Page 1 of 1

[USA] Chuckwagon's "Brandin' Iron Beef Brats"

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 07:45
by Chuckwagon
"Brandin` Iron Beef Brats"
Kosher Beef Sausage

In the German language, the verb "braten", means to pan fry or roast. Across Europe, bratwurst is found containing pork, veal, or beef in virtually any combination. It is generally well-known that beef fat does not produce the best flavor in a comminuted product and often those looking for a truly "kosher" brat are often disappointed indeed.

Let`s review some important facts about fat. Some fat in sausage is necessary for several reasons. First, it lubricates meat particles and makes a satisfying mouth feel as a sausage is chewed. Without it, the texture seems dry and grainy. Second, it tastes good - especially pork fat. However, not everyone can eat pork fat and a suitable substitute must be found. Beef fat is not usually added to sausage because its color is yellow rather than white (as it is in pork) and its flavor is not particularly attractive. Grazing on grass during the summertime especially, Cattle display a pronounced yellow fat color having a much stronger flavor than those fed silage during the wintertime.

So, what are we to do if we wish to make a good-tasting, "all beef" sausage? Some folks have tried mixing oil and water with meat to produce an emulsion. However, this procedure is nearly impossible without having a sausage that crumbles and suffers poor binding quality. Other people have turned to a product known as Fat Replacer, available to home sausage makers during the past few years. It is a product of the Sausagemaker™ and it's made with microcrystalline cellulose, konjac gum, and xantham gum and fillers (oat products if I remember correctly). Konjac gum, and xantham gum are water soluble - microcrystalline cellulose is not. Mixed in moist meat, it becomes slippery, giving the mouthfeel and texture of real fat. As in everything, there are limits of how much can be used. I`ve used it extensively and recommend it.

What do commercial sausage makers use? Many simply use a white gel that looks and tastes like fat. It has the consistency of cream cheese, and is made ahead of time, being refrigerated up to a week. It is made "on site" simply by mixing soy protein isolate, vegetable oil, and water together, blending the ingredients into a creamy emulsion. It doesn`t actually have a name, but I call it SPIWOE (Soy Protein Isolate Water Oil Emulsion). Why vegetable oil? Because is introduces very little saturated fat into sausage and virtually no cholesterol. It also tastes good and has fewer calories than animal fat. As Stan Marianski has pointed out, 100 grams of fat provides 900 calories, while 100 grams of "SPIWOE" (Soy Protein Isolate Water Oil Emulsion) contains only 398 calories - a dramatic reduction. Perhaps the answer for those wishing to make an all beef "kosher" sausage having a healthier type of fat, is that made using emulsified vegetable oil.

How To Make Oil Emulsion:

The emulsified oil fat substitute is made using a food processor to mix one part soy protein isolate, four parts chilled vegetable oil, and five parts cold water. Notice the formula calls for soy protein ISOLATE which is 90% protein, not soy protein concentrate which is only 70% protein. It should be noted that soy protein concentrate will not work in this formula as it contains other substances making yellow paste rather than a white emulsion. Soy protein isolate (SPI) may be purchased at health food stores and produces a white, shiny, emulsion when mixed at the ratio of 1:4:5. Place the (1 part) soy protein isolate into a food processor and start by drizzling in the (five parts) cold water. Mix the two ingredients for at least a minute on high speed. Next, start drizzling in the (4 parts) chilled oil and continue mixing until another minute has passed and a firm emulsion has been set.

"Brandin` Iron Beef Brats"
Chuckwagon`s Reduced Fat Beef Sausage

4.5 kg Lean beef or trimmed chuck
680 g. Vegetable oil emulsion (see paragraph above)
1/2 cup Icewater
1/2 cup Dry white wine
56 g. Salt
12 g. Cure #1 (2 level tspns.)
14 g. White pepper
15 g. Pulverized garlic
14 g. Marjoram
12 g. Paprika
170 g. Minced onion
22 g. SM™Fat Replacer
38-40mm beef rounds for links or 38mm mahogany colored synthetic-fibrous casings for sticks

Make an oil emulsion and refrigerate it. Grind the lean meat using a 3/8" plate then mix it with the water and the wine until a paste forms. Mix in the oil emulsion until it is equally distributed and smooth. Stuff the sausage into 38-40mm beef rounds for links or use 38mm mahogany colored synthetic-fibrous casings for sticks. Hang the sausages an hour at room temperature then hang them inside a preheated 120°F smokehouse while you apply thin smoke. Gradually, every twenty minutes, raise the temperature only three degrees until the IMT (internal meat temperature) reaches 148°F. Immediately shower the sausages with cold water until they drop to room temperature. Store the sausages in a refrigerator until grillin` time.

Best Wishes,

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 17:05
by w1sby
Thanks Chuck W.!
This is exactly what I would like to try. The Doc has determined that my portly stature is unhealthy just as I have discovered the art and fun of making my own sausages.
I will most definitely be trying this recipe/technique.

One question though, you are smoking these at a fairly low temperature, should there not be some cure #1 in the mix to fight off the bad bugs?

73 de Allen, W1SBY

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 03:17
by Chuckwagon
Hi Allen, I hope you give this recipe a try. Be sure to use soy protein ISOLATE instead of "concentrate". The isolate has 20% more protein in it and will produce a stable emulsion. The soy protein concentrate is a good product for binding sausage but just makes a "paste" instead of an emulsion.

You wrote:
The Doc has determined that my portly stature is unhealthy just as I have discovered the art and fun of making my own sausages.

Portly stature? Shucks Allen, just get a "second opinion" from another doctor. If he tells you the same thing, keep getting more opinions until you find a doctor that says you are "a fine figure of a man"! :lol: You may have to pay him quite a bit, but there is a doctor out there somewhere that will tell you what you want to hear! :shock:

And yes, the recipe was originally written for "fresh" sausage with no smoking involved. I posted it in haste to help out Crusty`s request for kosher sausage in Australia. You`re probably aware that the cure in Australia is very much stronger than the sodium nitrite formula used in the United States. The "Peklisol" used in Europe is weaker than our "Prague Powder" containing 6.25% sodium nitrite (NaNO2). You are absolutely correct to include 12 grams (2 level tspns) of Cure #1 to the 10 lb. mixture if you are going to smoke the sausages. For more information about the differences in nitrite strengths see this link:

Let us know how your sausage turns out. Be sure not to "break the fat" by using too much heat while prep cooking the sausage. I usually stop the cooking process at 148°F., letting the carry over effect take it past 150° while I`m preparing the ice water to bring the temperature back down. Snap a few photos too. I`m sure a lot of folks are curious about this technique using emulsion in place of fat. Hope it works well for you.

Best Wishes,

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 03:27
by ssorllih
Allen, Your portly stature has more to do with how much you eat rather than what you eat. So just make your food budget smaller and you will make you doctor very happy. :cool:

Failed Oil emulsion

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 16:11
by two_MN_kids
:sad: This one was a bust for me last weekend! Has anyone else tried the oil emulsion process? It seems so straight forward, but reality was slightly different. It`s been years since I ruined a batch of sausages by overheating them. I believe that the emulsion failed to blend properly, and separated under heat. :cry:

Any thoughts are welcome. Note: SPI also comes in 95% protein concentration.

I made a 10 lb. batch of using this oil emulsion process to reduce the fat content. I doubt I will ever know exactly what went wrong. Here`s a glimpse of my process. Maybe it will save someone else from making the same mistakes.

First, there were two failed attempts to make the oil emulsion. If the SPI powder is first placed into the food processor, and then the water is added, the SPI powder doesn`t mix well with the water. I found lumps (like in bad gravy) and even dry powder near center spindle that never properly mixed. It worked best to measure the ice water into the food processor, and then add the SPI powder by spoonfuls, ensuring a complete mix.

Neither of the two early attempts at oil emulsion produced the white, thick, cream cheese like substance described by Mr. Marianski. It remained an eggshell off-white color and was about as thick as cake batter. :cry:

I verified that the product was ISOLATE and not CONCENTRATE, (and be sure it`s UNFLAVORED). :oops:

While preparing for the third try I discovered that the oil I was using was not 100% vegetable oil. It was Canola Oil. In a PM to Chuckwagon I learned that Canola Oil is made from Rape and Mustard seed. I stopped my efforts until I had purchased a high quality 100% pure vegetable oil.

Finally, I started my third attempt at oil emulsion. The ice water was measured and poured into processor; then I added the measured SPI powder slowly into the swirling water until mixed well. I then added the very chilled oil, "very slowly". It took about two minutes to add all the oil! I let it blend for a good five minutes.

This time the emulsion was white and puffed up, like a whipped cream. However, it still wasn`t stiff and it didn`t stay on an overturned spoon, as the photo in the book shows. For the next fifteen minutes or so, I grumbled about the situation, and contemplated finding some good solid pork back fat or beef brisket fat to add.

About 20 minutes later as I was preparing to discard this batch of oil emulsion, I discovered that having rested for several minutes it seemed to firm up. I decided to complete the recipe as written, using this batch of emulsion. All remaining ingredients were hand mixed and the casings stuffed. :grin:

The following day the sausages were dried for a couple of hours, placed into a 120°F preheated Bradley Digital smoker, gradually raising cooking temperature to 170°F. (One problem I have with the Bradley Smoker is that the temperature controller only changes by 10 degrees at a time). After receiving about two hours of Hickory smoke, the sausages continued to bake until an IT of 148°F was obtained; monitored by a Redi-Chek ET-73 probe thermometer.

As I moved the sausages from the smoker to an ice bath, I discovered that most of the casings were bloated with water between the casing and meat. Although doubtful of a successful outcome, following the ice bath, I hung the sausages to dry and bloom for a couple of hours.

When it was time to test a sample, I took a sausage, bent it in half, and it broke too readily. The meat was granular, and crumbled easily. It had a truly undesirable texture. :sad:

Somewhere on his forum I read an apt description; "Not fit for dog food." But Jean wants to try using them in a casserole as a crumbled meat, as it otherwise is full of flavor.

Some thoughts or comments please?

Jim :cry:

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 21:14
by crustyo44
Hi Jim,
Thank you for your report. I am very interested in doing the same as you but after reading your comments I will hold back on using this soy isolate whipping process.
I am verry keen on replacing animal fats to a greater extend in our diet.
Hopefully some of the brains with the know-how on this forum can come up with a solutiion.
Here in Australia there is no fat replacer available as far as I know.
Best Regards,

Failed Oil emulsion

Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 15:47
by two_MN_kids
Well, Jan, from the lack of comments, can one assume that this just isn't an interest to others? But then, maybe no one has any experience to talk about. Disappointed just the same.

Jim :sad:

Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 02:54
by redzed
Very much interested in the process, but have never tried it, so can't comment or assist in any way. (And that's unusual for me).

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 00:03
by JerBear
I haven't read this recipe/information in the Marianski book but coming from a culinary background I'm wondering about the equipment used. Assuming that the ingredients were of the correct quality, quantity and consistency (and I don't think that there should be a difference between canola, corn, vegetable or olive oil for this application other than the olived oil wouldn't be a flavor I'd want in sausage like this).

I'd look at the food processor first. Is it of good quality with a solid motor? If so I'd still personally lean towards a blender for most liquid based emulsions. Good blenders create a good vortex with all of the liquid and ingredients being mixed very well. Just a thought...

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 15:01
by two_MN_kids
Appreciate the comments, Redzed and JerBear, thanks. I am surprised to discover that no one else has tried this process yet. This started out as a quest for a healthier sausage. I`m all for reducing calories if it doesn`t diminish the final product. I will keep trying to improve my process, but I sure won`t be making any 10 lb. batches until I do. :neutral:

The oil emulsion process is described on the WD website here: ... l-emulsion

Chuckwagon and I discussed using a blender, and I did try a it with Canola oil. I got the same results as with the food processor. I didn`t try the blender with vegetable, corn, or olive oil yet.

The food processor is new, and seems to be of quality. Its primary use in our household is for shredding, slicing, and chopping vegetables, and works well for them. (I have never tried to emulsify meat with it.) There was a definite difference in texture of emulsions when using the different oils. Still, I can`t understand why it doesn`t work with any oil.

The quest continues!

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 02:26
by w1sby
I do plan on trying this once the weather cools a bit more (or late September, whichever comes first).
So, I am interested in everyone's experiences.

73 de Allen, W1SBY