Lebanon Bologna Mix
brian r Can you give me your entire process? I am going to guess the issue is either in mixing or smoking schedule but the more detail you can give me the better the chance I will be able to figure out what is going on and see if we can’t get it solved for you! If you don’t want to post it here feel free to use our chat service and send it to me.
Jonathon I was making a 5lb. batch using all beef . I used 7 oz Lebanon Bologna Mix, .3 Sure
Cure , .6 oz Capsulated Citric Acid, 12 oz Water . I don’t grind the ground beef after adding the seasonings. I mixed the meat by hand thoroughly, the meat got tacky. I stuffed the all the meat in one 4 inch casing The first time I tried making this recipe I poked a few holes in the casing . I baked the bologna in the oven at 125 degrees for 2 hours, 2 hours at 140 degrees, 2 hours at 200 degrees. The first batch the juices cooked out of the pinholes starting halfway through baking the bologna ,all the juices cooked out , I still finished baking it . After cooling the bologna was dry crummy.
The second time I did the same recipe, but I DID NOT put any pin holes in the CASING. I baked the bologna at the same temperature. The only difference this time is , At 5 hours of baking everything looked good . At this time I wanted to check the temperature with a probe. THAT WAS A BIG MISTAKE. When I inserted the probe all the juices sprayed out. The temperature was 149 degrees. I finished baking the bologna and let it cool. IT IS DRY .
I feel I followed the instructions on the Excalibur Lebanon Bologna Seasoning Bag ,except it does not say anything about how much water. I CALLED WALTON, they said that you should add 3 OZ . PER POUND. I ONLY ADDED 2 OZ . PER POUND BOTH BATCHES. Why wouldn’t the seasoning mix tell me the amount of water ?
ANOTHER QUESTION IS , WOULD USING EXCALIBUR COLD PHOSPHATE WORK ? I would hate putting any more money
in it if not sure what I’m doing wrong.
THANKS FOR WRITING BACK
brian r Thank you for all the information, that helps a lot! Your weight in seasoning, cure and citric acid are all correct so that is not the issue.
The first thing to check is that when you are using Encapsulated Citric Acid that you are not then holding your product overnight, it acts as a cure accelerator and the product needs to go directly to the smokehouse. When using Citric Acid the dry crumbly edges can absolutely happen if you hold the product overnight after stuffing and before going to the smoker. You didn’t list that though so I am assuming you went directly to the smoker.
The next thing that stood out is hand mixing, it is hard to get the proper amount of protein extraction by hand, it can be done it is just hard. Check out this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wStH-RtQUY8 and go to the 1:20 mark for what good protein extraction will look like in a product. It also goes over “fatting out” that might have been an issue so watching the entire video could be beneficial.
If you think your product had that amount of protein extraction then we want to look at some additives.
You might want to add a binder like Sure Gel or Carrot Fiber, they are not a required ingredient but if you are having issues with a dry product it can help as Carrot Fiber will hold up to 26 times its weight in water and it will keep it bound up in the meat. Cold Phosphate would be another option for sure as it increases water holding capacity of the meat.
The third thing that MIGHT be an issue is finishing it up at 200°F. We would recommend a lower cooking cycle but you have correctly stepped the temperature up in stages so I don’t see this as a likely culprit. Also this wouldn’t really give you a dry crumbly edge, just a less moist product.
They do not put a recommendation for how much water to use as a lot of people use different amounts, for example we generally ad 2 qts to a 25 lb batch but a lot of people only use 1 qt. We do it partly because it makes it easier to mix and stuff but it does add time to the cook cycle. Other people find that too soupy of a mix and want a shorter cook cycle.
I hope this helped! If anyone else sees anything that stood out to them let us know!
Jonathon THANKS for the information, first
thing I did not hold the bologna over night.
With your information and the video, I think
the problem is hand mixing. I never had
problem with my home recipes.
I HAVE NEVER USED CITRIC ACID.
I WILL WRITE BACK AFTER I TRY THE
NEXT BATCH, IT MAY BE A MONTH OR
TWO . I WILL PROBABLY TRYING THE
CARROT FIBER . AND MIXING BETTER
THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!