Morning of fun! (long post) (okay, basically a novella)

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    So, it’s been a few weeks or months since I got to spend time making sausage of any kind in the test kitchen, this morning I was able to end that and got to do a few fun experiments. These will all eventually be flushed out into Meatgistics, or Meatgistics University Episodes but I wanted to give a quick rundown of what we did.

    Electric Stuffer


    1st, when I was up at Iowa State we spent a little bit of time in their processing room, doing some , stuffing, mixing and grinding for dried and semi-dried sausages. Actually I should say grinding, mixing, grinding, and stuffing because they did their 1st grind, mixed then went back to 2nd grind and mixed more. One of the questions we get occasionally is why we don’t mix between the 1st and 2nd grind. My response has always been that we don’t do it because a) it is unnecessary, b) it is harder to clean the grinder and c) honestly, it just wasn’t how I was taught. Turns out there is another reason, when commercial operations do this, they are going to mix in all the spices and then grind again, then go back to the mixer and add their salt and starter culture. Since we use packaged seasonings we can’t separate out the salt.

    Close Up


    However, I did ask the guys at the meat lab why they do this and they said they think it gives them better dispersal. I asked about how much harder it makes the cleaning and they said something that surprised me to the point I made them do it to show me. They said it doesn’t make it any harder IF you spray it down with COLD water before cleaning it. So, I just did a batch where I mixed between grinds and I added all ingredients aside from High Temp Ghost Pepper Cheese and Encapsulated Citric Acid and then ground it again, and added those ingredients. I sprayed down the grinder with as cold of water as I could get from my tap and all the meat came off pretty easily. Now, I don’t see a benefit from doing it this way BUT one of our concerns has been addressed with the Meat Hack of cleaning 1st with cold water…shocking. Also, I have begun applying white il to all surfaces that touch meat when I am done cleaning and about to put something away until I need it next time, and this could also play a role in the ease of removing this meat. But I did see these guys spray with cold water and the meat all came shooting right out.

    Next we finally got the 13mm stuffing tube replacements for our Electric Stuffer while I was gone last week. We had some difficulties, or complaints about the quality of the initial batch they sent us, and we had to argue back and forth for some time, they even sent us a batch that we rejected and made them go back to the drawing board. I am very happy to announce that the 13mm stuffing tubes on the stuffer worked swimmingly! We added the full 1.5 L of water to a 25 lb batch, and we added sure gel, so it might have been a higher water content of what you would normally want. But we ran it at top speed, which is insane, should never be run that high, and it didn’t trip once, just kept pumping it out. So, the next thing to do is a few batches at lower water content and see how low we can get it. With this Stuffer there will absolutely be a requirement that a certain amount of water being added to the batch AND the only binder that is acceptable for use is the Sure Gel Meat Binder We tried the Soy Protein Blend a few months ago and it didn’t work at all. I was frustrated with that but then I was talking with Brett Walton and he mentioned that when sure gel first came out one of the Meat Lab proffessor’s we speak to occasionally said that it would be the best thing to happen to snack sticks because how easy it would make stuffing. I’m rambling and just spitting out little annecdotes, sorry, I am just really happy to be back to making sausage things instead of focussing all of my attention on the website!

    Old pic of Austin and Jon going insane to break up the wall of text!


    We also tested a new Hand Wrapping Machine that our product development specialist (that may 100% be his title, of it could be 0% his title but its what it is in my mind) with the cling wrap and it worked well. It just holds the roll of the film, has some rollers to make applying it smooth and then a warming plate to “seal” the wrapping film.

    Anyway, ton of fun this morning here aside from the cleaning!

  • Regular Contributors Team Grey Sous Vide Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt Power User Meat Hack Winner Veteran

    Jonathon Looking forward to a lot of new info headed our way!

  • Team Blue Power User Traeger Primo Grills PK Grills Canning Sous Vide Community Moderator

    The cold water thing is hard to buy. I have found the easiest way to clean is fill my sink up with as hot as water as I can get and give the grinder a good soak while you are stuffing the last batch. I have an extra deep single basin sink, so that probably works to my advantage as well. I do agree with wiping everything down with white oil, I did that last time, and it seemed to help quite a bit especially with the stuffer and mixer. I will have to wipe the auger and grinder head down next time as well. So is the new recommendation for making bratwurst or breakfast sausage to grind/mix/grind?

  • Team Orange Power User Canning Masterbuilt Veteran

    Jonathon Those are some fine looking suits, could be high school yearbook pictures from the sixties.

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    bocephus said in Morning of fun! (long post) (okay, basically a novella):

    Jonathon Those are some fine looking suits, could be high school yearbook pictures from the sixties.

    I was trying to figure out which sausage casing those two guys were wearing as neck ties.

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    Tex_77 I agree that a hot water rinse is best for equipment.
    Maybe cold is the next best thing compared to nothing at all.
    I wonder how a coating of non stick spray like PAM would work to aid with clean up?
    I have also considered loading everything that would fit into the dishwasher. Maybe just all the smaller stuff and hand wash the rest.

  • As someone who has done clean up in meat processing facilities full time and part time for years, you do NOT want to spray grinder plates with cold water. The meat particles get stringy and clog the holes and becomes way more difficult to clean. I’ve also had to do cleaning when the hot water is out, it’s not easy. I’m team HOT water all the way.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Deepwoodsbutcher I don’t know how we are going to settle this. Too many variables to do a side by side comparison…or maybe not. Just go out get some pork butts, dirty it up twice and time it. Now, the cold water thing is for when you mix in between grinding because the salt starts to extract the proteins more. Heating them up after that protein as been extracted is different maybe?

    processhead Lol, yeah, it was an intentionally goofy video. I can’t remember what the main point of it was but I am sure we laughed a lot.

    bocephus Wasn’t alive yet but I am sure I could “dig” the 60s

    Tex_77 I’d say no. I am going to try it a few more times but on the initial testing I didn’t see a benefit of doing it that way. It still had to go back into the mixer anyway. Now, if someone was doing a homemade seasoning recipe (how dare they?) then adding the salt after might make this doable.

    glen My initial struggle was just too much information so PatrickB and I sat down, looked at my notes and wrote some interesting ideas down for vidoes/series from all that information. I realized that I am going to have to go back through that book a time or two before I have most of it really set in my mind.

    Ahhh, back to meat processing, life is good!

  • Regular Contributors Team Grey Sous Vide Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt Power User Meat Hack Winner Veteran

    Jonathon Are those Mid-Western Research & Supply hats? love it!

  • Regular Contributors Team Orange Sous Vide

    Jonathon This needs to be a part of the rewards, this picture sent and signed by the both of you! Austin

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors

    processhead lol, made me go look. Wearing that blue checked casing as a tie would be hilarious.
    The comments on thickness of the farce using sure gel vs soy protein are interesting, as well as water content for small diameter stuffing.

  • The cold water hack is real. The first time I tried it was after mixing a batch of sausage made with ghost pepper, I was complaining to a friend about the pain involved (lungs, eyes, nose, etc) during clean up and she suggested rinsing everything in cold water during clean up so the pepper fumes didn’t get released in to the air to breath. I tried it on the next batch and it worked perfectly, both with the pepper fumes, and as a pleasant surprise, with general clean up of all the equipment. The left over sausage and fat just slides right off the equipment with cold water. I’ve been doing that ever since, whether or not I use hot peppers.

  • Team Orange Walton's Employee Admin

    glen Yep, old school Mid-Western Reasearch & Supply hats! Those are some of the first hats my Grandpa got, probably first couple years of the 90’s, could have been late 80’s.

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    Austin said in Morning of fun! (long post) (okay, basically a novella):

    glen Yep, old school Mid-Western Reasearch & Supply hats! Those are some of the first hats my Grandpa got, probably first couple years of the 90’s, could have been late 80’s.

    Just an FYI, Austin. Ears go on the outside. lol

  • Big Green Egg Team Blue Regular Contributors Cast Iron Power User

    Jonathon glad you were able to have some fun in the test kitchen! Enjoy your couple days off at home.

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Sous Vide Team Blue Power User

    Guess we will be seeing some running hot and cold videos coming soon. Cant wait.

  • Team Orange

    I worked in a small shop just during deer season and we would start the day but rinsing all of our equipment with cold water and then several more times in the day another rinse. At the end of the day we rinsed everything down with cold water and then washed with hot. If you tried to rinse with hot water it would melt the fat and make everything greasy.

  • Regular Contributors Veteran Canning Team Blue Power User Sous Vide

    Don’t know if its right or wrong, but I give everything a light coat of food grade silicon. I think it seems to help. If things get bad, you can always resort to the soaking with a dryer sheet. Jonathon , did you ever try my hack? Bob Stehlik said he tried it and it worked

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    kyle We are talking about the used dryer sheet? My wife ruined it by taking it out of the dirty pot! It sort of slipped my mind, but I will try it again!

  • Regular Contributors Veteran Canning Team Blue Power User Sous Vide

    Jonathon yep, used dryer sheet. I wouldn’t be too mad at your wife if she did the dishes tho.

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Meatgistics is brought to you by Walton's ( Meatgistics is a community site, knowledgebase, forum, blog, learning center, and a sharing site. You can find help and ask questions about anything related to meat processing, smoking and grilling meats, plus a whole lot more. Join Austin & Jon from Walton's and sign up for our Meatgistics community today. We have created Meagistics University, where we broke down meat processing into different categories and then broke it down into a class like structure. The introductory classes are 10s, the intermediate are 20s, and advanced are 30s.

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Walton's Inc. sells meat processing equipment and supplies, including all of the Seasoning, Equipment, Supplies, Packaging, and Casings needed to make almost any type of sausage. Walton's sells to the commercial customer with a focus on the small to medium-sized processing plants or butcher shops, and directly to the hunter or processor who makes their own product at home. Whether you are a commercial or retail customer of Walton's you will be receiving the exact same seasoning and supplies, we do not have a different "line" for commercial and retail customers so that everyone can make the best sausage or jerky possible!

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