JMO

post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 

I really appreciate the comments....please don't think that I don't....again I plan on starting with Bratwursts or Weiners....I'm just a technical type person and like to know "why" on things lol

I live in a small town...we do have a Walmart but I'm not sure they'll have the cure or casings....not sure if my local grocery stores will either...I will call and check.....I was planning on getting my spices whole since they would last longer...I can buy them online a good deal cheaper than in the store....if my local stores don't have the casings/cures, I'd be better off getting those online as well...the nearest butcher supplier is about 1.5 hrs away from me...so I'd pay as much in gas as shipping


again thanks for the comments

post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks Roller, so far though I haven't found a hotdog or bratwurst recipe that calls for just spices.....most call for at least nf dry milk

post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 

I called around today and even the butcher supply company in my area doesn't carry natural casings except for a little packet.  They do have some spice mixes and stuff that I could use though.

post #12 of 23

I feel your pain. LOL  I can get my hog casings at a local deli, but for anything out of the ordinary, I have to go online and pay shipping and handling.


Good luck and good smoking.

post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 

yeah...you'd think that a big city would have a place that carries stuff like that...I'm sure there is someone, but by the time I spend several more hours looking and calling, and then the gas to drive there, I'm better off paying the $20 or so shipping lol

post #14 of 23

I make fresh Bratwurst and only use spices.  I make 5 -10 pounds at a time and freeze the extra.  Here's a link to my post with recipe:



post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks! I will def. try it!  Though I can't find veal around me either hahha.....I did in the bigger cities but it was 10.99 a pound and then I still have to drive there....is there a good substitute for veal?  I assume all beef or pork would work fine?

post #16 of 23

Whatever you make, don't forget the Q-view!

post #17 of 23

You can make it with all pork.  I have substituted beef for the veal due to cost. Purists will naturally disagree.


Good luck and good smoking.

post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 

actually, I was looking back at where I had written it down, and the 10.99 was for filet mignon tips...the guy said that would be a decent substitute...said veal was 17 or 18.99 per pound...I think I'll just substitute lol.....I guess I won't be a purist, at least not right now hahaha


My father in law raises beef so if I really wanted to, I guess I could talk him into raising a veal for me, he said they had done it one time but liked the taste of the regular beef better.....I might go ahead and have him raise another hog while he's at it!  biggrin.gif


Al, I def. won't forget the Qview...tho I'll have to remember not to post it at night when I'm hungry lol

post #19 of 23

Wow I missed this one completely but it looks like you got some good advice so far. send on the Q-view

post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 

No problem Dan, I've been reading so much about sausages I feel like I'm studying for the final exam at Sausage Making University LOL....I haven't had sausages talking to me in my dreams yet so its all good haha

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