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Andouille Foamheart

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 

Truthfully, my first attempt solo at Andouille. I have helped before, I have done it "under-supervision", but these were years and years ago. I decided to embark upon this quest and see exactly how hard it is to make good Andouille. Since its been awhile I really don't have a lot to fall back on. Bear with me, yes I am opinionated, but if you see something wrong or a better way to do it, jump right in.


First the butts were on sale (pfffft sure, right) last week so I bought a few. I am not like Woodcutter though Sams doesn't deliver my crates and cases, I don't have a forklift anymore to unload 'em from the tractor trailer anyway. <chuckles>


I saved 20 lbs of butt from the freezer. Using only 10 here.


First mistake, I was too smart to listen, I am not hard headed, lets just say independently willed! I bought hog bungs instead of 43MM+ casing. In the olden days it was the large intestine that they used for Andouille. It was the last cut scraps from the bones before they became soup. I got a 10 piece bag of hog bungs from Butcher & Packers. There is just no tactful way to say it, on one end was a sphincter that still had hair around it, and for over 1/2 the length it was just thick to even be considered  casing....LOL After washing, they really had a special air of distinction to them also. I understand now why they are advertised for liver and onions type stuffing. So after my first meat headed mistake and just being to dang lazy to call and get some delivered..... we are now going to make Andouille sausage. <sighs>


OK, first we start with a BUTT. I split a pack, deboned it. and cleaned it. BTW it has a 24th due day.



I deboned it, I would like to interject that I sharpened knives last night, and I even impressed myself. It was so sharp I cut myself by just looking at blade.



First I sliced the butt into steak like pieces, that is one slice, no sawing, not double slice. Had to hold the knife up so it didn't cut thru the cutting board!




Made the steaks into 1/4 to 3/8 inch strips, lickily split, seriously counting my fingers after every cut!



Cut the strips transversely.




Bowl is filling up with nice pretty uniformly sized meat and fat. Here is my second mistake. I should have moved all the meat to the reefer to stay cold except what I was immediately working on. Oh it still sliced, but ....... well the fat pieces even though nicely cubed, seemed to stretch the fatty mesoderm which was holding it connected. Maybe it was connective tissue, Doh! I can definitely see I don't want this stringy stuff in my Andouille sausage. I see my task is near completion so again I aired and pressed on. 




Spices, I measured out enough to do 10 pounds, I removed 1/4C from it and held in reserve.



I also made my cure using .4 oz. of cure. I have worried for days about this. .4 ozs. I do some research and see that most folks are doing 1t per every 5 lbs of meat for Andouille sausage. In my infinite wisdom I decide to weight out 2t of cure and it comes out to just barely .05 ozs. So I am now again more happy with life.




So I mixed the spice into the meat, I realized that it wasn't as dang warm as I thought it was......After thoroughly mixing it, I poured in the cure and started mixing again.



Its all mixed except for the 1/4C of seasoning I reserved for just before stuffing tomorrow. Its in the reefer now making happy happy noises, sounds like a party.


Will continue tomorrow. Its going to be a busy day!

post #2 of 62

I watching closely so I know what to do next weekend. Looks like a great start!

post #3 of 62
Watching this too.....
post #4 of 62
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Woodcutter View Post

I watching closely so I know what to do next weekend. Looks like a great start!


LOL.. I have some cheap hog bungs if ya need 'em..... ROFLMAO


I am hoping that the meat preparation was the most work intensive part. The rest is just stuff the casing with my almost brand new LEM 5lber! Cause I was going to use the large tube for the stuffer and the big casings, now I have unground course cut sausage to run thru the medium tube in a standard size casing.


Thinking tomorrow if it doesn't get to busy with a contractor taking measurements and the Sear Estimator (you know how they like to hold your hand and talk), I have time to turn the other butt into some Cajun country sausage, and have some left for either breakfast sausage or maybe some boudin since I am out.  CURSE YOU CAPPY!! LOL

post #5 of 62
I'm in! Pleeze send some samples out West!
post #6 of 62
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Shoneyboy View Post

Watching this too.....


I may have to smoke this in two batches since I now have more sausage to smoke with the standard casings!  Whatcha think?


I am sorta still upset about the casings, if I just weren't so pig headed. Its not like I ever made a mistake before, well I did, back in '71 I think it was, I thought I had made a mistake but I hadn't.

post #7 of 62
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by dirtsailor2003 View Post

I'm in! Pleeze send some samples out West!


LOL That's faith! Don't even know if its gonna be edible and trusting enough to want samples!


I am really happy with my Cajun sausage now, so I hope this works out as good. 10lbs is a lot to unload on friends and family so I can do it again.....LOL


I really want to make and put up some of those large diameter casings like Andouille is supposed to be in........  The Andouille is supposed to be cut fairly thin and just a few slices added for a boiled meal like red beans or gumbo s a flavor modifier. Its not really a meat additive. Sausage is a meat additive. The only way I have ever seen it other than that was "Copeland's" used to grill a couple a thin slices to go next to their red bean bowl. I am not saying there is no other way, just that none I remember as a kid.

Edited by Foamheart - 1/17/14 at 10:57pm
post #8 of 62

That looks great so far,,,,, I'm in Thumbs Up

post #9 of 62

I'll be watching for that tasty stuff!! Reinhard

post #10 of 62

Kinda busy so I missed this earlier man ya off to a great start.  Looks great.


post #11 of 62
Thread Starter 

It has been a Looooooooooong day, between contractors and estimators, getting ready for the spring house upkeep, don't ask.


Back to Andouille Sausage, which are in the smoker at 110 IT having a great time, but lets look back to how we got there.


The cured and seasoned meat that has been in the reefer all night and is hard and cold, did I mention it is cold? OMG its cold! My reefer ain't that cold!

I looked at it after bustin it up a little, added the last 1/4C of seasoning, I am thinking, chopped not ground, standard casing instead of big casing, this is going to be a pain. So I add 1/4C of cooking oil to butter it up, not enough I added another 1/4C of oil. Its slickery! I mean its slip sliding away!



I pulled the casings I had last night cleaned and washed and stored in fresh water. I loaded one on the charging tube. Here I learned something important. The height of the tray can not exceed the height of the tube no matter how slight. LOL.. it was scratching along the bottom snicking the casing that any 4 year old could clearly see, but I wasn't that short!




After a bit of trouble shoting looking for some complex malfunction with the casing, I happened upon my set, <heal of my hand directly to the forehead! DOH!> This one of the casualities. I am just not too quick. If you enlarge this photo I bet you will notice a well lubricated meat. /insert any well lubricated joke you want at this point, remember we are PG13.




I made Andouille sausage! I then rubbed it down with a little bit of oil so the casing don't dry and crack.


That's a load a sausage for a MES30. This would be a lot more roomy were I to build a permanent smoke house/




Ran the smoker, vents all closed up to 275, opened the vent and cracked the door and for 30 45 mins allowed the sausage to dry a little.


I fired up my AMPS, I realized what my problem has been with it. Its an evening for sausage realizations! Note in the picture the door cracked.




It doesn't look to bad. It looks like a lot of fat in there but I am still just learning. I don't believe its too hot and I know its a tad short on what I would put in for cracked black pepper.


BUTT as I have previously stated, smoked cured meat should never be judged the for a few days after it has been finished.




I went with Pecan, Its smoking away now at a smoker setting of 120, its cured who cares??



And hours in, I check it and add the thermometer. It was then at 107 IT smoker at 120.



45 mins of drying time, 3 hours of smoking, I have an IT of 111.




Well they look the same! The top rack is just right, its now dry skinned and I am pulling the middle and lower rack probably with the hour.


Things to do, be back again in a while for the wrap up!


/whisper maybe even a Bear shot

post #12 of 62

Lookin good Foam I know how yA FEEL WAsa zippity doo do daa day here as well. 

post #13 of 62
Thread Starter 

Ok, this is my last post on this Andouille. (Maybe)



I have not smelled anything this good since bacon! Had a car pull in with three beautiful young thangs and they asked if it was me that smelled that good! I lied!




Its all now in the reefer reconstituting  Highest temp. I believe was 117, I could have smoked longer but I didn't want to get the casing too too dry.


This can taste like Cow Patties (Bull Biscuits), and I don't care. I'll just put some around my neck and go out and make new friends.




45 mins of drying and 4 hour smoke, I was crying when I removed it from the smoker, there was easily another 7 or 8 hours left in the tray.


It smells so good, you'd throw rocks at bacon!!


I seriously don't know I'l be able to leave it alone in the reefer till morning! Its like catnip is to a cat.... my hands smell so good!

Edited by Foamheart - 1/18/14 at 7:55pm
post #14 of 62
Foam is that your own seasoning or a prepared one? I have been looking and tried a few prepared mixes and have never been happy with any.
post #15 of 62
Thread Starter 

This is prepared, I figured the first time I wouldn't take chances. I have not tasted it yet. But every time I try a quick evaluation of a smoked cured meat I am 180 from how it ends up. So I decided there is a lot to this mellowing process.


This is special, here one of the old favorites was meats from Veron's. You knew on a camping trip who's mothers really loved 'em by who had Verons sausage to cook. LOL It was family made in one of three stores. One in Lutcher, Lafayette, and the last one (of all places) Spring Texas. Then one of the kids husbands or something decided they need to go national. He bought out the name, and went to work. He moved production to the Oak Grove processing plant in Prairieville and started into mass production. Its not bad, but its not what it used to be, not even close.


The three original store are still open under their own names and still making meats although not in competition with the Family name.


That is where this came from. I keep hearing about the guys down the road in La Place, I just don't believe they could ever be as good as this smells right now. Mine had much more smoke that any of theirs has! This is seriously an unbelieveable smell, I have not felt like this since:



It just has to be the best Andouille ever made or it couldn't smell this good, and I think I would know.

post #16 of 62
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by driedstick View Post

That looks great so far,,,,, I'm in Thumbs Up


Sorry so slow today and thanks Sir. Since its now late and I know what it will be like finished, its a beautiful day in the neighborhood today.


Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post

I'll be watching for that tasty stuff!! Reinhard


Really turned out well, thanks for checking on me.  I sure coulda need help real easily from you guys.

post #17 of 62
Foamheart, looking great !!!!! first.gif ShoneyBoy
post #18 of 62
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Shoneyboy View Post

Foamheart, looking great !!!!! first.gif ShoneyBoy



Thank you Shoney, I really wish you could smell these. I smoked a chicken this week already so its not withdrawl.


If I cut off a piece off one of these and put it in a gumbo pot I couldn't eat it. I'd just carry the pot around all day telling strangers, "smell this, smell this".

post #19 of 62

Looks like it belongs on the cover of a magazine! The whole hunks decision looks like a good one.

post #20 of 62
Great looking Andouille making there FH, nice work and great step by step post!

Requested feedback...
- 43mm seems large to me for Andouille.
- smaller diameter casing will take less time to bring to desired temp.
- Water added to to loosen and lube the sausage is a better choice in my opinion compared to a vegetable oil. Oil will not dry and inhibits smoke passing through the meat compared to water.
- If your Andouille is being finished with plans of packaging, freezing and cooking again on a later date you really do not have to smoke it to a certain temp as it has cure in it and will be brought to over that temp on its final cook. With this said I will smoke for a few hours and go by external color to decide if it is time to pull from the smoke.

None of my feedback is meant to be critical, but you asked and these are just a few things I noticed reading your description of the method you used. Honestly, very nice job on the Andouille! sausage.gif
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