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1st time smoking sausages

tallbm

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Hi All I just finished mixing the 3 lbs of beef with the premix I used the 1st time..Did a taste test was nice and juicy.The taste was just OK much better then the 1st time, So I kick it up a bit with coriander , black & red pepper flakes..I'm giving the phosphate another try with just this one. I used 2 teaspoons..Tomorrow I will try and locate mustard seeds, and season the 3 lbs of pork. I will be using NFDM instead of the phosphate.
Once the cure is in the ground up meat and in the fridge, I can wait awhile before stuffing?
Thanks Dan
PS How do I get to post smaller pics?
View attachment 470759 View attachment 470759 View attachment 470760
Sounds like a good start and adventure.
You can let the meat sit with cure in fridge stuff immediately after mixing. Either way will work.

I LOVE the LEM's Fresh Brat (best brats ever) seasoning, and LEM's Cured Frank seasoning (best franks ever).
I've tried about 3 other franks/hot dogs recipe and they don't hold a candle to LEM's.
Also the Fresh Brat is better than anything I've had in Wisconsin and Minnesota, anywhere else in the US in German restaurants and in a couple of German restaurants overseas (never been to Germany or Eastern Europe). With this seasoning I finally found a brat that was worth a damn and was actually amazing!

Anyhow, I can't wait to see how your sausage turns out! :)
 

danbono

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Sounds like a good start and adventure.
You can let the meat sit with cure in fridge stuff immediately after mixing. Either way will work.

I LOVE the LEM's Fresh Brat (best brats ever) seasoning, and LEM's Cured Frank seasoning (best franks ever).
I've tried about 3 other franks/hot dogs recipe and they don't hold a candle to LEM's.
Also the Fresh Brat is better than anything I've had in Wisconsin and Minnesota, anywhere else in the US in German restaurants and in a couple of German restaurants overseas (never been to Germany or Eastern Europe). With this seasoning I finally found a brat that was worth a damn and was actually amazing!

Anyhow, I can't wait to see how your sausage turns out! :)
Hi I made the Lem's fresh & smoked brats last time.The smoked ones came out hard as rock, both were pretty tasteless to me. See my 1st post. I will give the fresh brat mix another try next time. Have you ever used the "tube casing" from Lem's, if so let me know they worked out. Lem tells you the flush iniside but they are on a plastic tube?
Dan
PS I have had German bratwursts when I was stationed in Germany.
 
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danbono

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Hi All I finally got around to doing the mix & a taste test.:) Taste was pretty good, not what I was expecting, but good to go with.
The test patty look kinda of dry, so I added some more NFDM.Both batches are now resting in the fridge.Might get around to stuffing tomorrow or the next day, I'm not in a rush to stuff them just let the spices do their thing.
I'm going to try and post small pics if I can?
Dan
PS While I was mixing a took a look at the recipe and low & behold I never added the cure.:(
 

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tallbm

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Hi All I finally got around to doing the mix & a taste test.:) Taste was pretty good, not what I was expecting, but good to go with.
The test patty look kinda of dry, so I added some more NFDM.Both batches are now resting in the fridge.Might get around to stuffing tomorrow or the next day, I'm not in a rush to stuff them just let the spices do their thing.
I'm going to try and post small pics if I can?
Dan
PS While I was mixing a took a look at the recipe and low & behold I never added the cure.:(
You can still add the cure, just mix it in in the proper quantity and mix well :)

I look forward to seeing what you come up with :)
 

tallbm

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Hi I made the Lem's fresh & smoked brats last time.The smoked ones came out hard as rock, both were pretty tasteless to me. See my 1st post. I will give the fresh brat mix another try next time. Have you ever used the "tube casing" from Lem's, if so let me know they worked out. Lem tells you the flush iniside but they are on a plastic tube?
Dan
PS I have had German bratwursts when I was stationed in Germany.
So lucky to try German brats in Germany!! :D

I never smoked the Brats I made with Lem's Fresh Brat seasoning. I only ever grilled em so I can't speak to any smoking experiences with them.
I have smoked the Lem's Cured Franks and they are great! I have smoked Franks and then reheated on the grill and they were also great. Finally, I simply grilled the Franks (doing some right now haha) and they were amazing as well :)

The only issue I've ever had with the Fresh Brats is being too salty or nailing the right amount of seasoning in the past. I took notes over the various times and I believe I have nailed it so here are my notes on the LEM's seasoning measurements to help you out on your next attempt :)

  • Cure #1 Amount: 1.133gm per pound of sausage meat (156ppm) good to know this for any ground sausage
  • LEM's Fresh Brat Seasoning Amount: 27.3gm per pound of sausage meat
  • LEM's Cured Frank Seasoning Amount: 14gm per pound of sausage meat (seems more salt in this one or just less other stuff vs brats which have mace/nutmeg, etc. that franks don't have)
  • LEM's Jalapeno Bacon Cure/Seasoning Amount: 3% of bacon belly weight (0.03 x bacon belly weight = amount of seasoning)
  • LEM's Venison Bacon Cure/Seasoning Amount: 3% of bacon belly weight(0.03 x bacon belly weight = amount of seasoning) ALSO 3% of ground venison meat mix weight if doing ground/formed bacon :)
    • I don't do ground formed bacon anymore as its just ok compared to pork belly bacon so instead of wasting the seasoning I figured out how to convert it for pork belly bacon. When I figured this one out I applied the same % to the Jalapeno version and low and behold it worked perfectly, no overly salty bacon :)
I hope these notes help and I believe that if you follow the Brat measurements above you will land in a good spot for fresh brats for grilling and you can tweak to your own tastes from here :)
 

danbono

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So lucky to try German brats in Germany!! :D

I never smoked the Brats I made with Lem's Fresh Brat seasoning. I only ever grilled em so I can't speak to any smoking experiences with them.
I have smoked the Lem's Cured Franks and they are great! I have smoked Franks and then reheated on the grill and they were also great. Finally, I simply grilled the Franks (doing some right now haha) and they were amazing as well :)

The only issue I've ever had with the Fresh Brats is being too salty or nailing the right amount of seasoning in the past. I took notes over the various times and I believe I have nailed it so here are my notes on the LEM's seasoning measurements to help you out on your next attempt :)

  • Cure #1 Amount: 1.133gm per pound of sausage meat (156ppm) good to know this for any ground sausage
  • LEM's Fresh Brat Seasoning Amount: 27.3gm per pound of sausage meat
  • LEM's Cured Frank Seasoning Amount: 14gm per pound of sausage meat (seems more salt in this one or just less other stuff vs brats which have mace/nutmeg, etc. that franks don't have)
  • LEM's Jalapeno Bacon Cure/Seasoning Amount: 3% of bacon belly weight (0.03 x bacon belly weight = amount of seasoning)
  • LEM's Venison Bacon Cure/Seasoning Amount: 3% of bacon belly weight(0.03 x bacon belly weight = amount of seasoning) ALSO 3% of ground venison meat mix weight if doing ground/formed bacon :)
    • I don't do ground formed bacon anymore as its just ok compared to pork belly bacon so instead of wasting the seasoning I figured out how to convert it for pork belly bacon. When I figured this one out I applied the same % to the Jalapeno version and low and behold it worked perfectly, no overly salty bacon :)
I hope these notes help and I believe that if you follow the Brat measurements above you will land in a good spot for fresh brats for grilling and you can tweak to your own tastes from here :)
Hi I still have the fresh & cured/smoked Lem's mixes..I will them a try once a get some time play around with them.
What do you do for casings? I got tube ones from Lem.
Thanks Dan
 
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danbono

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Hi I still have the fresh & cured/smoked Lem's mixes..I will give them a try once a get some time play around with them.
What do you for casings? I got tube ones from Lem, 1st time using them.
Thanks Dan
 

tallbm

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Hi I still have the fresh & cured/smoked Lem's mixes..I will them a try once a get some time play around with them.
What do you for casings? I got tube ones from Lem.
Thanks Dan
Oh I forgot to reply to that part haha.

I have used LEM's tubed casings they are good to go I just rinse them really good and then soak them for at least 5-7 days before I use them. I've used both natural hog and lamb.
When I go to stuff them after they've soaked, I throw out the water they've been soaking in, rinse them again if needed, and then put in fresh water to hold them while I stuff sausages.

I've also used tubed natural hog casings from The Sausage Maker which has additional size options.
Tubed is the only way to go in my book after trying non tubed options :)

I really like how lamb casings come out for hot dogs BUT I'm done fighting with them. They are more delicate, harder to fool with, etc. even when soaking for so long to make them much more manageable. That's the point of the long soak, to make them manageable.

I now use cellulose casings for skinless sausages when I want to do hot dogs or smaller diameter sausages. They are sooo easy to work with BUT their downside is that you MUST cook them. You cant simpley stuff, vac seal, and freeze. The cellulose castings = stuff, twist/tie, smoke that day or next day if you leave them in the fridge over night. THEN when done cooking you squeeze em out of the case, vac seal, and freeze. Adds a lot more time to do it all at once.
 

danbono

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Oh I forgot to reply to that part haha.

I have used LEM's tubed casings they are good to go I just rinse them really good and then soak them for at least 5-7 days before I use them. I've used both natural hog and lamb.
When I go to stuff them after they've soaked, I throw out the water they've been soaking in, rinse them again if needed, and then put in fresh water to hold them while I stuff sausages.

I've also used tubed natural hog casings from The Sausage Maker which has additional size options.
Tubed is the only way to go in my book after trying non tubed options :)

I really like how lamb casings come out for hot dogs BUT I'm done fighting with them. They are more delicate, harder to fool with, etc. even when soaking for so long to make them much more manageable. That's the point of the long soak, to make them manageable.

I now use cellulose casings for skinless sausages when I want to do hot dogs or smaller diameter sausages. They are sooo easy to work with BUT their downside is that you MUST cook them. You cant simpley stuff, vac seal, and freeze. The cellulose castings = stuff, twist/tie, smoke that day or next day if you leave them in the fridge over night. THEN when done cooking you squeeze em out of the case, vac seal, and freeze. Adds a lot more time to do it all at once.
Hi The only tubed casing I use were the dry ones had to be soaked.. Tubed is the way to go..I have a casing company close by where I used buy my casings..I was able to buy a hank of the tubed ones now they have a limit you have to buy 2 hanks.
Why 5-7 days seams like a long time? I started soaking them this morning, hoping to stuff after the 1 o'clock football game. So they should be soaking for about 8 hrs.
Any tip or tricks for the smoking process. I'm thinking of hanging the sausages in the room where the heat comes from, should dry them lout good.
Thanks Dan
 

tallbm

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Hi The only tubed casing I use were the dry ones had to be soaked.. Tubed is the way to go..I have a casing company close by where I used buy my casings..I was able to buy a hank of the tubed ones now they have a limit you have to buy 2 hanks.
Why 5-7 days seams like a long time? I started soaking them this morning, hoping to stuff after the 1 o'clock football game. So they should be soaking for about 8 hrs.
Any tip or tricks for the smoking process. I'm thinking of hanging the sausages in the room where the heat comes from, should dry them lout good.
Thanks Dan
Someone did a post a loooong while back showing how if you soak the casings for a long period of time they become silky, super pliable, feed without issue, and tend to never bust/break.
The approach works no matter if the casings are on a tube, non-tubed, or from one of those horrible home packs. It's all about making life easier sausage making :)

Hanks are the way to go. I buy hanks of tubed 1-2 at a time. Must be nice to have a place close by I have to order all mine in the mail.

As for tips or tricks, none really other than to follow the sausage making best practices.
Run temp of 100F for 1 hour and no smoke to dry sausages.
Pump up the temp every hour by 10-20 degrees (whatever your system can do well without massive overshoot).
If this is store bought pork then take your smoker to like a max temp of 170F.
Let the sausage get an IT temp of like 152-155 (your preference here).
Ice bath to cool them quickly (prevents case crinkling and looseness).
Dry and hang or set on racks at room temp for a couple hours (or longer to your preference) to bloom the sausages so they get good color.
Vac seal, freeze what you store. Heat up and eat what you are eating :)

That's basically the whole process and if u follow it then your sausages will come out fine... provided you did your part with the meat and seasoning pre-stuffing :)
 

chopsaw

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Someone did a post a loooong while back showing how if you soak the casings for a long period of time they become silky, super pliable, feed without issue, and tend to never bust/break.
Yup . Always ready . Not a single blow out since I started doing it that way . AND , no tough / chewy casings .

 

danbono

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Someone did a post a loooong while back showing how if you soak the casings for a long period of time they become silky, super pliable, feed without issue, and tend to never bust/break.
The approach works no matter if the casings are on a tube, non-tubed, or from one of those horrible home packs. It's all about making life easier sausage making :)

Hanks are the way to go. I buy hanks of tubed 1-2 at a time. Must be nice to have a place close by I have to order all mine in the mail.

As for tips or tricks, none really other than to follow the sausage making best practices.
Run temp of 100F for 1 hour and no smoke to dry sausages.
Pump up the temp every hour by 10-20 degrees (whatever your system can do well without massive overshoot).
If this is store bought pork then take your smoker to like a max temp of 170F.
Let the sausage get an IT temp of like 152-155 (your preference here).
Ice bath to cool them quickly (prevents case crinkling and looseness).
Dry and hang or set on racks at room temp for a couple hours (or longer to your preference) to bloom the sausages so they get good color.
Vac seal, freeze what you store. Heat up and eat what you are eating :)

That's basically the whole process and if u follow it then your sausages will come out fine... provided you did your part with the meat and seasoning pre-stuffing :)
Hi The only problem is my pellet smoker lowest setting is 180*. My 1st time smoking sausages, I had the lid open some, still temps hit 180..* Maybe this time open the lid more? Temps here NJ will only be in 40's next few days, so that might help. I did use a 12" smoke tube last time also.Maybe just run the tube at the start.
Thanks Dan
 

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tallbm

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Hi The only problem is my pellet smoker lowest setting is 180*. My 1st time smoking sausages, I had the lid open some, still temps hit 180..* Maybe this time open the lid more? Temps here NJ will only be in 40's next few days, so that might help. I did use a 12" smoke tube last time also.Maybe just run the tube at the start.
Thanks Dan
Yeah that sucks about the temp control. You will just have to try and manage it. Your thermostate on the smoker probably wants to go 180F no matter if the lid is open or not. The smoker will just work harder to hit 180F.

A possibly good thing though is that 180F is like the max upper limit you want to go. I often have to go to 180F temp because I smoke sausage made with feral hog meat and I must take the IT of the sausage to 165F to make sure any micro nasties are killed. It works fine but you really have no margin for error left.
Let's just hope that your 180F to start with doesnt shock the fat heating it up to fast and melting it out. You could always put a foil pan on the rack under the sausage to the heat has to dissipate around the pan deflecting it some from the sausage. Just a thought that may help u keep the heat lower at the sausages and allow them to heat up more slowly rather than be blasted direclty with 180F heat :)
 

chopsaw

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I agree . Good idea to deflect the heat .
 

danbono

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Thirdeye..
Hi I had some blows out when making links. I think I stuffed to tight, so I made into one of your skinnies. :emoji_thumbsup:
Thanks DanB
 

danbono

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Hi All Finally the sausage is in the smoker..I need a better hanging set up,.Maybe I should have smoked it in 2 batches.
I haven't turned on the smoker yet I have tube going with cherry & apple. After 1 hr I will turn on the smoker to it's lowest setting 180*. I have hickory in the hopper.
Thanks Dan
 

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danbono

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Hi All The sausages have been smoked. Much better then the 1st time, they were much juicy..Even the premix ones came out good this time. I'm going to have cut down on some the spices. The pan under the grates worked out good kept temps much lower.
Thanks Guys for all your help.
Dan
 

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chopsaw

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Looks good .
 

danbono

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Hi Yesterday I just took a little taste test..The moisture was there, kinda on the spicy side for me. I would have to make some adjustments next time.. Other wise I'm pleased with the results..100% better then my fist try.
Thanks for your help.
Dan
 
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