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Comments on my first go-around appreciated

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by tojo70, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. tojo70

    tojo70 Newbie

    I'm taking the advice of another poster on here and laying out my sausage making plan to get comments to make sure I'm doing this right for my first sausage smoking experience.

    I have ordered casings, seasonings (bratwurst and sweet italian from sausagemaker.com) along with instacure # 1. I have pork butts in the freezer and will begin thawing them in the fridge starting tomorrow.

    I am planning on doing some small batches (probably 5 lbs each) of the italian, then a mixture of regular brats, cheddar and jalapeno cheddar. I want to do some small batches and see which one I like.

    I plan on grinding Saturday morning, mixing the dry and wet ingredients and mixing them. I have read where you should mix the spices into the wet ingredients to help dissolve and mix them.

    So here's question number 1: Do I put the instacure in with the wet ingredients or keep that dry, sprinkle over the meat and then mix, or can I just mix it in the wet ingredients as I do with the seasoning packet?

    Question number 2: After stuffing, do I need to let the meat sit for any amount of time in the fridge?

    I'll then be smoking the sausage with mesquite chunks (or apple chips or both. Hell, I don't know. That's why I'm here.) Planning on starting the smoking process temp at 130 then gradually raising it to 160-165 and smoking until an internal temp of 152-155.

    Then into an ice water bath until internal temp is 120. Then hang with fan on and dry for about 30-45 minutes.

    Question # 3: I am going to vacuum seal them so do I need to let them "rest" in the fridge for a day (or any length of time) before vacuum sealing?

    One of the recipes calls for Soy Protein Concentrate. I forgot to order that, and all I could find around town was Soy Protein Isolate. From reading they look like they're both similar and will do the job needed, but just want to make sure.
  2. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I follow what the recipe says to do.

    I cut the meat into chunks then add the spices and cure mixed up in a slurry.

    Then into a ziplock and into the fridge overnight.

    Grind very cold the next day and stuff.

    Uncovered in the fridge overnight.

    Smoker the next day at 100,no smoke for an hour.

    130 for 2 hours with smoke,165 with smoke til 155 IT.

    That's how I do most. Others get done a little different.

    If you don't have Charcuterie and the Rytek book you should get them.

    I am also a big Len Poli fan.


    Good luck and have fun.

    Last edited: Dec 28, 2010
  3. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    I'll be looking for the qview, one word of caution, start out with lighter woods first. Mesquite can get out of hand really quick, especially chunks. You can't remove the smoke but not smokey enough you can live with.
  4. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    non fat dry milk from your local supermarket
  5. 1 mix all seasonings together with cure i add 1 oz of water per pound of meat. mix seasoning, cure and water in bowl and add to meat, the water does nothing in thinning out the seasoning and will help keep the meat a little slick while stuffing. 2 no you do not have to let them sit in the fridge you can smoke them right away only when you  cure whole muscle do you have to let it sit over night. 3 you can package them after they have cooled but i always let sausage sit in the fridge over night uncovered to get all the moisture out they will condensate in the fridge as they cool off. As for the soy protein usually its used for a binder depending on how dry your seasonings are it will get thick enough. when i make snack sticks sometimes it gets so thick it will barely go through my stuffer if stuffing with a grinder witch i never had good luck with you need it a little slick otherwise it will just sit and cake in the grinder not being able to get pushed through the horn. but if you recipe has alot of wet ingredients don't worry about the water or if when your mixing and it gets thick don't worry about adding water to slick it up but it helps alot for getting the ingredients mixed in the meat good
  6. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've used mesquite in the past and agree that it can get overpowering.  However, I  tip my hat to you for smoking your sausages. So far I've done only fresh sausages but smoking them is something I'll be doing in the near future.  Take care...and don't forget the Q-views when you can.
  7. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You can mix the cure into the wet ingredients along with the spice pack if you want, I think you get a more even mix that way.

    You need to let the cured stuffed sausage set for the nitrites to do there thing, the cooler the temperature the longer it take. In the frig for 12-24 is recommended. Some people will leave them at room temp for 2-3 hours then smoke.  I do it in the refrig myself. pull them out and let the outside surface dry  then place in the smoker at 100-130 fort an hour or so to aid in drying the outside casing then add the smoke and do as you planned. after cooling let them bloom at room temp (air dry) this will add some color to the product and finish cooling then you could vacpac if you want.

    Soy protein isolate will bind about 20% more water then the concentrate, so I guess you could cut back a bit on it or add a little more water if you'd like, I don't think you'd notice either way, but I can't say for sure.

  8. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    First and foremost follow the recipe you are using on the basics of the cure. You can mess with the other ingredients but the cure needs to be followed exactly until you are an accomplished sausage maker. In the beginning you need to understand the basics and then you can run off and play. You are going to love this whole process. Have fun and be safe  
  9. jeffesonm

    jeffesonm Smoke Blower

    Sounds like you've got the basics down... agree with the others and follow the recipes and you should be good.

    I dissolve all the dry ingredients (spice, cure, etc) into the water and then pour it over the ground meat, mix well, and stuff into the casings.  Usually I do this at night and then hang them in the fridge overnight... figure this helps the flavors mix together and dry out the casings a bit.  Next morning I throw them on the smoker.

    I sometimes wait a bit before vacuum sealing but if so it's more because it's convenient than anything.  I've vacuum sealed right after they cool off and maybe hang for an hour at room temp and they seem to be just fine after.

    Good luck and be sure to post the q-vue!
  10. tojo70

    tojo70 Newbie

    Thanks for all the comments. Sounds like it would be best to grind and stuff on Saturday then let hang over night and smoke on Sunday. Don't have room to hang in the fridge and it sounds like I can't just leave them in the bucket open in the fridge (or can I?). So I'll probably hang them in the garage. Lows here will be in the mid teens on Sat night, so my insulated garage will be in the low to mid 30's. I'll probably hang them in the garage.
  11. que-ball

    que-ball Smoking Fanatic

    You could leave them in the bucket in the fridge overnight.  The cure would work just fine, but they wouldn't dry off on the outside.  Hanging them in the garage just above freezing is a much better option, and there will be less to do in getting them into the smoker the next day.