We’re traveling into our wholesale production facility today to follow along with the process of how our Stoltzfus Meats sweet bologna is made!
Sweet bologna is equal parts smoky and sweet. All-beef and 90% lean, our sweet bologna is made with local molasses and smoked in cotton bags. Sweet bologna has different ingredients than sweet lebanon bologna ingredients. Sweet lebanon bologna ingredients include an enzyme that gives it a tart flavor. Regular sweet bologna does not include this enzyme. All aboard, next stop: bologna town!
Let’s jump into the production line for a step-by-step tour of different bologna sites!
Grinding & Mixing
Like most of our smoked products, the first step to the production process is grinding the meat down into a finer blend. It then goes into our large mixer where Willie adds the necessary seasonings. As you can imagine with sweet bologna products, that involves some sugar! Each batch made is about 300 pounds of product and just the right amount of seasoning is mixed in for each batch.
Stuffing & Hanging
Once the meat mixture has been blended, it travels over to our stuffer machine where it is lifted up and dumped into a large funnel. This machine portions out the meat into perfect amounts for the size of the net that is selected in the program. The meat goes through a metal tube into the net, which is held and twisted by one of the machine operator employees.
After the nets are filled with the meat mixture, they are hung onto a smoke rack, ready for their next destination.
The smoke racks then travel from our processing room to our smokehouse room. The racks of sweet bologna are pushed into the smokehouses. Typically we are able to fit about 1,200 pounds of sweet bologna in the smokehouse at one time.
The smokehouse operator sets up temperature probes into the sweet bologna to ensure that the correct temperatures are reached in the required time frames. The door is then closed and the smokehouse is programmed to smoke to perfection the exact product that is inside.
After the sweet bologna has been smoked and cooled, it travels to one of our packing rooms. In these photos, they are packing large ring bologna halves. This product most often goes to our wholesale customers who will slice it and use it in their deli cases for lunchmeat sweet bologna. This product is cut in half and vacuum sealed for freshness. After it has been sealed it is dipped in a hot water bath, dried off, labeled, and boxed up.
So there you have it! We hope you have a better idea of how our award-winning sweet bologna is made. As we hope you can see, each step of the process is given special attention and care to make sure that the product we are releasing is the highest quality product in the world.