Need some advice on texture and grinding

Discussion in 'Meat Selection and Processing' started by scooterjam, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. scooterjam

    scooterjam Fire Starter

    Okay, I've been experimenting with several different kinds of Sausage, Brats, Hotdogs, Polish Sausage, and these below are an Italian Sausage of my own creation....   They were 'okay'.  They look fine, the wife and family knocked em all out.  However, I am still pleased with the texture.   You buy a Johnsonville Sausage and the texture is balanced perfect with fat/meat ratio.  I know I am not going to get that professional quality, but I do think it should be a bit better.    First off, I used pork loin.   I know, I should have used Pork Shoulder, but the pork loin was on sale and I had a budget.   Secondly I used 4 pounds of coarsely ground pork loin mixed with a little over 12 ounces of good Pork Back fat.   Then added my spices & liquid.   Changed the grinder to the small die and proceeded to stuff below.   I made sure everything stayed almost frozen.  The color was very good.  You can see the spices showing through, which I was pleased with.   Left in the fridge for several hours, kind of air drying....and used the old chimney started, regular charcoal in my little Weber Grill and off we went.  I should have taken a picture of one cut open to explain better.  They weren't juicy and chunky like I thought they should be, they were tasty and dry....I think all my fat melted in them on the grill.  cooked them to 145 and let them rest a bit.   Had a bit of juice but now much.  Can anyone offer and suggestions?   I must say that I am consistent, because my Brats/Hotdogs/Polish Sausages etc all turn out the same consistency....just a bit frustrated on why I can't get that "Johnsonville" kind of sausage.

  2. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    SJ, More fat is needed  when using pork loin. I use loins sometimes but I do at least a 4:1 ratio. Also try adding some soy protein concentrate of Non fat dry milk to retain the juiciness. If you cook at too high of a temp it will render your fat out no matter what you add ! PS. major sausage companies add as much fat as legally allowed( more than 4:1 LOL) to increase profits
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016
  3. bfilipowski

    bfilipowski Fire Starter

    First, you can achieve the texture you find in store bought sausages. Just consider every one a tasty trial until desired results are achieved and replicated. Second,if I understand correctly, you are attaching the stuffer tube and grinding directly into casings with the small plate. I've done the same a few times in the past and noticed the same result you have. My aha moment came when I received Ruhlman and Polcyn's Charcuterie. This is where I learned about using a mixer to achieve a primary bind. Basically, after your final grin bar the mixture with the paddle attachment in a stand mixer until a sticky yet still chunky paste is formed. Afterward, stuff as normal. I find that this has greatly improved the texture of all of my sausages. Currently, I have been eyeing a 20lb capacity meat mixer so i I can do larger batches because my 6 quart kitchen aid can still only do 5 pounds at a time.
  4. scooterjam

    scooterjam Fire Starter

    Excellent gentlemen!   Thank you, I will give both suggestions some attention when I do it again this weekend!!!
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Scooter, afternoon....   Try different grinds for the sausage....  Almost freeze meat and fat.....  fine grind the fat....  you can medium and coarse grind the meat for a different tooth texture...   Add  spices, cure, NFDM or SPC and add Amesphos...    Mix in a mixer until the meat is sticky like "SKI" recommended....  that's important...  the proteins break down and "glue" stuff together.... 

    Get a vertical stuffer...  to stuff the casings....  there's something to be said for "not running it through the grinder again"....   

    The fat being fine ground will mingle better in the link...   the med. and coarse grinds, to the meat, will give you a texture you can feel and taste...  add the med and coarse grinds together.... 

    Don't give up...   at least you get to eat your practice runs.....
  6. scooterjam

    scooterjam Fire Starter

    That makes sense DaveOmak, I was thinking that I should have ground the fat separately too.  Been thinking about getting one of those Vertical Stuffers as well.  Tonight we had some Cheesburger Sausages I had made out of one of the books I have.   I forgot they were in the freezer actually.   Beef and not Pork.   As I was cutting one open I realized THAT was what I was looking for.  Now I need to go back to the books and see how I made it as well.   I have a big ol composition notebook with all the notes for all the sausages I've made.  And yes, you are correct, good or not so good, I still get to eat the results!   :)     Life is good.   haha
  7. essexsmoker

    essexsmoker Smoke Blower

    Commercial producers use a tumbler or massager to mix things up and open up the proteins. This help it retain moisture too.
    I would defo do a coarse and medium grind with fine fat grind.

    Be good to know how you get on. :thumbup:
  8. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    All good advice! I had the very same problems you're having and once I started adding nfdm powder and thoroughly mixing to a sticky consistency, I have moist tender sausage. As stated elsewhere, the nfdm is an insurance policy. Once you get the proper mixing down, you can skip it.

Share This Page