Grind/Mix or Mix/Grind?

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by captmoby, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. captmoby

    captmoby Fire Starter

    I know that most recipes call out to grind your meats and then mix in all the seasonings etc. It seems to me that you would get a better mix if you mixed the seasonings before you grind. Is there something I am missing here as to why grind then mix? Or how about mix/grind/mix? What works best for you?
    Working on some Landjager today and thought I would ask first.


  2. mr mac

    mr mac Smoking Fanatic

    I like the grind then mix method to ensure all ingredients are full mixed together. Grind/mix leads me to believe you could wind up with pockets of seasoning and bits of unseasoned meat.
  3. plj

    plj Meat Mopper

    I grind first, then mix.
    If I'm going to grind twice, then its grind,mix,grind.
    Also, I almost always stir the spices into water before mixing into the meat, I think I get a better distribution of spices that way.
  4. desertlites

    desertlites Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I grind twice so I agree with ^-2 large food grade plastic containers and rubber gloves-grind,mix well,change plates and grind again.
  5. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm with bob on this one grind then mix and then re-grind to make sure its mixed really well to.
  6. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I grind my meat an fat first. Then add in the seasonin an such, but I got a mixer so I know that everthin is mixed well.

    I also mix in half my stuff, mix, then add the last half an mix. It be what works fer me.
  7. I grind the first time with a bean plate.This is the type plate that you would use if you were using ur grinder to stuff sausage, also known as a stuffing plate.This will give you a real coarse grind about 1/2 to 1/4 " cubes. Then I mix spices with water (about 5 min mix), and then change plates to the hamburger plate 1/8 to 1/4 " and do my final grind. this eliminates any pockets of spices. I also clean the grinder out between each grind with about 2 to 3 hands full of party ice to clean out the excess meat in the grinder. This works well for me, as it postpones a through clean up between the mix and the final grind.
  8. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have found this method to be the best for distrubuting the spices evenly. Especially for chorizo.
  9. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Guest

    I agree with others here. I grind with the course plate. Then mix the spices and re-grind with the fine plate. Seems to work pretty good.
  10. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I cube, coarse grind, fine grind then mix. I use a mixer so I get good dist of seasoning, but I did this when I hand mixed. I think salts and cure tend to dull plates and knives. I also think they can be a bit corrosive to them. I've never had a problem with getting good distribution of seasonings. I too, mix a slurry with about a quart of ice water per 25# of meat.
  11. walle

    walle Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    We use five to seven mixers, just depends on how many of us show up!

    I think if you can grind your seasonings in while grinding meat, it can't hurt, but I think it does require a good separate mixing by hand or machine.

    Some threads mention doing it in stages (halves/thirds/fourths of seasoning with mixes in between) - that's how we do it. Grind it all first, then three mixes for seasoning, and we also use a slurry like that mentioned by Mulepacken which is chicken broth and garlic. Slurry is also mixed in three different stages.

    Guess we are all saying - Mix your sausage well!
  12. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I will cut the meat and fat that I am using into cubes no larger than 3/4". It helps if the meat is very very cold, almost freezing. To this I take any spices and or cure that is needed along with the amount of water that the recipe calls for. If the recipe does not call for any water, I will add enough water to make a slurry of spices. Maybe a 1/4 cup. This will get poured into the cubes and mixed around. After that, everything goes into the fridge for a few hours so the meat can absorb any spices/cure and everything can mix well. The next step is to place the tray of meat into the freezer so the cubed pieces become semi solid as it is best to have any meat as close to freezing as possible so when the meat goes thru the grinder, it grinds, and not tear or smear, which is what happens to meat when it is soft. What this does is allows me to grind once, and retain the integrity of the meat. Then if you have a dedicated stuffer, that once ground meat mixture goes into the stuffer and right into casings. If you have a combo grinder/stuffer, then you just run it thru that into casings making sure you have your stuffing plates in place.

    Thats my story and I'm sticking to it[​IMG].
  13. pops6927

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

    I don't have a mixer, I don't make batches big enough to justify using one, so I mix my seasonings with my meat the grind twice, usually through the coarse plate. In between I hand mix to make sure it's well distributed.
  14. shooterrick

    shooterrick Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have tried both and settled on grind corse, mix , grind to final consistancy. I also mix a slurry for the spices and cures.
  15. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Great thread for this newbie. Got a handle on the grind part. My question relates to the mixing part. I have a KitchenAid Mixer which provides the power for my grinder. Now when you're talking about mixing, can I use the mixer function of my KitchenAid or are we talking about another type/piece of equipment (besides mixing with the hands)? Thanks in advance.
  16. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    You could use it, but it would be hard to get equal amounts of spices and or cure thruout the meat. I know mixing by hand sucks, and its cold on the hands, but a good pair of rubber gloves and a plastic tub twice the size of the batch of meat your mixing is the best bet unless you have a meat mixing tub made just for that.

    The kitchenaid is a great unit, we have one and use it all the time. But if your making say 10# or more of sausage, you simply could not get it all in the bowl at once to ensure even distribution. The only way you really could, is to divide everything evenly. If making 25# of sausage, make five, 5# batches of meat, then take your mixed spices and divide the five times. Could be done, but may more of a headache than its worth.
  17. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the quick response. Kinda sorta figured that it might be difficult. The mixing blades just don't seem right. Ah well, one less headache. There's plenty of other uses for the K/A from what I've seen on this site. It's all good.
  18. jerrykr

    jerrykr Meat Mopper

    My preference is cube, mix spices with cubes, grind, stuff.

    There's no one way to do it.

    Get a couple of those plastic rubbermaid food handling trays. Get at least 2. If they have lids available, get them. I use clear plastic wrap, but wish I had lids. I dare say the trays were the cheapest and best investment I've made for making sausage. I got mine at Cabelas. They just fit on a standard refrigerator shelf.

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