CONSUMER FOODS: MEAT / PROTEINS
Hot Dog / Sausage Manufacturing Process:
Sausage manufacturing originated in Germany hundreds of years ago, but the exact time
in history sausage manufacturing began is unclear. The traditional American hot dog
manufactured from beef, pork and chicken trimmings probably evolved from the German
food “Push Carts” selling sausages in New York noted as far back as the 1860’s. They were
invented as a way to use the excess “trimmings” from cutting pork chops and steaks.
The “trimmings” are processed meat (and some fat) which is ground through metal plates and pushed through a “meat extruder” in a similar process as your local deli would make hamburger. Processed chicken “trimmings” are added to the extruded meat, along with modified food starch, salt and a large variety of flavorings (i.e. mustard). The flavoring packages are designed to reflect the different tastes each section of the USA prefer in their hot dogs. This step is accomplished with the aid of a 500 gallon stainless steel mixing tank.
Water is sprayed into the meat mix as the mixture is ground and blended together with a rotating metal auger system. The addition of water disperses the ingredients and makes the hot dogs taste juicy after cooking in the later stages of production. Corn syrup liquid is poured as a steady stream addition to the mixture during this blending phase to add a slightly sweet taste to the flavor profile. Another machine purees the meat batter mixture into a fine emulsion, and vacuums out any excess air that is trapped in the emulsion.
Long rolls of cellulose hot dog “casings” are loaded into the “stuffing machine”. It has two equally positioned high speed conveyors in close proximity to equal the standard width of one inch per hot dog. The stuffing machine fills each hot dog cavity with the meat emulsion and twists the hot dog casing every five and ¼ inches to make each link. It takes about 35 seconds to make a continuous hot dog link chain over 240 yards in length.
Liquid Smoke Flavoring & Cooking:
In the next step the continuous hot dog links are draped over metal hanging racks which are moving down a conveyor system. These s.s. metal racks look like 4 foot squares that are placed about 12 inches apart; and the continuous connected hot dog links are draped over the squares in a consistant fashion. The hot dog links are showered in a liquid smoke application just prior to them entering a multiple chambered cook zone oven. The liquid smoke flavor penetrates the hot dogs as they progress through each cooking zone in the oven, and changes the flavor profile of each hot dog link to complete the flavor process.