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Bratwurst Help

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I'm on my second year of making fresh venison brats.  Using 50/50 mix with pork shoulders.  They taste awesome.  I really need to master using hog casings, as I like them better.  However, I used collagen casings, which are super easy.  My problem is that when I separate the links to cook, the ends come unraveled and "bloom" open when cooked.  Mainly a presentation thing.  Is there a way to keep them tight and closed?  Is this a collagen casing issue? 

 

Thanks!
Jason

 

My issue with hog casings is that I can't seem to slip them onto the stuffing tube.  It binds up.  I spray the horn with pam spray, but to no avail.  Usually after several tries and some profane language, I make the switch.

post #2 of 18

Jason the hog casings have to be soaked for a few hours, or over night being better. I use a bowl that is deeper then the stuffing tube,filled with cold water. Start the casing then have water running into the tube or dip down in the bowl that expands the casing and lets it slide on. Hope I explained it right

post #3 of 18

I also like to rinse my casings out. Just take the open end and mouth it up to the faucet and get a little water in there. Then squeeze it through. This moistens the inside of the casing a bit and helps to start stretching them out. For sure an overnight soak is better as well. Vegetable oil on the stuffer tube seems to work better too. Hog casings are so much better.

post #4 of 18

As they've said above, soak the casings for 24 hrs before loading and stuffing them. I like to load the horn directly from the bowl of water the casings are sitting in. The remaining water that's inside of the casings helps them glide right onto the horn with almost no effort. My technique for loading the casings using 2 hands would sound kind of odd typed....maybe I'll make a short youtube video the next time I do it.

 

Sorry just realized no one commented on your unraveling issue. Collagen casings need to be tied with twine at each link or this will happen. They aren't meant to be twisted like natural casings are.

post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgautheir20420 View Post
 

As they've said above, soak the casings for 24 hrs before loading and stuffing them. I like to load the horn directly from the bowl of water the casings are sitting in. The remaining water that's inside of the casings helps them glide right onto the horn with almost no effort. My technique for loading the casings using 2 hands would sound kind of odd typed....maybe I'll make a short youtube video the next time I do it.


When you do the video can you do it using 1 hand LOL  Okay use 2 hands thats what I do

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tropics View Post
 


When you do the video can you do it using 1 hand LOL  Okay use 2 hands thats what I do

 

Ha. See! I didn't even type it and that same image pops into your head!

post #7 of 18

all good advice except maybe the 2-handed advice.....in sausage making water is your friend......Willie

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

This is awesome info.  I'll try natural hog next time.  I really like them better.  I think my problem was I was only soaking them for an hour like the package said.  I'll go 24 in the fridge.  I do rinse them well, inside and out, but I think they needed time.  I just threw one on the grill (high temp cheddar and jalepeno) and it was awesome.  The grill does a better job on the collagen than does pan or boil. 

post #9 of 18
post #10 of 18

As said above soak them overnight and  be patient. Water as said above is your friend or you can use wine.

Happy smoken.

David

post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybball View Post
 

This is awesome info.  I'll try natural hog next time.  I really like them better.  I think my problem was I was only soaking them for an hour like the package said.  I'll go 24 in the fridge.  I do rinse them well, inside and out, but I think they needed time.  I just threw one on the grill (high temp cheddar and jalepeno) and it was awesome.  The grill does a better job on the collagen than does pan or boil. 

 

Good to hear. After the 24 hours they are silky smooth and very elastic. You'll be very surprised how the extra time effects them.

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Good grief. I soaked for an hour. No wonder they fought me so badly trying to get them on the tube. The link above helped tremendously. Andouille is next!
post #13 of 18
If you're using the NOLA recipe add another tsp of cayenne...it's alittle on the mild side ;). I've made it a number of times. Try searching for the search function. I've since updated and adjusted the amounts to suit my taste. It's a great sausage. Feel free to pm me if you like. Foamheart does a great Andouille also so use him as a resource as well.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
I will try the NOLA recipe. Going to also start soaking my casings now to use next week. I'll hopefully be using hog casings for the andouille. Thanks everyone!
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all. I make andouille today and the hog casings worked great! Been soaking in the fridge for over a week. Into the smoker in the morning.
post #16 of 18

Nice job on the stuffing

post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Amazing how much better hog casings taste.
post #18 of 18

great looking stuff there. I have made the nola recipe a few times and it is great.

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