Project KB (For Beginners)

two_MN_kids
Frequent User
Frequent User
Posts: 186
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 14:25
Location: Blaine, MN

Post by two_MN_kids » Tue Aug 19, 2014 15:27

Just planning ahead for the next project, but need a bit more information. Are we talking an entire pork loin or a portion? A local grocery store has pork half-loin on sale for $1.99/pound.

Jim
rgauthier20420
Frequent User
Frequent User
Posts: 191
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 21:11
Location: Chicago

Post by rgauthier20420 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 15:28

two_MN_kids wrote:Just planning ahead for the next project, but need a bit more information. Are we talking an entire pork loin or a portion? A local grocery store has pork half-loin on sale for $1.99/pound.

Jim
I don't have your answer, but what store? Is it a regional store? I'm in the Chicago area. Just curious.
two_MN_kids
Frequent User
Frequent User
Posts: 186
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 14:25
Location: Blaine, MN

Post by two_MN_kids » Tue Aug 19, 2014 16:13

It's a subsidiary of SuperValu Foods (From their website: A National network of grocery stores with multiple formats under various regional brands.) called Cub Foods. I think Cub Foods is local to central Minnesota; I have three of them in easy driving distance. High quality meats, but not always the best price.

Jim
User avatar
Chuckwagon
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 4494
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 04:51
Location: Rocky Mountains

Post by Chuckwagon » Tue Aug 19, 2014 19:25

2MnKids wrote:
Are we talking an entire pork loin or a portion?

Ol' pal, if there are just you and Jean for dinner, you may wish to make 1/2 loin. I do it all the time so I'll always have very fresh Canadian Bacon on hand. Sometimes, if I expect a little company, I'll inject and baptize two entire loins in salt solution brine. The answer is... it depends upon the size of your family. Tell Jean she'll want "seconds" after she tastes how good this product is. Of all the sausages and charcuterie products, smoked-cooked pork loin (Canadian Bacon) is surely my favorite. It is simple to make and the flavor is out of this world! I slice it thin as paper and stack it up for sandwiches. Of course it must have thinly-sliced Walla Walla or Videllia onions in between the meat slices! Only a block headed, namby-pamby, mutton punchin', no-account, mudsill would eat it without onions! :lol: Shucks, I cube it to put into casseroles. I put it into omelettes with a little green bell pepper. I even eat it straight off a plate with a touch of mustard, just for a snack. This next projcet... the smoked "Canadian Bacon" will probably be your favorite also. :wink:

Rgauthier... your pork gravy for biscuits is some of the best I've ever seen! Just gorgeous pal. Congratulations. Thanks for the kind words.

And Shuswap, thank you for the nice words also. Shucks pal, this is my paycheck! I very much appreciate your sentiments. :wink:

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
trucktramp
Beginner
Beginner
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2013 17:14
Location: Scotts, Michigan

Post by trucktramp » Tue Aug 19, 2014 23:24

I have two hams that I am making according to CW's Hobble Creek Recipe. They have been in the pickle about 4 days. They are 25 and 27 lbs each. I pumped each ham with brine. Do they need to be removed from the brine and finished? How long should they be in the smoke? I can't wait to try them.
I believe in moderation in everything...including moderation
User avatar
Chuckwagon
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 4494
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 04:51
Location: Rocky Mountains

Post by Chuckwagon » Wed Aug 20, 2014 01:08

Those are pretty large hams Trucktramp. I hope you doubled the brine. In the next day or two, you should be able to remove the hams from the brine. Here's a note from the instructions about brining and then the cooking step:

Having injected the ham, submerge it in the remaining brine, (called a "pickle"), for 4 to 5 days at near as 38° F. as possible. Longer brining will produce a more salty product. [However in a ham as large as yours, you may wish to brine it an extra day].
Following the brining, the ham should be ready to cook. Generally, this type of ham is not smoked. However, it is your choice and may be done at this point. DO NOT soak the ham in fresh water before smoking or cooking it. Simply rinse it off, pat it dry, and begin smoking it (if desired) by preheating your smoker to 140° F. and introducing smoke for several hours. (Six hours should suffice if using hickory in medium-heavy smudge). Immediately following this step, place the ham into a suitable cooking utensil whereby it may be covered with 170° water and maintained at that temperature until the internal meat temperature reaches 150°F.
Again, most hams of this type are never smoked. However, it is certainly your choice. Lots of people mistakenly believe that smoking a ham cures it. Smoking meat absolutely does NOT cure it. This "preparatory" cooking is part of the curing process, and may take some time. Be patient and don`t try to rush the cooking. Use a probe type thermometer with a timing alarm to alert you when the meat has cooked. Note that as the temperature surpasses 138°F. (59°C.), any possibly existing trichinella spiralis are destroyed. At 150°F. (66°C.), the ham becomes fully "prep cooked" and the threat of "crypto" has been removed. Next, cool the ham with cold running water, pat it dry, and then refrigerate it until it is finally cooked by any number of means to a finishing-serving temperature of 160° F.

If you prefer an alternate cooking method, the ham may be simply baked in your kitchen oven after being smoked six hours in your smoker. Set the oven temp no higher than 300°F and monitor the Internal Meat Temperature carefully with a thermometer. The ham will be "prep cooked" at 150°F (for slicing and later cooking for meals etc.), and fully cooked at 155°F (for immediate consumption), although these day, the USDA recommends 160°F.

Good luck with your project Trucktramp. You are about to discover just how good ham can be. Most people are just afraid to make their own because they don't wish to mix the sodium nitrite and inject hams. Too bad, because they will really never taste ham the way it was meant to be.... juicy and delicious!

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
trucktramp
Beginner
Beginner
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2013 17:14
Location: Scotts, Michigan

Post by trucktramp » Wed Aug 20, 2014 03:40

By doubling the brine, do you mean volume or cure and salt? I did double the volume keeping the cure and salt double also. I needed that much to cover the darn things. They are quite large. Unfortunately, the hams don't belong to me. A friend from work knows that I smoke things and make sausage so he asked if I could do it. I knew that I could get guidance from this forum and if I followed what I was directed to do I would come out looking like I knew what I was doing. I think I am going to try to talk him out of some of the ham so I can see for myself how it turns out. The jury is still out on smoking them. The owner doesn't really know what he wants so I mentioned smoking one and just finishing the other....however if you don't think it will improve the flavor I may rethink this. Thanks for your help CW. I couldn't have done it without you.
I believe in moderation in everything...including moderation
User avatar
Chuckwagon
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 4494
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 04:51
Location: Rocky Mountains

Post by Chuckwagon » Wed Aug 20, 2014 04:23

FRESH SAUSAGE BASICS

Here are a few valuable tips! Be sure to keep a logbook! Record everything you do. Write down dates, times, measurements, etc. Write down your successes and your failures - and the reasons you believe caused either. Believe me, you`ll refer back to it several times during the project. Save your notes for the next batch. They will be invaluable. Please don`t ignore this step. It only takes a few seconds to write down the information you may really need later on.

Take stock of your utensils: Some items such as a grinder and a stuffer are necessary to make sausage. Is the grinder`s knife sharp? Make sure they are clean and in good working order. The time for lubricating the gears on your stuffer is NOT while you are making sausage. Other items may be ordinary kitchen utensils. Then there are the tools that make the process much easier but are not absolutely necessary. Let`s look at some basic equipment.

a. brine pump (will be needed later for turkeys and hams)
b. brining lugs (food-grade plastic meat tubs)
c. cutting board (cleaned and sterilized)
d. grinder (clean and in good working order?)
e. grinding plates and knives (was the grinder`s knife last sharpened in 1952?)
f. hang sticks (for drying) Do not use painted or treated wood dowels.
g. hog rings and casing clips
h. kitchen knives (sharp as a marble?)
i. mixer (inspect the working condition)
j. refrigerator (make room)
k. stuffer (clean and lubricate)
l. scales (nice to have for spices)
m. "skin" bucket (clean plastic bucket for casings)
n. smokehouse (ready?)
o. string (cotton, heavyweight)
p. thermometers ("Baby-dial" is cheap)

Consider Sanitation.

This is the part where most folks say, "Yeah, yeah... we already know about that", but perhaps you should give this topic just one more consideration before moving on. Why? Because your sausage or meat product may be responsible for injuring yourself or someone else if it`s not properly made. Each year in the United States alone, food borne diseases cause approximately 76 million illnesses and 325,000 hospitalizations. Of this number, more than 5,000 Americans painfully suffer the clearly evident indications and symptoms of preventable food contamination, breathe their last breath, and agonizingly die! Foodborne illness is caused by three contaminants:
a. microbiological organisms - bacteria, parasites, etc.
b. chemicals accidentally introduced into foods - pesticides, fungicides, fumigants, cleaning fluids, etc.
c. physical objects - metal shavings, glass fragments etc.
What can you do to keep from becoming a statistic? Learn all you can about food contamination and observe the rules. I`d even go so far as to suggest taking a "certification class" for food handlers. Foodservice sanitation classes are offered at technical schools everywhere. Sometimes "certification" can be accomplished in just a matter of hours and days. These classes are fun and a good way to meet other people. In any event, please maintain a high standard of personal hygiene while making sausage. Wear a hair net or cap and for goodness sakes, wash those hands every chance you get - with bacterial soap. Keep your equipment clean and sanitary. Always store food items in correct containers at proper temperatures. Cool down prep-cooked sausage quickly for storage and protect them from vermin and insects.

A. The Major Causes Of Food Poisoning

1. Pathogenic Bacteria. Sausage makers and food handlers , must be aware of the strains of (a.) food spoilage bacteria, (b.) pathogenic bacteria, and (c.) beneficial bacteria. Millions of microbes may be found on unwashed hands and dirty utensils and under the right conditions, multiply at an alarmingly incredible rate. Of the three microorganisms affecting food (bacteria, yeasts, and molds), pathogenic bacteria, existing virtually everywhere in our environment, remain the greatest cause of food poisoning. As sausage makers, we must constantly be aware of the primary factors necessary for bacterial growth. We must also know how to change any dangerous circumstances immediately. Bacteria need merely four elements for growth:

(1.) moisture- Did you ever imagine that meat is comprised of three-quarters water? If we freeze the water in meat, we give it temporary defense against bacteria by "binding" the moisture. Moisture is the primary reason meat spoils. Will dehydrating meat preserve it? We`ve been doing just that for thousands of years!

(2.) nutrient- Meat, (mammalian muscle) consists of roughly 75% water, 19 % protein, 2.5% fat, 1.2% carbohydrates, and 2.3% non-protein substances such as amino acids and minerals. Exposed to the atmosphere, meat becomes a virtual feast for bacteria.

(3.) warm temperature- Bacteria thrive at body-temperature! Called the "danger zone", the range from 40°F. (4°C.) to 140°F. (60°C.) is the optimum temperature periphery for bacteria to multiply. It is interesting to note that bacteria are restricted from growing at 130°F. (54°C.) but actually start to die at 140°F. (60°C.).

(4.) lack of oxygen- Aerobic bacteria need oxygen; anaerobic bacteria do not. Certain pathogenic bacteria in sausage being smoked certainly present a risk. Casings also cut off a certain volume of oxygen as does the "overnight curing" covered with plastic wrap inside a refrigerator. Remember the first rule of sausage making: Don`t smoke it if you can`t cure it! (meaning the use of actual cures of sodium nitrate or sodium nitrite).

Bacteria, have been named mostly in Latin or Greek, for their shape. Spherical bacteria are called cocci. Rod-shaped bacteria are known as bacilli. Curved bacilli (resembling a comma), are called vibrio. If they are spiral-shaped, the are called spirilla, and if the bacilli is tightly coiled, it is called spirochaetes. Many bacteria exist simply as single cells. If they are found in pairs, they are neisseria. The streptococcus form chains while the staphylococcus group together in clusters resembling grapes.

If a specific bacterium is facultative anaerobic, it is most active in oxygen but can survive without it. On the other hand, an obligate anaerobe cannot grow in the presence of oxygen. Bacteria do not grow in size - they multiply in number. And they do it very quickly! Without oxygen, the addition of sodium nitrates or sodium nitrites is necessary to prevent botulism. It also becomes crucial that meat be removed from the "danger zone" temperature range as quickly as possible during any preparation or cooking process. This includes grinding, mixing, and stuffing sausages, procedures often supported using ice, ice water, or refrigeration and freezing. As bacteria need moisture to multiply and meat is about three-quarters water, it becomes an ideal environment for the growth of bacteria, even when it is mostly dried. However, there is a point in which meat can lose so much "available" water, it will no longer sustain bacteria. This point differs within each particular type bacterium. When we get into making jerky, we`ll talk more about this "water activity" later on, as well as another bacteria-destroying process known as potentiometric hydrogen ion concentration... :shock: or simply "pH acidity".

Our first line of defense against pathogenic and spoilage bacteria is the application of extreme temperatures applied to meat either being cooked or frozen. As sausage is prepared, it is essential to work with only small batches at a time outside the refrigerator. Very often, meat is partially frozen before it is put through a grinder and bacteria at this temperature remain mostly inactive. In the grinder, ice chips are sometimes added to keep the temperature down as the friction of grinding actually warms the meat. Outside of the refrigerator, most bacteria begin to wake up as the temperature rises above 40°F. (4.4°C.). At 50°F. (10°C.), it is safe to work with the meat only temporarily before it goes back into the refrigerator. Most bacteria thrive at the temperature of our bodies (98.6°F. / 36.6°C.). As temperatures rise much above the "danger zone" (40°F - 140°F), their growth becomes restricted until around 140°F. (60°C.), they begin to die. Yet, strains such as Clostridium botulinum, may survive heating up to 250°F. (121°C) by producing heat-resistant, isolating envelopes called spores - nature`s way of protecting the organism by sheltering the bacteria from other unsympathetic environmental conditions.

2. Clostridium Botulinum - The Killer

Clostridium Botulinum is a common obligate anaerobic bacterium microorganism found in soil and sea sediments. Although it can only reproduce in an oxygen-free environment, when it does reproduce, it produces the deadliest poison known to man - botulinum toxin. One millionth of a gram ingested means certain death - about 500,000 times more toxic than cyanide. Onset of symptoms can occur quickly and include nausea, stomach pain, double vision, and spreading paralysis, ultimately reaching the heart or respiratory organs. If treatment is given and the dose is low, half of those affected may survive, but recovery may take months or years. Although fatalities occur yearly, especially in countries where home canning is popular, the risk of acquiring botulism is very, very low. However, the lethal consequences of poisoning may make you wish to reconsider the proper addition of sodium nitrate/nitrite in your products to almost eliminate the risk. Worldwide, there are about 1000 cases of botulism each year.

The rod-shaped bacterium was first recognized and isolated in 1896 following the poisoning of several people who had consumed bad ham. It was later discovered that due to the enzyme superoxide dismutase, the bacterium might actually tolerate very small traces of oxygen. Botulinum spores are extremely persistent and will survive heating up to 250°F. (121°C), freezing, smoking, and drying. Insidiously, they lie in wait for the right conditions to occur and give no foul smell or taste, making it even more treacherous. In non-cooked fermented sausages, the microorganism must be destroyed using a combination of salt, a drop beyond 5.0 pH, and a minimum drop in Aw water activity to 0.97 or less. Placing fresh vegetables or un-sterilized (garden fresh) spices into sausage is not recommended as botulinum spores are not uncommon on leafy herbs, peppers, beans, chilies, and corn. Cut off from oxygen by being stuffed into casings and placed in a smoker, the smoking temperatures are ideal for bacteria growth. The risk using fresh garlic is less, but cases of botulism poisoning have been reported after people have eaten home-canned garlic cloves in oil - the ideal environment for anaerobic bacterial growth!

A Real Puzzle

In Sweden during the 1970's, a single case of food-borne bolulism completely baffled medical authorites for more than a week. A father had been out with his 7-year old son hunting roe deer and since they lacked a freezer, they made meatballs and preserved them in jars. Experienced as they were, they followed all safety rules with sterilization of the jars etc. After a couple of months, the son opened a jar to have a taste and ate ONE meatball. He fell sick with botulism and was admitted to the emergency room at a hospital. With quick diagnosis and treatment, the boy recovered following several weeks in a hospital, as authorities investigated every possible clue for answers. (In Sweden, the law requires an investigation regulated by their bureau for Infectious Disease Control). The contents of all the jars were examined by specialists, though only one jar in particular seemed to be the only one infected! Investigators were completely puzzled! What had caused the infection of merely one jar? Following further investigation, it eventually turned out that when the deer was shot, the bullet had slightly grazed against the trunk of a tree before killing the game. A few spores from the tree had obviously followed the bullet into the wound to eventually end up in the preserve. Boiling the jars killed LIVING bacteria, but not the spores that found ideal growth conditions during the subsequent storage.

Sharpening Your Grinder Blade:

Let`s learn how to sharpen the blade in your grinder. Many people believe that by placing an abrasive on a perfectly flat surface and moving the grinder knife on the flat surface... will sharpen the blade. I disagree. And here`s the reason why:
Woodworkers are aware that a plane blade is NEVER sharpened on it`s flat side. Think of the two "flat contact sides" of a pair of scissors. A cutler never touches them. He does however, grind the beveled edges to sharpen them. Your rotating grinder blade`s contact surface must remain perfectly flat within a few thousandths of an inch. I never attempt to sharpen the flat side (platen side) of the blade. The correct method is to file the beveled edge - not the flat. There is a good discussion at this link: http://wedlinydomowe.pl/e...ghlight=sharpen

Grinder-knife blades are made of very high-carbon steel called hypereutectoid steel. Chances are it will wear down your file before you can touch the edge. The solution is to use a high-grade Washita stone to sharpen it with. Take your time and move the knife`s edge perfectly in line to the Washita stone`s flat surface. Work in one direction only, removing metal away from the cutting edge. By the way, the latest techniques in sharpening technology have shown that using oil or water on the stone is not recommended. It "builds up a sandy slurry type of dam" and today`s cutlers tell you to just stop and clean the stone at intervals using a moist rag.

Problems With Sausage Texture? Let`s Review The Rules

If the texture of your sausages tastes and looks like sawdust, it is time to review the basic rules. It is important to keep the meat absolutely cold during the entire sausage making process, capturing every opportunity to place it back into the refrigerator if for only a few minutes. Ground meat will have a better finished texture if it is initially prepared by cutting it into inch-and-a-half chunks, spreading them onto a baking sheet tray or large plate, and placing the chunks into a freezer ten minutes, until they almost begin to freeze. It`s also a good idea to place the grinder`s blade and plate into the freezer at the same time. As these parts begin to heat up quickly as they are used, keep them cooled by adding soft crushed ice or ice water to lubricate the meat during grinding. As the ground meat leaves the grinder, allow it to collect in a non-reactive metal bowl or container placed on top of another bowl full of ice. Never try grinding solid frozen, whole ice cubes inside your meat grinder. Refrigerate the ground meat as quickly as possible, even if it must be done in batches every few minutes. Again, never miss a chance to refrigerate the meat, though it may be just a few minutes.

As a grinder`s blade revolves against it`s plate, friction creates heat and fat will begin to liquefy in minuscule spots, "smearing" as the temperature actually approaches 160 degrees (F.) in places, where it separates from muscle rather than achieving a good emulsion by remaining solid. As the heated "spots" of fat cool being surrounded by ground meat and cooled fat, it will solidify anew, especially having exited the grinder - into unappetizing, greasy, awful-tasting, clusters scattered throughout the meat!

In addition, whenever cased sausage is heated too quickly during the smoking procedure, the fat will invariably liquefy and separate. This is called "breaking" the fat, and leaves behind lean, rancid-tasting, dehydrated, meat having the texture of sawdust. Rather than having sausage containing locked-in, tasty, solid fat, you`ll end up with sausage leaking orange, greasy "ninety-weight", all over the floor as it cooks. Without gradually raising the smokehouse temperature - no more than a few degrees each half hour over a prolonged period, you`ll end up tossing the entire batch.

After grinding, the simple task of producing a "sticky meat paste" becomes essential for proper texture in the finished product. Whether its by hand or by using a mixer, the meat must be agitated well enough to develop the protein myosin. Once again, as this occurs, the ground meat mixture will become "sticky" and develop peaks when pulled apart. Without developing myosin in the ground meat, the texture of your sausages will be inferior. For some reason, knowing this, beginners tend to overlook this critical step in the sausage making process. Finally, be careful not to add too much water to the mixture, as the sausage will become mushy, eventually shrinking, becoming flattened and wrinkly in appearance as the excess moisture evaporates.

Reviewing Sausage Sense & Secrets And... Pressing Forward!

Sorry, but there is just no such thing as a low-fat sausage. Did you know that the USDA allows 50% fat in "fresh" type pork breakfast sausage? Have you noticed how they shrink as they cook, leaving a pool of grease in the frying pan? Good sausage needs only 25 to 30% fat content to keep it lubricated. Without it, your sausage, even made with the finest meats, will feel dry as you attempt to chew it. Sausage must be made with chilled or frozen fat to avoid "smearing" as it is minced. Once the sausage is stuffed into casings and hung in your smoker, it must not be cooked too quickly or at too high a temperature. You just can`t hurry the process! If the fat in the mixture "breaks", (at about 170°F./ 77°C.), it becomes liquid and usually flows all over the floor of your smokehouse. When this happens, there is no salvaging the entire batch. Its texture will resemble that of sawdust and the now orange, re-solidified fat tastes just awful. Throw it out. And don`t you even dare give it to your dog as he just might turn on you with bared teeth!

Good sausage also needs a specific amount of salt for a variety of reasons. Fresh-type meat sausages (refrigerated and consumed within three days time), taste best when their salt content is only about 1.5%. The average smoked-cooked sausage requires 2% to 3%, varying in each recipe. In dry-cured products, even more salt content is required and remains constant, although evaporating moisture reduces the weight and intensifies the flavor of the sausage.

Nothing beats the taste of freshly ground or cracked peppercorns in sausage. The most widely used spice of all, (black pepper), comes from the unripened seeds (with the skin left on), of the piperaceae plant. White peppercorns are the ripened seeds with the skins removed. Please don`t purchase pre-ground pepper. Its flavor is gone and there is no telling how long it has been on the grocer`s shelf. Purchase fresh peppercorns from a reliable spice dealer and grind them yourself in a small, inexpensive coffee grinder. Pepper is an indispensable ingredient in sausage making! Use only the fresh stuff and grind it yourself.

A policeman once asked me why I ran a stop sign. I told him that I just don`t believe everything I read! So, when I read someone`s opinion that sugar counterbalances the harshness of salt, it raised my eyebrows. I do not agree completely, and have found that sugar has very little use in sausage other than when it`s placed in some "dry-cured" fermented type sausages. Even then, powdered dextrose (only 70% as sweet as sugar) is used in sausages that do not have the advantage of curing over a period of time. Sugar is usually added to dry-cured products where lactic acid bacteria have more time to work their magic. As a flavoring element, sugar does little to sausage but may sweeten the mixture a bit. Four grams of sugar in a kilogram of meat is too much and noticeably sweet. Although some disagree, I`ve found that adding sugar to a product in which too much salt has been inadvertently mixed, is usually not a practicable option and may even make it taste worse. The ideal solution? Add more ground meat to the mixture instead of sugar. Test a bit of the sausage by frying it quickly in a pan.

Smoking

Soon, we will add a cure to our fresh sausage and then smoke and prep-cook it. There will be all sorts of new skills to learn. First we must gain a basic knowledge of smoking principles.

The smoking of sausage is a topic with enough range to be covered by an entire publication. Still, Chapter 3, "Meat Smokers And Smoking Meats", will provide you with enough information to start the next step. We recommend reading the publication "Meat Smoking And Smokehouse Design" by Stanley Marianski and his sons Robert and Adam.

Many people hang sausages on smoke sticks to dry them an hour before placing them into a smokehouse. Some dry them in a slightly heated smokehouse of 110° F. (43°C.) opening the dampers fully an hour to allow moisture to escape. No matter how its done, remember, sausages will not take on smoke until they are completely dry to the touch.

Next, gradually cook the meat while smoking it. The word gradually in this step is of highest importance in the process. Most recipes will have you start the cooking-smoking at about 120°F. (49°C.) after pre-heating the smoker to that temperature. When the internal meat temperature (IMT) reaches 120°F. (49°C.), increases in temperature made thereafter must be done only a few degrees each twenty minutes or half hour. An increase of only 2 degrees each twenty minutes will require 5 hours of cooking. Better yet, is an increase each half hour requiring seven and a half hours!

Other folks prefer to steam sausages immediately following light smoking. For larger batches, place a pan of water on the smokehouse burner, turn up the heat, and steam sausages hung on smoke sticks right inside your smokehouse. Even though the sausages are steamed with moisture, they must not surpass 160° F. (71°C.) or the fat will "break". The upside? If you allow the fat to break, you`ll have plenty of slingshot ammunition on your hands, as the "sawdust sausages" won`t be fit for anything else.

For steaming small batches of sausages, a large, multi-layered, stackable Chinese bamboo steamer is ideal. Simply use a wok, half-full of water, and a larger diameter bamboo steamer. Be sure to monitor the internal meat temperature with a "constant reading probe thermometer" having an alarm. Whether they are steam cooked or just baked inside the smokehouse, having reached the temperature of 155°F. (68°C.), the sausages must be immediately removed to the ice water to avoid the "carry over effect" where the temperature actually continues to climb. Finally, they are showered with cold water (to reduce shriveling) until their temperature drops to room temperature. As they are wiped off and hung to dry, it is only a matter of a few hours before a beautiful mahogany bloom appears.

Many people are under the impression that once cured, cooked, and smoked, a sausage may be left out of the refrigerator safely. This is a popular misconception and not true. The only type sausage or whole meat muscle that may be safely stored at room temperature is a fully fermented, dry-cured product that has not been cooked during preparation or stored in direct sunlight for long periods. Store all other meats in the refrigerator. If the sausage is semi-dry cured, wrap it in layers of paper towel to absorb moisture as it continues to dry. Store dry-cured sausages and meats in relative humidity below 70% and below 60°F. (16°C.) for best results.

______________________________________

Garlic

Ol' pappy used to say, "Son, there are two things you just don't do... get on the right side of yer` horse and cook without garlic". Shucks, my best pal Bad Bob wouldn't even speak to people who didn't eat or cook with garlic. He believed anyone not loving the stuff should be deported... from Earth! The opinionated sourdough, wearing the stuff around his neck, told me that garlic falls into two primary categories - hardneck and softneck. As the man spread it upon his toast, he explained that the garlic most of us cook with is of the "softneck" variety, which contains a circle of plump cloves shrouding a second circle of smaller cloves, all enveloped by layers of paper. Its neck is soft and pliable, it is heat-tolerant, stores well, and has become the country`s favorite commercial garlic. Hardneck garlic is distinguished by its stiff center staff, around which large uniform cloves hang. It is considered superior in flavor and more complex and intense than the softneck varieties. The original cultivated garlic, hardneck has a relatively sparse parchment wrapper making it easier to peel (and damage) than softneck and its thinly wrapped cloves lose moisture more quickly than the softneck variety. Bad Bob`s favorites? The robust flavored hardneck varieties of course, including Porcelain, Zemo, Rocambole, and Carpathian.

Garlic, (allium sativum), just like the onion, belongs to the lilly family! :roll: It was first found near Siberia although it was discovered later to be growing wild in Sicily. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed a curious superstition - if a man running a race chewed a morsel of the bulb, it would prevent his competitors from getting ahead of him. Grown in England about the year 1540, the name garlic, derived from gar (a spear) and lac (a plant), is of Anglo-Saxon origin.

The majority of garlic in the United States is cultivated near Gilroy, California, and the use of it becomes more popular each year. Gilroy`s Garlic Annual Festival is something to behold! Surprisingly, although the ancient Romans enjoyed garlic, it was believed to be poisonous by many people scarcely over sixty years ago. Today a multitude of disorders are treated with garlic including hypoglycemia, arthritis, hypertension, and diabetes. Pappy used it to treat colds, ulcers, and insomnia. Now, doctors believe it has anti-carcinogenic properties, so cook with lots of it or eat it raw.

If your horse complains about your breath, remove garlic`s aroma from your mouth and hands with coffee beans. If your mate objects to the odor of garlic, find a new mate! Drive `em off with 12 gauge salt loads, write his or her phone number upon several restroom walls, sue for divorce including punitive damages, and marry a garlic-loving individual, as he or she will most certainly exhibit a much higher intelligence quotient than your previous partner.

Garlic is one of the few fresh ingredients you may add to sausage. Rytek Kutas didn`t even bother peeling the stuff; he simply tossed it into the grinder`s hopper with the paper skin intact! The amount of flavor extracted from garlic depends upon the extent to which a clove is cut or crushed as the cells of the plant are ruptured releasing allyl sulfenic acid - an odorless chemical - combining with the enzyme allinase. The compound created is known as allicin - the stuff directly accountable for the fundamental aroma and flavor of garlic. The more the plant is broken down, the more enzymes are released as its "bite" becomes stronger. Cooks should realize that allinase becomes inert whenever heated beyond 150 degrees F. and no new flavors may be rendered from the plant - a desired characteristic when it comes to the preparation of "baked garlic".

Tasting Food With Your Nose
Saddlebum Savvy And Recipe Rescues


Do you realize we humans experience only four fundamental tastes? They are sweet, salty, bitter, and sour, although some scientists allege the existence of a fifth taste called "umami", which they perceive as "savory". As we make distinctions with the unique characteristics of tastes, we perceive flavors. Nothing new here, but did you know that the way a food smells actually accounts for more than 70 percent of the flavor we perceive? Why then, is the sense of taste so much less complex? It`s because our sense of taste merely makes distinctions in the quality of food (or any other material) we have already selected and placed into our mouths.

In primitive man, a keen sense of smell was vital for successfully hunting food - often under dangerous conditions - and his ability to quickly detect and recognize thousands of odors became advanced. He could qualify it later, using his much less complex sensation of taste. Of course food had to taste good, simply to be palatable.

Odors and aromas of foods need volatile compounds (organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary, room-temperature conditions) to reach our nasal cavities, and the aroma of hot food is usually the only encouragement we need to straighten up and be seated at the dining table. That`s fine for hot pastrami, but what about cold Alysandra salami? When the temperature of food drops, very little vapor is released. Accordingly, most cold food does not have much odor, not to mention taste. Thus, a problem occurs when we prepare or eat cold food - how do we keep it interesting? How does one soup-up a sensational salami so it attracts a little attention? One solution is to use particularly pungent flavorings such as garlic or onion. Other foods may use citrus for a little potency. The best answer to the question is to spotlight the four basic tastes of sweet, salty, bitter, and sour. Many sausage makers select strong-smelling seasonings to heighten taste, but because acidity may be detected at low temperatures, the development of lactobacilli becomes most essential, providing something we call "tang". In some cultures, vinegar is sometimes used as it is in chorizo and similar sausages.

Our sensitivity to salt remains somewhat uniform whenever tasting both cold and warm foods, and we usually add comparable quantities to each. Experienced cooks often check cold foods just before serving them to see if they require more salt. Experienced home sausage makers often cook up a quick sample and taste it before the batch is stuffed into casings.

Another consideration sausage makers may be concerned with is an introduction of contrasting flavors. For instance, consumers often sprinkle salt on cold watermelon or pineapple to emphasize their sweetness by providing a distinctive counterbalance. The combination of honey and mustard make an interesting combination. In crafting flavors for meat, smoke and brown sugar often play an important part in addition to culturally indigenous spices and herbs such as marjoram in Polish sausages, fennel in Italian favorites, or sage in English bangers.

We have roughly 10,000 taste buds inside our mouths; females having more than males. Taste buds sensing salty and sweet flavors are located near the front of the tongue while those identifying sour flavors line its sides. Bitter flavors are identified at the very back of the tongue. Our sense of taste is the weakest of the five senses, and as we grow older, our taste buds become much less sensitive - perhaps nature`s way of having us trim calories as we become less active as we age. However, older people are more likely to eat foods they once thought were too strong.

It may be fun to really learn how to taste the sausages you make. Why not take a new approach to savoring your hard work? Begin by tasting any other food - soup for instance. Be sure to check the temperature before placing a scalding, savory, soup sample into your mouth. Juggling a spoonful of steaming, 210-degree "chicken-noodle ambush" inside your mouth will completely take your mind away from your immediate objective. Many chefs will have their customers "cleanse" their taste buds by placing a spoonful of ice cream on the tongue and immediately chasing it with a shot of carbonated soda such as Sprite or 7-Up. Next, enjoy the aroma of the sausage sample. Leave your nasal passages open and close your mouth. Close your eyes and move it all about your mouth or swirl it around a little as if tasting liquid. Notice which taste buds react most as you individually evaluate sweetness, saltiness, bitterness, or sourness. Concentrate and appraise each of the four tastes you were born with. Through experience, many chefs develop a talent for correcting their dishes by using their "mind`s eye" - imagining the effect of added seasonings upon their final effort. I`ve seen old time sausage makers taste, squint, rub their whiskers, reach inside the grub box, then add just exactly the right amount of one thing or another to the mixture, "seasonin` the blend" perfectly. These same ol` pros usually stick to the basics - salt, sugar, pepper, adding perhaps a single "signature spice" to make the best sausage. Most have learned that too much spice or too many spices are simply not necessary to create sensational sausage.

Herbs come from plants - spices from seeds. Some just naturally blend well used together. For example, equal amounts of basil and oregano, with half as much thyme, make a first-rate choice seasoning for countless recipes, but once they`ve been added, the cannot be removed. In sausage, they are usually added minimal amounts. Rosemary, ginger, sage, and tarragon have comparatively strong flavors and as a general rule should be used sparingly. On the other hand, some spices or herbs should be used by themselves.

Beginners, believing they may "neutralize" the sweetness of sugar by adding more salt, or curb the taste of salt by using more sugar, have much to learn. It doesn`t work. Yet, occasionally, some dishes may be adjusted or "pulled up" using a bit of "western saddlebum savvy". The following remedies are not foolproof , yet may help if a particular situation is not too grim: If a food is too spicy, try adding some sweetness or creaminess. Too sweet? Don`t add salt! Try adding something sour or spicy hot. If a food is too bland, try adding salt or some spicy heat. If it`s too salty, don`t add sugar! As an alternative, try adding something sour. If something is just too harsh, you may try adding a touch of something sweet, and if your cooking just needs a kick in the fanny because it lacks depth, charge it up using something acidic or aromatic near the end of cooking - perhaps vinegar or an ingredient with just a bit of spicy heat in it. I`ve only one more note on the matter. The sausage making pros with years of experience, use very few spices and flavorings actually. Most ol` timers say that sausage is best when the flavor of the meat is allowed to naturally shine through. They often tell beginners that how they make a sausage is equally important as what goes into it. I just hope your taste buds just reach up and tickle yer` tonsils!

________________Observations By Chuckwagon _____________________


Just A Little More Reading... with a few points to ponder.

Commercial sausage has always been made with one principal objective - profit! With higher profits being an invariable issue, large companies have learned every trick in the book! Large producers do not use genuine paprika because food coloring is cheaper. No dried spices are used, since extracts are cheaper. To add weight, they often add starch to absorb water. Unfortunately, commercial sausage makers often use citric acid in fermented sausages instead of allowing the slow development of lactic acid bacteria, because proper fermentation takes time, and time means money. Although there is nothing at all wrong with today`s collagen and artificial casings, commercial suppliers use them almost exclusively since natural casings are expensive and impractical to use in automated, consistent-volume processing.

Since small, home-sausage making kitchens are non-commercial, there is no need for hobbyists to save a few cents on cutbacks. Always use the best cuts of meat and choice fat. Generally, pork shoulder and fatback are the choices of the hobbyist or small processor - not odds and ends of different cuts. Better sausages than those found in the marketplace do not have to be unavoidably expensive and the effort does not need to drain your bank account.

If your finances are limited, be aware that an initial investment in a few specific hand-tools (grinder and stuffer) will save you money in the end. There`s certainly nothing wrong with using a 50-gallon barrel or an old refrigerator for your smoker. I`ve even seen a few made from old filing cabinets or even cardboard boxes. We're going to be smoking a "cured & cooked sausage" soon, so if you don't have a smokehouse, start thinking about a barrel or even a large cardboard box with hot plate for sawdust. You may also be able to locate used equipment perfectly capable of producing great sausage. And better yet, using perfected skills, you`ll save a mountain of cash making your family`s hams, bacons, sausages, salami, pepperoni, jerky, and any number of other meat products. On the other hand, you may choose to simply purchase a professional, insulated, smoker with all the latest gadgets and tricks. Meat curing and smoking guidelines are simple and very much worth the effort for placing just the right finishing touches on your own exquisite, custom-made creations. Soon, you`ll even develop your own special time-saving techniques as well.

All sausages contain relatively high amounts of salt and fat. There are no practical alternatives. If sausage is going to be palatable, it must contain at least 20% to 30% fat and about 1.5% or even 2% salt. Generally, about 2 grams of salt in 100 grams of meat is just about right. Sausages containing more than 3.5% salt are too salty to consume and it seems as though many commercial producers certainly push this limit. In dry cured sausage, the amount of salt is increased as it helps protect uncooked meat from pathogenic and spoilage bacteria and other microorganisms. Nonetheless, you simply do not have to purchase someone else`s recipes jam-packed with the stuff.

In the United States, fresh pork sausages may contain up to 50% fat (30% in beef sausages), and large companies seem to push this limit also. Cook up a batch of store-bought breakfast sausage and take a hard look at the grease left in the pan to see what I mean. Why consume 50% fat in a store-bought sausage, when you can make a healthier and better-tasting product yourself containing half that amount? Following USDA guidelines and employing proven strategies and knowledge, adjusting your own levels of salt, fat, and spiciness in a leaner and better quality sausage than you may purchase, just makes good sense. For their own protection, many people with heart problems or high blood pressure do just that, creating their own special recipes. Actually the procedure is totally safe, a lot of fun, and not as complicated as you may believe, providing you follow the rules precisely and understand why you are doing what you are doing. Destroying and preventing the bugs inside meat is not rocket science and practicing a few basic safety procedures does not require a college degree. Nevertheless, it does require a little common sense. Almost everyone eats sausage. Why not make your own? It`s healthy, economical, and lots of fun. Can you answer these questions without looking back? (The answers are below).

Self Checkup
1. Generally, in fresh sausage about how many grams of salt in 100 grams of meat is just about right?
2. To add ________, commercial sausagemakers often add starch to absorb water.
3. What type of fat is most often preferred in sausages?
4. Is the best sausage made of odds and ends of different cuts?
5. What is citric acid used for in commercial sausages?
6. What is the legal limit of fat in fresh type pork sausage in the United States?

Answers: 1. Two grams 2. Weight 3. Pork backfat 4. No. Use better cuts. 5. To simulate the fermented taste of lactic acid bacteria. 6. In fresh type pork sausage it is 50%

_______________________________Head `em Up... Move `em Out! _________________________________

Let`s press on in our reading just a little. Soon, we`ll start smoking the sausages we make and the procedure will cut off oxygen. Remember, bacteria just love the absence of oxygen. :shock: Please make sure you`ve read the next page in Stan's index:

Smoking
http://www.meatsandsausages.com/meat-smoking

Whew! :roll:
Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
Last edited by Chuckwagon on Tue Aug 26, 2014 07:38, edited 1 time in total.
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
User avatar
Chuckwagon
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 4494
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 04:51
Location: Rocky Mountains

Post by Chuckwagon » Wed Aug 20, 2014 04:39

Trucktramp wrote:
I did double the volume keeping the cure and salt double also. I needed that much to cover the darn things.
Yes. That is exactly right. You'll be just fine. Oh, good idea about smoking one and leaving another. They'll both be mighty tasty yet different and unique in their own way. Smoking meat always adds flavor. Some folks smoke it too much and find that it becomes bitter. On a big ham like this one, six hours of light to medium smoke smudge is plenty. Hickory and pork make magic! :razz:
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
User avatar
Chuckwagon
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 4494
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 04:51
Location: Rocky Mountains

Post by Chuckwagon » Wed Aug 20, 2014 05:03

Chuckwagon`s Smoked Pork Loin (Canadian Bacon)
(5-Day, Brine Cured, Smoked, Pork Loin)

Many meat products are cured by simply soaked in saltwater brine containing a specified amount of sodium nitrite. However, to insure complete penetration and disbursement, often up to fifteen percent of the meat`s weight in brine, is injected throughout the product. In muscles of any size, the injection of short, equally distributed "needle shots" usually ensures complete distribution.
One of the most popular meat products cured in this manner is Canadian Bacon which is not bacon at all. Pork loins are trimmed of their silver skin and excess fat, and cured in a strong saltwater solution containing Prague Powder #1. Ten percent of each loin`s weight is calculated by simply moving a decimal point, and that much brine is injected into each loin. Again, very small "shots" are injected equally into several places in each loin.
To determine the correct amount of brining solution to inject, simply weigh the meat. Move the decimal point one place to the left to determine the weight of ten per cent solution. In other words, if the meat weighs 15 pounds, inject 1.5 pounds of brine into the loins. Next, the loins are placed into the leftover brine and refrigerated. Note that it is most important to keep the temperature as near 38°;F. (3°;C.) as possible. Temperatures much above that point may enable the meat to begin spoiling; below that point, the cure`s effectiveness may be compromised.

10 lbs. pork loins
3 tblspns. Cure #1
4 qts. icewater
3/4 cup sugar
2 tblspns. Mapleline (maple flavoring)
1 cup salt

Rinse the loins well following the fifth day brining, and pat them with a paper towel. I like to roll Smoked Pork Loin in plenty of freshly cracked black peppercorns before they go into the smoker. The meat is then slowly smoke-roasted to an internal meat temperature of 150°F. (66°C.), making it one of the most delicious types of "ham" you might slide across your tongue! As a reference, ten pounds of loin requires about six or seven hours cooking in a 200°F. oven or smoker. Two hours actual smoking is plenty.

"On the trail" without refrigeration, a portable cooler containing cubed ice or snow may be used to cover and keep the water and the loins as close to 38° F. (3° C.) as possible while the meat cures. As the ice melts, the solution becomes weaker and diluted as water is poured off each day. Compensation for the loss of salt and cure must be made by adding a teaspoon of Cure # 1 and two tablespoons salt, once a day on each of the last three days of curing. Be sure to completely dissolve the cure into the water just before adding more ice to the cooler to compensate for that which has melted. (If you are using snow, be sure to pack it inside a large, plastic, zip-lock type bag.) At the end of the fifth day, soak the loins in cold, clean, water for an hour. Be sure to dry the loins completely before smoking them. (Hickory is magic with pork!). Lots of folks roll Canadian Bacon in yellow cornmeal rather than black pepper and call it "peameal bacon". That`s okay because some misunderstood souls even omit the smoking. :shock: These hardcase highbinders should be put out "ridin` fence" until November! :roll:

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
User avatar
Chuckwagon
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 4494
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 04:51
Location: Rocky Mountains

Post by Chuckwagon » Wed Aug 20, 2014 06:04

Using Sodium Nitrate and Sodium Nitrite Cures

Anciently, most probably by accident, man discovered 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 species) or other natural means to be effective. In other words, nitrate breaks down into nitrite - and nitrate 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. Cure #1 in the United States, contains 6.25% sodium nitrite and 93.75% sodium chloride (salt). As this formula contains no sodium nitrate, there is no waiting for nitrate to be broken down into nitrite. It is effective immediately in curing meat. In manufacturing the cure, one ounce of sodium nitrite is 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.
Note that in other countries, the formula varies. In the United Kingdom, this site (Sausagemaking.org), offers Prague Powder # 1 (Cure #1) with 5.88% sodium nitrite, the remainder being salt.

Cure #2 is used in dry-cured sausages where curing time allows the nitrate to gradually break down into nitrite. Cure #2 in the United States, contains 6.25% sodium nitrite, 4% sodium nitrate, and 89.75 sodium chloride (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 nitrate serves as a long time "reservoir" of nitrite. Note that in other countries, the formula varies. In the United Kingdom, this site (Sausagemaking.org), offers Prague Powder # 2 (Cure #2) with 5.67% sodium nitrite, 3.62 sodium nitrate, the remainder being salt.

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.

Use meat cures with caution.

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. Usually, the amount of added sodium nitrite lies in the range of 50-200 mg. per kg and sodium nitrate in the range of 200 to 600 mg. per kg. Both cures have been formulated so that 1 (one) level U.S. teaspoon will cure 5 pounds of meat. It is always a good idea to weigh the cure for best accuracy. Dissolving the cure into a little water ensures adequate uniform dispersal throughout the meat

Notice that formula #1 contains only nitrite while formula #2 contains both nitrite and nitrate. One curing agent must never be confused with the other within any recipe and one certainly must not be substituted for the other. If you mix, cure, and smoke sausage, or cure and smoke hams, it becomes your responsibility to follow directions mixing exactly four ounces 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. Always remember that any recklessness in mixing these salts may potentially injure someone. Measure twice - mix once! Incidentally, the product known as Tender Quick* contains 0.5 sodium nitrite, 0.5 sodium nitrate, salt, sugar, and propylene glycol (for brined meats)

The strength of nitrates and nitrites themselves do not vary. It is the amount added to a sodium chloride (salt) carrier that makes a cure stronger or weaker in comparison to others. Again, note that in the UK, nitrited salt cures vary in strength and one MUST look at the label to be safe. In Sweden, folks call their product Colorazo at 0.6% nitrite. In France, it`s Sel nitrite` at 0.6% nitrite. In Poland, they call their nitrited salt cure Peklosol at 0.6% nitrite, and in Germany, it is Pokelsalz at 0.6% nitrite content in salt. As you can see, Prague Powder Cure #1 in America is ten and a half times stronger than European cures, with the exception of some of those in the UK.

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
trucktramp
Beginner
Beginner
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2013 17:14
Location: Scotts, Michigan

Post by trucktramp » Thu Aug 21, 2014 17:26

The hams are done. Five days in the brine. One finished in the oven at about 250 degrees F. Until an internal temp of 150 degrees F. The other was smoked 6 hours and finished in the oven also. It took all night to get them done but it was well worth it. The small tastes that I had were delicious. I think the smoked ham was better...but then I like anything smoked...even smoke. :mrgreen: It's too bad that these were done for a friend. Now I have to do my own. I think I have found a project for Christmas. As soon as I get things sorted out I will see if I can figure out how to post pics. Thanks CW for a great recipe. It really is fool proof (and I'm just fool enough to try it) and tasty. Thanks too for all the guidance and letting me jump ahead of the class a bit. Now onward and upward to the next project.
I believe in moderation in everything...including moderation
User avatar
el Ducko
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 1340
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 04:59
Location: Texas Hill Country
Contact:

More Information on Nitrate/Nitrite CURES

Post by el Ducko » Thu Aug 21, 2014 19:39

More Information on Nitrate/Nitrite CURES
I try to keep my sausage recipe spreadsheet current, and that includes checking for possible errors. One of them is nitrite/nitrate concentration, which is a critical number for both health and safety concerns. Seeing CW`s post, I took the opportunity to check the details in my spreadsheet, as well as to learn a bit more. Here`s some additional detail, especially on the Morton Salt products.

Morton Website Info
Here`s some information from the Morton website. It doesn`t give chemical concentration, but gives interesting usage suggestions. Further down in my post is more detail, including composition.
Morton Website wrote: http://www.mortonsalt.com/for-your-home ... der-quick/
Morton® Tender Quick® mix contains salt, the main preserving agent; sugar, both sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite, curing agents that also contribute to development of color and flavor; and propylene glycol to keep the mixture uniform. Morton® Tender Quick® mix can be used interchangeably with Morton® Sugar Cure® (Plain) mix. It is NOT a meat tenderizer.

http://www.mortonsalt.com/for-your-home ... ure-plain/
Morton® Sugar Cure contains salt, sugar, propylene glycol, sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite, a blend of natural spices and dextrose (corn sugar). Morton® Sugar Cure® (Plain) mix can be used interchangeably with Morton® Tender Quick® mix.
General Table on Cure #1, Cure #2, Morton Tender Quick, Morton Sugar Cure
Here is a better description of US and UK curing salts.
Susan Minor website wrote: http://www.susanminor.org/forums/showth ... ring-Salts
Cure #1
This premix is use in meats and sausages that require a short curing time, and will be smoked, cooked or canned. It is a blend of salt and sodium nitrite, and of course it has the curing properties of sodium nitrite. The salt is added as a carrier and to make it easier to measure. In the United States it is dyed pink, so chefs and the home user will not mistake it for salt or sugar. Though it goes by several different brand and generic names, they all have the same formula of 93.75% salt, and 6.25% sodium nitrite (1 pound of salt plus 1 ounce of sodium nitrite).

Cure #1 can be used as a dry brine (dry cure) or in a wet brine (pickle). It provides the same curing properties of sodium nitrite, and is considered a quick cure, because it starts curing immediately upon contact with the meat. As mentioned earlier, this type of cure is used for curing meats for a short period of time that will be cooked, smoked, or canned. This includes poultry, fish, ham, bacon, luncheon meats, corned beef, pates, sausages and other products too numerous to mention.

NOTE: This is not interchangeable with cure #2, or any of the Morton brand name cures. Also do not mistake this for recipes calling for sodium nitrite, which means pure sodium nitrite.

Cure #2
This cure is a blend of salt and sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate. The salt is added as a carrier and to make it easier to measure. In the United States it is dyed pink, so chefs and the home user will not mistake it for salt or sugar. It goes by several different brand and generic names, but they all have the same formula of 89.75% salt, and 6.25% sodium nitrite, and 4% sodium nitrate (1 pound of salt, plus 1 ounce of sodium nitrite, plus .64 ounce of sodium nitrate).

Cure #2 has the same curing and food preservative properties as sodium nitrite, and the extended curing time of sodium nitrate. It is specifically formulated to be used for making uncooked dry cured products that require several weeks to several months to cure. Dry curing meat or sausage properly cannot be done with Cure #1 which contains sodium nitrite only; it dissipates too quickly.

Cure #2 can be compared to the time release capsules used in medicines - the sodium nitrites start working immediately, while the sodium nitrates slowly reduce over time into sodium nitrites. Thus allowing for the much longer curing times required to dry cure, which can take up to 6 months. Generally used in such sausages as pepperoni, hard salami, geonoa salami, prosciutto hams, dried farmers sausage, capicola and others that do not require cooking, smoking, or refrigeration.

NOTE: This is not interchangeable with cure #1, or by any of the Morton brand name cures. Nor is it interchangeable with sodium nitrate or saltpeter which is measured differently and has different curing times. Also do not mistake this for recipes calling for sodium nitrate or sodium nitrite, which means pure sodium nitrate or pure sodium nitrite.
Morton Tender Quick and Morton Sugar Cure

NOTE: Morton Tender Quick is not a meat tenderizer, or should either be used as a seasoning. These two premixes are essentially the same, and can be used interchangeably. Both are considered fast cures. The difference between the two is that the Sugar Cure has added dextrose and a packet of spice mix. They both contain a combination of high grade salt, sugar, plus both sodium nitrate (.5%) and sodium nitrite (.5%).

Like cure #1, these premix cures have been developed as a cure for meat, poultry, game, fish and sausage that require short curing times, and will be fully cooked. They are NOT interchangeable with cure #1; they measure differently. Unlike cure #1, you don't use any additional salt when making sausage.

Morton Sugar Cure Smoke Flavored

Also know as Morton Sugar Cure Smoke Flavored. This cure premix is not recommended for sausage, but it is listed so that the user does not mistake or confuse this with Morton Sugar Cure (plain). This is a slow cure, and the cure reaction takes longer with Morton Smoke Flavored Sugar Cure than with cure #2 or Morton Sugar Cure (plain) or Morton Tender Quick. This premix is formulated especially for dry curing large cuts of meat like hams, or bacon, that need to be cured over a long period of time.

It contains salt, sugar, sodium nitrate (1%), propylene glycol, caramel color, natural hickory smoke flavor, a blend of natural spices and dextrose (corn sugar) - it does not contain sodium nitrite. The smoke flavor and spices comes in a separate package and can be added if the flavor is desired. This cure doesn't`t have to be mixed with additional salt; and it should not be used for a wet brine (pickle) solution.

NOTE: This is not interchangeable with cure #1, or cure #2, or saltpeter or Morton Tender Quick or Sugar Cure (plain).
I hope this adds a bit of detail to CW`s preceding information. ESPECIALLY NOTE the factor-of-10 difference between US/UK-produced Cures #1/#2 strengths versus Morton Salt Company and rest of the world. Morton and Peklosol users beware!
:mrgreen:
Experience - the ability to instantly recognize a mistake when you make it again.
User avatar
Chuckwagon
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 4494
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 04:51
Location: Rocky Mountains

Post by Chuckwagon » Fri Aug 22, 2014 02:21

Trucktramp wrote:
Thanks CW for a great recipe. It really is fool proof (and I'm just fool enough to try it) and tasty. Thanks too for all the guidance and letting me jump ahead of the class a bit. Now onward and upward to the next project.
Hey Truckster! I am so glad your project turned out well. I know you followed the instructions carefully and the stuff just has to be delicious! I hope your friend appreciates all the work you put into that project. Please be sure to make your own delicious ham also. And... thank you so very much for the kind words. They are very much appreciated!

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
spud
User
User
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 01:10
Location: Perth, Australia

Post by spud » Sat Aug 23, 2014 02:11

KB Boys & gals,
Just to log in that I have completed the Breakfast Sausage homework.
Look great, taste good, best I've made so far.

:smile: Hail the great CW :smile:

Spud OZ
Post Reply