Operation: Maiden Sausage

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by happypit, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. happypit

    happypit Fire Starter

    Since I'm a girl, I thought the "maiden" thing was appropriate if you have a sense of humor but I'm way past maiden status.  LOL

    Anyway....this is my first attempt at making cased sausage.  I chose to use Lee Poli's Ukranian Kielbasa as a foundation but I used 5 lbs of pork shoulder and added 2 oz of hi-temp pepper jack and 4 oz of hi-temp cheddar.  No liquid smoke (hate liquid smoke.)
    (http://www.lpoli.50webs.com/index_files/Ukrainian Kielbasa-Odessa Style.pdf)

    My issue is with the Chard #10 hand grinder.  It's brand new.  Every time I use it it keeps getting stuck.  Too much fat/sinew no matter how coarse I grind and it binds before the plate.  The meat was near freezing.  I put the hand grinder in the freezer the night before.  What's the issue?  Do I need to recognize different fats better?  Does the new blade suck?  I appreciate any input. (help).  I eventually opted to use my mini-Cuisinart.  

    I have a vintage General Model D grinder that I acquired recently but I don't have gear oil or motor oil at this time to run that.  You can see it here:  (http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/265316/vintage-general-model-d-meat-grinder-gear-oil-question)

    I put the meat in a handful at a time into the mini and ground it to my satisfaction.

    Fry patty was tasty.

    I decided to do coils.  I ended up with 2 coils with 5# of meat.  My heart was beating like a rabbit.  LOL  This was the first time I've worked with casings and stuffing.  I was thankful for a helper to crank my new Hakka on this project.  It wasn't as scary as I thought it would be.  Sheesh...this is a piece of cake!!

    In the smoker (aka Meat TV).  Once the sausage casings dried out after 1.5 hrs at 120* (no smoke) I applied smoke for 3 hrs until it hit 154* (increasing temps incrementally).  

    I used A-Maze-N Pitmaster's Choice  (cherry, hickory, maple) pellets in my AMNPS.

    Here's the timeline:

    12:45   120

    14:15   140  added smoke

    14:45   150

    15:15   160

    15:45   170

    16:30   180

    17:16  water bath at 154* IT

    (edited 7/10/17 to show the timeline and smoking pellets)

    Cool water bath at 154

    After the water bath.  

    Finished product.  It turned out WONDERFUL!  A little tug on the casing bite but a good meld of cheese and meat.  [​IMG]

    I call this a major success for my first time out.  I can't thank the gurus here enough for their expertise.  I've been reading and reading and reading (cuz that's what I do when I embark on new adventures).  Thank you all for your input on other conversations that eventually helped me out on my maiden voyage. 

    You're stuck with me now..  I'm hooked.  
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
    crazymoon, sky monkey, shoebe and 9 others like this.
  2. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    Nice job!  You had a little adversity but overcame it and produced what looks to be a great sausage, bravo!

    I can't help you with your hand grinder but I know on electric grinders some people but the cutting blade on backwards.  The blades should sit almost flush with the grinding plate if it the blade is backwards where the cutting blades are far away from the grinding plate that could potentially be one of your issues.  I'm hoping others can chime in if that is not the problem.

    Also what wood did you smoke with and how long did you apply smoke?

    Keep up the good work and I look forward to future posts about your cooks :) 
  3. happypit

    happypit Fire Starter

    The blade was on properly.  It's brand new out of the box so I'm thinking it should be sharp enough.  I've tightened it to make sure it's close to the plate.  I just don't know what the issue is.  Hopefully, I can get the electric grinder going and not have to worry about it.  We'll see.  

    Once the sausage casings dried out after 1.5 hrs at 120* (no smoke) I applied smoke for 2.25 hrs until it hit 154* (increasing temps incrementally).  
    I used A-Maze-N Pitmaster's Choice  (Cherry, Hickory, Maple) pellets in my AMNPS.  I LOVE that thing!

    Here's the timeline:

    12:45   120

    14:15   140

    14:45   150

    15:15   160

    15:45   170

    16:30   180

    17:16  water bath at 154* IT
  4. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    Yeah keep on working on those grinders, I'm not sure what is going on there.

    Also thanks for providing the details of the smoke and cook!
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Awesome looking sausage, especially on your Maiden voyage!

    Definitely got to send you a point!

    And congrats on making the carousel!

  6. happypit

    happypit Fire Starter

    Holy Moleys!  I made the carousel!  Wow.
  7. browneyesvictim

    browneyesvictim Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Outstanding! Looks like the texture came out pretty good to me. What cut of pork did you end up using? Lens calls for lean loin, cushion or ham...

    I've got plans to make some Kielbasa in the very near future. I almost went with Lens, but I ordered the kit and seasoning from The Sausage Maker. Inspiration runs deep around here!

  8. happypit

    happypit Fire Starter

    I used a de-boned pork shoulder.  I should add that up top to my description.

    Thanks for the points, guys!
  9. uzikaduzi

    uzikaduzi Meat Mopper

    You could try flattening and sharpening the blade and the plates... I use 400-600 grit sand paper and wet it thoroughly and lay it on a piece of glass (the flattest smoothest thing I own) and just run them in circles focusing on keeping them flat with even pressure.

    Another thing you could do is freeze it further... when I grind, I don't freeze solid, but it's definitely mostly frozen on the exterior. The last suggestion is a lot of work if you are starting with a butt, but completely separate the fat and lean and completely freeze the fat hard... the added benefit is you can grind the fat to a different texture than the lean... a lot of sausages I like to grind the fat finer than the lean.

    The sausage looks to have come out great btw... the binding looks to be perfect which can certainly be a pain point
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
  10. happypit

    happypit Fire Starter

    uzikaduzi, I'll try sharpening the blade like you suggested and see what happens.  I also like your idea of separating the fat and lean.  I don't mind spending a bit of extra time if it's going to make the process go more smoothly.

    Re: binding:  I just kept mixing and mixing by hand until it got sticky.  And then I mixed it some more.  (I read that from someone on this forum.  It worked for me.)   :)
    uzikaduzi likes this.
  11. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Very nice, HappyPit!

    My first sausage sure didn't look that good LOL!

    I used a hand grinder exactly once. I also think of the fats as "good fat" and "nasty fat". The nasty fat (slimy and stringy) is what gums up the plate and I try to get as much out as I can. My last batch I had to pull the plate to clean 3 times for 5#, but I was using the fine plate.

    Welcome to sausage.It's good to have you



  12. Beautiful sausage HappyPit and I bet they taste as good as they look.  Now you're a "Sausage Junkie" just like the rest of us [​IMG]  Josie aka SmokinVegasBaby!
  13. happypit

    happypit Fire Starter

    Dan:  Thank you for the welcome, the points, and the good/nasty fat suggestion.  I know I need to get better at that.  [​IMG]

    Josie:  Yes, I am now a sausage junkie!  I'm already scoping out my next adventure.  Btw...I am watching your "Making Smoked Kielbasa Sausage" YouTube video and your voice could rock me to sleep.  Smooth.....  [​IMG]   
  14. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just a thought, did you keep your grinder and meat cold? Cold is really important. I am sure you probably had another problem but cold is the secret to sausage making. The colder the meat the better the grind. If you are using the same handcrank to grind and stuff you have got to keep it cold.

    Here's where I started also, mine was my great grandmothers and I was still grinding chili meat with it when I started into sausage. 

    And its till can make sausage but its a royal pain in the butt.  There is no telling how much chili meat has been ground thru it though. I always ground my own as did Pop, his Pop and so forth.  Thats not the plate for chili shown....LOL

    Be extremely careful about the meat and grinder temp or it will work you to death. Any slight break its back in the freezer.

    Again, thats some very pretty sausage. I like that color. 
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
  15. happypit

    happypit Fire Starter

    Foamheart:  The entire grinder was in the chest freezer overnight and the meat pieces were on a sheet tray in the same chest freezer for about an hour before grinding so it was near frozen.  
    I feel I did well on that part.  

    That's a nice looking hand grinder.  That's got to be special that it was your great-grandmother's.  If I had a ton of room in the house I would collect them.  I think they look cool and are such a part of history.

    Thanks for the compliment on the sausage color.  :)
  16. myownidaho

    myownidaho Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    You dun good. 😀 It's only up from here.
  17. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Lol @ Foamheart.. I have one of those grinders.. from the 30s I think.. Was my grandparents. I use the one for my stand mixer now though.

    Nice sausage pit. 👍never heard of high temp cheese.. hmm..
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
  18. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    HP, Fine looking sausage ! Hopefully you didn't over tighten the knife to the blade ,which could cause issues ? point!
  19. happypit

    happypit Fire Starter

    MyOwnIdaho:  Thanks!  

    Rings R Us:  I've done caseless summer sausage before, hence the high temp cheese I had on hand.  I love it because it melts at a higher temperature and makes for better presentation when you cut into the meat.   
    I get mine from here:  http://www.butcher-packer.com/index...th=204&zenid=04cdaea74dd6728e71148313d8b6b403

    I really like it pre-diced.  It makes things so much easier and it keeps well in the freezer.  I normally order multiples to make it cost effective for shipping.
    Which reminds me, I need to get more.

    CrazyMoon:  I don't "think" I over tightened it but it's something to consider.  I like your avatar.  Can't wait to get ice fishing again.

    Thanks again for the points, all.   [​IMG]  
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
  20. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Good deal on cheese link.. thanks.

    Johnny B


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