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Best practices for sausage making

driedstick

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I have made three 5lb batches of various pork sausage - Andouille, Hot Links and Sweet Italian. Going to make a new batch of Garlic sausage tomorrow.

What is the secret to getting the natural pork casings more tender? I have the ones packed dry in salt and I soak them in water for about 30 min and rinse well.

I bring my temp up slowly as directed, but the casings are still tougher than I would like.
Here is a good link for you MM55 

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

A full smoker is a happy smoker 

DS
 

milkman55

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That was a good link. Even though my casing packed in dry salt only said 30 min on the package, I will soak them for several days as directed in the link. The casings did look very soft in the pictures after soaking.
 

LanceR

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Milkman, I suspect that where you buy your casings matters as much if not more than how you prep them.  I use Syracuse Casings for hog and sheep casings.  The casings are "pre-tubed" and packed in salt.  Pre-tubed casings just slide over the stuffing horn and you pull a plastic sleeve back out of them and are ready to stuff.

I usually soak casings for 10 minutes or less and don't have a blowout or toughness issue.  Back when I used LEM and other casings I had issues with both texture and with blowouts.

Erzazz, for grinding we sometimes use a 1/2 horsepower Globe/Chef Mate grinder but I've started using a grinder head on the accessory drive of a Hobart bowl chopper (AKA a Buffalo Chopper) as it is much smoother, stronger and quieter.

Lance
 

flyfishjeep

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I would also mention for people to place all the grinder parts that touch meat into the freezer. It will help keep everything cold. And Maybe add some ice to the grind.
 

indaswamp

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Have not read the entire thread, but one tip I will give you is after the casing has been soaked and rinsed and you are ready to stuff.

1. Always fill the stuffer horn with sausage and let about 1/8" slide out past the end of the horn. The meat mixture will prevent the casing from sticking and grabbing the horn and prevent tears.

2. ALWAYS spread the casing open with 2 fingers and dip the end into the water so that you get about 1 tsp. of water inside the casing. This water will act as a lubricant and it is SOOOOOO much easier to slide the casing on the horn! Once you have all the casing on the horn, you can remove the excess water from the casing by dropping the end and allowing it to run out of the end onto a sheet pan. (see below)

I can slide a 15' section of casing on in less than 10 seconds using these two tips.

Also, I place a very large sheet pan under the stuffer horn to catch the sausage and excess water. The little bit of water helps to lubricate the tray and keeps the sausage coil from sticking. So much easier to work with the sausage coil like this, you can spin it with one hand to keep the coil going and don.t have to stop and pick it up with 2 hands.

With these tips, I can fly through stuffing sausages by myself.

You're welcome. Happy stuffing.
 
Last edited:

indaswamp

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I'll add this here as well:
 This will be a lot of information at once so please bear with me.

For starters: Always use a 2% salt solution by weight of meat. This results in a perfectly seasoned sausage, every time. So if i was using a recipe that called for 1kg of meat I would use 20g of salt. I always use the metric system for sausages, it is easier and more precise to scale.

The reason for this percentage is two-fold. One is the human tongue can only withstand up to a 2.5% salt concentration before we find it inedible. Two is that microbial growth is greatly slowed from a range of 2%-5%. After 10% it stops completely. This percentage helps prevent spoilage.

To touch on microbiology briefly. The only food borne illnesses that you would need to be worried about (i.e. that wont die and be rendered harmless by reaching temperatures above 165F) are toxin mediated infections. The most popular is botulism. Which btw means sausage in Latin. The time it takes clostridium botulinum to begin to produce spores is about 72hrs in ideal conditions (danger zone.) By combining meat with salt, sodium nitrate, and various spices you are slowing down that growth. You would need to smoke the sausage for a couple days in the danger zone before you would have to worry. Also if your temperature brought the sausage above 150ish you kill the bacteria. Once the bacteria is neutralized there is no risk. It is only if the bacteria were allowed to produce toxins that you should be concerned as you cannot destroy those toxins by heat. Toxin mediated infections need time and proper conditions.

For the rest of the micro world: Most of it will die when you combine your meat with salt and curing agents. The rest will die when you cook the sausage. I would not worry about the danger zone when smoking. Especially when smoking between 225F-300F. The conditions are terrible for the growth of bad bugs. If you want to try your hand at cold smoking, I recommend a lot of research. Botulism is one of the most lethal neuro-toxin in the known world.

Buy fresh meat. Respect the danger zone when storing and preparing. Make sure sausages are cooked through.

Ponder for a moment: these methods came about as a way to preserve meat and prevent illness. Trust the tradition.
If you find this impossible, trust the science.

On to a Master Recipe:
2268g(5#) Meat
45g Salt
2t Black Pepper
1t Pink Salt (optional)

This recipe highlights 3 very important ratios.
2% salt, 2t/5# pepper, 1t/5# pink salt.
All are great rules of thumb when creating sausages.
From here you can add whatever spices you desire.
Recommend adding in the 1t/5# range to start.

I also recommend reading Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman. It is an excellent first resource.

I hope you find this information useful.
 
pulled from another blog I follow...
 

SFLsmkr1

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FYI

Len Poli recipes are under CR= CopyRight.

Please do not post his recipe without his permission. I for one would be highly upset if he closed his site with so many recipes.

I dont think he minds if you post his link to his site.
 

indaswamp

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Tip:

When changing the water on casing soaking in a bowl, hold the casing with one hand and pour out the old water. Then, keep your hand on the casing while pulling it to one side of the bowl. fill the bowl on the opposite side away from your hand over the casings. Doing this will prevent the casings from becoming entangled into a Gordian knot!
 

shyzabrau

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FYI

Len Poli recipes are under CR= CopyRight.

Please do not post his recipe without his permission. I for one would be highly upset if he closed his site with so many recipes.

I dont think he minds if you post his link to his site.
From the US Copyright Office:

"Copyright law does not protect recipes that are mere listings of ingredients. Nor does it protect other mere listings of ingredients such as those found in formulas, compounds, or prescriptions. Copyright protection may, however, extend to substantial literary expression—a description, explanation, or illustration, for example—that accompanies a recipe or formula or to a combination of recipes, as in a cookbook."
 

daveomak

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The question is more of a moral standard issue, other than a legal one, among us folks here on this forum...  Len Poli, through years of work, put together his recipe collection and a few from others that he gave credit to..  He requests you not publish same...   He notes they are copyright and below is the standard to which copyrights are held... 

Do as you wish...    We attempt to respect the man and his works...

http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/faqs/copyright-protection/#top
[h3]Copyright Protection: What it Is, How it Works[/h3]
Frequently asked questions to help you protect your creative work and avoid infringing the rights of others.

Contents
[h3]What role does a copyright notice play?[/h3]
Until 1989, a published work had to contain a valid copyright notice to receive protection under the copyright laws. But this requirement is no longer in force — works first published after March 1, 1989 need not include a copyright notice to gain protection under the law.

But even though a copyright notice is not required, it’s still important to include one. When a work contains a valid notice, an infringer cannot claim in court that he or she didn’t know it was copyrighted. This makes it much easier to win a copyright infringement case and perhaps collect enough damages to make the cost of the case worthwhile. And the very existence of a notice might discourage infringement.

Finally, including a copyright notice may make it easier for a potential infringer to track down a copyright owner and legitimately obtain permission to use the work.
[h3]What is a valid copyright notice?[/h3]
A copyright notice should contain:
  • the word “copyright”
  • a “c” in a circle ([emoji]169[/emoji])
  • the date of publication, and
  • the name of either the author or the owner of all the copyright rights in the published work.
For example, the correct copyright for the ninth edition of The Copyright Handbook, by Stephen Fishman (Nolo) isCopyright [emoji]169[/emoji] 2006 by Stephen Fishman.

In the United States, a copyright owner can significantly enhance the protection afforded by a basic copyright. This is done by registering the copyright with the U.S. Copyright office. See Copyright Registration and Enforcement.
[h5]International Copyright Protection[/h5]
Copyright protection rules are fairly similar worldwide, due to several international copyright treaties, the most important of which is the Berne Convention. Under this treaty, all member countries — and there are more than 100, including virtually all industrialized nations — must afford copyright protection to authors who are nationals of any member country. This protection must last for at least the life of the author plus 50 years, and must be automatic without the need for the author to take any legal steps to preserve the copyright.

In addition to the Berne Convention, the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) treaty contains a number of provisions that affect copyright protection in signatory countries. Together, the Berne Copyright Convention and the GATT treaty allow U.S. authors to enforce their copyrights in most industrialized nations, and allow the nationals of those nations to enforce their copyrights in the U.S.
[h3]When can I use a work without the author’s permission?[/h3]
When a work becomes available for use without permission from a copyright owner, it is said to be “in the public domain.” Most works enter the public domain because their copyrights have expired.

To determine whether a work is in the public domain and available for use without the author’s permission, you first have to find out when it was published. Then apply the following rules to see if the copyright has expired:
  • All works published in the United States before 1923 are in the public domain.
  • Works published after 1922, but before 1978 are protected for 95 years from the date of publication. If the work was created, but not published, before 1978, the copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. However, even if the author died over 70 years ago, the copyright in an unpublished work lasts until December 31, 2002.
  • For works published after 1977, the copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. However, if the work is a work for hire (that is, the work is done in the course of employment or has been specifically commissioned) or is published anonymously or under a pseudonym, the copyright lasts between 95 and 120 years, depending on the date the work is published.
  • Lastly, if the work was published between 1923 and 1963, you must check with the U.S. Copyright Office to see whether the copyright was properly renewed. If the author failed to renew the copyright, the work has fallen into the public domain and you may use it.
The Copyright Office will check renewal information for you, at a charge of $150 per hour. (Call the Reference & Bibliography Section at 202-707-6850.) You can also hire a private copyright search firm to see if a renewal was filed. Finally, you may be able to conduct a renewal search yourself. The renewal records for works published from 1950 to the present are available online at www.copyright.gov. Renewal searches for earlier works can be conducted at the Copyright Office in Washington D.C. or by visiting one of the many government depository libraries throughout the country. Call the Copyright Office for more information.

With one important exception, you should assume that every work is protected by copyright unless you can establish that it is not. As mentioned above, you can’t rely on the presence or absence of a copyright notice ([emoji]169[/emoji]) to make this determination, because a notice is not required for works published after March 1, 1989. And even for works published before 1989, the absence of a copyright notice may not affect the validity of the copyright — for example, if the author made diligent attempts to correct the situation.

The exception is for materials put to work under the “fair use rule.” This rule recognizes that society can often benefit from the unauthorized use of copyrighted materials when the purpose of the use serves the ends of scholarship, education or an informed public. For example, scholars must be free to quote from their research resources in order to comment on the material. To strike a balance between the needs of a public to be well-informed and the rights of copyright owners to profit from their creativity, Congress passed a law authorizing the use of copyrighted materials in certain circumstances deemed to be “fair” — even if the copyright owner doesn’t give permission.

Often, it’s difficult to know whether a court will consider a proposed use to be fair. The fair use statute requires the courts to consider the following questions in deciding this issue:
  • Is it a competitive use? (In other words, if the use potentially affects the sales of the copied material, it’s usually not fair.)
  • How much material was taken compared to the entire work of which the material was a part? (The more someone takes, the less likely it is that the use is fair.)
  • How was the material used? Is it a transformative use? (If the material was used to help create something new it is more likely to be considered a fair use that if it is merely copied verbatim into another work. Criticism, comment, news reporting, research, scholarship and non-profit educational uses are most likely to be judged fair uses. Uses motivated primarily by a desire for a commercial gain are less likely to be fair use).
As a general rule, if you are using a small portion of somebody else’s work in a non-competitive way and the purpose for your use is to benefit the public, you’re on pretty safe ground. On the other hand, if you take large portions of someone else’s expression for your own purely commercial reasons, the rule usually won’t apply.
[h5]If You Want to Use Material on the Internet[/h5]
Each day, people post vast quantities of creative material on the Internet — material that is available for downloading by anyone who has the right computer equipment. Because the information is stored somewhere on an Internet server, it is fixed in a tangible medium and potentially qualifies for copyright protection. Whether it does, in fact, qualify depends on other factors that you would have no way of knowing about, such as when the work was first published (which affects the need for a copyright notice), whether the copyright in the work has been renewed (for works published before 1978), whether the work is a work made for hire (which affects the length of the copyright) and whether the copyright owner intends to dedicate the work to the public domain. If you want to download the material for use in your own work, you should be cautious. It’s best to track down the author of the material and ask for permission. Generally, you can claim a fair use right for using a very small portion of text for commentary, scholarship or smilar purposes.
 

shyzabrau

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Dave,

I agree with what you say. I was just pointing out that recipes are not protected under copyright protection. None of what you posted contradicts that.

We could ask people not to post the recipes out of respect for the originator, but not pretend that copyright protection has anything to do with it.
 

indaswamp

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FWIW, I did not lift that quote from Len Poli's site. It came from another site. If that indeed is a direct quote from Len's site, I posted it unknowingly and will remove it if the Admin requests me to do so.
 

crankybuzzard

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FWIW, I did not lift that quote from Len Poli's site. It came from another site. If that indeed is a direct quote from Len's site, I posted it unknowingly and will remove it if the Admin requests me to do so.
No issues with quotes, just give credit to the originator.
 

indaswamp

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Here is something I do that makes clean up a breeze. I cover the grinder with saran wrap.

View media item 532623
Be sure to cover the switch too...

View media item 532624
When you are finished grinding, simply pull it off and discard. Rarely ever do I get meat paste on the grinder housing using this trick. Just be sure to not cover the vents so the fan can cool the unit.
 

crankybuzzard

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Indaswamp, that's a very good idea that I'll use!

Pointing that one!
 

atomicsmoke

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How did i miss this? And where were you when i first made sausage?

Excellent tips.
 

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