One Stop Jerky Shop, LLC

FAQ about Sausage Additives

Sausage Binder:
Also known as Soy, Soy Protein, Soy Flour and other brand names. This ingredient is used to prevent weight loss and shrinkage to products being processed in the smokehouse, by helping to retain the natural juices (moisture) in the meat. This product also helps to bind the sausage together and can be use in meat products such as burgers to retain the natural juices from cooking out. Although not generally used in fresh sausages it may be added with good results. You should use the following ratios:

Smoked products: Use binder up to 5% of the meat weight.
Fresh products: Use binder up to 3% of the meat weight.

Sausage binder weights out at about 4 oz. per cup so 4 cups would equal about a one pound.

Water is used in sausage making to add moisture to the meat. The added moisture will cook out of the meat before the natural moisture of the meat. Thus you have a product that is moister when cooked. Water is also added to lubricate the meat making it easier to stuff into casing. Adding water to the seasoning and ingredients helps carry them into the meat and distributes them evenly during the mixing stage. You can add water up to 10 % of the meat weight. Always use ice cold water.

Meat Cure:

Cures are used to prevent meats from spoiling when being cooked or smoked at low temperatures (under 140°F). Used for preventing bacteria growth, adding flavor and preserving the color of meat. Salt is the basic curing agent for meat. Sugar (dextrose) is used to counter the salt and with the correct amounts of sodium nitrite and/or sodium nitrate added you will have a safe, tasty and high quality product. Fortunately, most cures are ready mixed and ready to use.

Modern Cure:
This cure is sodium nitrite (6.25 %) mixed with salt (93.75 %) As the meat temperate rises during processing, the sodium nitrite changes to nitric oxide and starts to 'gas out' at about 130°F. After the smoking /cooking process is complete only about 10 - 20 % of the original nitrite remains. As the product is stored and later reheated for consumption, the decline of nitrite continues. Use 1 oz. for 25 lb. of meat or 1 level teaspoon of cure for 5 lbs. of meat. Mix cure with cold water.

Modern Cure #2:
Used with dry-cured products. Has 1 oz. of sodium nitrite with .64 oz. of sodium nitrate to each lb. of salt. Use with products that do not require cooking, smoking, or refrigeration. This cure, which is sodium nitrate, acts like a time release, slowing breaking down into sodium nitrite, then into nitric oxide. This allows you to dry cure products that take much longer to cure. (A cure with sodium nitrite would dissipate too quickly.)

Use 1 oz. of cure for 25 lbs. of meat or 1 level teaspoon of cure for 5 lbs. of meat. Mix cure with cold water.

When using a cure in a brine solution, follow a recipe.
Below are two recipes that work well. Always use plastic or stainless steel containers for your brines.

Brine Solution
5 gallon ice water (38 - 40°F)
1 1/2 lbs. powdered dextrose
1 lb. Canning or pickling salt
1 lb. cure (Prague Powder #1)

Weigh the poultry and pump 10 % (of its weight) brine solution into the poultry. After pumping place the poultry in ice cold water for 3 hours. Remove the poultry and place in the brine solution. Keep this solution at 36 - 38°F for 3 days. Remove and process.

Brine Solution
5 1/2 gallons ice water (38 - 40°F)
2 lbs. canning or pickling salt
1 1/2 lbs. powdered dextrose
1 1/2 lbs. cure (Prague Powder #1)

Weigh the ham and pump 10% (of its weight) brine solution into the shank and bone areas of the cold ham, (38 - 40°F internal temperature). Place the ham in the brine solution and hold at 38 - 40°F for 5-7 days. Remove for processing.

Sugars are use to add flavor and to cover or mask salt. Sugars will cause browning when the product is pan fried or grilled.

Only about 70% as sweet as cane sugar and quite a bit heavier. Helps reduce nitrate to nitrite as meats are cured. Used to counteract salt in brines.

Maple Sugar: Used in producing bacon. Adds flavor and aroma.

Canning and Pickling Salt:
A pure granulated salt which does not contain potassium iodide, dextrose or an anti-caking agent. In other words, it does not contain any additives. This salt product can be used in cooking, baking, canning, pickling (brines) and for the table. Please note that since there is no anti-caking agent added to Morton Canning and Pickling Salt, it may form lumps in humid weather or if exposed to moisture.

Iodized Salt: Contains potassium iodide, dextrose to stabilize the iodide and calcium silicate which is an anti-caking agent. This product is fine for baking, cooking and normal table use. However, since the anti-caking agent in this product is not water-soluble, we do not recommend this salt for canning and brining recipes as the calcium silicate may settle at the bottom and the water may cloud.

Powder Milk:
Acts as a binder and helps retain the moisture of the meat. You can use up to 12 % (of the meat weight) without affecting the taste of the sausage.

Fat Substitute:
Use instead of beef or pork fat. This product is usually oat derived. Can be used in all smoked & cooked sausage, beef & venison burgers, meatloaf, breakfast, polish & Italian sausage. Used to retain the moisture and natural juices in the meat during the smoking or cooking process, this also prevents shrinkage.

Encapsulated Citric Acid:
This is citric acid coated with hydrogenated vegetable oil which will melt and release into the meat product at 135°F. Used to give certain products such as summer sausage and snack sticks their distinctive tang without going through a lengthy fermentation cycle. Suggested usage for this purpose is 3 oz. for 25 lb. of meat. Encapsulated citric acid should be added near the end of the processing cycle as not to rupture the capsules during the mixing cycle. During processing the encapsulated citric acid is inactive until the temperature reaches 135°F and then the capsule is melted releasing the citric acid into the product. Once released a decrease in pH is achieved resulting in the distinctive "tang" associated with reduced pH products.

Also used to preserve color of fresh sausage during storage. Use 1/2 oz. to 1 oz. per 100 lb. of meat for this purpose.