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Tips and FAQs

Questions

Meat Preparation
Meat Mincing / Grinding
Sausagemaking
Brine & Meat Curing
Jerky Making
Drying / Dehydrating
Smoking
Vacuum Packing
Spit Roasting
Tre Spade Toollio
General Business

Answers

ARE HOME MADE SAUSAGES REALLY BETTER THEN WHAT YOU BUY IN STORE?

This all comes down to personal opinion. We enjoy making our own sausages and love the flavour we get. We can also change the amount of flavour we add to our sausages, which can give more flavour when compared to standard store bought sausages. However having said that there are a lot of Butchers out there using the same meals we sell, and putting a lot of pride in the sausages they make. 

CAN I ORGANISE MY OWN SHIPPING?

Yes. Simply select store pick up as the Shipping mode and when one of the Sales staff call to confirm your order just let them know you have organised for someone to pickup your order, whether it be a friend or Courier Service. 

CAN THE SAUSAGE MEALS BE USED FOR ANYTHING BESIDES SAUSAGES?

Certainly. We quite often use the Gourmet Sausage Meals as a flavour base to our hamburger patties and meat balls. 

DO YOU HAVE TO USE WATER WITH THE SAUSAGE MEAL, OR CAN YOU USE OTHER LIQUIDS?

Water is the most commonly used liquid for creating the slurry for your sausages, however some recipes will call for wine, and we have also had customers replace the water with tomato paste to great effect. 

DO YOU OFFER FREE SHIPPING?

 Yes, for orders over $300. Not all products are included in this due to the cost to ship heavy or bulky items, however for the majority of our products if you spend over $300 we will ship them for FREE. 

How do I know what size my mincer is? Measure the diameter of your Mincer Hole plate.

#5 – 53mm

#8 – 62mm

#10/12 – 69mm

#22 – 82mm

#32 – 100mm

How do I know when the meat is cooked?

 You can identify that your meat is fully smoked by the distinctive color that develops as a result of the carbon compounds combining with the meat pigments.

How do I mince for the best results?

When mincing everyone wants to see a nice coloured mince that is not creamy mush. The following tips may help you in getting the best results from your bench top mincer.

1. Chill the meat.
2. Tip off any excess fluid – blood.
3. Cut the meat into chunks or strips that will drop down the throat of the mincer without too much force.
4. Never run the mincer without meat in the barrel. It makes the plate hot and reduces the life of the mince.
5. Chill the mince ASAP after production.

How do I put roast netting onto meat?

The easiest way is to get hold of a piece of pvc pipe from the hardware store 30 cm long should be adequate. Make sure the pipe has a big enough diameter to accommodate the size of the roast. Pull the netting over the pipe & pull one strand of the netting to form a knot at one end only. Drop or push the meat through the end of the pipe (without the knot) & when it comes out the other end pull another strand to make it tight. Cut the excess netting off.

How do I store Natural Sausage Skins?

To store Natural Sausage Skins for short periods of time e.g. 6 – 12 months, place in an airtight container and put in the fridge with plenty of salt packed around the skins. To store for longer periods e.g. 12 months or longer, place in an airtight container and fully submerge in a very strong brine (approx 1L Water:1/2 cup salt). Put in freezer. The high density of salt shouldn’t allow the skins to freeze hard. 

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO GET THE MEAT WELL BALANCED ON THE SPIT?

Extremely. You want your meat to run along the spit and ideally have it weighted as centrally as possible. If the meat is unbalanced it will put stress on the motor and shorten the life span of the unit.

HOW LONG CAN I PRESERVE MY DRIED PRODUCTS?

 If properly stocked, products can be preserved for more than a year

How long can my jerky be stored?

Homemade jerky or sausage must be frozen after two weeks. This is because there are no chemicals or preservatives like you would find in store bought jerky or summer sausage.

How long do vacuum packed foods last?

Some foods will last up to 5 times longer than without vacuum packing. But it depends on the type of food and its quality before packing. It is important to remember that foods that normally need to be kept cool to prevent spoilage still need to be refrigerated or frozen as usual.

FRESH MEAT
For maximum product life, store fresh meat in the freezer - this should maintain freshness for 2-3 years.  If refrigerated, fresh meat should last 2 - 4 weeks.

GROUND MEAT
For maximum product life, store ground meat in the freezer - this should maintain freshness for up to 12 months.  If refrigerated, ground meat should last for 1 month. 

FISH
For maximum product life, store fish in the freezer - this should maintain freshness for up to 2 years.  If refrigerated, fish should last for 1 week.

FRESH PRODUCE
For maximum product life, store fresh produce in the freezer. Vegetables, if blanched, will last in the freezer for 2.5 years.  If refrigerated, will last for 3 weeks.  Fruits, if frozen, will last for up to years.  If refrigerated, will maintain its freshness for 2 weeks. 

CHEESE
Should be stored in the refrigerator to prevent spoilage.  If sealed properly, cheese will have a shelf life of approx 6 months.

BREADS
Breads, including items such as cookies or crackers, may be stored at room temperature.  They should maintain their freshness for up to 6 weeks.

GRAINS
Grains, including pasta & nuts, may be stored at room temperature.  They will have a shelf life of 1.5 to 2 years.

HOW LONG WILL MY MEAT TAKE TO COOK?

Cooking time will vary depending on the diameter and weight of your spit roasted meat, however as a guide: 

  • Small roast 15cm diameter - 2.5 hours 
  • 2kg chicken – 2.5 hours 
  • Roast 25cm diameter – 4 hours 
  • 10kg lamb/pig - 4 hours 
  • 15kg lamb/pig - 5 hours 
  • 20kg lamb/pig - 6 hours 
  • 2kg chicken - 1.5 hours 

To ensure your meat is cooked to perfection you are best to use a meat thermometer and test the temperature of the meat. Ideal temperatures are: 

BEEF & LAMB: Rare 60°C Medium 65°C Well Done 70-75°C 

PORK: Medium 65°C Well Done 75°C 

CHICKEN: At least 75°C

How much fat do I put in my sausage?

“Around 10-20% is a good number, this is enough to hold the bind together and give plenty of flavour. Making your sausage too fatty or not fatty enough can cause it to bust while cooking; but on the other hand, leaving fat out altogether can make a sausage so dry that you won’t want to eat it!”

HOW MUCH QUICKER ARE THE TRE SPADE DEHYDRATORS COMPARED TO NATURALLY DRYING MY PRODUCE?

 Using the Tre Spade will be at least three to four times faster then drying naturally.

HOW SHOULD I PRESERVE MY DRIED PRODUCTS?

 Dried products can be preserved as they are, without any other precaution. Products must be stocked far from humidity and light, even using small paper or plastic bags in dry environment, or in closed glass containers.

I AM ONLY BUYING SOMETHING SMALL THAT CAN BE EASILY SENT THROUGH THE POST. CAN YOU SEND THIS CHEAPER?

Certainly. Although by default we send everything registered post, you can add notes to your order and request we send the item through standard mail. This will make it cheaper to ship, however if for some reason it does get lost in the mail, we will have no way to compensate you for this. 

I just purchased a new meat mincer, what can I do to look after the mincer and get the best results?

Never let your mincer knife & plate get blunt! This can cause the mince to come out as mulch and damage your mincer.

When using a mincer to make your mince, always ensure that the meat is VERY cold before putting through the mincer. This will guarantee a clean cut with very few blockages.

When screwing the front screw ring onto your mincer, ensure that you never over tighten as this can cause damage both the mincer and cutters.

Always keep your cutters (knife & plate) in pairs together. The knife will always cut better and will stay sharper for longer when used on the same plate (and side).

IF A SAUSAGE MEAL SAYS IT IS IDEAL FOR PORK, WILL IT ALSO WORK WITH OTHER MEATS?

 The recommendation of the meat to use for each sausage meal is a guide only. Personally we have used Gourmet Sausage Meals suited to pork for making beef sausages and they were great. 

IF I AM NOT SUPPLIED AN ID CAN I TRACK MY SHIPMENT?

Yes you can. Simply email or call us and we will look it up for you. 

IF I BUY THE TOOLLIO DO I JUST GET THE BODY OR ALL OF THE ATTACHMENTS THAT COME WITH IT?

Toollio has been designed as an all in one unit. As such all currently available attachments come with the Toollio. It is possible new attachments may be added in the future which may or may not be included in future models. 

IF I HAVE A SAUSAGE MEAL WHAT OTHER INGREDIENTS DO I NEED TO MAKE SAUSAGES?

Once you have your meal essentially all you need is water and meat with a 15 - 20% fat ratio to make skinless sausages or patties. In order to make them into links you will need sausage casings as well. 

IF YOU HAVE TRACKING ON ALL OF YOUR ORDERS, WHY AM I NOT SUPPLIED A TRACKING NUMBER?

 Currently our Online system does not completely integrate with our Shipping. In addition to this we will sometimes shop around to try and find the best shipping rate and quickest delivery method to get your item to you. In all cases we are supplied a tracking id. However we have not married this id into our online system as yet. It is something we are looking into and hope to implement in the future. 

SHOULD I USE A DRIP TRAY?

Drip trays are great for catching the juices that fall from the roast. They should contain about an inch of liquid and will help prevent flare-ups. The juices caught by these can then be used to create a gravy to go with the meat or alternatively use marinades, beer, juice, etc to create a flavoured steam which will add flavor to the meat.

Should I use water when seasoning the smokehouse?

<p> NO. This process is used to coat the inside of the smokehouse to protect it from moisture. By adding water we are adding moisture to the process, reducing the effectiveness of the seasoning.</p>

WHAT ARE THE BEST CONDITIONS FOR DRYING?

 Favourable drying elements are: high environmental temperature, low humidity (dry air), thickness of the products, low starting humidity and rough surface of many products (mushrooms, aubergines, home made pasta), air heating and changing (guaranteed by DRY Deluxe / DRY-5)

WHAT DOES THE TOOLLIO DO?

 With the included attachments, the Toollio has the following functionality: 

  • Meat Grinder 
  • Sausage Filler 
  • Tomato Mincer 
  • Cheese Grater 
  • Vegetable Cutter 
  • Mozzarella Chopper 
  • Meat Tenderiser 

 There is no other product on the market (that we know of) that does all of this in the one device. 

What is a Salinometer and how do I use one?

A Salinometer is an instrument used to measure the density of salt in brine. It is simply a glass tube specially weighted to give an accurate salt level for brine. Some people say they use a potato, but the inaccuracy of using a potato can sometimes ruin a whole project. So we say the best tool is the Salinometer.

HOW TO USE
Simply place the Salinometer into the brine mix and wait for it to settle. On the side of the Salinometer should be a chart. Where the water level is in line with the chart, is the correct reading of the brine density.

Some Salinometers work in °C and some in °F. It doesn’t matter what one you have as long as you have a conversion chart handy when making your brine as some recipes may use either measurement.

WHAT IS A SAUSAGE MEAL?

A sausage meal is a dry premix containing flavours and binders that when added to chilled water forms a slurry ready to be added to your minced meat creating your sausage filling. They are also referred to as Sausage Premixes and Seasonings and instructions on usage, method, ingredients and allergens are found on the packaging. 

What is Kwikurit?

To put it simply, Standard Kwikurit™ (Corned Meat Cure) is a combination of salt & sodium nitrite. There are many brands of cure on the market now, and mostly are the same and would do the same job. However, in other countries, there are different types of cure available such as “Praque Powder” or “Insta Cure™”, these cures are “brand names and often referred to in many recipe books we sell and really at the end of the day, would produce the same end result. The contents of these cures are sometimes slightly different and in some cases there is a #1 and #2 version. Kwikurit™ is a simple and safe formula to use, as long as the correct quantities are used (which is clearly stated on the packaging), there should be no difference.

Kwikurit™ is sold in many different formulas to suit the product you wish to make. Any cure can be used in any meats; however, some cures produce a better and more tastier result when used in the recommended meat type for each cure. E.g. Ham & Bacon Kwikurit™ will produce a more tastier result for hams & bacon, however, Standard Kwikurit™ can be used to make hams & bacon.

Some older recipes will ask you to use “saltpeter” or sodium nitrate. These formulas are now illegal to use in food products being that the raw strength is too high and dangerous. We will always recommended for you to use commercial cures for all cured meats. Saltpeter can easily be substituted with Kwikurit™ – just follow the instructions.

What is the best process for pumping corned meat?

LESS IS MORE. It is better to place the pumping needle into the product numerous times in a close pattern with small pumps rather than widely spaced needle places with large pumps. The closer the needles are inserted the less chance of black spot (under cured meat sections ) in the product . It also reduces shrinkage. Blowing the product up like a balloon does not give a quality product.

What is the best way to cut the meat for my jerky?

When slicing jerky from cuts of meat always cut the strips with the grain. This allows you to bite into the meat across the grain when eating.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO PREPARE MY ITEMS FOR DRYING?

 Wash carefully every product, mainly the ones with peel. Fruits and vegetables have to be fresh and not too ripened. Cut the products in the most useful way, keeping a regular thickness to have the same drying period among the pieces. Best-tested sizes are between 3 and 15 mm; experience will be the best teacher for every different situation. The peel of some products (apples, pears, grapes…) can create some complications. These can be avoided by putting the fruits in boiling water before cutting for a VERY short time (30-60 seconds, depending on the thickness of the peel). Fruits and vegetables can be left uncut (small mushrooms, chilly peppers…) can be cut in halves after eliminating seeds and water (tomatoes, prunes…) can be cut in pieces, slices or in any other way.

What is the difference between using chips or sawdust during smoking?

 While chips burn faster, sawdust will last longer.

WHAT IS THE IDEAL TEMPERATURE TO SPIT ROAST?

This varies depending on how you wish to cook the meat. Ideally you are looking for a temperature of 150° - 190°C degrees. You may also choose to start out with a higher temperature to get the meat seared, and then wind it back for cooking.

WHAT MAKES THE TOOLLIO SO UNIQUE?

The Toollio is a multifunction kitchen robot. You can buy graters, food slicers, mincers, tenderisers, etc, all individually, however you will not find another device that does all of this in one. In addition to this due to its design it has been built to allow future expansion of the tools it offers. 

WHAT SIZE MOTOR DOES THE TOOLLIO HAVE?

 It comes with a 750W (1 HP) motor. The Toollio has two independent drive shafts offering different speeds. One spinning at 200rpm and the other at 1400rpm. 

WHAT SORT OF ITEMS CAN I DRY / DEHYDRATE?

<p> All that can be dried with open air and sun can be dried using our DRY-5 or DRY Deluxe unit. For instance most varieties of fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and medicinal herbs. You can also use this unit for drying processes of pasta, pollen, saffron, laboratory products, clay compositions, meat, fish, etc.</p>

What sort of meat should I use for making jerky?

The leaner the meat, the better the flavour of your jerky will be and the faster it will dry. For either ground meat or jerky strips – use beef round, sirloin, venison & buffalo.

Which foods can be vacuum packed?

Any food can be vacuum packed but the unique characteristics of each food must be considered. For example a high vacuum might crush delicate foods such as berries. 

WHY ARE SOME ITEMS SO EXPENSIVE TO SHIP?

There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, the size and weight plays a big part in the Shipping price. Some items that are light, but bulky, like foam trays, incur additional shipping fees, as do items that are small and heavy. Secondly all of our items are shipped Registered Post with Tracking. We ship this way so we can ensure all of our products are delivered safely, and if not, they can be tracked down. 

Why do I season my Smokehouse?

 By seasoning your smokehouse you add a thin layer of smoke to the inside surfaces of the smokehouse. This thin layer of smoke helps in reducing moisture within the unit, which reduces rust and increases the life of the smokehouse.

Why do my sausage skins tear when using a plastic sausage nozzle?

If you use a plastic sausage nozzle, always inspect the end of the funnel as occasionally it may become rough and tear your sausage skins. This can be frustrating!

Why do my sausages bust when I cook them?

There are probably a few reasons for sausages to split when cooked so I will outline them for you.

- Too much meat in the skins! Try not to over stuff a sausage, You should be able to pinch the sausage between thumb and forefinger easily when twisting. If you can’t then there is too much meat in the skin and when it expands with cooking the skin will split.

- Piercing the sausage with a fork prior to cooking! Piercing weakens the skin which will cause it to split when cooked, it also releases all of the fat which is required to stop a sausage being dry and tasteless.

- Putting sausages straight into a very hot pan is probably the most common cause of splitting. Start cooking by placing the sausages into a warm pan and then turn the heat up to the required level.

Why does my meat grind mushy?

There are several reasons why you may be having this issue:

  1. The meat is too warm – instead of cutting the meat the mincer is ripping the meat. Before you start to mince, put the meat into the freezer to chill – DO NOT FREEZE – only take out as much meat as you can grind at one time. Always keep the meat as chilled as possible.
  2. The knife is on backwards. Make sure the flat part of the knife is up against the mincer plate.
  3. The knife & plate are ‘Mix-matched’. ALWAYS use the same plate & knife as a matched set. If one has gradually worn away from perfect level – the other will have worn with it. If a knife is used with a number of different plates, the knife will start to wear out at different levels causing large gaps between the knife & the plate, once again ripping the meat rather than cutting the meat.

     

Why is it hard to make sausages with a mincer?

Getting the meat into a sausage skin requires a fair amount of pressure. Mincers do not have the same pressure as a sausage filler. The mince can and will back up in the barrel of the mincer causing it to cream. Best scenario is to take your time and try not to over fill the skin and be patient.

WHY SHOULD I BUY A TOOLLIO. COULDN’T I JUST BUY A MINCER AND ADD ATTACHMENTS TO IT?

 You could buy a mincer and add attachments to it, however you will still not be able to achieve the full functionality of the Toollio. Toollio has dual drive shafts operating at different rpm, which means its ability to expand is far greater then that of a mincer. For example a cheese grater running on the Toollio will be more efficient then one running on a mincer. The Toollio is also the equivalent of a number 12 mincer so you are also able to add further attachments to the Toollio, such as patty makers if you desire. 

Why vacuum pack?

Exposure to air aids the growth of bacteria in most foods. Sealing the food in a bag from which the air has been removed greatly inhibits bacterial growth. Foods stay fresh longer and retain their flavour, nutritional value and sales appeal.

Why was there liquid on the bottom of my smokehouse after smoking?

<p> Your temperature was too high and it melted the fat in the meat.</p>

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