Smoking natural cased sausage??

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duckybud

Smoke Blower
Original poster
SMF Premier Member
Apr 17, 2011
87
38
Virginia Illinois
I am having all kinds of trouble with the casings becoming so tough that you can't bite through them. I have tried both cold and hot and they both came out the same. I have tried 3 hours to as much as 6 hours all the same. What am I doing wrong?

My unsmoked sausage has just the bite you want, a nice pop, so I don't think it is a problem with the casings. I have also tried a pan of water in the smoker. I am using a fridge smoker with a mailbox mod, that I built with a pid controlled 1500 watt heating element.

Please give me an idea what I am doing wrong!!
 
There's plenty on here about how to prepare casings. Quality casings are important. How you stuff them can be important. If they are way understuffed that can make them seem tougher. I've had really good luck with just hot smoking them.
 
There's plenty on here about how to prepare casings. Quality casings are important. How you stuff them can be important. If they are way understuffed that can make them seem tougher. I've had really good luck with just hot smoking them.
I have read al the casing prep articles and not having problems with unsmoked ones, pretty sure they are not under stuffed as I get blow outs, every once in a while when linking them

Thanks for your ideas
 
If you're happy with the casing prep , we'll skip that .

If you're stuffing and holding in the fridge overnight , make sure they are covered or in a plastic bag .

Before going to the smoker , hang at room temp for 60 to 90 minutes to start the warm up , and dry the casings .

Go into a preheated smoker at the temp you like . I start at 120 , or 130 .

I smoke for color , then I get them cooked . Then longer they hang in the smoker , the tougher the casings will be in my opinion .

You'll get opinions to finish SV . Well , not everyone has a SV machine . I've gone that route , but I prefer poaching on the stove . I get better results faster for what I like .

Poach at 175 for 30 minutes for a hog sized casing . I don't bag .
Adjust your heat control , then adjust the water temp by adding cool water if needed .
I use and electric stove . Gas may be harder to control .

Bottom line for me was a short hang time , and then getting them cooked .

If you don't want to poach , smoke for color . Then do as Jim mentions in post 2 . Finish on the grill , indirect .

I've recently started to stuff , then freeze . Smoke / cook when I want some .
 
Smoking definitely dries the casings. I have a real struggle with that as well. My current humidity is 19% but can day to day dip into single digits or barely double.

Smoking the sausage then bagging them and a fridge rest a couple days then heated on a grill helps, but what works for me best for bite through snappy smoked sausage is to smoke to a good color , I’ll warm smoke about 130F one I have my color I finish in a hot water bath, either SV or a stock pot. I try to average the stock pot water at 160F so it starts at 170, off the burner, sausage goes straight from smoker to the pot. Monitor the temp and when it gets down close to 150 back on the burner till 170 and off the heat. Only takes 20 minutes or so to finish the sausage and then into a cold water bath, you can use ice but I don’t. Then hang to bloom an hour or so. Great bite through with snap for me.
 
I am having all kinds of trouble with the casings becoming so tough that you can't bite through them. I have tried both cold and hot and they both came out the same. I have tried 3 hours to as much as 6 hours all the same. What am I doing wrong?

My unsmoked sausage has just the bite you want, a nice pop, so I don't think it is a problem with the casings. I have also tried a pan of water in the smoker. I am using a fridge smoker with a mailbox mod, that I built with a pid controlled 1500 watt heating element.

Please give me an idea what I am doing wrong!!
Most points already made. I wanted to comment to emphasize the quality aspect.

Usually, I use A graded tubed whisker free casings from Butcher Pantry. These are US or Danish pigs also. Excellent, good texture for brats.

Today I used up some LEM 32-35mm hog casings I had that I'd forgotten, just to get rid of them. I could tell by handling them while rinsing, they are not as delicate. Not sure how they will turn out, smoking now. However,
1. Rinse inside and Soak at least 1 hr.
2. 1 tsp baking soda in soak makes them slippery, easy to handle, maybe better texture
3. Don't over cook, longer smokes make them tougher. Most things get plenty of smoke in 2 hrs, maybe 3, for color and flavor.
4. I smoke at 140 to 150f. After 4 hrs with good color, if I need to expedite I will sous vide.

Good luck!
 
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So, Dave.... you said "Don't overcook" - what are you using to cook? I've been chasing the "snap"
in my sausages for a long time, using WSM, kettle.
 
I am having all kinds of trouble with the casings becoming so tough that you can't bite through them. I have tried both cold and hot and they both came out the same. I have tried 3 hours to as much as 6 hours all the same. What am I doing wrong?

My unsmoked sausage has just the bite you want, a nice pop, so I don't think it is a problem with the casings. I have also tried a pan of water in the smoker. I am using a fridge smoker with a mailbox mod, that I built with a pid controlled 1500 watt heating element.

Please give me an idea what I am doing wrong!! get started
I order my sausage making stuff from sausagemaker.com... My question is.. they only 19mm casing they have is a clear/smoked casing.. I wanted to do snack sticks but always used mahogany.. The clear casings when its smoked should have a nice beautiful color on the snack sticks? I'm looking for presentation as much as taste.. I could go with the 21mm casings.. but I found those snack sticks to be a little too thick to my liking..
 
Use quality casings packed in a salt brine. I use butcher and packer. IMO a superior product above all the rest. A lot of people here use Syracuse casings and Walton's. IMO Sausage maker casings have changed in the past and don't get as soft as they use to so I quit buying from them. Follow these instructions.
What you put in is what you get out. Don't cut corners. Prep your meat and casings and have them ready for stuffing. Stuff the casings tight stretching the casings and making them thinner around the sausage. You will need to follow the casing instructions above to do this. Do not refrigerate and wait to cook another day. After stuffing (while still wet) hang the sausage with a fan blowing towards them until a pellicle forms on the sausage (a tacky surface). Place in smoker and cold smoke with a smoke generator for 2 hours then start heat @ 120 degrees f and increase 10 degrees every hr. Take them to internal temp of 140 and have a 180 degree water bath waiting and poach them until they reach an internal temp of 160 then drop them into an ice bath to cool then hang to bloom. This will give you the snap your looking for.

Hope this helps
 
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All been covered already but I was having the same trouble and chopsaw chopsaw figured out I was hanging them uncovered overnight and that caused the prob. Reread his thread as that’s how I do it now and they come out perfect!
 
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