Dry & Crumbly Sausage

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by danbono, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi All Once again my Italian sausage came out dry & crumbly..This was my 5-6 try at making sausage, only one time did,IT come right. I used a 4 lb boston butt plus trimmings from spare ribs.

    The fat content seem about right,see pic also added some soy protein to the mix..Could it be I'm either under mixing or over mixing.This is getting real frustrating. I'm about ready to give up.

    Thanks Dan

    PS Would  1 cup NFDM to 5lbs make a difference? 
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014
  2. It looks pretty lean from here.
    25% fat is the absolute minimum for a good sausage to my taste and IMHO and 30-35% would be better.
    Proper mixing is also essential.

  3. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Martin The pic is not a very good one. Believe me the fat content seem right to me. The meat and grinder was cold when grinding.

    Proper mixing, can you explain. How do you when it is over or under mix.When mixing the meat it got nice and sticky, I thought that was enough mixing. I think I'm doing all the right things but the results don't show it.

    Thanks Dan
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dan, afternoon..... Some recipes call for grinding the fat through the smallest plate separate.... then grind the meat through the plate of your preference... then mix.... I think that disburses the fat better.... don't know for sure though.... The butts I have been getting lately have very little fat on them..... I have to add brisket fat or what ever I have in the freezer.... or I add a pack of bacon ends and pieces to it...
    The picture does look a little thin on the fat, from where I'm sitting....
  5. s24smoove

    s24smoove Fire Starter

    12# shoulder

    1.5oz whole fennel

    .25oz crushed red pepper

    3.5oz salt

    10oz red wine, chianti, sangria, not cab sav
  6. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looks like it needs more fat,
  7. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What percent salt are you using? And you need to mix it till the meat becomes sticky. The meat in the pic does look lean, but might just be the pic.
    Like Martin said 25-35% is ideal. next time you may want to separate the lean from the fat and weigh it just so you know what you're working with.

    Do ya have a pic of the finished product? sliced
  8. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Salt was 1-1/2 Tablespoons for 5 lbs. The Boston butt was nicely marbled.The meat was sticky, before stuffing.

    I think I'm doing everything right, but the results are not there.Next time add extra fat, and see what the outcome is.

    Hope this pic helps? Will post another pic when the sausage is unfrozen,open up a link and take a pic.

    Thanks Dan

    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
  9. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you smoke your sausage too hot it can get a funny textures. If the fat dripped out while you were smoking, it could cause crumbling sausage.
  10. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi The sausage was cooked in the oven, then into pasta sauce. Would the NFDM make a difference, in getting my sausage juicy

    Thanks Dan
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
  11. Since no body has addressed this yet, I'll bring it up. How was your meat chilled during the process? Before you grind you should be working with semi frozen meat. Once ground, if should be seasoned, mixed, and put back into the freezer for another 30 minutes or so. After that, stuff and cooked or frozen, whichever you please. Next time, try putting the meat into the freezer for 30 minutes at each point and see if that helps.
  12. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi The meat and the grinder parts were both in the freezer before grinding..Before stuffing the meat was in the fride for 24 hrs.

    Thanks Dan
  13. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    In addition to the other reasons stated, fresh sausage is pretty prone to drying out and getting crumbly if:

    A: It's stuffed a little too tightly


    B: It's cooked at too high a temperature.

    To answer your other question YES. I say again YES the nonfat dry milk will make a humongous difference in the moisture and texture. I use exactly what you said, 1 cup per 5lbs. Made all the difference in the world. Basically it widens the margin for error on fat content, mixing and cooking times/temps. It just makes it a good bit more difficult to screw up, which, for someone like me who isn't a sausage expert, is a wonderful thing.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
  14. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi It seems like NFDM just may be the problem solver. I used Soy Protein, which was to make the sausage jucier, guess it didn't work.

    Next time NFDM for sure. If that doesn't work then my stuffer is going on Craigs List.[​IMG]

    Thanks Dan
  15. What kind of stuffer you got? I'm in the market ;)

    But seriously, hoping things workout. Good luck and let us know.
  16. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What temp was the oven.....

  17. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've never used soy protein, so I can't comment on that. Maybe you just didn't use enough? Try the NFDM.
  18. NFDM will retain some moisture and help with smooth mouth feel but it's not magic , it's not going to overcome the fundamental issues that are leading to your dry crumbly sausage.

    Good sausage can be made without NFDM.

    I would increase the fat content, ensure that your're mixing the sausage meat well and not overcooking.

    Most importantly, with proper mixing salt extracts soluble proteins from meat, as the sausage is carefully heated the protein matrix coagulates, the meat particles bind together, fat particles are surrounded and the texture of the sausage becomes firm. That's what makes a juicy sausage a juicy sausage. It's essential. No shortcut can make-up for it.


    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
  19. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    All due respect but I disagree with the statement in bold. It's PRECISELY the fundamental issues that are overcome by adding the nonfat dry milk. Those fundamental issues, once resolved, do, in fact remove the need for a binder like nfdm. However, in the mean time, for those of us who just make a couple batches of sausage a year and don't have the experience to get it perfect every time, the nfdm makes up for minor to moderate mistakes in technique. The fundamental problem lies in improper mixing and or improper cooking. As I said in my earlier post, the nfdm will widen the margin for error by binding with the fat and preventing it from running out.

    The guy wants to make good sausage, not win a sausage skills competition, so why not use what's commonly available to make it easier to obtain good sausage?
  20. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Furthermore, nfdm is almost all protein, so all you're really doing is augmenting the soluble proteins that salt and mixing coax out of the meat. Thus allowing for a lower salt, lower fat sausage if you want.

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