Fat Smearing Problem

Igor Duńczyk
Passionate
Passionate
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 23:41
Location: Croatia

Post by Igor Duńczyk » Wed Mar 05, 2014 00:29

I must admit being a bit biased in this last question because after many large scale test productions I have grown accustomed to pour the culture (blended with the spices) directly onto the deep frozen meat while it is being turned into smithereens in a high speed bowl cutter. In other words; the starter culture goes here from being frozen into a frozen matter again. And I haven´t yet experienced that the culture didn´t wake up...

What is important is that you keep a reasonable equality in temperature between the meatmix and the starter culture, so if your meat is unfrozen the starter culture should have roughly the same temperature, while if using frozen raw material (industrial processing) the starter cultures can be used almost straight out of the freezer.
Wishing you a Good Day!
Igor The Dane
checkerfred
User
User
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 18:49
Location: Alabama

Post by checkerfred » Wed Mar 05, 2014 02:53

Igor Duńczyk wrote:I must admit being a bit biased in this last question because after many large scale test productions I have grown accustomed to pour the culture (blended with the spices) directly onto the deep frozen meat while it is being turned into smithereens in a high speed bowl cutter. In other words; the starter culture goes here from being frozen into a frozen matter again. And I haven´t yet experienced that the culture didn´t wake up...

What is important is that you keep a reasonable equality in temperature between the meatmix and the starter culture, so if your meat is unfrozen the starter culture should have roughly the same temperature, while if using frozen raw material (industrial processing) the starter cultures can be used almost straight out of the freezer.
Thanks Igor, I was worried about the culture and also worried about the cure not reacting....I guess once the sausage goes into fermentation though, the culture will react. Man, this is gonna be cold on my hands mixing it like this :D

I checked out the bowl cutters briefly...OUCH the price LOL....I do have a food processor that has some blades similar to what I've seen on a few bowl cutters. Though I'm not sure it's the same heavy duty bowl cutter you are probably referring to.
User avatar
Chuckwagon
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 4494
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 04:51
Location: Rocky Mountains

Post by Chuckwagon » Thu Mar 06, 2014 04:46

Checkerfred, the ideal temperature to maintain (for us home hobbyists) during the mixing step is 38°F. After an hour or so, it should be reduced to 33° F if being stored for any length of time before stuffing. Some sources seem to overcomplicate things by using a lot of thrilling big words. Kept simple, the ideal temperature is 38°F and I can defend that scientifically.

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
checkerfred
User
User
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 18:49
Location: Alabama

Post by checkerfred » Thu Mar 06, 2014 06:32

Chuckwagon wrote:Checkerfred, the ideal temperature to maintain (for us home hobbyists) during the mixing step is 38°F. After an hour or so, it should be reduced to 33° F if being stored for any length of time before stuffing. Some sources seem to overcomplicate things by using a lot of thrilling big words. Kept simple, the ideal temperature is 38°F and I can defend that scientifically.

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
Thanks Chuck! I guess next batch I will carefully monitor the temp all the way thru the process.

When making things like bologna or whiners where it has to be ground many times or put into a food processor and emulsified, how does that differ from fat smearing in regards to the fat cooking out?
jscarbo
Beginner
Beginner
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 15:24
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica

Post by jscarbo » Fri Mar 07, 2014 18:43

As a newbie at sausage making, I quickly ran into a problem which at first seemed like it might be fat-smearing but actually was something entirely different.

I'll admit to being an obsessive-compulsive perfectionist when it comes to cooking and can't count the number of times when I've thrown out perfect good finished dishes and started over again because I wasn't entirely satisfied with them, much to my wife's dismay.

My first few efforts at sausage making almost got thrown in the garbage because I wasn't satisfied with the texture. Although my test patties were fine, the finished stuffed sausages were mealy and had a poor mouth feel, not at all what I wanted or expected. I'd been careful to keep everything ice cold and work quickly and was puzzled by the problem.

Here's what happened. I bought a decent STX Turboforce grinder from Amazon and it seemed to be doing a good job. Like most beginners, and many experienced sausage makers, I didn't buy a dedicated stuffer and was using a stuffing attachment with my grinder. Mine didn't come with a sausage plate and the manufacturer's recommendation was to use the large wagonwheel chili plate without the cutting blade to stuff sausages.

As recommended by many articles and tutorials, I was grinding my meat, seasoning and mixing, grinding a second time then mixing to achieve a primary bind, then stuffing my casings, chilling everything between each step.

Although it wasn't impossible that I was experiencing fat smearing, it didn't seem likely and, in fact, wasn't the problem. What was happening is that running my meat through the auger three times was mushing up the meat.

The solution was easy. I now cube and season the meat, grind it only once, then mix for primary bind and, finally, stuff the casings. The meat is only going through the auger twice instead of three times. I also bought a sausage spacer plate for the grinder but it hasn't made much of a difference. The problem was the auger. I'll eventually get a dedicated stuffer but for now the problem is solved and I'm satisfied with the texture of my stuffed sausages.
checkerfred
User
User
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 18:49
Location: Alabama

Post by checkerfred » Sat Mar 08, 2014 07:28

jscarbo wrote:As a newbie at sausage making, I quickly ran into a problem which at first seemed like it might be fat-smearing but actually was something entirely different.

I'll admit to being an obsessive-compulsive perfectionist when it comes to cooking and can't count the number of times when I've thrown out perfect good finished dishes and started over again because I wasn't entirely satisfied with them, much to my wife's dismay.

My first few efforts at sausage making almost got thrown in the garbage because I wasn't satisfied with the texture. Although my test patties were fine, the finished stuffed sausages were mealy and had a poor mouth feel, not at all what I wanted or expected. I'd been careful to keep everything ice cold and work quickly and was puzzled by the problem.

Here's what happened. I bought a decent STX Turboforce grinder from Amazon and it seemed to be doing a good job. Like most beginners, and many experienced sausage makers, I didn't buy a dedicated stuffer and was using a stuffing attachment with my grinder. Mine didn't come with a sausage plate and the manufacturer's recommendation was to use the large wagonwheel chili plate without the cutting blade to stuff sausages.

As recommended by many articles and tutorials, I was grinding my meat, seasoning and mixing, grinding a second time then mixing to achieve a primary bind, then stuffing my casings, chilling everything between each step.

Although it wasn't impossible that I was experiencing fat smearing, it didn't seem likely and, in fact, wasn't the problem. What was happening is that running my meat through the auger three times was mushing up the meat.

The solution was easy. I now cube and season the meat, grind it only once, then mix for primary bind and, finally, stuff the casings. The meat is only going through the auger twice instead of three times. I also bought a sausage spacer plate for the grinder but it hasn't made much of a difference. The problem was the auger. I'll eventually get a dedicated stuffer but for now the problem is solved and I'm satisfied with the texture of my stuffed sausages.
hmmm this is definitely something else to consider...My venison, I had already ground it up when I processed the deer...first through the coarse plate, then the fine. When I make sausage, I partially thaw the meat, cut the fat up frozen into cubes, then add my fat cubes in with the ground, then regrind. So I'm grinding the fat once, but the meat essentially 3 times. I may try just grinding the fat frozen and mixing directly in with the ground deer
Igor Duńczyk
Passionate
Passionate
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 23:41
Location: Croatia

Post by Igor Duńczyk » Sat Mar 08, 2014 15:10

jscarbo wrote:I now cube and season the meat, grind it only once, then mix for primary bind and, finally, stuff the casings
which is also very close to a common practice seen in many German recipes for sausages that are only grinded (and not cut at high speed in order to emulsify):
First grind the semi frozen cubed raw materials through the large plate, then blend in all ingredients.
Then grind a second time through the smaller plate and finish with a complementary (and not too prolonged) mixing.

Bologna and other emulsified sausages is another ballgame because you have to build up a fat-in-protein emulsion which I, not having tried it myself at home, presume is somewhat demanding for a domestic kitchen processer (though have to check up what the STX Turboforce is about!). Doing it in an industrial 2000 rpm bowl cutter is ...kind´a easier :wink:

The trick is that you cut through the meat fibre and with the help of a bio-chemical process where temperature, salt addition etc. plays a crucial role, you make the meat fibre bind water and fat. Hence creating a stable emulsion. And when you do it the right way you can skip all the starches, emulgators and other chemical additives that the average commercial emulsified sausages usually are stuffed with...

Making fermented sausages is much less demanding :lol:
Wishing you a Good Day!
Igor The Dane
User avatar
Bob K
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2081
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2013 15:16
Location: Northwest Ct

Post by Bob K » Sat Mar 08, 2014 16:16

checkerfred wrote:
jscarbo wrote: The solution was easy. I now cube and season the meat, grind it only once, then mix for primary bind and, finally, stuff the casings. The meat is only going through the auger twice instead of three times. I also bought a sausage spacer plate for the grinder but it hasn't made much of a difference. The problem was the auger. I'll eventually get a dedicated stuffer but for now the problem is solved and I'm satisfied with the texture of my stuffed sausages.
hmmm this is definitely something else to consider...My venison, I had already ground it up when I processed the deer...first through the coarse plate, then the fine. When I make sausage, I partially thaw the meat, cut the fat up frozen into cubes, then add my fat cubes in with the ground, then regrind. So I'm grinding the fat once, but the meat essentially 3 times. I may try just grinding the fat frozen and mixing directly in with the ground deer
CFred-

What I do with venison is to cube what I am going to make into sausage or burger and then freeze it.
When it comes time to grind mix the meats together and grind...once.

RE-Grinding pre-ground, frozen and thawed meat is almost a guarantee of mushy product.
jscarbo
Beginner
Beginner
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 15:24
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica

Post by jscarbo » Sat Mar 08, 2014 17:10

I'm not sure yet where my sausage making will take me. For now, I'm concentrating an just a few fresh sausages and won't branch out into other types until I feel like I've completely mastered fresh sausages.

So far, I've only been making American-style sausages: NY Italian, Wisconsin Brats and Southern-style breakfast sausage. On my list to try next are a garlic sausage, a couple of chicken sausages and perhaps a fish sausage.

Then I'll move on to a few cured smoked sausages, certainly a Cajun Andouille will be one. I seriously doubt I'll try any fermented sausages or emulsified sausages any time in the near future.
Post Reply