How Much Water?

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by tjohnson, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm making 25# of sticks today, and a recipe I got from a friend calls for "3 Quarts" of water for 25# of meat.

    He told me to add this much water or the ground meat won't go through his motorized 15# Cabelas stuffer with a 3/8" tube.

    I have a 5# vertical stuffer.

    Recipes from Rytek and SMF I found seem to call for 1 cup per 5 pounds of meat.

    Any Help Would Be GREATLY Appreciated!!!


  2. ringodad

    ringodad Fire Starter

    I've had real good luck with 1 cup per 5 pounds - you can add more to make the meat easier to work with, but unless you're using some kind of filler like dry milk or soy protein, etc. the water will mostly evaporate anyway.
  3. ringodad

    ringodad Fire Starter

    BTW, I have a small Cabelea's grinder too, I think it's the 1/2 horse model and it pushes the sausage out at this consistency just fine.
  4. ol' smokey

    ol' smokey Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    1 cup for 5 lbs is just fine. Mix all your spices and cure with the water this makes it easier to mix. If your mixing by hand do smaller batches of ssay 5 lbs each. Good Luck
  5. pantherfan83

    pantherfan83 Smoking Fanatic

    As you said, the reason the person who gave you the recipe put so much water in it was to get it to work with his 25 lb motorized stuffer and 3/8" tube. Since you are using a 5 lb. crank stuffer, you may not need as much water. I've not used my 3/8" tube with my 5 lb stuffer yet, so I can't tell you for sure. If I was you, I would add 1 cup per 5 lbs and then put a small amount in your stuffer and see how easy it is to crank. If it's too hard, then you can add more water and try again.

    For sticks, I would think that having a relatively viscous meat mixture would be somewhat beneficial, because it would fill the casing up tightly and help to eliminate air pockets. Like someone else said though, most all that extra moisture is going to evaporate when smoking, so it could cause shrinkage and wrinkled casings on your finished product. I'd put just enough liquid in it to get it to crank comfortably, but no more.
  6. checkerfred

    checkerfred Smoke Blower

    I am new to sausage making....I have Ryteks book and he says in the color illustrated pages that mixing your spices and cure with water before mixing with meat is preferred but he doesn't say how much....some recipes for 10 lbs of meat says 2 cups ice water which would be what you guys said above

    my question is, do you do this for any sausage you make so you can better mix and distribute the spices and cure?
  7. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have never done sticks. Except for general sausage, I bet nepas will be here in a heartbeat!

    Good luck and good smoking. 
  8. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes, You mix the spices and cure in the water, and then mix the water into the meat.

    If you're making snack sticks, you'll probably have to mix in more water, in-order for the meat to go thru the small tube.

    I had to add 1 quart of water for the meat to go thru.

  9. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I did the summer sausage a few weeks ago.

    The Leggs recipe was listing a lot of water.

    I IMed Nepas ...he told me start with a cup per 5 pounds and then add til it gets tacky/sticky.

    I ended up with about 3 cups and I do mix the spices with the water.

    Worked perfectly.

      Have a great day!

  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have always used 1 ounce of water per 1 pound of ground meat.

    So far, it has always worked for me, and it sure is easy to calculate---LOL.

    However, I have never used any less than 3/4" inch tube.

    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
  11. shooterrick

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

    Just my 2 cents.  I use one cup liquid to 5 lbs meat.  I usually mix the spice with the water to make mixing faster. 
  12. checkerfred

    checkerfred Smoke Blower

    So would you do the 1 cup per 5 pounds even with dry and semi dry sausages?

    I'm about to order the AC Leggs snack sticks and start there.  I figure it will be somewhat straight forward.

    I appreciate the comments, you guys are awesome!   I'm sure I'll have more questions lol. 

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