Kielbasa Quest chapter 2: Smokies

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HushyQ

Meat Mopper
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Dec 30, 2023
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Cleveland, Ohio
Well, it was time to try and fix my first Polish Sausage recipe and this time I decided to slow down a bit. A little too ambitious(ie stupid) the first time around making 17 lbs. I also had some sheep casings from my butcher that I haven't touched so I decided to crack 2 nuts. Play with recipe & try my hand at sheep casings.
So here's my first attempt at what we always called "Smokies". Many of the old butchers around here make them and they are basically a smaller, drier version of their polish or slovenian sausage. We grew up on these and I thought what the hell.
The result was pretty darn tasty and I didn't even get to fully dry them before they were gone. I also lost probably a pound because the test patties were so tasty the wife and I had polish sausage burgers for lunch while they dried out.
I feel very confident that if you like a bold, garlicky, really smokey "Smokie". This recipe will not disappoint. In fact, its the gift that keeps on giving as you'll taste em for a while. Kinda like "Polish Breath Mints", lol.
Mix.jpg

Test Patty.jpg

Stuffed & dried.jpg

Start Smoke.jpg

Bloomin.jpg

1 day dry in fridge.jpg

5lb Rudys Ground Chuck(90/10) From my butcher Rudys Fine Meats


1 lb pork fat ground fine plate


Total = 2721 grams





cure .25% =6.8 grams


salt 1.8%=49 grams( 20 g MSG & 29 grams kosher)


Course pepper 1%=27 grams


(Lanes)Granulated Garlic 2.5%=68 g


marjoram? = 1 TBL doesn’t weigh on scale.



8 oz water





mixed and mixed and mixed and it just didn’t get as sticky it needed it to be


added 30 g NDMP cause I wanted to use as little as possible and that was enough to get the bind I wanted.


Test Patty was Soooooooo Good. MSG must stand for Magic Shit Goombah


Stuffed into Sheep casings, placed on racks and dried in front of fan for 3 hrs turning once. Thanks again for SmokinEdge casing tips as I thought I would have a hard time with these little suckers. Nope. A couple blowouts but my own fault not moving em down the horn when they started to stick.


put on smoker with 2 tubes of cherry chips and cherry pellets


after 3 hours both tubes were almost gone. added cherry chips to another tube and went another 45 min.


took off smoker and got Treager to 175 and placed the smokies back on grill to get to IT of 155. My stuffing skills still not there yet so my sticks were inconsistent in width so temp varied from 161 to 151



Gave cold shower and placed on rack to bloom for 3 hours in front of fan on low


Tasted a couple of broken pieces and the FLAVOR WAS REALLY CLOSE. LIKE, MAYBE THIS IS THE POLISH SAUSAGE RECIPE OF MY DREAMS.



cut into sticks and placed on rack in fridge to dry out overnight.

I will Definitely be using this recipe and grinding my own Pork and Beef to make sausage. Stay Tuned.
 
Oh, I forgot. After the meat cured for 12 hours in fridge I added 8 more ounces of water before stuffing to loosen it up and really try and get those wrinkles.
 
Those look delicious to me. Add some nutmeg and caraway and you’d have a Kabanosy. Very delicious dried meat stick. Nice work and stay after it.
 
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Yes, does look pretty good.

What I eventually realized was when trying out new recipes, 5 pounds makes for a good size for a test run. A lot of recipes show spices for 10 pounds, so is easy to cut that into half. And if using pork, almost any pork butt will yield at least 5 pounds when trimmed and ready to grind. If its good, you can make more next time. If dismal failure, you only have 5 pounds to toss or somehow get rid of.

And for that amount, also possible to simply buy ground pork or beef for the test run.
 
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Those look delicious to me. Add some nutmeg and caraway and you’d have a Kabanosy. Very delicious dried meat stick. Nice work and stay after it.
Thanks SE!!! That sounds delicious. Can you give me the amount of each you would add to this recipe?
 
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Yes, does look pretty good.

What I eventually realized was when trying out new recipes, 5 pounds makes for a good size for a test run. A lot of recipes show spices for 10 pounds, so is easy to cut that into half. And if using pork, almost any pork butt will yield at least 5 pounds when trimmed and ready to grind. If its good, you can make more next time. If dismal failure, you only have 5 pounds to toss or somehow get rid of.

And for that amount, also possible to simply buy ground pork or beef for the test run.
Thanks Warden!!! And thank God I've never had to say that before, lol.
Yeah, I kicked myself with that first giant batch. I'll let you know how it transfers to the hog casings. I think I'll do 5 lbs of this recipe and 5 lbs with SmokinEdge advice of caraway and nutmeg.
 
Smokey Batch 2 bind.jpg

Smokies batch 2.jpg


Rather than start a new thread I thought I'd just update this with my 2nd attempt at "Smokies"
Same recipe as above except for a few minor changes. Using feedback from family and friends I decided to cut down a bit on garlic & salt & change the salt/msg ratio, increase the black pepper, and cut down on smoke.
Same Amt of meat and fat. Reduced salt from 49 to 45 grams(29 grams salt/16 g MSG). Reduced garlic from 68 to 64g. Increased Course black pepper from 27 to 32 g. Reduced smoke from 3 hr 45 min. to 2 1/2 hours.
Also, taking the advice of SmokinEdge SmokinEdge , I decided to add some caraway and nutmeg to half the batch to make what he called Kobosany. Damn good call SmokinEdge SmokinEdge . Very subtle addition but noticeable in a very good way. The occassional caraway on the back end was delightful. Son and Daughter preferred the original but I thought both were Excellent. I think I will be doing 1/2 n 1/2 from now on. You can see in pic that I linked the Kobosany ones and the original recipe was roped. The reduced smoke and garlic was a huge success. Very close to same taste but this way doesn't give you all-day smokey breath. Not that there's anything wrong with that of course.

I have a few questions if any of you snack stickers or smokey masters could lend a hand.
My sheep casings had way more blowouts the second time around. I am wondering if it is because I soaked way too many the first time and just drained em and re-packed em in salt. While I must say these were by far the most tender casings I have ever produced, did soaking them, storing them and then soaking again make them more tender and more susceptible to blowouts? Am I safe to do this?

Also, what is your preferred way to get these really dried?
I use same method as making sausage. Cold smoke then put on Treager at 170 until IT reaches 155-160. Cold bath. Bloom. Place on rack uncovered in fridge for up to 1 week(they are always gone before the week is up, lol). Would placing these on racks in my oven at the lowest setting with door ajar be a good way to dry these more quickly?

For those of you who Sous Vide, which I have never done but thinking of purchasing, would you just cold smoke for selected time and then Sous Vide until IT 155? In a bag or just dropped in water bath? Any recommendations on brand and container you use?

Any and all welcome. Thanks!
 
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I have a few questions if any of you snack stickers or smokey masters could lend a hand.
My sheep casings had way more blowouts the second time around. I am wondering if it is because I soaked way too many the first time and just drained em and re-packed em in salt. While I must say these were by far the most tender casings I have ever produced, did soaking them, storing them and then soaking again make them more tender and more susceptible to blowouts? Am I safe to do this?
First off I want to say that’s nice work there and I like that you are staying with it and dialing in your recipe.

First thing I see is that you meat batter looks a bit dry, this will cause the meat to stick or not flow well in the casing. So add water at 40-60g/Kg to soften it up, its a feel thing on consistency. The casing prep, you should store your casings wet with 26% salt, you know your salt percentage is right when salt stops dissolving in the water and just sits, that’s the 26% saturation point. Also when you pull out what you will use, rinse them inside out with lukewarm water to flush the salt then into a bowl with enough water to cover then a splash of baking soda and mix, let set at least 20 minutes. This will velvet the casing making it supple and much slicker on the stuffing horn helping the casing slide of easier, which a sticky casing can cause blowouts as well.

Also, what is your preferred way to get these really dried?
I use same method as making sausage. Cold smoke then put on Treager at 170 until IT reaches 155-160. Cold bath. Bloom. Place on rack uncovered in fridge for up to 1 week(they are always gone before the week is up, lol). Would placing these on racks in my oven at the lowest setting with door ajar be a good way to dry these more quickly?
To dry them further I wrap them in red butcher paper or preferably just put them in a brown paper bag closed up and into the fridge a week or so, they dry nicely.
For those of you who Sous Vide, which I have never done but thinking of purchasing, would you just cold smoke for selected time and then Sous Vide until IT 155? In a bag or just dropped in water bath? Any recommendations on brand and container you use?

You really don’t need to SV, I mostly use a large stock pot on the stove top, keeping the water between 160 and 170, on and off the burner, until my desired IT which doesn’t take long and yes mine go in naked.
 
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First off I want to say that’s nice work there and I like that you are staying with it and dialing in your recipe.

First thing I see is that you meat batter looks a bit dry, this will cause the meat to stick or not flow well in the casing. So add water at 40-60g/Kg to soften it up, its a feel thing on consistency. The casing prep, you should store your casings wet with 26% salt, you know your salt percentage is right when salt stops dissolving in the water and just sits, that’s the 26% saturation point. Also when you pull out what you will use, rinse them inside out with lukewarm water to flush the salt then into a bowl with enough water to cover then a splash of baking soda and mix, let set at least 20 minutes. This will velvet the casing making it supple and much slicker on the stuffing horn helping the casing slide of easier, which a sticky casing can cause blowouts as well.
Thanks SmokinEdge SmokinEdge . I appreciate the feedback. I have always just gone by feel with my water. I should probably be more precise. My first batch I definitely used more water as I read it will help give the wrinkly texture that looks so nice. I think you are correct that this was not wet enough.
I have used your baking soda tip and it has worked brilliantly up until this batch. I have been soaking for 24 to 48 hours though.

To dry them further I wrap them in red butcher paper or preferably just put them in a brown paper bag closed up and into the fridge a week or so, they dry nicely.
excellent.

You really don’t need to SV, I mostly use a large stock pot on the stove top, keeping the water between 160 and 170, on and off the burner, until my desired IT which doesn’t take long and yes mine go in naked.
Now that sounds easy peasy. You do that with your sausages too or just smokies? Seems like really good idea. I don't think I get any additional smoke when putting on the Treager so why not save the pellets and lightly poach to IT. I will try, Thanks again!!!
 
Thanks SmokinEdge SmokinEdge . I appreciate the feedback. I have always just gone by feel with my water. I should probably be more precise. My first batch I definitely used more water as I read it will help give the wrinkly texture that looks so nice. I think you are correct that this was not wet enough.
I have used your baking soda tip and it has worked brilliantly up until this batch. I have been soaking for 24 to 48 hours though.


excellent.


Now that sounds easy peasy. You do that with your sausages too or just smokies? Seems like really good idea. I don't think I get any additional smoke when putting on the Treager so why not save the pellets and lightly poach to IT. I will try, Thanks again!!!
My casings stay wet the whole time I store them. Also if you are using the “home pack” that does 25# pounds of sausage and are packed in just salt, those are mostly ends and pieces and have nicks and cuts in them. Sheep casings are the most difficult to work with in general, but buying by the Hank and storing them properly will solve a lot of issues, also I work slower with sheep casings, don’t get in a hurry, go slow and easy because they just are more delicate.

Here is a great read on casing storage. Joe really nailed down for us the best practice for storing our casings. Give this a read.

https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/how-to-handle-natural-casings.159729/
 
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Here is a great read on casing storage. Joe really nailed down for us the best practice for storing our casings. Give this a read.

https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/how-to-handle-natural-casings.159729/
Excellent post by boykjo boykjo . Good to know I can soak the whole hank and then put back what I dont use. At first i was trying to pull just what I needed and it was a tangled mess and I could never gauge how much to use. Really sucks to not soak enough casings. Good thing my wife and I love the patties too, lol.
I have gotten a large amount of sheep and pig from my butcher. Not sure if it is a hank or not but it is a bunch in a big plastic bag. I'm 4 batches of sausage and 2 batches of smokies and I still have a ton left. I have just been eyeballing a bunch of pickling salt with what I don't use and put em in the coldest part of the fridge. I may try boykjo boykjo tip of putting a capful of vinegar too.

Thanks for all the help SmokinEdge SmokinEdge ! And the Kabanosy tip. Love it!!!!!
 
Excellent post by boykjo boykjo . Good to know I can soak the whole hank and then put back what I dont use. At first i was trying to pull just what I needed and it was a tangled mess and I could never gauge how much to use. Really sucks to not soak enough casings. Good thing my wife and I love the patties too, lol.
I have gotten a large amount of sheep and pig from my butcher. Not sure if it is a hank or not but it is a bunch in a big plastic bag. I'm 4 batches of sausage and 2 batches of smokies and I still have a ton left. I have just been eyeballing a bunch of pickling salt with what I don't use and put em in the coldest part of the fridge. I may try boykjo boykjo tip of putting a capful of vinegar too.

Thanks for all the help SmokinEdge SmokinEdge ! And the Kabanosy tip. Love it!!!!!
The vinegar is more for offsetting the off odor natural casings can have. I’ve kept some casings this way for well over a year and they were still perfect.

You are more than welcome. Glad I could be helpful and a part of your experience. Always.
 
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When I make BGKY's pepperoni snack sticks I wrap them in UNCOATED butchers paper and leave them in the fridge for a week or so. They dry out really nicely. It's a tip I picked up here after surfing the boards a bunch regarding packaging. I can't recall which one of these fine members provided the info though.

You would have to keep an eye on them and pull them they hit your desired 'dryness'.
 
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