Glad I didn't poison anyone, but....

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by thatguy, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. thatguy

    thatguy Newbie

    So took my first whack at making some beef summer sausage. Failed miserably. Relatively new smoker here, but have smoked all kinds of things on my WSM with a lot of success so far. But not this time. I'd like to tell you what I did and maybe someone can pinpoint what I did wrong and hopefully someone can help me out.

    Followed a simple recipe for beef summer sausage. 80/20 ground beef, 5 lbs. Used Kroger brand "meat tenderizer" (no MSG) along with some basic spices - pepper, red pepper, ground mustard etc. Now, the recipe called for 2.5 tbs of mustard seed. I did not have any so I used 2.5 tbs of ground mustard. Mixed all the spices and tenderizer together and then kneaded into the meat very well. Let sit 24 hrs, kneaded again, sit another 24 hrs. No casings on the meat.

    I read a lot of places where you have to keep the temps down (to keep the fat from rendering) and I believe I succeeded there. Filled the water pan with cold water and ice and the first 2 hours temps were below 150. 2 more hours the temps were between 150 and 180, got up to 200 once but not for long.

    Pulled the meat and placed in the oven at 170 for several more hours then pulled it out once internal temp got to 150. Wrapped in plastic wrap and threw them in the fridge. Took out today and took a bite and had to wash my mouth out the taste was so bad. I can literally still taste it and it's been a few hours now. Horrible.

    The sausages looked great, smelled great, nice and firm just like you'd buy from the store.

    Spent hours and hours researching, reading and then of course on the prep and tending to the smoker. If they were a "little off" I wouldn't be so upset but they are inedible to say the least.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated! Ps: I feel really stupid already so try and take it easy on me, lol!
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    There's lots of great recipes here. So I would suggest using the search feature and starting with one that looks good. Then modify it to your taste.

    Ground spices and whole spices are different animals and shouldn't be crossed! Two tablespoons of whole, once ground is closer to about 3/4 tablespoons.

    You didn't mention using any cure. You really should use cure #1.
  3. Yes I think where you went wrong, was replacing the Bottled mustard for the Mustard Seed.   Like dirtsailor2003 said, the spices would not make near that much mustard if ground.

  4. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

  5. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you were using the meat tenderizer as a cure replacement, then you're lucky it tasted bad.
    Any time you smoke sausage with low temps like that you need to have Cure #1 included in the recipe.
  6. thatguy

    thatguy Newbie

    Thanks guys.  I am doing more reading up on cures, etc.  I thought the main purpose of the Tender Quick (as called for in the original recipe, I THOUGHT the main reason for this was to tenderize the meat).  Can Morton's Tender Quick be used instead of Cure #1?

    Yes, I will do some more reading and researching before attempting again.

    Thank you.
  7. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Morton's Tender quick is a type of cure. So if you used Morton's Tender quick (meat tenderizer is a whole different thing) and used it per a recipe then you are OKAY! Cure allows you to process meat at a slower pace without it going bad. Terminology can get mixed up to easily one the forums so it helps us if you post the actual recipe, when asking about ingredients.
  8. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    TQ and cure #1 are NOT interchangable. Different animals entirely. There are A bunch of articles in the sausage area of the forum explaining nitrates and nitrites and what they do and why. Feel free to ask any questions you have. That said I have seen several recipes that call for Tender Quick in cured smoked sausage. Can we see what recipe you used?
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  9. thatguy

    thatguy Newbie

    Absolutely.  Here is the exact recipe and notes to the side detailing the "idiot alterations" I made are in RED.

    5 lbs. Ground Beef (80/20)

    5 TBSP. Morton's Tender Quick - I did not have the TQ so I used the Kroger brand "meat tenderizer".

    2.5 tsp each of Mustard seed, coars black pepper, garlic powder - I did not have mustard seed so I used 2.5 tsp of ground Mustard

    1 tsp red pepper

    1 tsp liquid smoke - Since I was smoking on my WSM I did not use the liquid smoke

    The prep directions:

    Mix seasonings together and then knead into the meat and make sure seasonings are evenly distributed and take time to thoroughly mix into meat.  Put beef into 1 gallon zip lock bag and refridgerate 24 hours, take out of bag and mix it up again to redistribute the seasonings.  Back into the fridge for another 24 hours.  Then shape into 4 loaves and place on a pan in the oven at 170 for 6 - 8 hours.

    Now, instead of using liquid smoke and baking in the oven, I smoked them at a low temp (under 150) for about 2 hours and then smoked around 170 for another 2 hours.  Then placed in the oven for several more hours until internal temp got to 150. 

    Thanks again!
  10. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well knowing the ingredients in the Kroger meat tenderizer as compared to Morton's you are not safe. The Nitrates, and Nitrites are the main curing agents in Mortons. Meat tenderizer does not contain those.

    "Morton® Tender Quick® mix contains salt, the main preserving agent; sugar, both sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite, curing agents that also contribute to development of color and flavor; and propylene glycol to keep the mixture uniform. Morton® Tender Quick® mix can be used interchangeably with Morton® Sugar Cure® (Plain) mix. It is NOT a meat tenderizer.

    CAUTION: This curing salt is designed to be used at the rate specified in the formulation or recipe. It should not be used at higher levels as results will be inconsistent, cured meats will be too salty, and the finished products may be unsatisfactory. Curing salts should be used only in meat, poultry, game, salmon, shad and sablefish. Curing salts cannot be substituted for regular salt in other food recipes. Always keep meat refrigerated (36° to 40°F) while curing."

    Here is what is in Krogers Meat tenderizer:

    Salt, Sugar, Monosodium Glutamate, Papain, Tricalcium Phosphate. NO CURE at all

    As stated it is not acceptable to substitute unknown ingredients. You can use Cure 1 for Morton's TQ or Morton's TQ for cure #1, but not at the same ratio and quantities.
  11. stayhot

    stayhot Smoking Fanatic

    5TBS of Mortons tender quick is wayyyy to much. I would highly recommend using cure #1 and adding you're own salt, this way YOU control how it tastes. I used Tender quick once in all the years of making sausage and haven't since just didn't like the results.
  12. thatguy

    thatguy Newbie

    Well I have been doing a lot more reading on here on smoking sausages. Wow is all I can say. This could have ended up much worse.
  13. Not that its relevant but the first post claims no msg in the Krogers product and then later the ingredients are listed to include MSG? Also someone defently claimed cure #1 and TQ are not interchangeable(this is done daily. Just adjust the ratios of the cure and adjust salt content in recipe). Either way lesson learned here on what the cure is. Better luck next time. Still odd about it tasting so awful though
  14. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    They are not interchangable in the same amounts and salt content. Plus I believe the TQ takes longer to work. I would use A standard recipe like len poli or the like. Just get some cure #1. It is cheap and readily available online at Butcher packer and many other web sale companies. I bought a bag of tender quick when I first got into sausage making and there it still sits in the pantry. You can experiment at your own risk but please do your homework so nothing bad happens. Not to mention ruining some special cuts of meat. Also just because you see a recipe online does not always mean it is safe, tried and true. Do more reading, get supplies, and do more reading, then go for it.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  15. johnnie walker

    johnnie walker Smoking Fanatic

    Something else is DO NOT use them together ( MTQ and cure #1) in the same recipe!!!! Use one or the other and use only the specified amounts according to weight.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  16. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Morton's TQ can be used insead of cure #1 BUT  it cannot be used in the same amounts. What you need to do is figure out how much cure to use based on the weight of your meat.

    Also, Morton's is heavy on the salt so there would have to be a reduction in the amount of salt used if the recipe originally calls for salt & TQ.
  17. thatguy

    thatguy Newbie

    Thank you all for the info. I have done quite a bit of reading and research. Which is the wrong order, yes that should happen first and THEN try and smoke your own sausage. But alas lesson learned. Thanks again
  18. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    When using Morton's TQ in ground meat/sausage ot jerky, it is used at a rate of .5 level Tablespoons/Lb. Or..1.5 TEAspoons if you prefer. I prefer 4.5 grams. More accurate when making larger amounts that table/tea spoons.

    You will find the salt level to be about perfect, and the meat well cured.
  19. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This is a link from the US Government on Curing and Smoking practices and may shed some knowledge on your information quest to learn about proper procedures.  Everything we recommend in this forum follows US government rules and guidelines.

    Hope this helps!

    This, and many many other useful Articles are in the Article Section on the top bar on the main menu; also there are subsections, one is Instructionals, that is where this is from.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013

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