Beef Sticks

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Butterbean
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Post by Butterbean » Sun Nov 08, 2015 05:30

I did use some ice water to make the mix stuff easier.
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Post by Rich » Sat Dec 26, 2015 19:34

Sir,

At the risk of sounding stupid, the % values that you used for spice measurement when you posted your recipe for beef sticks, are those values the % of spice vs total weight of meat being utilized ? I realize this is probably a really stupid question, but I'm relatively new to sausage making and want to be very safe.

Thanks in advance for any advice, BTW, those sticks looked awesome !

Cheers,

Rich
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Post by Butterbean » Sat Dec 26, 2015 19:45

Not a stupid question at all. I don't think there is a set standard on how to do this and have seen it done % of meat excluding fat and % of total with fat so your question is a very legitimate.

I always ..... most tiimes ..... base it on total weight of the meat itself as in this recipe. One exception is if I add show fat just before stuffing but that's just me.
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Post by Rich » Sat Dec 26, 2015 19:59

Thanks for the quick reply !

So, as a general rule of thumb can I assume that most base their % of "spices" vs total weight of meat ? My thinking is that if I do that vs "meat prior to adding fat" then I'll be safe.. I've made meat sticks using premixed packages, tasted fine, but wanna try something different. As far as getting the meat to stick, first time mine did not stick, talk to local meat processor and using his advice iv had no further problems. He said to mix until the mixture is "really tacky", it worked.

Again, thanks !

Cheers !

Rich
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Post by Butterbean » Sat Dec 26, 2015 20:37

Just speaking for myself but I think most times when the meat and fat is ground together then most times the % will be based on this total. Where I've seen it vary is when you might be making something like salami or mortadella that has show fat in it. This fat is treated differently and normally doesn't enter into the process till the very end when you do you final mix or stuff. If that makes sense. Maybe someone can elaborate on this I'm just saying how I view it.

One thing I think is important is to work in percentages to get a feel for your salt contents. Marianski's book covers this well. I think for dried sausages he gives the range of 2.3 - 3% salt and for fresh or smoked cooked sausages you are looking at 1.5 - 2% salt.

I hope this makes sense. Right or wrong its how I view things but I'm here to learn just as you are so I'd welcome more feedback on this.
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Post by Butterbean » Sat Dec 26, 2015 20:42

Rich wrote: As far as getting the meat to stick, first time mine did not stick, talk to local meat processor and using his advice iv had no further problems. He said to mix until the mixture is "really tacky", it worked.
Rich, I agree about mixing till it sticks but just to be sure we are comparing apples to oranges were your sticks dried to the point of being shelf stable or did they need refrigeration?
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Post by Rich » Sun Dec 27, 2015 07:29

They were not Shelf stable. One of the reasons that I'm going to try your recipe and smoking routine to a "T" !! Sorry about the somewhat delayed response,but had to go to work.

Is it possible to duplicate without moisture, ph, etc, meters by following your your times, etc to the letter ? If not, where do I get my hands on those types of measuring devices ?

My level of experience has been limited to fresh sausage, smoked sausage (with cure) and snack sticks. All have been made used premix from various vendors. I also made a Weiss Wurst from scratch which, I must say, was off the chain.

Thanks.

Cheers,

Rich
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Post by Bob K » Sun Dec 27, 2015 15:50

Rich wrote: So, as a general rule of thumb can I assume that most base their % of "spices" vs total weight of meat ?
Unfortunately Rich you can never assume, some folks base their percentages on the total weight and some like the Marianski recipes ( http://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage-recipes ) use bakers percentages which are based on the total meat + fat, and are much easier to scale up or down.
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Post by Bob K » Sun Dec 27, 2015 16:15

Rich wrote:Is it possible to duplicate without moisture, ph, etc, meters by following your your times, etc to the letter ? If not, where do I get my hands on those types of measuring devices ?
The real answer is no, but you could probably come close :neutral:

Ph is relatively easy to test with either Ph papers or a ph meter. Both are available from a variety of sources from The Sausage Maker to EBay. You need the narrow range Ph Papers.

Since there is no direct correlation between Aw value and water content you need an Aw meter or PawKit to test for Aw, and they are pricy. Search for a PawKit.

Pretty good explanation here: https://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/food- ... lationship
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Post by Rich » Sun Dec 27, 2015 18:03

Bob,

Thanks for the response, and advice on both posts. Guess I'll be in the market for both devices. :grin: and in the future I will probably just ask the author of a particular recipe what his/her values are based on.

Thanks again.

Cheers,

Rich
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Post by Butterbean » Sun Dec 27, 2015 23:42

Bob K wrote:
Rich wrote:Is it possible to duplicate without moisture, ph, etc, meters by following your your times, etc to the letter ? If not, where do I get my hands on those types of measuring devices ?
The real answer is no, but you could probably come close :neutral:
I was hesitant about touching this subject so thanks Bob for putting it so well.

Since the door is now cracked, I'll put it another way - a definite maybe. Not because you couldn't do it and come out fine but because there are just so many factors that come into play.

Making a shelf stable product and being able to prove its shelf stable are two different things. Both could be but you will only have proof that one is and sadly we now live in a time where paper proof is valued moreso than quality.

But putting things in perspective, people have been making shelf stable products for years and have got along fine without all this equipment. While I wouldn't put a cocked pistol to my head to see if it was loaded I wouldn't have any real hesitation eating a sausage that had been processed in a known and proven manner.

What could happen? Take a snack stick for instance. You've removed the risk of botulism by using the cure so you are not going to die from that. You've removed the other risks through the fermentation, smoking and the baking processes so you have all that going for you. So what happens if you don't dry it as completely as you should have and it was placed in an airtight sealed environment? What organisms are left? I think the spoilage organisms would be the only ones and they will tell you by sight and smell. If not, I imagine the taste would be horrid but it would not be anything like having a bullet in the chamber.

I don't mean to downplay the importance of any of these safety concerns its just I think we need to sometimes put things in perspective and I hope I don't catch grief for posting this but this is how I understand things and I apologize if I'm wrong because the last thing I want to do is give erroneous information on this board. I'm here to learn as well and I know there is a lot I don't know.

But like I say, there is a big difference between being able to prove something is shelf stable and it actually being shelf stable. I think life was much simpler when we didn't know so much and question ourselves so frequently. In those days, we had many more more sausage shops and better selections to choose from but it is what it is.
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Post by Bob K » Mon Dec 28, 2015 14:27

I have to agree with Butterbean, an Aw meter is definitely not necessary for a hobbyist. Just use common sense :shock: , if in doubt refrigerate or freeze.

A Ph meter on the other hand is a definite asset. Along with reaching the desired Ph that is a safety hurdle in some sausages, it also effects the taste of all products that are fermented, whether they are cooked or dry cured. Checking the Ph is the only way to be consistent in achieving the desired "tang"
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Post by redzed » Mon Dec 28, 2015 23:14

My two cents here. When working with percentages, the USDA standard is the total amount of the meat and fat, referred to as the "meat block". And as Bob pointed out, we work with baker's percentages, that is, the amounts of additives are meat block relative. Beware of wonky calculators and excel spreadsheets that use a sliding scale approach where all the percentage values are based on the total weight of the meat block and all additives.

But it never hurts to be certain when reading recipes on the internet. And when it comes to salt and nitrite, I always use my own percentages, no matter what the recipe calls for.
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Post by redzed » Mon Dec 28, 2015 23:32

My two cents here. When working with percentages, the USDA standard is the total amount of the meat and fat, referred to as the "meat block". And as Bob pointed out, we work with baker's percentages, that is, the amounts of additives are meat block relative. Beware of wonky calculators and excel spreadsheets that use a sliding scale approach where all the percentage values are based on the total weight of the meat block and all additives.

But it never hurts to be certain when reading recipes on the internet. And when it comes to salt and nitrite, I always use my own percentages, no matter what the recipe calls for.
Rich wrote:Is it possible to duplicate without moisture, ph, etc, meters by following your your times, etc to the letter ? If not, where do I get my hands on those types of measuring devices ?
You probably get by quite well when fast fermenting and then smoking the sausages. And as Butterbean points out, since you will be thermally processing snack sticks before consuming, they will be safe. But when making raw dry cured sausages, that is a different story. You really need to know what is going on with meat, and most of all with the acidity. Following a recipe where it states to ferment 36, 48, or 72 hours is not good enough. I have different results with pH drops almost every time I ferment salami, even though the amount of sugar, the starter culture and temp are the same. To be safe, the pH must be 5.2 or lower, although there are is credible literature that claims that it be 4.8. Testing with strips is better than nothing, but I would recommend that anyone who really wants to get serious with dry cured fermented products buy a pH meter.
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Post by Rich » Tue Dec 29, 2015 06:49

Ok, for my upcoming beef stix project I'll forego the moisture meter (AW?) and look at buying a PH meter, any recommendations ? Preferably somewhere south of US $ 100.00 ! :lol: another question, can I substitute venison for beef and expect similar results providing the %of fat is the same ?

Thanks,

Cheers,

Rich
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