I got to much fat in these, but the flavor is awesome. Just needs less fat. It want to fall apart when frying.
Anyway, more pics.
Hi Adam. Don't be too quick to condemn them. From the little I know about it the fat needs to be there or the sausage will be too dry when smoked. They look GREAT to me! OK! MAYBE 10% less fat if you are being picky but all in all a nice looking sausage. Remember: no fat = no flavor. I think you nailed it brother! I'm starting to think sending you my address is a good idea. I'd eat those all day long; FAT AND ALL! Keep Smokin!
Doesn't sound like you are satisfied with the sausage especially the flavor. From the start it looked real good. Great job of making the links, then out of the smoker and the links are a little on the wrinkle side and you say they are a little on the fatty side. The question I have is 1. Did you give them a ice bath after the smoking? 2. Did you use any binder like powdered milk? Just trying to pick your brain a little. Since the seasoning you used worked out for you and the flavor was good, these two steps could have helped even though you may have used a tad bit too much fat as you say. What was the fat lean ratio? Looked like you got some good color on those two links. Reinhard
You will find that once you get the links up to the internal temp you want and then put them in the cold water right after pulling them out of the smoker, the cooking process stops and so do the wrinkles. Leave them in the cold water until you got an internal of around 80 degrees and them pull them out. The binder will retain the moisture in your links and give you a better texture. You are doing a great job so far. Everyone makes mistakes here and there. Heck I still make some even after 40 years of making sausage. I use dry non fat powdered milk. I use one cup per 5 pounds of meat mix most of the time but the amount does vary to how lean or fat the mix is. Some water or beer should be added to the mix also when using a binder. The finished mix should be sort of a sticky texture. Reinhard
Sorry it didn't turn out the way you wanted, Adam. I doubt your problem is too much fat. I don't have the experience of the others who have given advice but wonder if you kept the meat cold at all times. I got a great taste but poor texture the one time I didn't.
Nice job with the sausage Adam and Sorry about the outcome. You definitely need to start grinding your own meat. I agree with DDF, With quality meat, you don't need added binders to make a good sausage. I prefer not use them and have better results without them. Its a matter of preference. Looking at the sausage even if you used a binder I don't think it would have helped. I don't see any bind at all which is probably the quality of the meat or additives added to the ground meat. Its best to grind your own. Find a butt/pork shoulder with a good fat cap. At least you have enough seasoning left to do 15 lbs.
Here are some butts/shoulders with a good fat cap. They are double pack cryo vac packs from Sam's club. you want to look for something like this
Here's the kielbasa using the same seasoning
Dust off that grinder and I see better results in your future....See, Now I'm a fortune teller..lol
The sausage looks Tasty...........
Hello Folks. Not trying to hijack Adam's thread, trying to understand the advice given. I am new to sausage making. I tend to end up with a more crumbly texture like Adam has. I have a local butcher who makes the beef and pork sausage for me and uses my seasoning. It's usually 80/20 to 75/25 blend. So are we saying add MORE fat? Less fat? Mix it longer? OR, the fat content is correct, the mixing is correct but the MEAT and or FAT being used are trimmings of inferior quality which should actually be given to the dogs rather than ground for sausage. All of the above?
Also. I hesitate to use it but IF the quality of the meat isn't the best would adding a binder like NFDM improve the texture of the sausage?
Sorry Adam. I hope my dumb questions will help pass on even more useful information. This is a great example of the threads I would like to see more often. The one where things didn't always measure up to expectations. Good info being passed here. REALLY helpful for new folks. Also shows new folks not to get discouraged; shhtuff happens. We all have to learn and start somewhere. Keep Smokin!
There are quality pre-ground tubes of pork trim out there. Up here, they sell a 80/20 course ground pork which I have used when on sale. I've never had a problem with it. I do grind it once more for sausage after mixing my seasonings in it. Most of the time I do grind my own meat and as far as pork, I use pork butts and leave the cap on. On average a butt is 30% fat content alone. There may be more or less depending where you buy it and what producer it comes from.
As far as binders, I agree it's personal preference. Heck the ingredients, the amount of water, fat ratio and more is all about personal preference. Binders have been proven through the years to give sausage better quality if used at proper amounts and along with the right amount of water. I have heard about the loss of moisture from the smoking process on this fine site. This can be stopped with using a binder like dry powdered milk along with proper smoking temps. When I first started out in the meat industry, I first saw binders being used. They used it for the same reason, to retain moisture and of course the profit margin that came along with that. Always turned out a great product. So I do not need a profit margin but I do want a good sausage for my family and friends. So I have been using it for years and wont stop. Try it both ways, a small batch with a binder and one without. Then one of those ways will be your personal preference. Reinhard.
Being the new guy to sausage, after a few batches here's what I learned.
1. Butts average about 70/30 perfect for my sausage. Only once have I needed additional fat. I now usually just cut my extra fat up for cracklins.
2. I smoke by color, I have learned using a poaching device allows me better heat control to cook. (I use a roaster now).
3. I cook sausage to 153 degrees, then I dump 'em in a pan of ice water. It keeps the wrinkles from forming, AND it seems to make the skins less tuff. Yes it does dilute the smoke flavor, but if its too much you can smoke it again. I have not had the need yet, although I did try it on a couple a batches. This not only maintains a plump sausage but a juicy one as well.
4. Depending upon the type sausage I have learned to like a binder, be it powdered milk or a phosphate, or both.
5. I smoke my sausage never exceeding around 130 smoker temp. I do NOT render that way.
I am still experimenting and learning from the guys around here. I now make sausage and andouille that I like. Thats why I started in the first place. Not counting my time, my product costs approx. 1.50/lb for what I pay 6 to 7.50/lb for from the market (and mine is better!).
Now since I got bug bit, am wanting to start trying sausages I have eatten before mut only once or twice, and I want to ferment! I gotta learn to make thuringer!
Ok, there is nothing wrong with those sausages, lots of sausages sold here are wrinkled. Most of the best ones are.
I'm going to start another thread so we can talk about binders like NFDM. Who uses them and who don't and why. What differences in our processes that calls for the need of a binder or not to add a binder. Hopefully it wont turn into a heated argument like curing...lol Would like to hear what all the sausage makers have to say......
I think you did a good job Adam and there is a lot of really great info here as well.
I grind my own pork like the others do.
For Kielbasa, I will cut up the meat and fat separately. I grind the meat through the fine plate and the fat through the coarse plate. Add ingredients and mix well.
I do not use a binder in my Kielbasa either, but I will give it an ice bath after it is finished smoking.
Here is a batch I made last year, notice the texture.
That is just what works for me.