Sausage Maiden Voyage

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by tbrtt1, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. Been seeing all these pros making sausage on this forum and been reading up and accumulating the equipment to get started. I have the Marianski book "Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages". Decided on a simple "Andouille" recipe:

    Pork Butt: 1000g (2.2lbs)

    Salt: 16g (23/4 tsp)

    Cure #1: 2.5g (1/3 tsp)

    Cracked Black Pepper: 6g (3 tsp)

    Chopped garlic: 10g (3 cloves)

    Dried Thyme: 2g (1 1/2 tsp)

    Cayenne Pepper 4g (2 tsp)

    Cold Water: 100g (3/8/ cup)

    I used mostly pork butt but had bit of brisket I needed to use too. Ground using the coarse plate

    Got this puppy for $60 at Academy

    Friday night I did the grinding and mixing:

    All mixed with seasonings and Cure:

    Tested for saltiness and flavor. good to go. 

    Saturday I stuffed em up

    After a night in the fridge here is my attempt at stuffing into these casings:

    Now I know why everyone who does this gets a dedicated stuffer. Will get one this week. Stuffing was difficult using the stuffing attachment that came with the grinder: I had some blowouts and the stuffer tube as too big and tapered and just all wrong. But I managed to get most of it into the cases, albeit ugly. 

    I smoked em today (Sunday) on my Smokin-It #2 using AMNPS with a mix of Pitmasters Choice and a tad of Mesquite. I use a PID and programmed for:

    130 for 1 hour

    140 for 1 hour

    150 for 1 hour

    160 for 1 hour 

    170 until 160* IT

    Fresh out of the smoker. 

    Showered them to cool em down and will refrigerate to bloom but I had to do some blooming in my mouth first. 

    These turned out very tasty and overall I am pleased. I had some AMNPS issues keeping it lit, which I haven't had until this weekend.  I like my meat smokey so I will have to address the AMNPS issues. I suspect with all the rain we got here this week the pellets got a little moist. 

    I also will need to get more fat into it. The brisket portion I used was from a flat so I suspect this threw it a tad out of balance, but they were not dry. 

    One question though: I found the casing to be a bit tough and dry. Not sure if that is just the nature of this particular brand or if I need to do something different. I have some collagen I can try next time. Any thoughts? 
    crazymoon likes this.
  2. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks to me like you're on the right track! Also, that recipe is a good one!

    The kidney plates and sausage stuffer attachments for the grinders are a bit of a pain, especially if you're doing it by yourself. Once you get a stuffer, you'll wonder how you ever did without it.

    As for the pellet issues, take your pellet and spread them on a paper plate and microwave them for about a minute, stir them around and do it a little longer. That works well. The pellets are hygroscopic and humidity is their enemy.

    Looking forward to seeing more!
  3. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Sausage looks good. Like crankybuzzard said your on the right track. The tough casings can come from a few things. Under stuffing is one. how you care for the casings is another one. Here is a thread I posted on how to handle casings........

    Next time soak them casings for days if they were in salt........

  4. I read your thread on handling casings. Many thanks. Mine did not look like yours when I stuffed them. I think I will soak them for a day or 2 next time. The casings was not a deal breaker by any means but I can definitely improve there. 
    I struggled this weekend with the AMNPS. I did microwave them for 2 minutes twice. I did everything I could think of shy of putting them in the oven for a bit, which I will do next time I plan to smoke. I think there is a moisture issue. I touched the crap out of em and blew on em till I was blue in the face and burning my eye brows. 45 mins later nothing. 
  5. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    How do you store the pellets? A ziplock or an airtight Tupperware type of container works well. The bags tend to get holes in them.
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My pellets need drying for a couple hours at 275 before every smoke run... I store them in plastic sealed ice cream tubs.. They get damp regardless of storage...
  7. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Nice sausage ! I find it easier to mix spices and then stuff immediately before the mixture sets up .Well done and Boykjos casing advice is excellent .
  8. Yep I have a storage box outside where I store my smoking paraphernalia and yep the bags are not airtight. I poured out a batch in the maze and stuck it in the smoker at 200* all night. I'll try them today as a test run. I will also try baking them in the oven for a bit. Can't be an airflow prob since I smoked for 13 hours recently without a hitch. They must have gotten moist. 
    Yes, I figured that as well. It was definitely tight and firm after setting up in the fridge. Thanks. 
  9. OP, those look really good. I've been smoking sausages with both the pellets and dust from Todd. I, however, will never use the pellets to smoke at lower temps anymore. Not to say that they don't do the job, but I've never had the ease of use with smoking at lower temps than with using the dust. I fill the AMNPS up with the dust, hit it with the torch for a 1 minute or so and a little little blowing from me and it's off. No warm up in the microwave or anything at all. If you need to order from Todd soon do add the stuff to your order. If you're planning on making more, and I'm sure you are because now you're hooked, you will be happy you got the dust for this purpose.

    Again good stuff and keep the photos coming. We love 'em!
  10. Thanks. I am going to try the dust. I cold smoked some cheese a few weeks ago and it was a nightmare. But I also had trouble with a brisket Friday night and gave up and had to use some Fruitawood in the smoker box. So I am thinking its the pellets.  

    So, no troubles with the dust in the pellet maze?
  11. No trouble at all in my AMNPS 5x8. I actually cold smoked some cheese on Saturday in the MES using the dust in my 40 degree garage. Same deal....just torch the dust for a minute and a couple blows and popped it in. 

    It burns noticeably slower at lower temps. I went through maybe 3/4 of a row on a 3 hours 45 minute burn cold smoking. The same would have lasted maybe 2:30 if doing sausage smoking at 130-170. 
  12. Awesome. Ordering some now. Thanks. 
  13. The sausage looks tasty!  I have never used my grinder as a stuffer but I hear it is a PITA. About the pellets I agree on the moisture. I often put my AMNPS just inside the door of my fireplace the night before. 

    Happy smoken.

  14. phrett

    phrett Smoke Blower

    Nice looking sausages!

    I crush a small amount of pellets and mix that in with the whole pellets. It seems top allow the stuff to burn fairly constant.
  15. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    200 degrees won't dry the pellets... they need about 250-275.... I dry mine at 275....
  16. Bummer. Will dry in oven then. Thanks. 

    How long at 275?
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
  17. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I dry mine for a couple hours in my smoker during preheat and a step I call "sterilization" of any stuff that's left in there....
  18. bigtrain74

    bigtrain74 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thats a great idea for the AMNPS. Need to give that a whirl.
  19. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sausage looks good, yep you will be addicted now for snack sticks,,,, summer sausage,,,,, brats,, ect. good luck. 

    I did some ribs yesterday and Microwaved my pellets for two minutes and look at the moisture I got out of them. (Stored in my dry shop) 

    Also, put a paper towel in with them that will absorb the moisture. 

    A full smoker is a happy smoker 

  20. OK. Update on the pellets. I had some maple pellets that gave me fits when I tried to cold smoke some cheese. Thanks to the suggestions on this thread I did a test run with those same maple pellets. I baked em in the oven at 275 for a little over an hour. When I put them in the maze and lit them immediately noticed a difference. I blew on them a bit and let them burn for 10 minutes and damn near half the row seemed like it was lighting up. Put it in the cold smoker and look what I got:

    OK this is too much obviously. This was right after I put it in the smoker.  

    I previously drilled a few extra holes in the bottom of my #2 some time back when I got the AMNPS. I usually plug one or more of them with some wadded up foil since I really hadn't needed all 4 of them previous to this weekend. I had all 4 open since the weekend troubles.  I plugged 3 of them to see how things would level out:

    3 hours in: 

    Keep in mind this is a cold smoke. Not heat at all and it is "chilly" tonight at around 55*. 

    Problem solved. Will bake before using. I am considering pre-baking and then vac sealing some to see if that will keep em dry. 

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