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Experienced Sausage Makers: Question...(s)...

jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259
edited 9:15AM in EggHead Forum
Stuffed some Italian sausage this morning and just finished one for lunch. I may have over-cooked it, but that's another issue.

I used Lem brand casings from Bass Pro Shops. Anyone have experience with them? I found them tough. I was looking for "snap" and I got "chew". This was after a light poach and grilling on the Egg.

Comments

  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    Are those natural casings or collagen? -RP
  • jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259
    Natural hog casings. 32-35mm.
  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    Well then I'm not sure, I usually simmer mine until they reach 155-160 internal then grill over fairly high heat just to make them pretty. I get a good snap with them. An intestine is an intestine, can't see why a different brand would make any difference. -RP
  • jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259
    AZRP wrote:
    .... An intestine is an intestine, ... -RP

    That's kind of what I thought, but did you read the section in Ruhlman's book about what you have to do to make casings from butchered intestines? Seems from that that there is some room for variation. These weren't as slick and shiny as what I see on the shop made sausage at the butcher shop.

    Yes, I did soak and rinse thoroughly per directions.

    Where do you get yours, Randy?
  • seems weird to me.... i have been making sausage for thirty five years.... never had that problem...are you sure they were natural?..... bass pro shop? hmmm???? "butcher and packer " has great selection of casings... i highly recommend them.... ray
  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    I get them at Hi Mountain or Sportsmans Wharehouse, they are salt packed. I just run water through them a couple times then soak them until I stuff. I just pulled my last brats out of the freezer today so I'll be doing some stuffing soon, maybe tomorrow. -RP
  •  
    Is it possible the casings were not stuffed enough?

    Kent
  • jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259
    It most certainly is possible. I don't know what I'm doing. The instructions said to avoid over-filling, so I aimed for a sort of moderate fill.

    Also, when you twist off links, do you tie each one with string or just cut the twisted casing and assume the twist will hold?
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    I've never tried LEM casings, but casing qualiy can vary from packager to packager. And also there is a difference between sheep and hog casing. The gut itself will change throughout it's length, sometimes you will see a noticeably thick one, (or thin one) or a cloudy one, or one with more strings etc. I cull out the good ones and toss the ones that seem thick, have holes etc. when I'm rinsing them.

    And speaking of rinsing, did you do the internal rinse as well? And followed by a long soak? The cleaner they are, the better they stuff and perform on the grill.

    DSC07257a.jpg
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • I am green at this too. My first testing was last year but it was amazing how much better the brats, sausage, country sausage was. Hopefully I will be doing more this year.

    There are some great sausage makers posting in this thread and if you don't get your questions answered just make another post. I try to follow all the sausage type posts very close.

    Be well, Kent
  • jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259
    Thanks,

    Yeah, I did rinse.

    I think I figured out what I did wrong. It didn't have anything to do with the casings...I halved the recipe, and halved everything except the liquid. It didn't occur to me until 3am (is it sick to wake up in the middle of the night thinking about sausage?), but I put the recipe amount of liquid (one cup) into a mix that was half of all the other ingredients.

    I'll try another batch tomorrow.
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    Liquid is very important for a moist sausage, but it's the one ingredient that I add totally by feel. I don't know if lack of internal moistness would make the casing chewy.

    DSC07294a.jpg

    It's common to mix in your seasonings and liquid, then allow the ground sausage meat to age overnight in the fridge, and this time allows the meat to absorb liquid. It's hard to describe but when my sausage goes back in the fridge it's a bit looser than spongy. And a bit firmer than soupy.

    I looked back at your original post and noticed you poached your sausage before grilling. That's one think I don't do. That's one variable I can't really comment on.
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259
    It wouldn't be "lack of moisture" -- it had twice as much liquid as the recipe called for. Too much is the issue. I wondered why they sizzled and sizzled, but never browned...the cook was being doused from the inside out.
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