Different curing technique than I'm used to

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by rgautheir20420, Oct 2, 2014.

  1. So I've got a curing processI wanted to run by the pros. When I use Cure #1 in a recipe, I typically dice the meat and then mix the spices with the Cure #1 and then thoroughly with the diced meat and let sit for 24-48 hours. I'm planning on making some keilbasa, but I wanted to get everything done tonight, from grinding to stuffing, but I'll be smoking tomorrow night. My plan would be to dice the meat and mix with the spices/Cure #1 and then grind right away and stuff. I'll give the casings a good amount of small pricks to allow for any off gassing from the curing process and then refrigerate until tomorrow when I put them into the smoker. Thoughts?
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That will work..... The cure mixed with ground meat will cure faster than mixed with chunks... probably a couple hours faster which is not a consideration if stored overnight... It will probably stuff easier as the meat etc. has not had time to "stiffen"..... The casings will have more time to dry for good smoke penetration... That's the way I do it.. I picked up on that method, some time back, from another member...

    FWIW, the smaller the hunks of meat, the faster the cure fully penetrates and the spices homogenize....

  3. Thanks Dave. It just sort of hit, so I wanted to make sure my head and logic was in the right spot. I love this hobby [​IMG]
  4. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    [​IMG]  I have more time now so kinda like splitting up the process and the clean-up. I normally leave the meat ground w/cure added then stuff next day after all is very cold. The blob does set up with some 'stiffening' but I use a Lem stuffer with metal gears so don't worry about stripping a plastic gear and all goes smoothly. I can't say I have noticed any 'gassing' occur and although I stuff slowly to avoid most air pockets some do slip by with little ill effects. The last time I stuffed later in the afternoon while I had time and allowed the links to set overnight, uncovered, in the back fridge and that worked out pretty slick for dry casings so might continue doing that. Good luck....it would seem all methods lead to the same results, a well made sausage......Willie
  5. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I also agree that if you stuff the day before or grind/mix [store in fridge overnight on both] and stuff and smoke the next day is personal preference and makes little difference. Myself, I do what Chef does, and that is grind and mix and stuff the next day.  I also have a 5 pound stuffer and have no problem stuffing the next day.  The key is [in my opinion] is to mix the batch with the proper amount of water or beer and as a result have a nice sticky texture.  I also add one cup of powdered milk to all my smoked sausage mixes per 5 pounds of meat.  

    In my opinion it's a bad idea to just sprinkle cure #1 over the meat and then expect it to be mixed in a uniform manner.  There will be gaps where the cure will not reach.  Cure #1 is only 1 tsp per 5 pounds of meat.  Cure needs to be mixed with the proper amount of water or beer and then spread over the meat mix and mixed in well.  Since the curing time for making sausage in most cases is only 24 hours or less in most cases, I grind the meat through a course plate and then add my spices, powdered milk, and the cure [mixed in proper amount of liquid] and then mix everything well and let that set overnight to be stuffed and smoked the next day.  The larger the chunks, the longer it takes the cure to meld in. Now that's my story and I'm sticking to it LOL.  Reinhard
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This is an interesting link that does relate to "size" of grind or hunks of meat , when curing... and temperature during the curing process.... I had to read it a few times to "get to the meat" of the article and understand what effect size and temp had, and how it all worked...

  7. Dave, thanks for the link. A very nice read on the processes of curing and different methods available. It only serves to solidify each different method used by everyone that has commented on this thread. 

    I will be picking up the pork shoulder on lunch break and breaking it down when I get home from work. I'll get diced, spiced, and put into the freezer to chill for a few hours before grinding and stuffing in the evening when my son has gone to bed.

    I'll be sure to start a thread for everything also.

    Thanks to everyone that's responded and provided feedback on their processes. Always great to learn from some of the greats!
  8. donr

    donr Smoking Fanatic

    Let me preface by saying "My only cured sausage experience is have made a couple batches of Hi Mountain Snack Sticks"

    Their directions say to Mix in spices and Cure, then stuff right away and let sit overnight.  They say their cure (Salt, Sugar, Sodium Nitrate) acts like a binder and will help the meat stick to the casings (collagen).

    In my "vast" experience, I haven't had issues with the meat shrinking away from the casings.

  9. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I see no problem unless there is citric acid involved.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  10. Thanks everyone for your responses. I chopped a 10 shoulder this afternoon. I mixed the spiced and cure with a cup of cold water and mixed it with the meat and into the freezer. I pulled it out about an hour later and I was getting a smeared grind. Reluctantly I decided to stop and put the meat away for what will now be a 36 hour cure as whole pieces. I'll now be grinding and stuffing on Saturday morning and smoking that day also if all goes well.

    Again thanks for all the links and comments for procedure. I've learned a couple things while making this batch this far. One is I need a better butcher knife and I also think I need a new grinder blade for my #8. Although I was say this was a really fatty butt and that soft fat doesn't grind easily at all without freezing.

    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014
  11. Finally ground, stuffed, and smoked 10 lbs of my polish kielbasa. Came out damn good. I had some that didn't make the casing so I just made a log out of the rest. Nice for slicing.

    Last edited: Oct 5, 2014
  12. darwin101

    darwin101 Meat Mopper

    The links look nice and I like the "log", makes a perfect snack for the chef.  [​IMG]

    If you meat is cold enough and you still get the smear, check to make sure the blade it snug on the die.  I think I saw a post on here where someone sharpened  honed their grinder blade on a sheet of 360 metal sandpaper... 
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014
  13. Darwin, the log is pretty delicious. A sliced off a number of slices while the rest of the links for blooming. It was my fault for being impatient in causing the smearing. I didn't allow enough time for the pork to chill in the freezer before attempting to grind. On Sunday when I finally got it all ground, it went through perfectly fine with no issues. 

    I've always read you don't want to be personally sharpening the grinding knife because of the angle and fitting of it with the plates. I may be wrong there....
  14. Not to change the subject , but my brother-in-law's grinder was dull as hell, I took the blade , on a ultra flat surface ( granite block ) some 320 grit sandpaper , and sharpened it.

    He said it runs like it did 10 years ago when new.

    I make knives and the geometry of the original grind on the blade matched what I was doing to it.

    The surface you use MUST be flat, that is the key.

    Kielbasa looks great by the way.

  15. Thanks Dwane. It's beneficial to hear from someone that's done it already for future needs. I went ahead and ordered a new one last week. Only $13 shipped, so I'm happy with that.
  16. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use Dwane's method using a FLAT glazed tile and wet/dry sand paper with a little soap and water....

    darwin101 likes this.
  17. Daves method is perfect , he even resurfaced his plate/hole/ thingy......I'm a NEWBIE

  18. Sliced one up and fried it in a pan. Delicious!


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