Karo Syrup Experimenting

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SmokinEdge

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Jan 18, 2020
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I have been experimenting with Karo in sausage just a little. The idea came to me after experimenting with pure vanilla extract, yes vanilla in sausage, it’s not what you think it would be and belongs in baked goods I know, but so does nutmeg and mace as well as allspice but they all can and do work some sausage varieties.

Any-who, in some commercial sausages there is a flavor in the back that really makes the over all sausage flavor work. I can’t put my finger on it exactly but I believe the subtle flavor of vanilla is at play, it may not be vanilla exactly but something similar and it plays way in the back. A creamy sweetness but still savory is the best I can describe this subtle flavor I’m chasing.

The vanilla absolutely worked in breakfast sausage. But not exactly what I was looking for. So when I happened to look at a bottle of Karo, I haven’t specifically tasted the syrup in probably 25 years or so, it said right on the label “with real vanilla” and the syrup is obviously sweet so a light went off. I first tried it in my kielbasa recipe but I screwed that up by adding stone ground mustard as well, which was good btw, So I thawed out some of my Cumberland sausage and added Karo at 1.5% same as the salt. Fried up a small test patty and really couldn’t taste sweet or vanilla. Long story short I had to get up to 6% before the family agreed they liked the flavor change. Seems a lot of corn syrup in the mix but there is no additional sugar and I don’t believe it’s sweet power or flavor is as strong as cane sugar.

Just sharing my preliminary findings. I think this is worth further exploration.
 
I have been experimenting with Karo in sausage just a little. The idea came to me after experimenting with pure vanilla extract, yes vanilla in sausage, it’s not what you think it would be and belongs in baked goods I know, but so does nutmeg and mace as well as allspice but they all can and do work some sausage varieties.

Any-who, in some commercial sausages there is a flavor in the back that really makes the over all sausage flavor work. I can’t put my finger on it exactly but I believe the subtle flavor of vanilla is at play, it may not be vanilla exactly but something similar and it plays way in the back. A creamy sweetness but still savory is the best I can describe this subtle flavor I’m chasing.

The vanilla absolutely worked in breakfast sausage. But not exactly what I was looking for. So when I happened to look at a bottle of Karo, I haven’t specifically tasted the syrup in probably 25 years or so, it said right on the label “with real vanilla” and the syrup is obviously sweet so a light went off. I first tried it in my kielbasa recipe but I screwed that up by adding stone ground mustard as well, which was good btw, So I thawed out some of my Cumberland sausage and added Karo at 1.5% same as the salt. Fried up a small test patty and really couldn’t taste sweet or vanilla. Long story short I had to get up to 6% before the family agreed they liked the flavor change. Seems a lot of corn syrup in the mix but there is no additional sugar and I don’t believe it’s sweet power or flavor is as strong as cane sugar.

Just sharing my preliminary findings. I think this is worth further exploration.
Nice experimenting, and it doesn't seem odd to me!

I've seen a number of sausage mixes where "corn syrup solids" was an ingredient. The solids sound like a concentrated Karo in easy to measure and use "powder" form.

Feel free to go down that rabbit hole and experiment if it seems helpful. I'm looking forward to seeing what you land on in the end :D
 
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Very interesting, love this type of flavor sleuthing!
I also am surprised at 6% to get the flavor, but there is a lot of water in "syrup" vs solid sugar, so it's probably like adding 3% sugar only.

I didn't post the writeup yet, but I just made some cheesy smokies, and went 3% sugar equivalent to get that sweet/salt flavor you get from bacon, so I can for sure see 6% syrup as the dlsame ballpark! I used an artificial sweetener for keto but same same.

Lol, just went to pantry to check ingredients label, look what I have! Will be following, and will try making your suggested results!
17190957067737397070439846435073.jpg
 
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Very interesting, love this type of flavor sleuthing!
I also am surprised at 6% to get the flavor, but there is a lot of water in "syrup" vs solid sugar, so it's probably like adding 3% sugar only.

I didn't post the writeup yet, but I just made some cheesy smokies, and went 3% sugar equivalent to get that sweet/salt flavor you get from bacon, so I can for sure see 6% syrup as the dlsame ballpark! I used an artificial sweetener for keto but same same.

Lol, just went to pantry to check ingredients label, look what I have! Will be following, and will try making your suggested results!View attachment 699319
Thank you Dave. This is a rabbit hole, but that said, this syrup works flavor wise exceptionally well. Still not sure it’s what I’m after but can say that it’s a good ingredient.

As to syrup solids in mixes, they seem to use that or add that as a “binder” so there is that. I care less about adding binder but more pushing for flavor. What the heck, it’s a fun hobby.
 
Grandma always had Karo syrup on the breakfast table, a big spoonful of butter stirred into it and 1 of her flatter than a flitter biscuits were hard to beat :emoji_laughing: I don't think I have ever bought the first jar of it, being diabetic does things for ya.
 
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