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Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 15:28
by redzed
John, those are great pics demonstrating your attentiveness, precision and skills. I'm sure the products are delish! I could eat at your house seven days a week!

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 15:43
by grasshopper
Questions of a beginner! First I used a 1/2 cup of water in 10 lbs. Trying to get the cure and spices mixed in well, it got sticky. I also thought the stall out was from the amount of cactus jack( kabanosy) in the smoker.It stayed at 123-126 a long time. To admit it, it took 3 hrs to get to 145 deg. They cooled very quick with the fan with a temp of 55 deg outside. Also did I put them in the fridge to soon. I can take them back out. I did not crack the caraway. They really got moist in the smoker. I finally got wise to the frailer of the temp gauge. Got my Maverick gauge out and cranked up the temp.Hope I am not repeating myself. Comments are surly welcome

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 17:59
by Jarhead
Grasshopper, I wouldn't eat those. :shock:
Send half to CW and the other half to me for proper disposal. :roll:

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 18:15
by grasshopper
NOPE! I did use the A Maze-N pellet smoker, because of the low temps. Almost ready to pull them back out of the fridge to bloom for 2 days. Really don't understand bloom yet. Will not do this unless somebody says it is OK. Good or not good.?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 05:57
by Chuckwagon
Hi Grasshopper,
The USDA has made the statement, "A potentially hazardous food does not include a food with a water activity value of 0.85 Aw or less".
When we get a little farther along in the project, I'm going to explain the two practical methods of preserving food. Stan Marianski has really done a fine job of clarifying some scientific principles in layman's terms that we can all understand, in his book.

To make meat safe to eat, we must destroy pathogenic and spoilage bacteria. Because all microorganisms need water to live, the easiest way this can be done is to "bind" their water supply. The measurement is called "water activity" and it is abbreviated Aw. Of course there is a scale used to indicate levels of water activity. Thus, when a sausage loses enough moisture, the bacteria is no longer a threat. However, for each different bacterium, the level of dryness varies depending how "resistant" each strain is.

The other practical method of destroying bacteria is to introduce it to an acid. The most sensible and cost effective is lactic acid, produced when lactobacilli or pediococci bacteria react with natural sugars to produce lactic acid. In turn, this "lactic acid" also limits pathogenic and spoilage bacteria.

So, to make a long answer shorter, the sausage must be dried to a point below 1.0 to take out the campylobacter and e.coli and about 0.95 to eliminate cl.botulinum and salmonella, and somewhere about 0.91 to destroy listeria and shigella. However, the nasty staphylococcus aureus will thrive until the Aw reaches a point below 0.86 and that, Grasshopper ol' friend, is a fairly dry sausage.

So, yes... remove it from the refrigerator for a couple of days until it begins to turn a beautiful mohogany color and starts to dry. This is "blooming". Taste it about the fourth day to determine if it still has a mushy center. If not, eat it. The meat won't quickly spoil on the countertop because the bacteria can't survive when there is no more water supply available to them. However, this type of product yet remains a "perishable" product and should be refrigerated for storage if not immediately consumed. The Indians knew this long ago as they dried jerky in the sun. However, they just didn't go around bragging how much they knew about fighting the campylobacter, botulinum, and staphlycoccus microorganisms! :roll:

You're going to love this stuff Grasshopper - I guarantee it!

Best Wishes,

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 06:43
by Chuckwagon
Big John, only one word to describe it.... "Excellent". Wow, you have really documented it well and your handling of each part of the project is just outstanding. Great photography too. Wow, with results like that, I'll bet your wife is even happy about having that new stuffer!
Goodness JB, I'd like to see a photo of a couple of those in a fryin' pan! I'll bet your Italian sausages just glide down your throat! Man, that looks good. Excellent and outstanding ol' friend. Keep it up! :wink:

Best Wishes,

Project B - Kabanosy

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 07:16
by two_MN_kids
I made a 12lb batch of the Kabanosy today. I started with two small pork butts weighing about 6.5lbs each. I recalculated the recipe for the extra 2 lbs. The grinding, mixing, and stuffing into 19mm collagen casings all went well.

It took a little less than an hour to stuff all 75 feet of casing. I left them hang for another half hour while the smoker preheated to 120°F. At 3pm they went into the smoker. The green weight was exactly 12lbs; I fried up whatever hadn`t made a full length stick.

The only real problem I ran into is with the smoker. :sad:

After an hour of drying I raised the smokehouse temperature to 140°F and applied Alder wood smoke for another hour. At that point the IMT was at 124°F. I raised the temperature to 180°F and sat back to wait for the final temperature of 154°F or higher.

It finally finished at 11:45pm. Of the two temperature probes I was using, one measured 152°F while the other made it to 147°F before I impatiently pulled them. The finished weight was 9lbs, giving a 25% weight loss during cooking.

This 70 - 90 min. smoke cooking project took just less than 8 hours! At the 4 hour mark I closed down the damper hoping to prevent too much water loss. When the Kabanosy were finished I found condensation around the seal of the smokehouse door.

Some research has indicated that the temperature stall is caused by evaporative cooling, keeping the sausages cooler as the moisture evaporates. This I believe is fact, and proven by shorter cooking times when wrapping in foil after the smoking step has completed. By closing the damper more, I succeeded in increasing the smokehouse humidity, but I`m not certain if it helped overcome the cooling of the sausages.

The Kabanosy have been blooming for one hour. The room temperature right now is 79°F and RH is 38%. I`m inclined to leave them hang overnight, but nagging at me is the instructions stating to dry at 54 - 59°F with an RH of 75 - 80%. And tomorrow (today) we are looking at a high close to 90°F and continued low humidity. I guess I`m concerned they will dry too quickly.

Trusting the wise, older Sage, and going to get some sleep! :???:

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 08:51
by Chuckwagon
Part 2. Cured-Cooked-Smoked Sausages - Learning The Basics
Here is the second type of sausage recipes we'll make. These are "Cured-Cooked-Smoked" type sausage with sodium nitrite Cure #1 being added to destroy any possibility of Clostridium Botulinum. The sausages are "prep-cooked" at a temperature higher than 138°F. (59°C.) to destroy any possibility of Trichinella Spiralis. Before you begin making kabanosy, please be sure to read and study the material in the next post entitled, "Sodium Nitrate and Sodium Nitrite Cures". When you finish reading, go ahead and start making your kabanosy. While you are waiting for it to bloom, you can review the material and take the self-checked quiz to make sure you understand WHY you are doing WHAT you are doing.

"Project B" Sausage #4 - Polish Kabanosy
Cured-Smoked-Cooked Type Snack Sticks

Stan Marianski says kabanosy is a famous Polish sausage and probably the finest meat stick in the world. The name Kabanosy comes from the nickname "kabanek" given to a young fat pig that was fed mainly potatoes in the Eastern parts of XIX Poland. Here is Stan`s recipe:

1000 gr. (2.20 lbs.) pork
18 gr. (3 tspns) salt
2.5 gr. (1/2 tspn.) Cure #1
2.0 gr. (1 tspn.) pepper
1.0 gr. (1/5 tspn.) sugar
1.0 gr. (1/2 tspn.) nutmeg
1.0 gr. (1/2 tspn.) caraway
100 ml. (3/8 cup) cold water

1. Grind lean pork with 3/8" plate, fatter pieces with 3/16" plate.
2. Mix ground meat and all ingredients together until the mass feels sticky.
3. Stuff mixture into sheep casings 22 mm diameter. You may use 24-26 mm sheep casings, anything bigger will not be a meat stick but a sausage. It will also need different smoking and cooking times. Link sausage into 60-70 cm (24-27") links so when hung on a smoking stick the individual links (half of the meat stick) will be about one foot long. You can make shorter 6" links if you like. Don`t separate stuffed sausage into short individual links, leave it linked but as one long rope.
4. Leave it hanging on smoke sticks in a cool place at 35-42° F (2-6°C) for 12 hours. It is permitted to dry it at room temperature for 30-60 min and then smoke it.
5. Kabanosy are smoked in two stages:
(1.) smoking with hot smoke 104-122° F (40-50° C) for 50-60 min
(2.) baking for about 20 min at 140-190° F (60-90° C) until the meat reaches a temperature of 154-160° F (68-71° C) inside. The color of the casings should be dark brown.
Total smoking and cooking time about 70 - 90 min. This is a rather short time due to the small diameter of the meat sticks. The sausage is done and ready to eat.
6. If using sheep casing, shower with cold water, separate into links and keep refrigerated.
Project Note: If using collagen casings - DO NOT shower with water. Simply allow them to cool to room temperature on their own.
7. The following step was performed in the past to create semi-dry sausages that would last long time at room temperatures. Place Kabanosy for 5-7 days in a room at 54-59° F (12-15° C), relative humidity of 75-80%, until the weight is reduced by 45%. If during this drying period you will see a slight accumulation of mold on the outside surface just wipe it off, this is normal. Separate links into individual pieces and keep it in a cool place, no need to refrigerate. In Europe the sausages hang in the kitchen and are consumed on an as needed basis. Most people prefer them when they are about one week old. If you have made a lot of them, place them in a freezer but remember that unfrozen products, though still healthy, never taste the same.

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 09:32
by jbk101
Hello All,
Thanks for all the kid words Chuckwagon & redzed. I will take some photos of the Breakfast Sausage today and report on how they taste. The boss made some Breakfast Burritos today with some patties I made (leftover mix - remaining in the stuffer tube and the feed area of the stuffer). We were both happy with the flavor, but the real test will be today when I fry some up for breakfast as a link.

Today I got happy I had enough Insta Cure #1 left to start my Kabanosy (Hunter Sausage)
I needed 5g cure for the Kabanosy and I had 11g total :grin: :cool: So I ground my Pork mixed in the spices and put it in the fridge for an overnight nap.
Image Image

Image Image

Today I will stuff Kabansoy mixture into the Collagen Casing and I am considering doing about half with the 22mm sheep casing just as a comparison

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:02
by Chuckwagon
Using Sodium Nitrite and Sodium Nitrate

Nitrates and nitrites have gotten a bad rap. During the mid 1970`s, I remember a series of articles published by an attention-seeking reporter trying to establish a name for himself - he was a sensationalist. Indeed, he stirred up and excited the American public, putting fear of nitrates and nitrites into the average consumer. The fact remains, the National Academy of Sciences (Research Council) states that when used in proper concentration (established legal limits), nitrite does nothing to directly harm consumers. Did you know that vegetables contain more nitrites than sausage? In fact, vegetables contain higher concentrations of nitrate than any other foods in our diet. Spinach, lettuce, and beets, are full of the stuff.

Nitrate in itself is not successful in producing the curing reaction. Sodium nitrate must be reduced by lactic acid bacteria (micrococcaceae species), or other natural means, to be effective. In other words, nitrate breaks down into nitrite - and nitrite breaks down into nitric oxide - the substance that actually cures meat. Modern science has not produced a substitute for sodium nitrate or sodium nitrite used as agents to preserve meat and destroy clostridium botulinum.

Nitrates and nitrites must be used with caution. Both are considered toxic in larger amounts and for that reason, strict limits on their use have been established by the USDA. In the United States, the amount of added sodium nitrite lies within the range of 50-200 mg. per kilogram, and sodium nitrate in the range of 200 to 600 mg. per kg. How much is lethal? A fatal dose of potassium nitrate (saltpeter) is about 30 grams (two tablespoons). Merely 1 gram of sodium nitrite (about 22 milligrams per kilogram of body weight) will cancel your clock! That`s only about 1/3 of a teaspoon! It takes a little more for sodium nitrate to keep you permanently horizontal - one full teaspoon will do the trick!

It is important to note that in various countries, the formulas for nitrate and nitrite cures vary greatly. The strength of nitrates and nitrites themselves do not vary. It is the amount added to a salt carrier that makes a cure stronger or weaker in comparison to others. For instance, In Poland, the nitrite and salt cure called Peklosol is available at only 0.6% nitrite. In Germany, it is called Pokelsalz and contains the same 0.6% nitrite content in salt. In Sweden, folks call their product Colorazo at 0.6% nitrite. In France, it`s Sel nitrite` at 0.6% nitrite. These cures contain only sixty-hundredths of one percent nitrite. Note the placement of the decimal point. Although the cure is not pink in color (it is white), a consumer would find a product much too salty to be palatable if it were to contain ominous amounts of nitrite. In America, Cure #1 contains 6.25% sodium nitrite, and 93.75% salt - ten and a half times stronger than most European cures, with the exception of some of those in the UK containing 5.88% sodium nitrite.

One curing agent must never be confused with the other within any recipe and one certainly must not be substituted for the other. Moreover, both cures are never used together in the same recipe. Notice that formula #1 contains only nitrite while formula #2 contains both nitrite and nitrate. If you mix, cure, and smoke sausage, it becomes your responsibility to follow directions mixing exactly four ounces of Prague Powder with one hundred pounds of meat, or for us home consumers, precisely two level teaspoons mixed with a little water for even distribution, for each ten pound batch of sausage. If you are mixing only five pounds of sausage, add just one level teaspoon of curing salt. For dry-curing whole pieces of meat muscle, we multiply the amount of cure by 4. This allows a "pick up" of about ten percent or approximately 156 parts per million in the final product. Please measure carefully and remember that any recklessness in mixing these salts may potentially injure someone.

Man discovered anciently that when salt was added to meat it improved its flavor, color, and shelf life. Then somewhere in time, sodium nitrate came into use as a naturally occurring contaminant of salt. Chile and Peru have massive deposits of sodium nitrate (NaNO3). Not to be confused with sodium nitrite (NaNO2), the substance is also found in leafy green vegetables. Acting as powerful antioxidants, nitrates and nitrites reduce oxidative rancidity. However, when added directly to meats, sodium nitrite is primarily responsible for the inhibition of pathogen growth including that of clostridium botulinum - the bacteria causing botulism poisoning. Nitrate in itself is not successful in producing the curing reaction. Sodium nitrate must be reduced by lactic acid bacteria (micrococcaceae [kocuria] species) or other natural means to be effective. In other words, nitrate breaks down into nitrite - and nitrite breaks down into nitric oxide - the substance that actually cures meat. Modern science has not produced a substitute for sodium nitrate or sodium nitrite used as agents to preserve meat and destroy clostridium botulinum. As these salts are poisonous used in proportionately greater amounts, companies have continually tried to improve upon them though their efforts have been futile.

Cure #1 is used to cure all meats that require cooking, smoking, and canning. This includes poultry, fish, hams, bacon, luncheon meats, corned beef, pates, and many other products.
Note that Prague Powder Cure #1 in the United States, contains 6.25% sodium nitrite (NaNO2), and 93.75% sodium chloride (salt). As this formula contains no sodium nitrate (NaNO3), there is no waiting for nitrate to be broken down into nitrite and it is effective immediately in curing meat. In the United States, Cure #1 is manufactured using one ounce of sodium nitrite added to each one pound of salt. When used in the curing process, only 4 ounces of cure is added to 100 pounds of sausage. Two level teaspoons will cure 10 lbs. of meat.

Cure #2 is used in dry-cured sausages and whole-muscle meats where curing time allows the nitrate to gradually break down into nitrite. Cure #2 in the United States, contains one-ounce (6.25%) sodium nitrite (NaNO2), with .64 ounce (4%) sodium nitrate (NaNO3), and 89.75 sodium chloride in 1 lb. of salt. Why so much nitrate? Remember, it is actually nitrite reducing to nitric oxide that cures meat. After two weeks dry-curing, only about a quarter of the 6.25 % sodium nitrite remains in the meat. Nitrite is simply too fast. In salamis requiring three or more months to cure, a certain amount of sodium nitrate must be added to the recipe to break down over time. Since micrococcaceae species are inhibited at low pH, sausages relying on nitrate reduction must be fermented by a traditional process. Therefore, nitrate is still used by many dry sausage manufacturers because sodium nitrate (NaNO3) serves as a long time "reservoir" of sodium nitrite (NaNO2).

Potassium Nitrate (Saltpeter)

Saltpeter is 100% potassium nitrate (KNO3). Although it is used in various cures throughout the world, it is no longer included in cures in the United States (with the exception of only a few applications) as it is thought to produce cancer-causing nitrosamines when cooked at higher temperatures. Commercially, with only a few exceptions, it has been banned by law since 1975. A fatal dose of potassium nitrate is merely 30 grams. Sodium nitrite will cancel your clock at only about 22 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. You can plainly see why these cures MUST be handled correctly. By the way, when you mix charcoal and sulfur together with potassium nitrate, you get... gunpowder! :shock:

Best Wishes,

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:05
by Gulyás
Soon I'll make time to make all these goodies.

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:17
by Gulyás
I still like to add the spices, and mix my meat before I grind it, for the reason , that the grinder makes such a good job mixing it. After that, it doesn't need much more mixing by hand, or mixer.
I also like to add only as little water, as necessary. On the other hand, for this kind of sausage water is a good thing, but than NOT before grinding, because it gets mushy.
The mixer does mix better with some water added.

Hmmm..... come to think about it, some wine is even better, instead of water, but that makes it kind of NOT "original". :lol:

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:39
by Mainely Smoka
Hey all received my hank of sheep casings over the weekend and per instructions it calls for packing them in purified salt. a quick google did not help me out on what is purifed salt. Can someone chime in on what it is and is there a another name more common to use for packing them


Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:57
by Gulyás
Hi Dick.

They mean use real salt, nothing fancy like seasoned one, or the like.
Use kosher, or something clean like canning & pickling salt.

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:09
by Chuckwagon
Hi Mainely, glad to hear yagotcher skins! :roll:
Purified salt is simply salt that has been processed to have all trace elements removed. Often clay and impurities are left behind. A good grade of canning salt or kosher salt will do the trick.
If you'd like to see how pure your salt is, just stir a tablespoon of it into a half glass of warm water. Impurities will render it cloudy. Some folks will not have ANY other substances in their salt and use only purified salt. To each his own. :roll: It's interesting to note that many types of salt are purchased because of their impurities (unique flavor). An example is the Hawaiian red, black, lava and sulphur salts. :shock: To read more about the subject, click on this link:

Best Wishes,