So I have a few questions about the product quality. I have a lot of experience making fresh sausages and doing traditional cured sausages. I have an ancient #12 Hobart that is probably 1hp. I’ve always used it as my stuffer too.
I used another brands spice mix that I had on hand for a 10 pound batch. I boned out one of my own pork shoulders and added no additional fat. I ground it in a single pass through a 4.5mm plate. I added the spice mix, 1oz pink salt and 2oz of encapsulated citric acid then mixed in two batches in a KitchenAid for 4 minutes or so, adding the citric acid in at the end. I tried to stuff using a 3/8" tube with my grinder (with no knife and a stuffing plate) and it just made pink mush. I ran out and bought a 10# vertical stuffer and stuffed the rest.
I hung it in my Masterbuilt smoker and followed the directions on my spice mix; 1 hr at 110, 1hr at 130, 1hr at 150 (with water in the pan), then at 170 until it hit 160 internal. It plateaued at 145 for hours. Took it about 8 hours to hit 160. Used no smoke.
So the stuff that mashed into pink paste was super dry and had grainy consistency. The vertically stuffed batch had great consistency but was a little dry. I figure my shoulder was about 80/20. I think I over dried the product, even though it never reached 160. The casings are a little wrinkled. Some of my casing from the properly stuffed batch are partially filled with a jelly like substance.
My questions are: Why are they dry? Too little fat or too long in the smoker? If too long in the smoker, what do you do when your product plateaus for so long? Finally, what is that jelly like substance in some of the links?
I do know that I will be buying a proper meat mixer. The KitchenAid sucks for meat.