Cure before or after grinding

Air dried cured Meat Techniques

Cure before or after grinding

Postby Weoochaun » Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:18 am

Many old time recipies call for the cure to be added to cubed meat and left at 4C (refrigerator temperature) for 24-48 hours. Thereafter it is ground, mixed with spices and stuffed.
I have also noticed that some people employ this method today. Including Brican, although I think he only does it sometimes.

What are the reasons for this?

I can see that for older times nitrate was generally the only cure used. Therefore this curing time would give the bacteria some chance to produce nitrite before the botulism was mixed into an anaerobic environment (no air in the middle of the sausage). Now we use a mixture of nitrite and nitrate so this would no longer be a valid reason.

Another possibility that I can see is that the salt is applied only on the surface of the meat (where the bacteria is) and therefore is at a higher concentration and can better defeat the baddies.

I'm interested to see if people here cure their meat prior to casing and/or have any opinions on this?
Weoochaun
Registered Member
 
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:31 pm
Location: Myanmar

Re: Cure before or after grinding

Postby NCPaul » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:51 am

Salting the night before grinding allows for more myosin to be extracted and improves the bind when the meat is mixed later. Try it with the next fresh sausage you make. :D A good bind will naturally improve a dry cured product as well in my opinion.
Fashionably late will be stylishly hungry.
NCPaul
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2303
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:58 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Cure before or after grinding

Postby johngaltsmotor » Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:00 pm

I don't have a good reason for it, but I always cube and apply cure several days before grinding. It might not be needed, but that's what the recipes call for and things work out so I continue to do that. Plus it splits up the work instead of doing everything on one day.
Pigs are magical creatures.... they turn vegetables into BACON!!
johngaltsmotor
Registered Member
 
Posts: 304
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:26 pm
Location: NW Ohio, USA

Re: Cure before or after grinding

Postby Weoochaun » Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:02 am

Creating a good bind is clearly a desirable objective. Do you think that it would be better than a bind achieved by good mixing?

I have also wondered about the mechanism of the bind. If meat is allowed to cure before casing it will become firmer. This is where I don't get it! It seams that the meat has 'set' - the glue (myosin) holding it together has 'set'. If it is then broken up again in order to grind/case it; it seems intuitive that the second 'set' would be less strong. :?

Has anyone noticed a difference in the bind between a 'before grinding and stuffing' and an 'after grinding and stuffing' cure?

I can see that splitting up the work load is a good personal reason for doing it. For myself the motivation is that I am working with the pure nitrites and nitrates and adding larger quantities is easier - after curing I could then allocate different amounts of meat to be mixed with different spice recipes.

One other thing that is slightly off topic but related (salt concentration on the surface of cubed meat would be much higher than salt concentration mixed into the mass of ground meat). I have wondered if it is possible to start with meat that is too clean! This applies to fermented sausages without the addition of starter cultures. Fermentation is relying on indigenous bacteria therefore completely sterile meat wouldn't get a chance to ferment. Maybe the salt is killing the baddies and the desired bacteria are not so affected by salt concentrations and are therefore being given a head start before being mixed into the center of a sausage?
Weoochaun
Registered Member
 
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:31 pm
Location: Myanmar

Re: Cure before or after grinding

Postby BriCan » Fri Jul 10, 2015 5:54 am

I am possibly the worst one to chime in on things like the bind....

I do not over mix .. in fact my mixes usually last a couple of minuets .. well maybe three at the most :(

Just over a year ago I produced a Duck and Orange Salame and for some unknown reason I acquired some air pockets while drying --- the Salame tasted great other than having a few holes within it

I myself tend not to see the problems only the solutions ...

I course grind my meat twice, add the salt, cure and spices -- mix for two minuets, add the chilled back fat and give it a quick blend at the same time adding the booze. Total mixing time no more (maybe less) than four minutes

I then vacuum pack the meat and place in the walk-in cooler overnight for the spices and the booze to meld/blend with the meat -- the next day stuff into casings and ferment and dry

These are photos of my last batch of Salame's (custom blend) --- the bind is tight as you can see by the slices which are paper thin --- I have just put down another 25kg of this Salame as everyone is going nuts about it

Image


Image
But what do I know
User avatar
BriCan
Registered Member
 
Posts: 2190
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:07 am
Location: West Coast of Canada

Re: Cure before or after grinding

Postby Weoochaun » Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:01 am

Hi Robert, appreciate getting a response from a professional.

I expect this is a tried and trusted method that you've been using for years; what advantages do you see to vacuum packing for a night rather than straight to stuffing?

Also would be interested to know what your thoughts are about vacuum packing machines. Been thinking of getting one but not sure on what size to go for.
Weoochaun
Registered Member
 
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:31 pm
Location: Myanmar

Re: Cure before or after grinding

Postby Swing Swang » Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:09 pm

[quote="Weoochaun"]Many old time recipies call for the cure to be added to cubed meat and left at 4C (refrigerator temperature) for 24-48 hours

...

What are the reasons for this?

[/quote

Another reason is for the addition of flavourings such as bay. The large leaves can be added to the diced meats and mixed every day for two or three days, then removed before stuffing the casings.

I'm incredibly fortunate in being in rural Portugal at the moment and have had the opportunity of speaking with a quite a lot of people of all ages on how they make their Chouricos, and this is one of the tips I picked up from 90 year old who still makes over 90kg a year with nothing more than a knife (not even a hand grinder) and a funnel for had stuffing, and who does all the stuffing in one afternoon/evening with a friend.
User avatar
Swing Swang
Registered Member
 
Posts: 207
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:56 pm
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Cure before or after grinding

Postby BriCan » Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:11 am

Weoochaun wrote:Hi Robert, appreciate getting a response from a professional.


Just to let you know ... the only professional part of me is my background as a Master Butcher --- the curing side (other than bacon) is something I have only started doing -- within the last twenty odd years

I am mostly self taught but did have a mentor who came from Germany so know the fundamentals/basics of the old world curing before they started using the "quick" start stuff :(

I expect this is a tried and trusted method that you've been using for years;


I would be lying if I told you yes; not so -- just plain old common sense :)

what advantages do you see to vacuum packing for a night rather than straight to stuffing?


I did a Duck and Orange Salame just over a year ago, -- I had problems where I acquired/got some holes/voids in the finished Salame --- everything went right on the drying side so all I can put it down to was that the paste did not bind properly for whatever reason (people said I had not mixed enough)

Image

What I was attempting to do was use a courser grind than I normally do -- start with a course grind, split in half and grind with a medium plate, split in half and grind with a fine plate

In theory is should have worked but did not so back to the drawing board -- do the sane process on my new Salame and with one exception -- vacuum the paste overnight

I was/and have eliminated a step out of the equation and that is letting the mix rest overnight for the spices and booze to meld/blend into the forcemeat

I am still doing this step but under vacuum which excludes all the air that can be taken out when it is vacuumed so in essence I have combined two steps into one --- the overnight blending/melding of the spices and the vacuuming to exclude air

I could do it like the big fellows --- mix and blend spices and leave in walk-in cooler overnight and then use a vacuum stuffer --- Only problem with that is that the vacuum stuffer starts at $45,000 and being lowly skint sausage maker the most I could afford would be $6000 on a good day -- more like $2000 and these are just your ordinary run of the mill stuffers

So; -- let the forcemeat/paste sit in the fridge/walk-in cooler overnight for better flavour profile and use vacuum to eliminate close to 100% any chance of air pockets :)

Also would be interested to know what your thoughts are about vacuum packing machines. Been thinking of getting one but not sure on what size to go for.


For me a vacuum machine is a lifesaver -- the amount of EQ curing that I have going at anyone time is ridicules and if you go away for a months holiday everything is safe and sound --- as for size -- hard to answer -- go for as big as you can afford and also space is another factor
But what do I know
User avatar
BriCan
Registered Member
 
Posts: 2190
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:07 am
Location: West Coast of Canada

Re: Cure before or after grinding

Postby Weoochaun » Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:11 am

BriCan wrote:
Weoochaun wrote:Hi Robert, appreciate getting a response from a professional.


Just to let you know ... the only professional part of me is my background as a Master Butcher --- the curing side (other than bacon) is something I have only started doing -- within the last twenty odd years



You get payed for doing it - that in itself makes you a professional. Plus you are much more - maybe 'sausage supremo' would be a suitable title :D

Wonder if you use a vacuum chamber or an external vacuum? I'm wondering what sort of dimensions I need for different types of meat.

Yesterday, ground, mixed spice, measured ph (new toy), stuffed, conditioned for 4 hours and put into modernised fermentation chamber at really high humidity 90-99% and 26-27C.


Image


The immediate thing I noticed when grinding the meat after a 24 hour cure was that it was colder without becoming a homogenous block of ice.

Fast ferment pepperone 20Kg - pH5.8. 12 hours later the pH had fallen to 5.24. Starter culture of yogurt, no milk powder used for binder and no water needed as the spices get more evenly distributed when grinding.

6.7Kg of Finochiona (fennel, bp, garlic, red wine) and 6.7Kg of Milano (fennel, bp, coriander, thyme,chilie flakes). pH6.25 After 12 hours pH6.02 Made with trichinella free pork.

A lot of stuff in the chamber! I have tweaked my pepperoni recipe and with hold it for 7-10 days rather than 3 before poaching it. I think this will improve the flavour considerably.

The dry curing products are in the larger casings 95mm which is a bit of a nuisance (not known for my patience) but apparently they are for drying and my supplier didn't have 75mm in stock.

No fan drying whilst conditioning and high humidity for the initial period. Hope I don't get case drying this time!
Weoochaun
Registered Member
 
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:31 pm
Location: Myanmar

Re: Cure before or after grinding

Postby NCPaul » Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:32 am

I hope you haven't over corrected your humidity problems; keep a close watch during the first couple of weeks. Start thinking up a response plan if the humidity does stay too high, it happened to me once with less meat than you have.
Fashionably late will be stylishly hungry.
NCPaul
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2303
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:58 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Cure before or after grinding

Postby Weoochaun » Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:46 pm

Really hit the nail on the head there NC. I just weighed them and after 24 hours curing they haven't lost any weight at all. I hope it'll be OK but I have lowered the temp to 25C so that I get a few more cycles from the fridge to increase airflow. The humidity seems to be about 90% now.

They also feel quite sticky, not wet any more, so I wiped one down with hot water to clean the casing - I will see if that's made any difference in the morning.

The pepperoni (yogurt starter) which include 0.2% glucose are at pH 5.04. The others without starter or any added sugar are pH 5.98.
Weoochaun
Registered Member
 
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:31 pm
Location: Myanmar

Trouble looming?

Postby Weoochaun » Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:39 pm

Monitoring the process carefully with my new humidifier and pH meter!

All are getting the start of a nice white mold bloom. Strangely enough the semi-dry pepperoni (which I didn't inoculate) are getting a thicker covering than the salami - go figure.

Temperature 22.5C RH 84%

Pepperoni have a weight loss of 2.2% and the pH has dropped nicely. These are the readings at 24 hour increments:
5.80
5.04
4.89
4.84

Salami have a weight loss of 1.5% which is slower than the pepperoni but they are in larger casings. However the pH isn't looking so pretty:
6.02
5.91
5.94
6.02
What's happening?! :shock:
I am measuring the pH from an uncased sample wrapped in clingfilm. Also the sample hasn't firmed up (nor have the cased salami) at all and the fat is looking like goo (I think that's the technical term).

I was fairly surprised at the starting pH (maybe stressed out pigs) and am wondering if this could be the cause.

I have measured the pH of my previous batch (also no starter culture) which had a bit of case hardening and are now wrapped in cling film in the fridge which is definitely improving the texture. They are at pH 6.02.

Does any one have any idea what I should be expecting the pH to do?
Weoochaun
Registered Member
 
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:31 pm
Location: Myanmar

Re: Cure before or after grinding

Postby Weoochaun » Fri Jul 17, 2015 4:18 am

I am assuming that fermentation is complete at this stage and have lowered the the temperature to 14C.
Salami weight loss 2.5%
RH 80%

The salami (testing sample in saran wrap) has a faint wiff of acetyl acetate (sweet pear drops). Don't know if this has anything to do with the lack of pH drop.
Weoochaun
Registered Member
 
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:31 pm
Location: Myanmar

Re: Cure before or after grinding

Postby wkw » Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:23 am

Hi Brian
I know this is an older thread but I have a question regarding your methodology. Do you add your bacterial culture with the spices and cure or do you add them just before stuffing?

BriCan wrote:I am possibly the worst one to chime in on things like the bind....

I do not over mix .. in fact my mixes usually last a couple of minuets .. well maybe three at the most :(

Just over a year ago I produced a Duck and Orange Salame and for some unknown reason I acquired some air pockets while drying --- the Salame tasted great other than having a few holes within it

I myself tend not to see the problems only the solutions ...

I course grind my meat twice, add the salt, cure and spices -- mix for two minuets, add the chilled back fat and give it a quick blend at the same time adding the booze. Total mixing time no more (maybe less) than four minutes

I then vacuum pack the meat and place in the walk-in cooler overnight for the spices and the booze to meld/blend with the meat -- the next day stuff into casings and ferment and dry

These are photos of my last batch of Salame's (custom blend) --- the bind is tight as you can see by the slices which are paper thin --- I have just put down another 25kg of this Salame as everyone is going nuts about it

Image


Image
wkw
Registered Member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:37 pm

Re: Cure before or after grinding

Postby Swing Swang » Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:06 am

BriCan wrote:
I did a Duck and Orange Salame just over a year ago, -- I had problems where I acquired/got some holes/voids in the finished Salame --- everything went right on the drying side so all I can put it down to was that the paste did not bind properly for whatever reason (people said I had not mixed enough)


Another comment from my 95 year old mentor is that she suggested that I put a bit of olive oil into the mix to stop the meat spoiling/forming mould between the chunks of meat inside the casing (note she uses bay leaf from her garden, and an uncooked/fermented bell pepper paste in the mix so there is plenty of opportunity for wild/unknown spores/cultures etc to find their way into the farce). I'm guessing that the oil makes the meat cubes more slippery so they pack down better as so cause fewer voids. Just a thought.
User avatar
Swing Swang
Registered Member
 
Posts: 207
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:56 pm
Location: Cornwall, UK

Next

Return to Curing Techniques

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests