Water and expansion?

Post Reply
Fingers
User
User
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 09:47
Location: Northumberland

Water and expansion?

Post by Fingers » Wed May 17, 2017 08:04

Have I have possibly been adding water for no reason?

I am adding it as recipes I have been following when first learning say so, but thay also added rusk. Since going rusk free and meat only I have still been adding a little water till the mix feels right. But I have noticed my sausage or meatballs expand, is the water or wine causing this? I cant think what else, unless meat expands during cooking.
reddal
User
User
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2017 16:26
Location: an Island

Re: Water and expansion?

Post by reddal » Wed May 17, 2017 16:06

Fingers wrote:Have I have possibly been adding water for no reason?

I am adding it as recipes I have been following when first learning say so, but thay also added rusk. Since going rusk free and meat only I have still been adding a little water till the mix feels right. But I have noticed my sausage or meatballs expand, is the water or wine causing this? I cant think what else, unless meat expands during cooking.
I always thought you only put water into a sausage to hydrate rusk - but I'm far from an expert!

Sausages expanding seems weird - they normally shrink a bit for me. Any chance there are air pockets in the sausage? Those would expand.
User avatar
redzed
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3171
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 06:29
Location: Vancouver Island

Post by redzed » Wed May 17, 2017 22:08

Water of course is both a natural ingredient in meat as well as an additive when we make sausage. When making sausage using a well tested and credible recipe don't hesitate to add the amount of water stipulated in the recipe, which could range anywhere from 3 to 10%. In emulsified products it can be as much as 20%. The amount is determined by the water binding properties of the meat as well added binders such as phosphates, milk powders, soy products and the British favourite, rusk.

During the smoking and cooking process, (poaching, frying, grilling) the sausage loses moisture and adding water the sausage can stay moist, juicy and have a much better mouthfeel. However, there are other reasons why we use water. These are outlined below in a segment from Joseph G. Sebranek, "Basic Curing Ingredients", Rodrigo Tarté, Editor
Ingredients in Meat Products: Properties, Functionality and Applications pp. 3-4.

Water is often called a "universal solvent" because it will dissolve a large number
of substances, including those used as ingredients in cured meats. Water serves as
a solvent, carrier, and dispersing agent for salt, nitrate, nitrite, sugar, phosphates,
and other ingredients typically included in cured meat. This is especially critical for
uniform dispersion of sodium nitrite, which for comminuted meat products is
restricted to 156 ppm (7 g/45.4 kg). Without water to dissolve and disperse such a
small quantity, it would be very difficult to achieve a uniform distribution of nitrite
during mixing. The solvent property of water is also essential for meat protein
extraction, a critical step for meat emulsion stability and for cooked product textural
properties (Tarté & Amundson, 2006) . Salt (sodium chloride) is necessary for
protein solubilization because it is the salt-soluble (myofibrillar) proteins that are
most important; however, added water (often 10-20% of the meat weight) also
plays an important role in protein solubility. Solubilizing meat proteins with salt
and added water facilitates the formation of an interfacial protein film around fat
globules in finely chopped meat products such as frankfurters and bologna. If properly
formed, these protein films stabilize the fat globules during cooking and prevent
fat separation from the meat mixture. Solubilized meat proteins are also
critical to the three-dimensional crosslinking and gelation that occurs during heating
of meat mixtures. Heat-set gelation of meat proteins is responsible for trapping
and holding water and fat, and for the textural properties of the semisolid,
three-dimensional structure that results. A great deal of finished product tenderness,
juiciness, and mouthfeel are dictated by the gel structure that is formed. The gelation
properties also determine the extent of water and fat retention during cooking
and, consequently, affect product yields.
Fingers
User
User
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 09:47
Location: Northumberland

Post by Fingers » Thu May 18, 2017 08:29

Thanks for the replys.

I am happy with the results I am getting with adding the water till I get a nice feel to the bind, these are my own recipes so its all experimental. The resulting texture and flavour are what I am trying to achieve. The expansion is only a problem when I have over stuffed the sausage, which I tend to do. It sounds like the water plays more of a part than just a cheep filler so omitting it may not be the best idea.

Not all my recipes expand (and contract when cool) I have a leek, mustard and pork where there is 33% fresh copped leek. These did actually shrink during the cooking but as the leek cooked you would expect this I guess. So is it the bind, the ones that are expanding are a very tight bind, I am not finely grinding but the texture result is sort of a firm hot dog.
Post Reply