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Linking question

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hello all, been away for awhile & am preparing to do my 1st homemade sausage project this weekend. I inherited all the right tools from my grandpa this summer before he passed away - Grinder ,stuffer,"sausage maker" smoke house , Rytek Kutas "Sausage Bible" ETC. .

I'm pretty confident on being prepared in all aspects of the process except for the "linking" part. I have found no real clear cut answers on what Exactly to do .

I have seen one video that made sense & looked efficient to me where your 1st link coming out you twist one way , then the next twist the opposite & so on & so forth till the end.... but should you use twine to tie off also , or can you just knot the casing themselves? & if you do use twine , after ( im assumin you cut the links) do the casings stay "crimped"(not sure that's the word i want ).

oh btw, this is fresh polish kielbasa w/ natural casings.Thanks in advance for any help . hoping for as good of results as my grandpa always had.
post #2 of 18
I'm definatly a newby to this one but I will be going to Jerry's for the sausage making weekend soon. I have too seen that vidio with the twisting method and then come back and tie the sausage to asure that it doesn't come unwound,. I'm sure sausage master will be around soon thou.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
I know it's definitely a noobish question .... but can anyone please give me a walkthrough of the way "they" link there sausage products?PDT_Armataz_01_05.gif

lol, you mballi3011 must've posted & i forgot to refresh. thanks for the reply , bud.
post #4 of 18
This is a reply I gave to a question in another forum that should help you with the linking process

The first time we made weiners we had the same problem. A friend of mine works at a meat shop and showed me how they do it with natural casings. He told me the guy stuffing should fill the casing the proper length for the weiner then pinch it off and start the next one. Keep doing this process until you have the entire casing stuffed. Once you are done with that you grip what will be the first weiner in your left hand and the third one in your right hand and flip/twist the center one three to four times. You then grab the weiner that was in your right hand with your left hand and with your right hand skip one and hold the next and do the flip/twist in the same direction as the first. You continue doing this for the entire length of casing. When you hang them you can only hang two weiner in lenght or they will unwind. In other words from the top of the stick there will be two down and two up on the same side of the stick, then cross over and again, two down and two up.

I hope I explained this clearly enough. If anyone has any questions, I will be glad to try and answer them.
post #5 of 18
You are right. We just made 35lbs of Italian 35 lbs of polish over the weekend. We used the left twist/right twist method. We did not tie links off, just give an extra couple of twists (that will hold them). the real trick is to make sure that you don't over fill the casings and if you have an extra set of hands while one person feeds and pinches the other person twists the link. We had 4 people working. One fed the grinder/stuffer while one fed and pinched and one twisted. The other was a floater which filled the tubs and looked out for safety and mistakes. Four people are optminum. but you can get away with as few as two.
post #6 of 18
Depends on what you are making and if you intend to smoke or not.

For brats, etc. that will be used fresh and you want linked short, you can stuff a good long piece of casing....I let mine coil up on a large baking pan....then link. To link, measure out how long you want them to be....4 to 5 inches is about right, then pinch the casing down a little and twist it a couple times. Good quality casings are pretty tough.....they seldom break. Then move up the same length and twist it again, but in the opposite direction. Keep moving up the line....twisting one way, then the other. It's still all one piece of casing, except now it's linked. Give them an hour or so to set up and you can then go back and snip the casings and the ends of your now shorter links will stay closed. No string needed.

For longer loops of smoked sausage, a good way is to leave a couple inches of casing empty to start with, stuff the length of loop you want......about 15 to 18 inches....then leave another 2 inch section of empty casing and cut it off. You then have loose ends you can tie together and the knot sits above the smoke stick.

If making summer sausage, best to buy the larger fibrous or collagen casings with one end closed that has the hanging string already attached. Then tie off or use a hog ring on the other end after stuffing.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much all , & especially hog wardenPDT_Armataz_01_37.gif. That's what i was hoping for is to just simply twist , set, cut . Because we are planning to vacum pack & freeze the majority of the 25 lbs. I've watched several videos know of the never ending sausage puzzle linking & i may try that w/ next batch to smoke. & to answer your question about smoking or not.... no these are gonna be fresh . I'll save the smoking for next time after i've got a lil more sausage under my belt if ya get my drift,lol.
post #8 of 18
The Warden gives sound advice. I like to let the freshly twisted links spend some time in the fridge so the twisted part of the casing will dry out. This will help keep them from unraveling.
post #9 of 18
I like to let my sausages sit in the frig for 12-24 hours to let the flavors meld together, and like mentioned above they will hold there twist and will be fine.
Don't forget the Q-view!
post #10 of 18
I fill all the casing before I twist. Just the way I like to do it. Then I have board with with different lengths marked depending on what size I want my links. Put one end on the edge of the board and pinch where I have marked for my lengths then flip them forward 3 to 4 times, then move them down so I have the edge back on the end of the board and repeat but flip backwards this time and alternate so I make 2 links at a time.
post #11 of 18
What he said.

Basically, you pinch your links and you twist every-other sausage. Doing it this way, it doesn't matter which way you twist it.

Lets say this line is your stuffed sausage casing (un-twisted) _________________

1st, you make two pinches in your sausage to form the 1st and 2nd link. The blank spaces represents the pinched links _ _ __________ If you twist the 2nd sausage (red), you are twisting the end of the end of the 1st sausage, the beginning of the 2nd sausage, the end of the 2nd sausage and the beginning of the 3rd sausage all at once. Doesn't matter which way you twist.

Next you make 2 more pinches and it will look like this: _ _ _ _ ______ You skip the 3rd sausage and twist the 4th one (once again in red).

Continue with this method until you've done it all.

Be careful not to stuff the casings too tightly or you will have blow-outs when you try to link them.

With natural casings, I don't use twine and I only tie a knot at the beginning and end of the entire length of sausage. After twisting, you can cut between the links (before packaging or if placing on a smoker rack) and they will remain (relatively) closed on each end. Leave them linked if you are going to hang them on smoke sticks.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the help guys .... definitely feeling more cofident about the linking process now.PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #13 of 18
Like mentioned below, for fresh, I fill the whole casing, then go back and pinch and twist into links, no strings needed. Larger ones like Kielbasy, I leave a couple inches at the end to tie off. I also let them sit in the fridge overnight to dry. But here is something you may want to do if you are vacuum packing them. T your links and freeze them on a cookie sheet first and THEN put them into foodsaver bags or whatever bags you use. I have used our foodsaver on brauts and sausages like Kielbasy and have had the insides of the sausages squeeze out the ends due to the vacuum. Just a thought for you.
post #14 of 18

post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
PDT_Armataz_01_05.gif Doh, & here i was getting myself all worked up,lol. http://linking sausage for dummies.com .... there i think i got it now guys , how do they look,lol.
post #16 of 18
You'll find it's a lot easier than it looks once you get the hang of it. Don't be intimidated, jump in and do it. +1 on the advice to not overfill the casing, they won't split, and after you get a length of links made, you can cut them apart with no problems. At first I was afraid the meat would come out of the casing when I cut the links apart, but it won't.

If you happen to get a split, don't worry about it, cut the casing at the split, pinch the meat out, tie knots in the ends of the casing and keep going. It happens.

Most times, I grind and stuff right into the casings by myself. I've learned to pull off about 1/2 to 1 inch of empty casing off the horn where I want to pinch and twist. I twist as I go. When you get the swing of it going you will find it easy to do this without stopping.

On your first grind, just remember that the Off button on your grinder is your friend! icon_smile.gif

Enjoy your sausage making experiences.
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well then im already ahead of the game ..... my off buttons gonna be my arm,PDT_Armataz_01_05.gif lol. Manual grinder & stuffer... what can i say my grandpa was old fashioned.

I really appreciate all your guys's help. It's made me into an excellent brisket maker in the past & present & i can already taste that killer sausage that all this knowledge is gonna help me pump out tomorrow.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well, it all went off w/o a hitch .....except for i failed to account for the 5-6 lb. of bone in the pork butts,lol. so i had to make an emergency run to kroger's in the morning. Sorry no q-view this time guys , maybe next. & btw after all the stressing i did the linking was the EASIEST part of the entire project,lol. Once again Thanks for all the help!!!
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