fat melting in venison link sausage at 80 degrees

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by auburnwildlife, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. I used a 25% (18.75 lbs venison and 6.25 lbs fat) fat content in vension smoked sausage.  Around 80 degrees the pork fat started to melt.  I usually use bacon ends and pieces and it does not do this.  The fat and meat were single ground in a 4.5 mm (5/16") plate.  The fat cut into cubes and frozen before grinding and I used ice water for mixing in the spices.  The mixture rested overnight in a 33 degree cooler and was cased the next morning in 32mm to 36mm natural hog casings.  The link sausage was smoked to 145 degrees and the temp never went over 160.  It stayed arount 150 degrees the majority of the time.  When done, the liquid fat had settled in the bottom of the links and the tops were dry as all the fat had gone to the bottom.

    Also, would it be better to use whole pork shoulder instead of bacon ends and pieces or straight pork fat.  I can't get enough back fat which was recommended.

    Thanks
     
  2. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Fat can melt at lower temps if it is ground with a dull grinder or over worked some other way like stuffing with a grinder.(smear) Thermometers in smokers can be wildly off sometimes. The best way is to have a probe thermometer right next to the sausage. Others have had "fat outs" and didn't know why until they had accurate temps. Just a few ideas.
     
  3. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    It could be the quality of your fat.  I know that sounds weird but it's true.  If the fat was sort of clear, gelatinous, and soft when you got it - then you got cheap fat that will almost start to melt at room temps.

    Good fat is bright white, opaque, and hard.  Look at the difference in the appearance of the fat between select and choice grades of beef steaks as that is where it is most prominently on display.

    May not be the issue, but it's what came to mind.
     
  4. checkerfred

    checkerfred Smoke Blower

    I have this problem as well...I've posted about it here a good while ago...I still have it too.  I even used fat back from a hog I had slaughtered.  It's very nice looking fat back and I ground it frozen.  But for some reason it wants to melt out.  I checked my temp probe and it's dead on and compared it to my smoker probe and the smoker probe is only a degree off.  Like you, I get the fat dripping out and the ends being dry.  It's not quite as bad in natural casings but with collagen casings it's TERRIBLE.  I also get lots of shrinkage in the collagen casings from where the fat melts and the casings become kinda loose with the fat pooling up on the outside.  

    I keep everything very cold thru the grinding/mixing/stuffing process.  Cold enough that my hands hurt from mixing.  I put my grinder parts in the freezer for an hour or so to even make them cold.  I've tried the Hunters Special Meat Binder from butcher packer but nothing seems to really work.  I thought it might be my smoker temps but I've had it melt out at 95-100 degrees while fermenting summer sausage.
     
  5. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It is possible the freezing the fat is the problem. It is cold when I grind it and I try to cut it in a little at a time with the meat. I read somewhere on the forum that grinding frozen fat is a problem.
     
  6. rexlan

    rexlan Meat Mopper

     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
  7. checkerfred

    checkerfred Smoke Blower

    hmm ok, I'll try to let it thaw before I grind...how much should it be thawed?
     
  8. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I normally have it in the fridge which is about 38°.
     
  9. checkerfred

    checkerfred Smoke Blower

    Ok thanks, I'll try that and see what happens!
     
  10. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    Let us know if that solves the problem.  I'm saving up to buy the equipment to start stuffing sausage and can use all the help I can get.
     
  11. checkerfred

    checkerfred Smoke Blower

    I definitely will... Do you guys grind the fat as the deer us going thru the grinder or do you grind it then mix it in?
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  12. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I add the fat as I'm grinding. I try to get the meat/fat ratio as close to even as possible and then finish mixing when I add the seasoning.
     
  13. I took 10 lbs of the questionable batch of sausage and mixed it with 10 lbs of boston butt.  I ground the pork through a 3/4 plate and mixed in the nitrite.  I then mixed in the spices and mixed with the 10 lbs of the original batch.  I did not use any water when mixing the spices in.  Once mixed I re-ground it through a 1/4 inch plate after adding 9.6 ounces of powdered milk binder (.48 oz per lb).  I did not mix the binder with water in hopes that it would soak up the juices.  The batch came out perfect - probably the best batch I've ever made.  I thank you for all the advice and assistance.

    Dana
     
  14. checkerfred

    checkerfred Smoke Blower

    So do you think the problem is to much water? I hate to not mix in my cure without water. It just seems like it would be hard to mix it in evenly otherwise. Also was the powdered milk the store bought type or was it from a sausage supply store?
     
  15. slight mis-understanding. I mixed the nitrite with 6 oz. of water and mixed in, but I did not mix the "spices" with water.  Also, i purchased the binder from a reputable butcher supply company, but I purchased a high quality powder milk from a grocery store and the grind looked very similar.  I made a second batch with the same parameters and it was great.  I oversmoked a little, but still a great batch of smoked link.
     
  16. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I only use water if the recipe calls for it, or I'm adding a binder, or when stuffing is difficult like making snack sticks in sheep casings. Just my preference. I have never had a problem with the cure not being mixed in evenly.
     
  17. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Checkerfred, so much in sausage is personal preference.  I do add water to all of my sausage and the amount depends on the fat/lean ratio and i also use powdered dry milk in most of what i make [the stuff you buy in stores].  With a higher fat content like breakfast sausage i dont add very much water [just enough to get that sticky texture at the end but i do add the binder.  I also mix the cure and the seasonings in water.  I personaly believe that if nothing else, the cure should be disolved in water to mix evenly in the sausage mix. The powdered milk is something i sprinkle on and not mix with water. Thinks like red pepper flakes and mustard seeds i sprinkle on the mix as well before mixing [they dont dissolve anyway]. For the diced garlic [the stuff in jars] i let that sit in the amount of water i am going to use for a couple of hours and then add the cure and the seasonings.  For powdered milk i use 1 cup per 5 pounds of meat mix.  Reinhard
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  18. checkerfred

    checkerfred Smoke Blower

    Thanks guys! Lots of good info here. I do have some meat binder from butcher Packer that I like... What brand of dry milk do you guys like best?
     
  19. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The one i use is instant nonfat dry milk which is pasteurized and fortified with vitamins a and d.  It's the store brand i shop at which is Cub foods.  Any store brand would work.  Probably can go to a Costco or Sam's and get larger containers cheaper.  Reinhard
     
  20. checkerfred

    checkerfred Smoke Blower

    Thanks Reinhard. I had bought some great value brand from Walmart and they were in bigger flakes like instant potatoes. I can make a powder in my coffee mill though
     

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