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With or without water when adding seasoning?

indaswamp

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I've seen it done both ways. How do you do it?

I've gone back and forth. I like the texture better when adding the seasoning dry. The salt pulls out enough moisture from the meat to form a concentrated salt solution which pulls out the salt soluble proteins. I do still dissolve the cure in as little water as possible and add that in...
 

crazymoon

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I usually mix my seasoning with some water before adding to the meat.IMHO it mixes easier.
 

SmokinAl

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I do like CM, I mix my seasonings in the water in a blender.
But I always do a double grind, and add the seasonings after the first grind.
Al
 

smokerjim

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i'm with the others, I always add some water to get a more even mix
 

indaswamp

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I too thought is was a best practice to add water to dry seasonings until I ran upon course material for professional butchers @ Texas A&M.

Salt soluble proteins are extracted the best in a 6% salt solution according to many sources. We would never use 6% salt when making sausage since the product would be too salty to eat. Most recipes for smoked sausage call for 1.5~2% salt. So the less water we use, the higher the concentration of the salt solution to extract the salt soluble proteins. The salt will pull moisture out of the meat through osmosis when the dry salt is added to the meat so in reality, no water is necessary (other than to dissolve the cure for an even distribution)

When mixing, you can not denature proteins that are not extracted, so the more the better for a good bind. Though it may be easier to mix, adding excess water before protein extraction occurs should be kept to the bare minimum.

I am going to go back to adding dry seasoning to first coarse grind and using the bare minimum water necessary to dissolve the cure. Since I make all my own mixes and never mix the cure in with the seasoning, I can keep them separated.
 

chopsaw

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I add mine dry , in layers . Meat , seasoning ,,, meat seasoning ,,, repeat the layers til it's all in there then mix . Add liquid as needed .
 

indaswamp

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I add mine dry , in layers . Meat , seasoning ,,, meat seasoning ,,, repeat the layers til it's all in there then mix . Add liquid as needed .
Right on chopsaw.....That is how I use to do it, and I'm going back to that method.
 

donr

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For fresh sausage, I shake the seasoning onto the unground meat. Grind it. Then mix it until it's sticky.

For cured sausage, I grind first, then dissolve the cure in a liquid. Then I mix it all up.
 

hondabbq

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I too thought is was a best practice to add water to dry seasonings until I ran upon course material for professional butchers @ Texas A&M.

Salt soluble proteins are extracted the best in a 6% salt solution according to many sources. We would never use 6% salt when making sausage since the product would be too salty to eat. Most recipes for smoked sausage call for 1.5~2% salt. So the less water we use, the higher the concentration of the salt solution to extract the salt soluble proteins. The salt will pull moisture out of the meat through osmosis when the dry salt is added to the meat so in reality, no water is necessary (other than to dissolve the cure for an even distribution)

When mixing, you can not denature proteins that are not extracted, so the more the better for a good bind. Though it may be easier to mix, adding excess water before protein extraction occurs should be kept to the bare minimum.

I am going to go back to adding dry seasoning to first coarse grind and using the bare minimum water necessary to dissolve the cure. Since I make all my own mixes and never mix the cure in with the seasoning, I can keep them separated.
So basically your saying to mix the meat and seasonings/salt and let that mix before adding water, and letting the meat salt mix longer to get a good bind. Then add water for ease of stuffing purposes?
 

indaswamp

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So basically your saying to mix the meat and seasonings/salt and let that mix before adding water, and letting the meat salt mix longer to get a good bind. Then add water for ease of stuffing purposes?
Yes, add the dry seasoning to the first grind. Let the salt pull moisture out of the meat so you have a high concentration of brine to extract the salt soluble proteins. I suggest letting sit overnight in frig. or a minimum of 12 hours. Then you can use water (less than 1/2c. per 50#) as needed to wet down the surfaces of the grinder so the meat does not stick to the metal surfaces which will make second grind easier.

You can then add water (5~10% minus the 1/2 cup already used) with your binder for final mixing of the second grind. And mix until tacky to denature those extracted proteins....
 

hondabbq

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Yes, add the dry seasoning to the first grind. Let the salt pull moisture out of the meat so you have a high concentration of brine to extract the salt soluble proteins. I suggest letting sit overnight in frig. or a minimum of 12 hours. Then you can use water (less than 1/2c. per 50#) as needed to wet down the surfaces of the grinder so the meat does not stick to the metal surfaces which will make second grind easier.

You can then add water (5~10% minus the 1/2 cup already used) with your binder for final mixing of the second grind. And mix until tacky to denature those extracted proteins....
I don't grind my own meat. I work in a commercial kitchen and get my meat already ground for me. Much cheaper than paying retail pricing.
I usually add my dry seasonings and my cure into the meat to mix up for a few minutes then I add my water and mix until tacky.
I have just gone by look and feel of the length of time for the meat to be ready for stuffing into casings. I know that when I haven't mixed it for long enough the meat is crumbly after cooking and doesn't have a great mouth feel. It tastes fine but the texture isn't there.
I have made a few bad batches in my earlier experiences by not mixing enough.
Can you mix too much?
 

indaswamp

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Yes, you can mix too much. Beef can handle higher temps. before the fat smears, pork (if I remember correctly) needs to be kept under 46*F or the fat will smear. But mixing too much even cold can also smear the fat.

Being a commercial kitchen, do you use a binder?
 

hondabbq

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Yes, you can mix too much. Beef can handle higher temps. before the fat smears, pork (if I remember correctly) needs to be kept under 46*F or the fat will smear. But mixing too much even cold can also smear the fat.

Being a commercial kitchen, do you use a binder?
I don't make my stuff in the commercial kitchen. I am a chef that makes this stuff at home. I am just lucky I can buy the meats through work.

No I don't use any binder. I heard and read a lot of guys using binder did my research and chose a potato binder. It was one of my worst batches and I have never gone back to using one.
I make sticks like a mad man and have great results. Kielbasa are good too. that is the one I was referring to in the earlier post. I was rushing and got cocky and didn't mix enough. Now I make sure I mix thoroughly.
 

indaswamp

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I haven't mixed it for long enough the meat is crumbly after cooking and doesn't have a great mouth feel. It tastes fine but the texture isn't there.
If you do not use a binder (which is adding protein that denatures when mixing) and only rely on the protein in the meat, you need to extract the protein so it will denature when mixing. To do so, the high salt concentrated brine needs to do the work for you. Now, I do not know what the practices are for a commercial kitchen...this post was for the home sausage maker. And it is recommended to hold the meat under refrigeration for a minimum of 12 hours to extract the proteins.
 

indaswamp

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Do you mix your own seasoning blends or are you using blends you buy in packs?
 

indaswamp

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I personally use NFDM powder (Non Fat Dry Milk) as a binder and moisture retainer. Can use up to 3% without affecting taste. Lot of guys here use soy with good results. And some use phosphates to retain moisture with good results.
 

chopsaw

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If using a commercial mix , it most likely has some type of binder in it .
 

hondabbq

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Do you mix your own seasoning blends or are you using blends you buy in packs?
I do both. I really like the HM Cracked pepper and Garlic mix. I bought a bulk bag of that and made individual packages measured out for 10 lbs of meat and ran them through the FS.

If you do not use a binder (which is adding protein that denatures when mixing) and only rely on the protein in the meat, you need to extract the protein so it will denature when mixing. To do so, the high salt concentrated brine needs to do the work for you. Now, I do not know what the practices are for a commercial kitchen...this post was for the home sausage maker. And it is recommended to hold the meat under refrigeration for a minimum of 12 hours to extract the proteins.
So to denature the proteins during mixing I am doing that by mixing my salts/seasonings and cure and letting the meat become sticky correct? that was my understanding with all my reading I have done regarding this topic.
Normally I was just adding my seasonings, salt and cure doing a light mix then adding my water right away for ease of stuffing.
Should I just let the seasonings/salt and cure mix by itself and get tacky then add my water for stuffing?
 

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