I made a 5# batch of pepperoni over the weekend.
It is not as stiff as it should be, I can press my finger against it and it will dimple.
Other than that it tastes great, looks great, smells great and everyone is eating it up, its is just that it has more the consistency and feel of a regular sausage than a stick of pepperoni.
Here is what I did:
Meat…half pork butt, half beef chuck
Tenderquick, 1 teaspoon per pound plus one extra (six teaspoons)
Wine, about a cup
Water, about half a cup
No extra salt, just what was in the Tenderquick.
I made the cubed the meat on Saturday, cubed it, put in the cure, spices, wine and water, then mixed it and ground it up.
Let it sit overnight in the refrigerator over night.
Next day, I stuffed it into natural hog casings.
To cook it, I put it in the smoker (without smoke at this point) at 130 degrees for two hours
Next, I kicked up the temperature to 150 degrees for another two hours, still no smoke.
Last I raised it to an internal temp of 170 degrees. This took about half an hour from the 150 degree mark and thats when I added the wood chips for smoke. When it hit 170 degrees I took it out of the smoker.
Next, it went into an ice water bath for about 20 minutes.
Last, I hung it up again to air out indoors for about an hour, then put it away in the refrigerator.
It is a Master built electric smoker, I made a rack so the sticks hang vertically.
Sadly, the 5lb batch will be gone by tomorrow evening, and everyone loves how it tastes. It just needs some help with its presentation.
So what did I miss and how do I get it to be stiffer like pepperoni should be?