i need help with sausage links please

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Jul 19, 2013
I make my sausage using LEM seasoning. I stuff the casings. Then I twist them to make links. Here is the problem. I can't get the twist to stay. The links always come undone. What am I doing wrong? I know it is probably simple but it is becoming a pain. Any help is very welcome.
I am using lem casing not natural. I tried the twisting in opposite directions
I'm guessing you're using collagen casings. If so they don't hold a twist very well and need to be tied with string.
So if I am understanding everyone. The issue is probably the casings? If I get the natural casings the will hold a twist better
I have read a lot of reviews about different sheep casings. Most of them talk about torn casings and hard to work with. Which ones do you fine folks find best to use? Thanks
Syracuse Casing has quality casings and they sell them pretubed, which is by far the easiest way to go.
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do you still need to rinse out and soak pretubed casings ? 

John .......... depending on how big you like your sausages you might try hog casings ......... thats what most folks use for brats ........  they dont tear as easy as sheep casings 

The first question i would have is what type of sausage are you making?  If making links i would stay away from collegen casings and stick with natural casings unless you want to spend time tying links.  There is no need to buy pre-tubed casings if you take the time to flush and rinse the casings and store the cleaned casings in water with one tablespoon of vinegar per cup of water [overnight is the best].  Then rinse the casings well and they are ready to use.  Do not overfill the casings.  When i stuff the casings i prick the casings in a few places.  This makes it easier to form each link and lets some excess air out of the casings as well. Make sure you have room between the links so each link can be twisted properly.  I have been twisting links for over 45 years now and have never twisted in opposite directions on each link.  If it works for some fine, but i have never done this while in the buisness or now for just the enjoyment of still making sausage.  Use the proper casing with the proper stuffing tube and type of size of link you prefer.  I dont like using sheep casings and stick with hog casings for most of what i make.  Hog casings do come in different sizes and you can search for them on line for what size you like.  

The top pic is a meat tenderizer i use to prick the casings when they are streched out prior to linking like the bottom pic.  The corn on the cob holder on the bottom pic also works great.  I dont poke a lot of holes in the links [maby two or three per link on average.  I poke these tiny holes prior to linking.  I know a lot of folks have their way of stuffing and linking and if it works great, this works for me.  Reinhard
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there is a technique for twisting links that I can do but probably cant explain . Basically you twist every other link . You pinch off both ends and give it a spin . move down 6 inches and do it again . No need to spin in opposite direction . You can link a 5-6 ft casing in about 1 minute .
Thanks for the video. Seems very simple. I have some natural casings on the way
I have a question on this topic as well so I'll go ahead and post it here rather than start a new topic.  I've watched the videos and seen the technique where the entire casing is filled and then you go back and twist your links.  I'm going to be making sausage for my first time next weekend.  The recipe says to cut the casings into 17" lengths, fill and then tie.  That seems like an awful lot of work having to put all those 17" lengths on to the stuffing tube.  I'd much rather do the whole casing at once and then link them.

The sausage I'm making has rice and cooked meat that get's stuffed.  I'm wondering if perhaps that might be too stiff to use the twist/link method and that's why it says to cut to length first and tie?  Also, the sausages are par boiled in water for 1 minute after they are stuffed.  If I use the twist/link and cut method and drop each cut link in the water I'm wondering if the ends would break open if not tied? 

I know I can experiment next weekend but would like to get some of your thoughts ahead of time so that I have an idea of what my options are.

I make boudin. I twist as I go. If you cut short link and boil. I bet contents will come out.
The only real luck I've had with making links with collagen casings is to chain link them and then smoke.  Once "cooked", the "twist" sort of stays in place after you cut them apart.  If you just HAVE to have links with a "twist" at the end of each, tie with 2 pieces of string and leave a small gap between each to trim between.

Best bet would be to use the natural casings and Syracuse is HARD to beat.

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