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My toys have arrived... but I need some help.

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by smoke_chef, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. smoke_chef

    smoke_chef Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    My Northern Tool Grinder and LEM foot switch came in. I also have some 32mm Collagen Casings. I'm ready to make some sort of sausage but I'm not sure what to make. Also, this package of casing doesn't have any type of instructions. It does say "DO NOT SOAK" which I thought was the first step. What ever sausage I make, I want to be able to smoke it. I'll get the Rytek book but I want to make something now. I know... I'm like a five year old. But, I'm just really excited about giving this a try. Any thoughts?


  2. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    With the collagen casings you just slide them dry over the stuffing tube and start stuffing and then smoke. When it comes to eating the product that is in collagen casings I prefer to peel the casing off, personally I don't care for the texture to eat collagen casings.

    Oh ya, congrats on the the new toys Smoke_Chef !!!
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2010
  3. princess

    princess Smoking Fanatic

    Don't soak them. I know, it seems wierd, but once you accordian them out (slowly and carefully) you will understand more. Also.. DON'T TWIST. It won't work. You must tie.

    Yay! Welcome to sausage!!
  4. princess

    princess Smoking Fanatic

    I don't mind eating them if they are cooked "wet" like boiling bratwurst or simmering breakfast sausage. Helps quite a bit.
  5. I use collagen casings for snack sticks only.  everything else goes into hog casings.
  6. werdwolf

    werdwolf Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Make sure you keep them absolutely dry.  water and collagen not so good.  I have used them only for snack sticks, but they should hold sausage OK if you want to get going.
  7. pineywoods

    pineywoods SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    Did you order some cure? For a first run I would keep it pretty simple and use pork butts
  8. smoke_chef

    smoke_chef Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Hmmm... cure... nope. Didn't think of that. Dang it. I think I'll be running to Bass Pro to return these casings in the next few days anyway. So, other than a recipe... I need cure and hog casings. What sort of store carries that stuff? Or does it pretty much need to be ordered from the internet? Wow... I'm such a noob to this. Maybe I need to cool my jets and do more research? I looked at Amazon.com and it seems there are a ton of books on the subject. Is Rytek Kutas' book the best? It seems that I saw that name a lot in all the posts I've read. Or, maybe I should be searching websites? I found this recipe on a website. It seems pretty simple?

    Polish Sausage

    3-lbs ground pork
    2-lbs ground beef
    5-tsp salt
    2-tsp pepper
    1-tbsp marjoram
    6-minced garlic cloves
    1/2-tsp cayenne pepper

    Combine all ingredients; mix well & stuff into hog casing

    I guess this type of sausage requires no cure? That's why it has to be eaten within a couple of days or frozen right? So cure would be for summer sausage or something like that? Sorry... I'm kind of thinking out loud via the keyboard. It's about 12:30 a.m. and I can't sleep. My mind is all over the place. I don't know why this seems so overwhelming... but it does. I'm determined though to become a great sausage maker. [​IMG]
  9. smoke_chef

    smoke_chef Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Thanks... I've been wanting to do this for a while. It was really your recent jumbo post that made me finally pull the trigger and get the stuff.
  10. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Congratulations on the acquistions.  Besides  Rytek's text you may want to consider picking up  Charcuterie written by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polycn  It has good information in it also that you can cross reference with Rytek's. Let the fun begin.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2010
  11. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    A word of advice with this recipe. Easy on the garlic. You dont want the garlic taste to stay with you for hours after you eat the sausage   [​IMG]
  12. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    With most sausage, cured or not it should be eaten in a few days or frozen. One thing the cure does, is it allows you to smoke for a longer time, at a lower temp, or to even make sausage the way Princess did & posted. It's good to get Rytek's book, and do a lot of studying before you use a recipe & make your own. If you're in a hurry, you could get a premix, and do exactly what they say on the package or box. Most of those are pretty much straight forward.

    Just my 2 cents,

  13. uncle_lar

    uncle_lar Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    allot of premix recipes call for the addition of cure also if ytou are going to smoke the sausage

    as far as casings, if you have a grocer in your area that makes sausage they usually have extra hanks of casing you can buy, just ask

    you can also buy them online at Lem , sausage maker, butcher packer and the likes

    for sure get Ryteks book and read, also ask any questions here that you may have there is a wealth of knowledge here for the asking
  14. Two things come to mind. I don't want to rain on your parade but, As mentioned collagen cases aren't very good for fresh sausage, they get soggy if pre boiled, you cant link them by twisting. I use natural hog or sheep cases for fresh sausage, I use the collagen for smoked and dreid sausages like pepperoni, or snack stix.

    Problem #2 stuffing sausage with a grinder is an exercise in frustration, it can be done but if you get a sausage stuffer you will love making sausage.

    The two great mistakes in making sausages are not enough fat in the mix, You need 20-40% fat!!! I prefer 25%, The next mistake is not mixing enough. When mixing in the spices it must be done at just above freezing. When mixed the meat mixture will get gooey and thick. This is the moisin in the meat , fat and water combining to make sausage meat, It only happens at low temps. If the temp is too high you get meat loaf not sausage..

    Sorry for the negativity but its good advice enjoy your new hobby. 
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2010
  15. smoke_chef

    smoke_chef Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Hey Big-Guy... really to all of you that have posted advice... There is no negativity or bad input of any kind... all of it is greatly appreciated. I'm brand new to this and I want to learn. I want to learn it right. I love this site. There are so many great people here!!  I am going to slow down a bit. Do some reading... study up a bit. But I look forward to posting my first sausage soon.

    Thanks to all...

  16. pineywoods

    pineywoods SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    You can hot smoke the sausage that you make without cure. I would suggest going and finding some beef and grind your own burger then make some nice big hamburgers that will allow you to play with your new toy and get some good practice with the grinding part first.
  17. princess

    princess Smoking Fanatic

    Yeah... taking veal/pork/beef trim and scraps and grinding up your own meatloaf with spices in... Mmm. That is some good stuff too.

  18. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I have used collegen casings only for smoked snack sticks. But I'm not sure that you can use them for anything else.
  19. uncle_lar

    uncle_lar Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I stuff my fresh breakfast sausage in 22mm collegen casings too .the ones I use for it are made for the it

    I use 17mm for snack sticks and they are a little thicker so they dont break when you hang in the smoker

    all my other smoked sausage is stuffed in natural hog casing
  20. shooterrick

    shooterrick Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well just my 2 cents but you could start simple with a fresh breakfast or Italian sausage and not stuff.  Just prepackage in one pound vac bags if ya got a vac machine.  While I do link my Italian I never link my breadfast sausage.  Remember fresh sausage without cure must be used or frozen promptly.