They look good. One thing if you and your family like them then they are GREAT
Atleast you posted pics instead of allot of
It's a definite learning curve with sausage. I smoked some to completion last week or so just to do it.....like you, it took some time to get done. I had read a 'trick' on here to keep them from touching....I cut small pieces of cardboard to use as spacers & it worked really well. I use my KA for grinding only now...lol..after one batch of trying to use the stuffer, that was enough.
Looks good. Next time try smoking at a lower hear about 160° max to 152°. You will see no fat melting and they won't have the texture that you talked about. They do look great though. Nothing better than snack meat stix...RTB.....
Poor texture is related to your starting smoker temps and final IT temps. Dry and grainy, right?
Start smoker at around 120F. Bump up 10F every hour. 180F max. IT needs to be about 152F.
They look great. I would certainly try one.
As Jarhead and RTBBQ2 mentioned, the poor texture may well be due to the temperature being too high. Looking at the initial texture you may do well to smoke them at about 130-150 for about an hour and then poach them in water at about 165 until they reach an internal temp of about 160. This way they should not overcook, stay moist and not go grainy.
The collagen casings will poach fine. If you are worried though you can always poach them in a vac pac or simple plastic bag. All you are doing is bringing the internal temperature up in a precise controlled way.