OK so I’ve now made two batches of bologna and the taste is great so I’m satisfied with the recipe and taste.
Liquid is my issue. I mix my batch adding water as instructed. The mix is easily squeezed through your fingers that I’d call a heavy paste consistency. Then I stuff the mix into my casings – red fibrous bologna casings. I tie one end, pack pretty well and tie the other end. The casings had been soaked in water for 30 minutes.
I then lay the stuffed casings under a fan to dry. I wipe them off. They seem dry to the touch. It’s about 30 minutes from when I stuffed them.
So I go to the smoker with them starting about 150°F. I smoke for about an hour then raise the temp to 200°F and leave them until the internal temp of 155 is reached. I remove them from the smoker.
The product I get from the smoker is still a nice looking chub – but its bologna surrounded by it’s juices. When I pierced the chub to get the temp I basically get running water that drains out, then the casing is loose on the bologna.
What am I doing wrong????? Should I be piercing the casing before smoking?? Before the drying process??? Should the drying process allow the liquid to leave the bologna before smoking? Maybe I haven't mixed enough or let the chubs sit to combine ingredients?