My breakfast sausage is too dry

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My breakfast sausage is too dry

Postby cchapo » Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:57 am

As a novice i began making a typical breakfast sausage from internet recipes with the usual sage, thyme etc.I find, and friends agree that the texture is too course and dry, i have tried several things to alter the texture but nothing works leading me to believe that this is the way a breakfast sausage should be.Any advise please
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Postby captain wassname » Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:39 am

Hello and welcome.
Most texture and dryness problems are caused by not mixing enough or mixing too warm.
The mixture should be only just above freezing and you should mix until the sausage meat turns mushy and sticky and then some more.
If your hands dont hurt then you probably havent mixed enough or the mix wasnt cold enough.
Hope this helps.

Jim
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Postby quietwatersfarm » Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:41 am

The Cap'n is dead right. Thoroughly chilled meat, mixing properly and giving sausages time to hang and dry off in a chiller for at least 24 hours are the most important factors in achieving a good finished product, in my opinion.

I used to know a 'sausage maker' who would buy meat in the morning at the shops, take it home, mince it once, sprinkle his rusk and seasoning on and give it a quick rummage and then mince it again, immediately stuff and then pack them for sale/dispatch.

Because he was apparently an expert, he could never be told that these were not sausages he was making, just little dry bags of meat'

Golden rule #1 : Chill, chill and chill again.
Golden rule #2 : Mix, mix and mix again.
Golden rule #3 : Hang em in a fridge to evaporate.

Only then will have an actual sausage, If you ignore these you simply have mince in a skin. :D
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Postby DanMcG » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:56 am

It would also be helpful if you could share your recipe with us, the ratio of meat//fat and binders also can effect the finished product.
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Postby Nutczak » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:36 pm

Could over-cooking be a factor too?
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Postby captain wassname » Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:18 pm

I know that a lot of people mince twice but I dont think this is essential it may be better but not essential.
It may be benificial if you shared your recipes,I presume there was more than one?
A brief account of your cooking methods would be helpful.

Jim
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Breakfast sausage

Postby cchapo » Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:30 am

Thanks all for your help.I always make a batch of 5 kg my recipe is as follows:5 kg pork 70% meat 30% fat,60grm salt,8grm sage,4grm thyme,10grm white pepper,7 grm nutmeg,2 grm cayenne pepper,3 grm ginger,290ml. water.I do mix well and the consistency at this stage is mushy, i do refridgerate to almost frozen before i cut , grind twice and mix the meat, after filling i hang to dry approx 30mins or until dry to the touch.The sausages always look good even when cooked but the taste is dry and course although the flavour is good.I am english/australian and i make them for many friends of different nationalities in the area of the philippines where i live and the feedback is always the same,good taste but dry and some say cereally or too much bread, which i never use.Any further help would be appreciated by both myself and my friends as we cannot buy sausages where we live.
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Postby Richierich » Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:43 am

I used to have a similar result, I had managed to get the flavour perfect but the result was dry, I seem to have got round this my mixing for longer. I generally mince twice, once on a large plate once on a small plate, but I have increased mixing times from 5 minutes to somewhere nearer to 12 minutes. I use a Kenwood, so the arms and fatigue is not an issue.
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Postby welsh wizard » Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:55 am

Hi Cchapo

Looking at your recipe you dont include any rusk which will give you a much better texture. Try mixing in rusk (or breadcrumb) & water at 7% - 10%. this should give you a less dry sausage.

There is nothing wrong with leaving out rusk, but the texture will be different to a "shop bought" sausage. I personally like no rusk sausages but I cant sell them to my customers as they have been sausage washed from an early age and look for that more springy texture.

Cheers WW
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Postby Zulululu » Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:34 pm

.I do mix well and the consistency at this stage is mushy,




Hi Cchapo,
Your meat should not be mushy but sticky. The meat can be warm when you cut or cube it, but it needs to be cold when you mince it. If you are mincing twice you will need to put it back in the chiller to cool down again before you mince, after mincing a second time you need to chill it again before you mix it. See Quietwaters post, with 30% fat you should be fine. And golden rule #4 Do not over cook the sausage.
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Postby Chuckwagon » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:26 am

Buenos Dias CChapo! And welcome to the forum.

Bear with me for a minute and picture this: Commercial hamburgers are quite different from the ones we make at home because first, they have soy protein concentrate added to the mix to retain the juices and keep them from shrinking. Next, they are mixed mechanically until they develop a stickiness that holds the meat particles together. Whenever you make a hamburger for the backyard grill, you want it to stick together so it won’t fall apart as it cooks...right? Do you remember the secret? You “pat” it from hand to hand, mixing the meat until it becomes “sticky” and even forms “peaks” as it is pulled apart. This mixing has developed the proteins actin and myocin.

Two of the hardest lessons I've ever had to learn (the hard way) were:

(1.) learning to mix the meat after grinding (before stuffing), until the proteins develop following several minutes of mechanical agitation - not just simple mixing by hand. I came to realize that I was stopping much too soon because my hands were becoming too cold to continue mixing. Keeping the meat cold as possible is absolutely essential. But pardner, even Superman is going to stop mixing too soon with cold, stiff, hands. The solution? A mixer. Either a kitchen-type electric stand-mixer or an electric or hand-crank meat mixer with angled paddle blades. Don’t allow this sticky-pasty “primary blend” to become too wet.

(2.) slow down the initial “preparation cooking” whenever making cured, cooked, & smoked sausage or semi-dry cured sausage. Rytek Kutas said that if you cook the sausage too quickly (too high of temperature) it will "break the collagen" and, as he put it, "it will taste like sawdust... exactly like sawdust".

Kutas always pre-heated the smokehouse to 120° F. and he warned in his book: “Caution should be taken not to speed up the drying process in the smokehouse. The drying process has to be done slowly and it requires some degree of patience. If you increase the temperature of the smoker, trying to speed up the process, two things will happen. First, the heat will cause the sausage to perspire, and condensation takes place. This keeps the outside of the sausage constantly wet and will not allow the meat to take on any color. Second, the cooking process will be starting too quickly, emitting grease through the casing before the casing can dry out. This will cause the product to look as if it is not smoked, and will make it look greasy no matter how lean the meat. The casing can also become tough due to excessive heat.”

Rytek raised the smokehouse temperature only two or three degrees every half hour or so, over a period of eight hours. When the smokehouse temperature reached 165 degrees F. he held it there until the internal meat temperature finally reached 150 degrees F. As you can imagine, this required some time. Hours, in fact. He showed us proof that it took a full eight hours to raise the temperature to that point! I believe that Rytek became a little disenchanted with impatient people continually writing him to complain about the problem - after he specifically addressed the trouble in his first publication. He eventually made a video in which he stressed the importance of SLOWLY raising the temperature.

When I finally started making good quality sausage, it was only because I had:
1. mixed the meat thoroughly, developing a sticky “meat paste”
2. ground the fat separately while it was frozen and kept the meat cold as possible, re-refrigerating it as necessary
3. brought the processing temperature slowly up to 150° F. a few degrees at a time, over a period of hours.

Overcooking: (cured-cooked-smoked sausage or semi-dry cured sausage)

It is easy to spot sausages that has been overcooked (heated beyond 150°F. during processing). As the fat melts into liquid, it will fill the casings with grease then leak out onto the floor of the smokehouse. It will leave the casings shriveled and a major mess on the floor.

When sausages are slowly heated to 150°F., their fat remains solid and they will have bloomed to a nice mahogany color. However, in order to avoid the “carryover effect”, sausages must be removed to cold water immediately to stop the cooking process. If not cooled immediately, the carryover effect could very possibly raise the temperature to 160°F. - the point where fat begins to turn to liquid!

Hope this helps,
Best Wishes, Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, it probably needs a little more time on the grill.
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Re: Breakfast sausage

Postby Nutczak » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:00 pm

cchapo wrote:Thanks all for your help.I always make a batch of 5 kg my recipe is as follows:5 kg pork 70% meat 30% fat,60grm salt,8grm sage,4grm thyme,10grm white pepper,7 grm nutmeg,2 grm cayenne pepper,3 grm ginger,290ml. water.I do mix well and the consistency at this stage is mushy, i do refridgerate to almost frozen before i cut , grind twice and mix the meat, after filling i hang to dry approx 30mins or until dry to the touch.The sausages always look good even when cooked but the taste is dry and course although the flavour is good.I am english/australian and i make them for many friends of different nationalities in the area of the philippines where i live and the feedback is always the same,good taste but dry and some say cereally or too much bread, which i never use.Any further help would be appreciated by both myself and my friends as we cannot buy sausages where we live.


I got something for you to try, and I bet your texture issues will be fixed,
You state you grind your meat twice, I think that is where the problem is starting, and further amplified by it getting too warm during ginding the 2nd time, or during the mixing.

Try this:
Grind the fat seperately, and gind it first. Set it aside in the cooler, then grind your meat (once, or twice) mix it very well, and get it cooled down again, once everything is nice and cold, then mix in the fat that you ground earlier. Give it a quick mix to distribute it well, stuff the casings, and get them in the cooler again and let them sit for 12-24 hours for the flavors to meld.

I bet you were smearing the fat during the 2nd grinding, and further smeared it during the mixing when everything was too warm to work with.

Please give my method a try and report back to us to let us know if it worked.

I always grind fat first, and add it to the meat last, and I have never had a dry texture.
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Postby cchapo » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:25 am

Thanks for your advise and to everyone, i will give it a try and report back
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remove vinager

Postby christ2000 » Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:00 am

all my problem with dry saisage was vinager, i never used vinager anymore in my fresh or dry sausage, do thi and you see what happend
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Re: Breakfast sausage

Postby siambob » Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:05 pm

Nutczak wrote:
cchapo wrote:Thanks all for your help.I always make a batch of 5 kg my recipe is as follows:5 kg pork 70% meat 30% fat,60grm salt,8grm sage,4grm thyme,10grm white pepper,7 grm nutmeg,2 grm cayenne pepper,3 grm ginger,290ml. water.I do mix well and the consistency at this stage is mushy, i do refridgerate to almost frozen before i cut , grind twice and mix the meat, after filling i hang to dry approx 30mins or until dry to the touch.The sausages always look good even when cooked but the taste is dry and course although the flavour is good.I am english/australian and i make them for many friends of different nationalities in the area of the philippines where i live and the feedback is always the same,good taste but dry and some say cereally or too much bread, which i never use.Any further help would be appreciated by both myself and my friends as we cannot buy sausages where we live.


I got something for you to try, and I bet your texture issues will be fixed,
You state you grind your meat twice, I think that is where the problem is starting, and further amplified by it getting too warm during ginding the 2nd time, or during the mixing.

Try this:
Grind the fat seperately, and gind it first. Set it aside in the cooler, then grind your meat (once, or twice) mix it very well, and get it cooled down again, once everything is nice and cold, then mix in the fat that you ground earlier. Give it a quick mix to distribute it well, stuff the casings, and get them in the cooler again and let them sit for 12-24 hours for the flavors to meld.

I bet you were smearing the fat during the 2nd grinding, and further smeared it during the mixing when everything was too warm to work with.

Please give my method a try and report back to us to let us know if it worked.

I always grind fat first, and add it to the meat last, and I have never had a dry texture.


I am having the same problem and will try this and post back here on the results, did you tie them off before refrigerating or after?
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