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Summer sausage "skin" is tough

ctryboy88

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So Im in my second "season" of making venison summer sausage and seem to be having a problem. The finished product is good as far as taste, texture, etc, but when I peel the casing off the chubs have a tougher skin than I got last year. Its still edible but Im just not happy with it. I didnt have this problem last year. My procedure is pretty much like most Ive read about on here. Im using a 70/30 venison/ground pork mix which im happy with. Using sausage maker fibrous red casings and sausage maker seasoning. Im smoking in an MES40 and using a Maverick thermo with accurate probes. The only difference from last season is that I used LEM casings and seasonings last year, and this year I used 1cup of NFDM per 10# batch. I use the same basic temp procedures that Ive seen on here never getting above 170. Sorry for the long post just wanted to give as much info as I could think of. Any ideas are greatly appreciated.
 

SmokinAl

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This question would best be answered by Boykjo. I he doesn't see this soon,just PM him.

Al
 

boykjo

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I cant give you a direct answer but you need to look at what you changed. The casings and the NFDM. I would lean more towards the NFDM binded with the meat and case hardened during the cooking process. I would try a small two batch test next time and see if there is a difference. Case hardening on summer sausage after the casing is peeled of is not a common occurrence.

My 2 cents

Joe
 

ctryboy88

Newbie
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Joined Sep 18, 2013
Thank you, I'll try that. I was happy with my product before, but after reading about NFDM helping with moisture I thought I would try it. I guess I was trying to fix what wasn't really broken lol.
 

jhend

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Did you hang them to dry before or after smoking and can you post a picture?
 

ctryboy88

Newbie
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Joined Sep 18, 2013
I put them in the fridge uncovered overnight then let theme sit on the counter for a couple hours after taking out of smoker. I've cooled a couple batches in ice water and the last batch I just let air cool. I could get some pics, would you like to see finished, sliced up?
 

stainless

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I've cooled a couple batches in ice water and the last batch I just let air cool.
I'm not a professional on making summer sausage by any means but do you think it's possible since you didn't ice bath them this time, that they continued cooking until cooling down enough?  My last batch had a few that the ends were hard on.  I believe they over cooked on the ends because of how long they were and they protruded out past the water pan in my Webber.  
 

stainless

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Joined Nov 19, 2007
That does look more on the dry side to me... that is compared to how I like mine anyways.  Other than that, looks like a good job.  
 

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