Question regarding adding water while mixing

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Question regarding adding water while mixing

Postby SteveJonesMO » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:59 pm


I have a question about adding water to a cured/smoked sausage mix. Let me set the table...

I have a venison summer sausage recipe that calls for grinding the venison and fat (fine and course respectively), mixing with all the goodies, packing into a tub and refrigerating for 2 days, then regrinding and stuffing. I add whole peppercorns after the final regrind (so they stay whole), then remix before stuffing.

My mixer has a label on it saying to mix spices with 1oz water per lb of meat, then pour that slurry in with the ground meat for mixing. I presume the water accomplishes 2 goals, one to more evenly spread the goodies throughout the meat. The other is to loosen the result for easier stuffing.

I decided to mix it without the water, and the meat is resting in the fridge now waiting for me to regrind it tomorrow. While mixing it did seem pretty stiff, so I plan to add some water to the final mix for stuffable texture.

So I've got two possible methods here:

METHOD Late Water:
Mix with salt/spice etc.
2 day wait
mix with peppercorns, adding water as necessary for texture

METHOD Early Water:
mix 1 oz water per lb meat with salt/spice to make a slurry
mix meat with slurry
2 day wait
mix with peppercorns

I chose the late water method this time, but wondering about next time. I'm not overly concerned about the distribution of ingredients because with the 2 day "soak", the regrind, and the final mix before stuffing I think everything will be well distributed.

I also thought the moisture might otherwise degrade the effect of the second grind (less "choppy" and more "smeary"). It also occured to me that moisture is a key condition favoring the growth of bacteria — not something I want to encourage during the 2 day chill between grinds - though with the salt and cure that may be a non-issue.

Fully understanding I may be overthinking things, I just wanted to ask the opinion of the forum.

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Re: Question regarding adding water while mixing

Postby NCPaul » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:28 pm

Welcome to the forum. :D I like the late water addition process you've outlined. The mix will be really hard to stuff otherwise. The two times I've made summer sausage I ground only once before stuffing but allowed the sausages to "bloom" for a day in the fridge before smoking.
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Re: Question regarding adding water while mixing

Postby DanMcG » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:54 am

One way i do it, is to grind, combine the water with the salt and spices, mix well and stuff. then refrig for a day before smoking.
Another way is to cube the meat, add salt and spice and mix well with the cubes, next day grind the meat/spice mix, then add water and stuff.
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Re: Question regarding adding water while mixing

Postby wheels » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:18 pm

There's two issues here: both have merit.

Adding water to the mix early on will help extraction of myosin helping the bind. Adding it later will help stuffing.

Maybe a bit of each

How's that for sitting on the fence!

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