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Cooking & Curing from "Charcuterie": Part 4


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#391 FoodMan

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 02:31 PM

Elie, howzabout you bring that sausage over here to go with the duck confit and pork belly confit I have curing for cassoulet, and we will so be in business!

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Speaking of...I am down to only one leg of duck confit. I need to cure some more ASAP for the cassoulet. We still have one problem combining our efforts though, that little problem of you being a few thousand miles away :smile: .

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#392 dansch

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 09:04 AM

So, I just pulled down and tried my paprika-cured lomo. Everything seems Ok, except the flavor is a bit on the sour side. After my experience with mold on my peperone (yes, yes I know I'm a mold wuss) I had been using a vinegar/water solution once every week or two on the lomo (which was in a collagen casing) to control any fuzzies. I fear that the vinegar may have really soaked in and caused this off sour flavor - fine and dandy in a salame, but not the flavor profile I wanted out of a lomo.

In the future, I think I'll switch over to just a salt brine rub-down if I start to fear undesirable molds.

Any thoughts on the use of vinegar? I know a number of people on this thread have used it - noticed any pronounced sour flavor introduced by it?

-Dan

#393 piperdown

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 11:03 AM

Does anyone know how long fatback keeps in the refrigerator? I just found some that's a few weeks old that I forgot to freeze. It smells OK, but I'm a little concerned to use it.

#394 Joisey

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 02:14 PM

--Does anyone know how long fatback keeps in the refrigerator? I just found some that's a few weeks old that I forgot to freeze. It smells OK, but I'm a little concerned to use it. --

I've had fatback that went bad after only 4 days in the fridge; Of course I'm not sure how old it was before I bought it. I break that stuff down and freeze it as soon as I get it now.

#395 Michael Ruhlman

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 06:03 AM

Does anyone know how long fatback keeps in the refrigerator? I just found some that's a few weeks old that I forgot to freeze. It smells OK, but I'm a little concerned to use it.

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it's likely a flavor issue rather than any safety issue. use your senses to evaluate. including common sense...

#396 BRM

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 12:50 PM

So, I have been lurking eGullet for quite some time now. Just a few weeks ago I bought the book and did the duck procuitto in time for thanksgiving. This morning I had my first taste of my own homemade bacon and, like Susan said above (like 50 or so pages ago), it was an epiphany. I was so much more meaty and flavorful than storebought. I smoked it to an internal temp of about 140 which took 2.5 hours and then changed my smoker over to cold smoke and did that for another 3 hours (until I ran out of chips). I have a bit of work to get the saltiness just right, mine was just a bit too salty, but still fabulous. I think I am going to give bacon to my family as christmas presents.

I'm setting my sights on sausages next. The andouille looks really good.

One question though...I don't have a meat grinder. I could have my butcher to do it but I'd like to do it myself and I think I would get continuing use out of a grinder. It seems to me that most of the efforts here used the KA grinder attachment. It is generally the consensus that is the way to go or is it worth investing in a manual grinder? I know there are other meat grinder topics recently but they seem to be more about 'which type of manual' or 'which type of electric'. My question is more 'which type of grinder'? Show of hands anyone?


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#397 jmolinari

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 01:10 PM

So, I have been lurking eGullet for quite some time now.  Just a few weeks ago I bought the book and did the duck procuitto in time for thanksgiving.  This morning I had my first taste of my own homemade bacon and, like Susan said above (like 50 or so pages ago), it was an epiphany.  I was so much more meaty and flavorful than storebought.  I smoked it to an internal temp of about 140 which took 2.5 hours and then changed my smoker over to cold smoke and did that for another 3 hours (until I ran out of chips).  I have a bit of work to get the saltiness just right, mine was just a bit too salty, but still fabulous.  I think I am going to give bacon to my family as christmas presents.

I'm setting my sights on sausages next.  The andouille looks really good.

One question though...I don't have a meat grinder.  I could have my butcher to do it but I'd like to do it myself and I think I would get continuing use out of a grinder.  It seems to me that most of the efforts here used the KA grinder attachment.  It is generally the consensus that is the way to go or is it worth investing in a manual grinder?  I know there are other meat grinder topics recently but they seem to be more about 'which type of manual' or 'which type of electric'.  My question is more 'which type of grinder'?  Show of hands anyone?


...and that is my first eGullet post.

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The kitchen aid grinder is quite good. The disadvantage is that there are only 2 plate sizes, "too small" and small. There is no larger plate, which i personally would like.

having said that, don't waste your time on the KA stuffer. That thing SUCKS

#398 dansch

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 01:24 PM

I have a bit of work to get the saltiness just right, mine was just a bit too salty, but still fabulous. 

I still can't seem to get my salt level right. My most recent batch was in need of more salt - I find myself salting the slices before I fry them. Crazy.

That said, I've made the pancetta recipe a number of times and the salt level is always perfect (since it's measured precisely for each belly I guess). I've been thinking of making the pancetta cure - minus bay leaves and juniper - and then smoking it instead of rolling and hanging. I'm not really sure why there's dextrose in the bacon cure recipe anyway. Thoughts from others?

I'm setting my sights on sausages next.  The andouille looks really good.

The andouille is one of the tastiest things I've made as a result of this experimentation with charcuterie. There's a recipe upthread that I used and thought was fantastic.

One question though...I don't have a meat grinder.  I could have my butcher to do it but I'd like to do it myself and I think I would get continuing use out of a grinder.  It seems to me that most of the efforts here used the KA grinder attachment.  It is generally the consensus that is the way to go or is it worth investing in a manual grinder?  I know there are other meat grinder topics recently but they seem to be more about 'which type of manual' or 'which type of electric'.  My question is more 'which type of grinder'?  Show of hands anyone?


I've been using the attachment for my Kitchenaid and it's Ok, but certainly not ideal. One thing I would consider a big plus in the manual category is that you could get one that would fit standard (say, #12) size dies - allowing a much wider range of grind sizes than the 2 that come with the KA.

I've been thinking about moving up to a real (standalone) electric one for that reason + the nicer ones don't seem to get caught up and smear as a result of tiny bits of sinew/silverskin like the KA does. I'm assuming that it's a result of the blade style of the KA (very wide edge angle) - though perhaps horsepower and fit/precision (how close the blade gets to the die) of the standalone ones are significant factors as well.

I know someone with a small Hobart food chopper (the toroid-shaped thing) that has a KA-style grinder attachment, but it's much more hard-core and he can grind just about anything without worry about trimming every last bit of connective tissue out.

...and that is my first eGullet post.

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This thread is what got me participating in eGullet as well - previously I was just a lurker. Call it the power of pork...

Cheers,
-Dan

#399 Malaclypse

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 01:46 PM

just started a batch of duck prosciutto last night. I'm excited to see how it turns out. I also should be able to get some wild buck breasts soon and hat should make for some amazing flavor.

#400 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 10:03 PM

. . . One question though...I don't have a meat grinder.  I could have my butcher to do it but I'd like to do it myself and I think I would get continuing use out of a grinder.  It seems to me that most of the efforts here used the KA grinder attachment.  It is generally the consensus that is the way to go or is it worth investing in a manual grinder?  I know there are other meat grinder topics recently but they seem to be more about 'which type of manual' or 'which type of electric'.  My question is more 'which type of grinder'?  Show of hands anyone?


...and that is my first eGullet post.

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Welcome, BRM! :smile:

I agree with what jmolinari and dansch posted above about the kitchen-aid...very useful and reliable as a grinder . . . to a point. If you already have a KA machine, the grinder attachment is a no-brainer. Last time I checked, they were under $50. It's a great starting point and if you don't like it, you're not out a whole bunch of money. But, if you don't already have a KA, the decision is probably more complicated. I really like mine but I'll admit that now, after about a year of making sausage, I'm beginning to understand its limitations. OTOH, I really don't have room for much more kitchen equipment. Otherwise, I'd have one of those nifty Hobart slicers like a few of the other fine folks who've posted on this thread. :wink:

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#401 Chris Amirault

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 12:09 AM

I am planning on making Cassoulet de Toulouse sometime soon from Paula Wolfert's book and of course I wanted some good homemade sausage in it. So, last night I used the Garlic Sausage recipe and altered it by adding some fresh thyme, grated nutmeg and white wine instead of red. Using white wine was based on Paula Wolfert's recipe for Toulouse sausages.

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Elie, I'm planning to use that exact recipe for the exact same purpose (cassoulet on New Years Day, in fact). Can you give precise details on your tweaks of the recipe?
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#402 Bombdog

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 11:11 AM

I am planning on making Cassoulet de Toulouse sometime soon from Paula Wolfert's book and of course I wanted some good homemade sausage in it. So, last night I used the Garlic Sausage recipe and altered it by adding some fresh thyme, grated nutmeg and white wine instead of red. Using white wine was based on Paula Wolfert's recipe for Toulouse sausages.

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Elie, I'm planning to use that exact recipe for the exact same purpose (cassoulet on New Years Day, in fact). Can you give precise details on your tweaks of the recipe?

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Yes Ellie, please share. I too am planning the same, but for Christmas Day. I made cassoulet from Les Halles last Christmas and it was immediately proclaimed "our new Christmas meal" by the family.

I am truly excited by my purchase of heirloom pork today from Caw Caw Creek Farms. I got about 10 lbs of belly (truly wonderful looking belly), 8 lbs of fatback, and about 30 lbs of shoulder. I'll post some pictures as soon as I get everything unpacked and ready for processing.
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#403 jmolinari

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 11:30 AM

I am planning on making Cassoulet de Toulouse sometime soon from Paula Wolfert's book and of course I wanted some good homemade sausage in it. So, last night I used the Garlic Sausage recipe and altered it by adding some fresh thyme, grated nutmeg and white wine instead of red. Using white wine was based on Paula Wolfert's recipe for Toulouse sausages.

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Elie, I'm planning to use that exact recipe for the exact same purpose (cassoulet on New Years Day, in fact). Can you give precise details on your tweaks of the recipe?

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Yes Ellie, please share. I too am planning the same, but for Christmas Day. I made cassoulet from Les Halles last Christmas and it was immediately proclaimed "our new Christmas meal" by the family.

I am truly excited by my purchase of heirloom pork today from Caw Caw Creek Farms. I got about 10 lbs of belly (truly wonderful looking belly), 8 lbs of fatback, and about 30 lbs of shoulder. I'll post some pictures as soon as I get everything unpacked and ready for processing.

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Caw Caw creek is the most amazing pork i've ever eaten. I've made pancetta from the belly, it is amazing.
But i can't see myself using their pork shoulder for sausages, it is just too expensive for that use (in my mind).

#404 Bombdog

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 01:47 PM

Caw Caw creek is the most amazing pork i've ever eaten. I've made pancetta from the belly, it is amazing.
But i can't see myself using their pork shoulder for sausages, it is just too expensive for that use (in my mind).

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I suppose being able to pick it up from the owner helps, but I only paid 150.00 for all that I got today. I mean it's easily 2 or 3 times the cost of the other stuff I can get, but I am expecting that it will be worth every penny.
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#405 jmolinari

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 01:21 PM

Dave, the owner, Emile, seems like a great guy (i only know him though email).

Let us know if it is worth the extra cost...as i've wondered.

#406 Abra

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 02:14 PM

I just want to add a little report on making bacon without a smoker. Mine needed to get out of the cure and get cooked while I was down with a horrible cold right in the middle of a snow and ice storm, so I wussed out and decided to try the oven method. I'd used the maple syrup cure with a generous amount of added coarse black pepper.

The result is good, in a Canadian bacon sort of way, except that it's a Niman belly instead of a loin. I mention the Niman part because their bellies are about 50% lean. It doesn't "taste like bacon" but it does taste like a nice cured pork. In short, I'd only do it again this way in a smokerless emergency, but as it is it makes nice lardons, and will probably snuggle happily into a cassoulet with the duck confit and pork belly confit I have curing in the fridge. And I think it also has a future in that pot of split pea soup I've been inexplicably craving.

#407 Bombdog

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 03:01 PM

Dave, the owner, Emile, seems like a great guy (i only know him though email).

Let us know if it is worth the extra cost...as i've wondered.

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Yes he does. I met him for the first time yesterday.

I'm a bit under the weather myself today, so it might be a day or so before I get pictures posted. But I can almost promise you'll drool. These shoulders are just unbelievable!
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#408 FoodMan

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 03:41 PM

I am planning on making Cassoulet de Toulouse sometime soon from Paula Wolfert's book and of course I wanted some good homemade sausage in it. So, last night I used the Garlic Sausage recipe and altered it by adding some fresh thyme, grated nutmeg and white wine instead of red. Using white wine was based on Paula Wolfert's recipe for Toulouse sausages.

View Post

Elie, I'm planning to use that exact recipe for the exact same purpose (cassoulet on New Years Day, in fact). Can you give precise details on your tweaks of the recipe?

View Post


Simple tweaks really. I used the leaves from about a bunch of fresh thyme and added it to the mix (figuring thyme is usually an herb used in cassoulet). I also used white wine in there, not red. The use of white wine was inspired by Paula Wolfert's recipe for Toulouse sausages. She uses white wine in there. Other than that, The recipe was followed from the book.

edit: For nutmeg, I used about a 1/4 of a nut freshly grated.

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#409 Rubashov

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 01:17 PM

One question though...I don't have a meat grinder.  I could have my butcher to do it but I'd like to do it myself and I think I would get continuing use out of a grinder.  It seems to me that most of the efforts here used the KA grinder attachment.  It is generally the consensus that is the way to go or is it worth investing in a manual grinder?  I know there are other meat grinder topics recently but they seem to be more about 'which type of manual' or 'which type of electric'.  My question is more 'which type of grinder'?  Show of hands anyone?

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Having started out on a manual #10 grinder and moved to the KA, I'm torn. Here's how I'd break it down:

Manual advantages:
Heavy duty - you can grind nearly frozen meat/fat. The limiting factor is your own "horsepower." This makes it easier when you're obsessed with keeping things cold, which you usually have to be with sausages (esp. emulsified): the colder the meat starts, the colder it stays. I've also found that near-frozen meat avoids most smearing problems, including when the meat is sinewy/membranous also. They also have the advantage of multiple grinding plate sizes.

Manual disadvantages:
Heavy, not as fast as an electric or KA, a little harder to clean, usually not stainless so they can rust if the tinning comes off. It's a little harder to use without a helper, but not that hard.

KA advantages:
Easier, faster, can do it easily by yourself. The height on the KA also lets you grind straight into a bowl, which can be set in ice if you're concerned about keeping things cold. Easier cleanup and storage.

KA disadvantages:
Not as powerful and doesn't handle tough things as well, like partially frozen meat. On some occasions if my KA is straining I'll start to notice black stuff coming through the drive shaft into the auger area. I don't know if this is from the rubber o-rings farther back, but I don't like it. It also tends to smear more because membranes can clog the knife more easily when they're warmer. Also doesn't allow for more than the 2 plate sizes that come with it.

So, I don't have a clear winner. I've held on to my manual just in case, but in the meantime I'm trying to be good about methods that keep my ground meat cold without straining the motor on the KA (like using the ice bowl, or separating my meat chunks into 3 smaller batches, only taking the batches out one at a time to grind). Maybe a big standalone combines the best of both worlds, but I don't have any experience with that.

However, I would second the comment made above that you should avoid, if at all possible, sausage stuffing attachments to auger-style grinders, whether manual or electric. They result in smeared forcemeats, ruining the definition. The Grizzly stuffer is a great tool for about $60 I think.

Hope this helps,
Rob

#410 Mallet

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 05:46 AM

The dies on the Kitchenaid grinder seem pretty straightforward to duplicate, it should be possible to have a machine shop make some of a variety of desired sizes...
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#411 BRM

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 01:04 PM

Rubashov,
Thanks for the thorough rundown. I think I am going to go with the KA attachment for now and see where that leads me. I have actually looked at some dedicated electric grinders and they aren't as pricey as I thought they might be. If I find myself doing a lot of sausage I may look into one of those.

I am going to have to clear a shelf in the basement for all of the toys that I am accumulating as part of following threads on eGullet. Let's see...there was the immersion circulator and vacuum sealer for sous vide, now the meat grinder and sausage stuffer...oh well.

Thanks again.
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#412 Bombdog

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 05:59 AM

Sorry I took so long to get these pictures posted.

Posted Image

Here are several Boston Butts. Emile doesn't sell in primal cuts. You can only get shoulder this way. I couldn't believe the fat!

Posted Image

I tried to get a good shot of the marbling. Once again, amazing stuff.

Now my question. With what seems to be such a higher percentage of fat in these shoulder cuts, should I still use the 4lb of meat to 1lb of fat back ratio? These obviously contain much more fat than the stuff I have used in the past. However, I have been satisfied with the way the cured meats have turned out. If I add 1lb of fat back am I going to have too much fat? I'm not even sure if there is such a thing as too much pork fat :shock:, but am interested in any opinions.
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#413 jmolinari

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 07:10 AM

Personally i'd reduce it a little bit.,..but the fat you'll get from the shoulder won't be in separate chunks like the fat from using fat back, it;'ll be in the meat, making it slightly different.
now, i'm taling for salame, not cooked sausage. For cooked suasage i would reduce hte fat by a lot more sincethe fat in the meat will melt into the suasage.

#414 Bombdog

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 07:41 AM

Personally i'd reduce it a little bit.,..but the fat you'll get from the shoulder won't be in separate chunks like the fat from using fat back, it;'ll be in the meat, making it slightly different.
now, i'm taling for salame, not cooked sausage. For cooked suasage i would reduce hte fat by a lot more sincethe fat in the meat will melt into the suasage.

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Thanks Jason

That's what I was thinking.

The only sausage project that will come from this is the garlic ones for cassoulet on Christmas Day. I'm planning on Tuscan, Sopressata, and Genoa for this batch.
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"So, what if we've got it all backwards?" asks my son.
"Got what backwards?" I ask.
"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.


#415 Mallet

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 07:11 AM

Dave, do you have a picture of the belly as well? (where's the drooling emoticon when you need it?)
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#416 Bombdog

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 07:49 AM

Dave, do you have a picture of the belly as well? (where's the drooling emoticon when you need it?)

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I do. Sorry I didn't take any pics of it yet. I need to get it in a some bags for cure today or tomorrow. I'll get some posted then.

Like the shoulder, he only sells it in certain portions. For bacon I think it'll be just fine. They are rather small though, so rolling for pancetta will be impossible. Guess I'll just have to cure that flat.

I forgot to say earlier....when I was commenting on the fat back, Emile told me he could get me some that is 6 inches thick! I think my lardo is coming soon.

Edited by Bombdog, 16 December 2006 - 07:50 AM.

Dave Valentin
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"So, what if we've got it all backwards?" asks my son.
"Got what backwards?" I ask.
"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.


#417 MelissaH

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 11:43 AM

My husband gave me a copy of the book for Hanukkah! I have a hand-crank meat grinder and a KA (without attachments). I have a Weber Bullet for smoking. We even have a slicer. So it sounds like the one big piece of equipment I don't yet have is a stuffer. (A special curing chamber isn't likely to happen. We don't have room, especially since the deal goes that if I get a curing chamber, my husband gets a beerolator.)

Is the Grizzly still the stuffer of choice? Those of you who have them, is there anything I should watch out for? Is there anything I should consider instead? I'm hoping to have my first go at something in early January, possibly breakfast sausage that won't necessarily need to be stuffed into casings.

Thanks,
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#418 Chris Amirault

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 02:40 PM

Raves for the Grizzly can be found here. I have mine set up to stuff 3# of Toulouse sausages as soon as I get off eG Forums, in fact!
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#419 A Patric

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 03:11 PM

I'm a Grizzly fan all the way. It works amazingly well, and is as inexpensive as they come.

#420 Bombdog

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 04:15 PM

I just finished stuffing 18 lbs of salami's today and without the Grizzly I'd still be cleaning clogs from the KA stuffer!
Dave Valentin
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"So, what if we've got it all backwards?" asks my son.
"Got what backwards?" I ask.
"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.