Problems With Texture?

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Problems With Texture?

Post by Chuckwagon » Fri May 07, 2010 00:14

Problems With Sausage Texture?

As a grinder`s blade revolves against it`s plate, friction creates heat and fat will begin to liquefy in spots as it approaches 160 degrees, where it separates from muscle rather than achieving a good emulsion by remaining solid. In sausage making circles, this is called "smearing" and destroys proper "definition" of a good sausage. As the fat cools having exited the grinder, it will solidify anew, into greasy clusters scattered throughout the meat! If it enters a casing in this condition, it can "smear" the inside of the casing, blocking the procurement of smoke.

The best approach to avoid smearing is to separate the meat from the fat when it is cut into chunks. Freeze the fat and refrigerate the lean meat. Comminuted (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 or until they almost begin to freeze. Half an hour before you are ready to grind, toss the plate and the knife into the freezer. Prepare the sausages in smaller batches, refrigerating it at every convenience. As friction warms the plate, add a little crushed ice or ice water to lubricate the meat during grinding. Never grind solid ice cubes inside your meat grinder. Always use sharp blades with a little pressure applied to the plate for a clean cut with good results. (Check the "tech" forum for a discussion on sharpening your grinder's blades).

Most beginners are completely unaware that proper mixing is essential to making sausage with good texture. Proteins consist of large molecules of amino acids. Many of them are soluble, have the ability to swell in water, and denature (unravel) upon heating. Particular use is made of such protein properties in meat products manufacturing. Proteins are the most important constituents of meat and meat products. Comminuted sausage must be mixed until the proteins myocin and actin develop, forming actomyosin - the stuff responsible for muscular contraction. Only after a "meat paste" ensues, is it ready to be stuffed into casings. And indeed, it is possible to over mix the meat. So, how much is enough? Think about the last time you made burgers for your grill. The meat patties were "developed" as you tossed the meat from hand to hand and pressed and mixed the burger. Did you notice how the meat became "sticky"? The sticky peaks are proof that the contractile protein actin has reacted with myocin filaments, and has bound the meat into proper consistency. This is one of the most important steps in sausage making, yet it is probably the most neglected.

Moreover, 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 it leaves behind a lean, rancid-tasting, product having the texture of sawdust. Rather than having sausage containing locked-in, tasty, lubricating, 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 every twenty minutes or so, - over a prolonged period, you`ll end up tossing the entire batch.

Best wishes,
Last edited by Chuckwagon on Fri May 13, 2011 10:37, edited 2 times 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
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Post by shadow » Fri May 07, 2010 22:21


very good piece of advice. We use the same methodology for sausages.
Esspecially for salami and sausages for hot dogs.
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Post by atcNick » Wed Oct 13, 2010 16:09

Thanks Chuckwagon, that's some good information.
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