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Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 17:40
Does anybody have experience with carrot fiber as a binder? The Sausage Maker sells it as "C-bind." I am looking for alternatives to the nonfat dry milk powder and soy protein concentrate found in many formulations, and this product caught my attention.
Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 17:46
Have you tried making sausage without a binder?
I've never found a need to use added binders.
Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 17:57
Hey Bob thanks for the quick response. I have never used a binder, but my fresh and smoked sausages generally come out a little on the crumbly side for my tastes. When I look at the commercial versions of these products I always see a binder in the ingredients, so that got me thinking....
I have tried mixing longer (never more than 2 minutes so far for a 5 lb batch), adding more fat, making sure the meat and fat stay very cold. I recently learned on this site that if you add wine (as for linguica, which I like), you should atomize it into the mix. But I haven't had the chance to try that yet.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 17:58
I suggest that you start here: http://www.wedlinydomowe.com/
and read for an hour or two.
People have been making fine sausage for thousands of years with meat, salt, and seasonings that were entirely local. I have always believed in starting at the most simple, basic recipe and working my way up to the more complex.
Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 18:09
Hey ssorllih - thanks for the link. I've actually read that link, not to mention Marianski's art of making fermented sausage book backwards and forwards. For some odd reason my fresh and smoked sausages give me more trouble than my fermented ones, which are supposed to be the tricky numbers! Go figure. This particular crumbly problem has me stumped, which is why I'm reaching out to all you veterans! I know I'm doing something consistently wrong, because I consistently get sausages just a little on the crumbly side. I've had storebought stuff with this problem, but not usually.
BTW, I see you are from Harford County. My wife's people are from Chestertown in Kent County. Her mother was born in Harford County and her uncle grew peaches there for years. What a great part of the country. I always look forward to the scrapple (not to mention BLUE CRABS) when I'm there - multiple brands available in the grocery stores there, but here in CA, nobody's heard of it. Ever made your own?
Re: Carrot fiber
Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 19:16
Cabonaia wrote:I have tried mixing longer (never more than 2 minutes so far for a 5 lb batch), adding more fat, making sure the meat and fat stay very cold.
Welcome to the forum Jeff. I had the same problem for several years and many batches, and then I read this: http://wedlinydomowe.pl/en/viewtopic.php?t=4807
I hope this will help!
Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 20:49
Binder is used in commercial products for economic reasons. Soy powder or flakes mixed with water are a lot cheaper than meat. And when used in the right amounts they absorb the flavour of the product and its almost impossible to tell that they are there. Sausage supply houses sell not only to home sausage makers but to business operators as well. So we don't need to feel that we need to make sausage the same way. In fact we make our own sausage because we want traditional flavour, ingredients that we can recognize and quality.
Having said that, I do occasionally use milk powder or soya, but in much smaller quantities than recommended in Rytek's book. I use about 25% of what he has in his recipes. I think it does result in a fuller and smoother looking product and will not crumble. The one thing I have discovered when using binders is that the skin (hog casing) is often very difficult to peel off cleanly.
If you emulsify a portion of the meat and fat (somewhere between 10 and 20% of the total weight), this will also act as an excellent binder, even more so if you include some soft sinew in the mix.
Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 21:12
As a relative newcomer to this forum and being a Dutchman, I have read many recipes from Holland on sausagemaking, they recommend in oldfashioned recipes mainly potato starch as binders.
I have never tried it but will experiment with it. Since having purchased a meat mixer I just mix the living daylights out of the mix until very sticky.
I do cool the mixer in the deepfreeze though beforehand.
Hope this helps,
Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 21:43
In the end, its all a matter of taste and what you like. Potato starch is obviously a traditional ingredient, and readily available for a long time. Soya, milk powder and now the carrot stuff are modern ingredients. By the way, I spent three weeks cycling around Holland last September and very much enjoyed the different cold cuts served for breakfast and often stopped at a small butcher shop to buy smoked meats for making sandwiches. And with the fantastic cheeses, we were in heaven!
Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 21:55
My first batch of smoked sausage came out like that and the best I can determine is that my smoking temperatures were too high and rendered the fat. I have better control of the temperature in the smoker now and my sausages aren't granular in texture.
Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 23:43
Hey everybody - wow, a lot of great advice! Thanks!
I just todayy got into some smoked andouille I made a couple months ago but hadn't tried yet. It's been vacuum packed in the freezer. Turned out great - not crumbly at all....yessssss. On the other hand, finished off a batch of linguica (a mildly smoked Portuguese sausage very popular among my ancestors!) and it was mildly crumbly, and also too acidic, which I believe is related. The linguica has red wine in it, and I suspect I a)put too much in (thus the over-acidity, but also a harm to the myocin development), b) didn't chill it enough, c) dumped it all in at once at the beginning of mixing. I may have brought the heat up too fast in the smoker, but as I've made this sausage several times before and sometime not smoked it at all - and had the same problem - I don't think it was necessarily the smoke., though it could have been. (I smoked the andouille and it came out fine.)
Bottom line - no to the carrot fiber. I am also going to try emulsifying a portion, and will watch those smoker temps.
Again, really appreciate the feedback. It's great to be here!
Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 23:47
I don`t believe I`ve ever met a sausage maker who didn`t spoil one of his beginning batches by "breaking the fat" and turning the texture into sawdust. Anyone who tells you they haven`t done it at one time or another is either fibbing or they haven`t made much sausage at all. I surely had my moments. Most often, the "grainy" texture people refer to in sausage, is the result of only one thing - too much heat during the preparatory cooking. It is most important not to exceed the IMT (internal meat temperature) of 170°F., as the collagen will "break" and the fat in the sausage will become liquid.
As the temperature reaches 138°F. (59° C.) the sausage is protected from trichinella spiralis. At about 148°F. (64°C.) the sausage becomes "par-cooked" or "prep-cooked" for use on the grill later on. (Be sure to refrigerate the sausages until you cook and eat them.) Most sausages are safely fully-cooked upon reaching 152°F. (67°C.). At this point, the sausage becomes protected against all sorts of other pathogenic bacteria and microorganisms.
The internal meat temperature of 168° is the extreme upper limit and beyond this point, nothing will save the sausage. Once the fat liquefies, the sausage cannot be salvaged and it will taste dreadful. Worse, the texture will resemble sawdust. Ol` Rytek used to say, "sawdust... just like sawdust", then shake his head.
Whether you use your smoker, your kitchen oven, or even a pot of water on the stove, to prep-cook sausages, if you take your time and GRADUALLY raise the temperature only a couple of degrees every fifteen or twenty minutes, the sausages will be just fine. This procedure most often involves several hours. On the other hand, if you attempt to shorten the process by raising the heat too quickly, you`re only inviting problems. Worse, if the temperature exceeds 170°F., you`ll have to toss the batch. And don`t feed them to your dog!
He didn`t do anything to you.
At this point, the only thing sawdust sausages are good for is shotgun practice, and with a little drying, they`ll even disintegrate in the air in a delightful puff of dust upon receiving a fully choked, well placed blast of a 12 gauge.
Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 05:44
Well I guess that must be it. I smoke with a water smoker, and it has gotten away from me at times. Sounds like I'm going to have to babysit that thing a bit more closely in the future. Raising the temp. slowly is something I never paid much attention to.
Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 13:50
You don't have to use any heat during the smoking. you can finish the precooking phase after you have finished the smoking.
Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 15:13
Would like to try, though for that I need a cold smoking setup, which I haven't gotten around to yet....