Newbie questions (MTQ and sausage texture)

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laripu
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Newbie questions (MTQ and sausage texture)

Post by laripu » Thu Aug 02, 2012 03:08

I've been told that there are no stupid questions...so I'm taking you up on that:

1. I have Morton's Tenderquick. Is it interchangeable with Prague powder, or is there a formula that converts so many grams of one to the other?

2. I've only made four 5-lb batches of different sausage. They taste great, but there's one big difference to commercial sausage: commercial sausage seems to be moister, and in mine the meat seems more hamburger-like. What am I doing wrong? Or is that normal? (The recipes came from here, lightly modified.)

Thanks for your patience with my ignorance. :oops:
Last edited by laripu on Thu May 01, 2014 22:36, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Chuckwagon » Thu Aug 02, 2012 04:07

Laripu, you asked:
I have Morton's Tenderquick. Is it interchangeable with Prague powder?
No, it is not interchangeable. You may want to read a recent discussion about Morton`s Tender Quick and its content. It has some "qualities" you may not be really happy with. Here`s a quick link: http://wedlinydomowe.pl/en/viewtopic.ph ... ght=glycol

You also wrote:
I've only made four 5-lb batches of different sausage. They taste great, but there's one big difference to commercial sausage: commercial sausage seems to be moister, and in mine the meat seems more hamburger-like. What am I doing wrong? Or is that normal? (The recipes came from here, lightly modified.)
Check out this link: http://wedlinydomowe.pl/en/viewtopic.ph ... ht=texture

Also, how about reading the information at this next link and then getting back with further questions about the texture problems? Your answer is probably here at this link: http://wedlinydomowe.pl/en/viewtopic.php?t=5036

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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Post by laripu » Thu Aug 02, 2012 05:03

There is much for me to learn, and obviously "I am only an egg".

Thanks for the links. I've read them cursorily, and will continue to reread them until the knowledge becomes internalized and incorporated into my technique.

I'm glad there's no final exam!

Luckily my wife likes my initial attempts, however inept, so the hobby continues. ;)
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Post by ssorllih » Thu Aug 02, 2012 13:15

There IS a final exam. It is called making and eating sausage. As long as you don't kill yourself you get as many do overs as you like.
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Post by Cabonaia » Thu Aug 02, 2012 15:15

Hey Laripu - I had the exact same problem with "hamburger like" consistency. It was because I wasn't working up the ground meat to the "stiff peaks" that Chuckwagon's instructions talk about. I find it hard to do that with a Kitchen-aid mixer, which is what we've got and many people successfully use, because I can't tell by looking if the bind is right. So I've started mixing by hand. Once the meat gets real sticky, and a hamburger-size lump won't fall from an overturned hand, I stop mixing. By then my hands are plenty cold and uncomfortable anyway. Need to get me a box of latex gloves.... Anyway, doing it this way really made a difference.

My two cents in case it helps!

Jeff
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Post by NorCal Kid » Thu Aug 02, 2012 16:03

Cabonaia wrote:Need to get me a box of latex gloves.... Anyway, doing it this way really made a difference.
Jeff
I use latex (actually, 'nitrile' = 'non-latex') gloves for all meat & food handling while butchering or sorting ingredients. Costco has 'em. 100 per box for less than $10.
Image

For hand-mixing, I use heavier, vinyl gloves that slip over the nitrile gloves. These gloves have a great non-slip grip texture and really do insulate the hands from the cold. I can hand-mix ice-cold meat for 10 minutes & not feel the cold. About $11 a pair from amazon. Called, "True Blues Ultimate Household Gloves."
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Post by Butterbean » Thu Aug 02, 2012 23:47

As said, Morton's is not interchangeable but as a rough rule of thumb if you use it per its directions and NOT use any other salt as recommended in the recipe the end product should be fine. Mortons TQ is a do all type cure and has lots of salt already in it so you don't have to add any. I think it was a good idea but it hasn't gained much favor.

I agree with what's been said on the texture. Mix, mix mix.
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Post by laripu » Fri Aug 03, 2012 03:10

Excellent advice everyone! Thanks! I feel myself learning, but my brain isn't full yet, so I think I can stuff in some more sausage knowledge.
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Post by ssorllih » Fri Aug 03, 2012 03:22

I have a pair of gloves such as Kevin recommends. I can lift jars of canned food from the pressure canner with them reaching into boiling water. I just don't linger.
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Post by Chuckwagon » Fri Aug 03, 2012 03:53

Is it just me, or does the top blue glove only have 4 fingers in it? :roll:
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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Post by Cabonaia » Fri Aug 03, 2012 03:58

Must be for Old Hands like us. :mrgreen:
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Post by Butterbean » Fri Aug 03, 2012 14:27

:lol: :lol: :lol: Was the fourth finger used as a binding agent or what? :lol: :lol:
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Propylene glycol

Post by laripu » Fri Aug 03, 2012 22:40

The propylene glycol in MTQ disturbed me, so I searched around for cure #1 in it's various guises, and I can't find any that doesn't also have propylene glycol in it "added as a flowing agent".

Is it unavoidable? I've heard that it was (maybe is) also used as a sweetener in some cheap wine.

I've got plenty of time to think about it before I make a cured sausage. I'm in no rush.
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Post by ssorllih » Fri Aug 03, 2012 22:45

Ross- tightwad home cook
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Post by JerBear » Sat Aug 04, 2012 00:08

Ross, were you able to check the label on a package you have because it doesn't look like there's a full ingredient list on the website. I know that it's in the pink salt I just got from Butcher&Packer.
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