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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 11-04-2008, 09:47 PM   #1
bigabyte
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Default Mad Science Experiment - Spammy Dean Fatty

I was going to wait on this little project until the weekend. However, seeing as how today has sucked so bad, I think I'll start on it tonight. It seems appropriate.

I smoked some Spam a number of months back and enjoyed it quite a bit. I have actually smoked some Spam a couple of times since (I like smoked Spam sliced deli-thin the best). I also like Fatties. A lot. This is evidenced by my belly.

Inspired by the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) those guys over there at CERN are working on, I decided to take these two unique, yet wondrous meat particles (Fatties and Spam) and smash them together to see what happens. I hope to create an entirely new, previously undiscovered form of BBQ meat.

There are many unknowns. Will the new meat take on the qualities of fatties, or smoked Spam? Or will the resulting meat particles take on entirely new behaviors and flavors previously unknown to mankind? Will it be edible? Will it cause my tongue to orgasm spewing saliva all over the house? There are also great risks. There is a 1 in 25 quadrillion chance that the process of combining these two pieces of meat and exposing them to heat and smoke could spawn a black hole, or open up a portal to another dimension allowing extra-dimensional beings to jump out of my cooker, or perhaps even my cooker will become the first time machine. The odds of such calamities actually occurring are very small, and being that I am a self-proclaimed BBQ Scientist, the world should not live in fear of such silly things. Only with great risk can we achieve great reward.

My first inclination was to simply smash together ground Spam and breakfast sausage. After thinking on the matter for quite some time (as I usually do on such important matters), I realized that breakfast sausage was made from pork, and folks that make their own breakfast sausage like using pork shoulder due to the fat content. By an amazing coincidence Spam is also made from pork shoulder! Thus I realized that ground Spam could be seasoned in the style of breakfast sausage to make a true hybrid form of Spam and Breakfast Sausage. Then I thought, "What the heck, why not try both ways"?

I had to check the fat content of Spam to ensure it was proper for making sausage. Pork Shoulder is usually chosen for pork sausage because it is about 20%-30% fat by weight, which is a great ratio of fat to lean meat for sausage making. So I had to check the ratio (by weight) of fat in Spam to the lean meat. I figured with Spam being made from pork shoulder, it should be pretty close. It is processed however so I needed to be sure.

***WARNING MATH AHEAD***
The nutrition facts on the Spam (sounds weird putting the words nutrition and Spam together) indicate that a 2 oz (or 56g) serving contains 16g of Fat. The 16g of fat in the 56g serving indicates that the fat content in the Spam is 28% by weight, which is in the target range for sausage making. This means no additional fat or lean meat is necessary to make sausage from Spam, this stuff is good to go.

Next, I checked the ratio of fat by weight in some Jimmy Dean Original breakfast sausage to make sure that the fat ratio in the Spam sausage I planned to make would compare to the actual breakfast sausage I would be comparing it to. If I am going to make a true Spam fatty to compare to a regular fatty, then I want the comparison to be as fair as I can possibly make it. The Jimmy Dean Original serving size was 2oz (or 56g) and each serving had 21g of Fat. This came to a 37% fat content in the Jimmy Dean sausage!

Obviously I needed to up the fat content of the Spam to match the Jimmy Dean sausage. I decided to grind up some bacon into the sausage because, well, adding bacon just sounds like the proper thing to do. But how much bacon? I knew I would be grinding up 3 cans, or 36oz of Spam. Yes, I am manually grinding the Spam at home because none of the stores around me sell pre-ground Spam! I guess I live in the sticks or something! Knowing the amount of Spam I was working with, I could calculate the fat content of the bacon, and then determine the appropriate amount of bacon to grind with the Spam to yield a product with an estimated 37% fat content by weight.

***WARNING ALGEBRA AHEAD***
The bacon I had on hand (Farmland Hickory Smoked Bacon) had 7g of fat per 15g serving, or a roughly 47% fat content. I would be adding the bacon to 1020g of Spam (the 3 cans, or 36 oz converted to grams). Thus the formula would be 28%(total Spam weight) + 47%(total Bacon weight) = 37%(Spam plus Bacon Weight) or...

.28(1020) + .47(x) = .37(1020+x)

...which when solved for x gives 918, or in more English terms, 918g of bacon needs to be added to 1020g of Spam to bring the meat to 37% fat content by weight. 918g of bacon would be 32.38oz, or basically 2 lbs of bacon.

***NOTICE - SOLUTION TO ALL YOUR PROBLEMS RIGHT HERE***
For those who hate math, basically to make sausage out of Spam which is comparable in fat content to Jimmy Dean, for every 3 cans of ground Spam, add 2 pounds of ground bacon. Pretty cool that it comes out even like that. As for the spice blend for a Jimmy Dean sausage clone to add to this meat, that part is covered below.

With a plan in hand, and two new kinds of fatties within the realm of possibility, I acquired the necessary raw materials and set forth into motion the events to achieve my dream...

(more stuff and some pron to follow)
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Unread 11-04-2008, 10:34 PM   #2
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i think i gained weight reading that. awaiting the results with an open can of spam in hand !
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Unread 11-04-2008, 11:08 PM   #3
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To start, I am grinding 3 twelve ounce cans of Spam with 2 pounds of bacon...



The Spam was room temperature, but the bacon was frozen. I chopped them up into manageable chunks for my Kitchen-Aid grinder as shown below...



Then I ran it all through one time using the coarse plate on my grinder yielding the below product...



Then I removed 1/3 of this batch and put in the fridge. That part will be mixed with Jimmy Dean sausage and made into a fatty. For the remaining 2/3 of this batch, I seasoned with spices that are similar to what you would add to ground pork to make a Jimmy Dean knockoff. The recipe is...

2/3 of the batch of Spam/Bacon grind
3/4 tsp ground Coriander
3/4 tsp ground Black Pepper
1 1/2 tsp dried Parsley
3/4 tsp dried Thyme
3/4 tsp Red Pepper flakes
3/4 tsp rubbed Sage

I added these ingredients to the meat as shown below...



Then I gently mixed it up until it the seasoning was well blended in with the meat.



I covered this and put in the fridge to let the flavors mingle overnight. More to come later after all the meat gets good and happy.
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Unread 11-04-2008, 11:30 PM   #4
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I'm speechless...
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Unread 11-04-2008, 11:31 PM   #5
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And you thought that all that algebra in college was a waste of time!
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Unread 11-05-2008, 06:43 AM   #6
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Happy meat.......and now I know the secret....waiting on the results Chris.....
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Unread 11-05-2008, 07:33 AM   #7
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I knew I should have paid more attention in my algebra class....Damn...who would have thought?
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Unread 11-05-2008, 08:26 AM   #8
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Now this guy, I like!

Anxiously awaiting the next phase of this glorious experiment...
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Unread 11-05-2008, 08:31 AM   #9
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I thought the use of Spam was banned on this forum. Didn't cans of Spam get incenerated at Bashes in the past?? I guess as our membership grows so does our tollerance for pork abominations.
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Unread 11-05-2008, 08:48 AM   #10
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It's a new age. Didn't you watch the elections last night? Spam is the new black.

I fried up a bit of the Spammy Dean sausage in a skillet this morning to check the spices. It was wild! The smell was like breakfast sausage, but different. At a few points it smelled like sausage and bacon, but the Spam added it's own smell that added quite a twist. The taste was just as interesting. The seasonings were good, I could taste breakfast sausage, yet it wasn't breakfast sausage. It was something different. It tasted good and I kinda wished I had fried up some more, but I am saving the rest for the experiment. The texture was pretty close to regular sausage too, but was a bit finer from the ground Spam. The chunks of bacon helped to compensate for this.
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Unread 11-05-2008, 09:17 AM   #11
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Fascinating read!
You had me at Spammy Dean!
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Unread 11-05-2008, 09:26 AM   #12
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So it seems that all Brethren with kids in school need to show this thread to them so that they see there is a good reason to go to school and learn silly things like Algebra. These subjects are used throughout life.

Waiting for the pron!!!!
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Unread 11-05-2008, 11:15 AM   #13
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I fired up the WSM. It's the perfect day for playing with fire outside. Winds from 25-35 mph with gusts up to 45 mph. Leaves blowing all over the place. At least my porch is sheltered from most of the wind and raised to avoid getting a lot of leaves. Gonna have to keep a real close eye on things though. I considered putting the whole thing off, but then I figured a real BBQ Brethren wouldn't let a little wind get in the way of BBQ!

One things is for sure...something out there I am ALLERGIC to! After getting it fired up I noticed my back was itchy. By the time I got inside, my arms and back were all red and had white bumps all over! I had to jump right in the shower. Pretty weird, never had that happen before. I guess something is blowing around in the wind out there that I don't like. Either that or this is the start of the end of the world from my colliding these two meat particles together...

Spammy Dean shoudl make his appearance on the cooker in a couple more hours.
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Unread 11-05-2008, 11:35 AM   #14
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Absolutely fascinating! I can't wait until we get to the fatty part.
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Unread 11-05-2008, 11:38 AM   #15
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I wasn't going to post htis since it had nothing to do with BBQ, or really with this experiment, but MAN this sandwich is GOOD!!!

I took some of the plain meat, the Spam and Bacon grind with no seasonings, and fried up a quick little burger out of it. I pressed it thin and cooked it well similar to the way they do burgers at Winsteads or Steak & Shake. I put it on a simple white bun with mayo and a slice of cheese. That's it, nothing fancy.

Good Lord this thing is delicious!!! Sorry, didn't plan to take pics of this...so I guess it didn't REALLY happen...but if you ever get the hankering...
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