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second attempt at smokes sausage

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

First time casing were tough, real tough! I made a few batches of fresh sausage that came out great so decided ( while the weather was good ) to try smoked again.,

This is Smoked Krainerwurst on the left and Kiebasa on the right. I set the smoker on 135 and let the sausage dry for 1.5 hrs. then slowly cranked up the temp to a high of 170. Used a combination of pecan and apple pellets total smoke time was about 7/hrs. When the sausage reached 150  went into  ice water then let dry for a couple hours.

Over all I was/am happy with the results. Just wondering..........is there a way to keep the casing from getting that wrinkled look?

 

 

 

 

 

ed look?? 


Edited by unclejhim - 3/24/15 at 7:07am
post #2 of 17

Well, they don't look to overly wrinkled IMO.....but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I'm a fan of smoking my sausage about 4-5 hours or so and finishing in a barely simmering water poach then giving them a cold water bath to stop the process. I've never really had excessively tough casings to deal with (yet) but I do allow them a long fresh water soak after rinsing to soften up. I used the vinegar addition once and didn't really think it made a difference. I've been getting my casings from Waltons and find them very superior to what I had been using off the rack at a sporting goods place. Nice job on those....look very fine.....Willie

post #3 of 17

Wrinkling and tough casings can come from using too much water in the meat, under stuffing, not soaking the casings properly and fat out from high smoker temps.

post #4 of 17

If you have a chance could you list the ingredients for your Krainerwurst ?  Just wondering if you used a binder in this recipe like powdered milk.  Reinhard

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks. This is something I'm struggling with but only with smoked sausage. I process  fresh sausage the same way (same casings, same fullness) and they come out great. This were much better than the first ones (disaster) but they were a little tough and I don't care for the wrinkled look. I'll try soaking the casing  longer, less water ( in my case beer)  and  I'll watch the smoke temp/. closer.

This is process of learning ( think I am) and at least I get to eat my mistakes so things could be worser....

I do appreciate all the suggestions!!.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Reinhard , I followed Chuckwagons recipe to  T, excerpt I did use 1/2 cup of soy protein for a binder. Rytek's book calls for 1/2 to 1`cup perhaps I should have used more?? The first batch I did, came out terrible, I did not use any binder.

post #7 of 17

How many pounds is that batch you made?  I use one cup per 5 pounds of sausage mix.  Couple of things a binder does is to keep the moisture in your sausage and to give the final product a nice texture.  In a twenty five pound sausage mix, I use 5 cups of powdered milk along with 5 cups of water in all my smoked sausage.  Reinhard

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 

I did a 5lb batch (1/2 of Chuckwagon's recipe). I will use 1 full cup of soy protein in my next batch, hopefully this Friday, I'm running out of cool weather down here. I'lll let ya'll know how it comes out.

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

OK guys. I NEED HELP.!! I did some venison sausage. 3.5lbs. venison and 1.5 lbs. pork butt, 1 cup soy protein. 1cup water and spices to taste. I mixed meat and spices then into fridge overnite. The next day I ground the meat and stuffed the links,  the casing had been soaking for 1.5 days. before stuffing. The next day (today) onto the smoker at 135 for a hour, then added smoke and gradually upped the temp. until 150degrees inside. They still came out tough and wrinkled. The taste is great , they are juicy and plump  but the casing are tough.

 

 

 Could the casing be the problem?

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by boykjo View Post
 

Wrinkling and tough casings can come from using too much water in the meat, under stuffing, not soaking the casings properly and fat out from high smoker temps.

Properly soaking the casings will avoid tough casings unless they are older casings. The intent is to make the casing pliable and stretch the casing so it becomes thinner by removing the salt and adding water in its place. If the casing is not pliable it will not stretch and will be thicker and tougher. When you add other steps in your process like placing the sausage in the fridge overnight and smoking it the next day the sausage casing will dry out in the refrigerator and also add to the toughness. I really cant tell anything from the pics. Its best to take a pic of the casings right before stuffing.

 

This is how they should look.

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/159729/how-to-handle-natural-casings

 

 

Joe

post #11 of 17
Try a new batch of casings to see if its just bad casings you have.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 


Joe I think my casings were sufficiently rinsed and pliable but in all three attempts I did "rest"  the links in the refrigerator overnite. I'm not sure how or where I got this idea but I think this is where I'm going wrong. So I should put links into the smoker directly after smoking. Should I smoke right way or just heat for 30/60 mins. then smoke?

Thanks for your help!!  

post #13 of 17

The sausages should go right into the smoker after stuffing. Your not trying to dry the casing but form a tacky pellicle and this can be done with a fan or just by hanging. when you see the wet shiney casing become dull, they are ready to accept smoke. I cold smoke for 2 hrs and the smoke sticks like glue. Then I start heat with smoke for another 2 hrs then just heat the rest of the way. If that doesnt work I would look into another brand of casings. Butcher and packer has some high quality casings

 

Joe

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

I try you procedure next time. One thing I did notice, if I steam the sausage the casing does get more tender and is at least eatable.

Thanks

post #15 of 17

Joe is giving some great advice here.  I really love it when someone is trying to get it right.  Now it seems you have the texture, moisture, and flavor on the sausage you like.  The casings seem to be the problem or they may not be.  I agree with Joe that the next process after stuffing is the smoker not the fridge for a stay overnight.  Here is what I do prior to smoking.  Get the casings ready for the next day's stuffing as described before.  The day before smoking, I grind the meat and then add the seasonings, powdered milk, cure and water, and mix well.  Then I put the mix in the fridge in a plastic lugger, covered in plastic wrap, overnight for everything to meld together.  The next day I stuff, do as Joe described above to form a pellicle and then do the smoking process.  Haven't had any issues.  Were these casings bought fresh [sealed in plastic with salt or in a container]?  Only reason I ask is that natural casing should not be frozen.  Reinhard

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 


These are fresh casings that I purchased from a local smokehouse (same place I get my cure). My next attempt will be to stuff and smoke ( that almost sounds illegal....) the same day.  If that don't work then I'll get different casings as CT suggested. Thanks for the advise ya'll. This has been / still is  a learning experience.

post #17 of 17
Personally I've stuffed the day before smoking every time and never had this issue. I found it terrible to stuff meat that's been curing all night its like trying to stuff cement into the casings,but try what works for you.
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