BRADLEY SMOKER | "Taste the Great Outdoors"

Smoking Techniques => Sausage Making => Topic started by: tailfeathers on June 05, 2014, 02:37:13 pm

Title: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: tailfeathers on June 05, 2014, 02:37:13 pm
Got a question for some of you sausage experts out there. I'm fixing to make some smoked sausage this weekend using a recipe from Poli's site. The instructions say to grind the meat, mix in the cure and spices then cover and refrigerate for at least six hours before stuffing. I thought that I had read somewhere at one time that it was easier to stuff the sausage right after mixing, then refrigerate the already stuffed sausages for the six hour curing period prior to smoking and that it would cure just as well after being stuffed as before. I would like to know whether this is correct, and also just how much easier is it to stuff right away as opposed to after the six hour curing time. (I'll be using natural hog casings).
Thanks in advance
Paul (TF)
Title: Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: CoreyMac on June 05, 2014, 03:17:57 pm
I mix my meat the night before and let it sit all the time. The only thing you will find is the cure will make the meat quite dense and hard to deal with. I just bring it out to warm up a bit and then add enough water to it to get it back to a loose consistency again. The only sausage I will stuff and let sit overnight is ones that I put in fibrous casings. The others I stuff right before the smoker.

Hope that helps
Corey
Title: Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: tskeeter on June 05, 2014, 03:19:03 pm
Paul, not related to your question, but a friend and I made sausage together for the first time last weekend, and I learned a couple of things that you might find helpful.

To distribute dry spices, he suggested using a shaker.  I have a large cheese shaker, like you'd see in a pizza shop (large holes), that really worked great to shake the spices evenly over the meat.  Much easier than trying to evenly spread by hand or shaking from a spoon.

The second thing he did that I thought was a great idea was, after the first grind, he spread the meat in an even layer on a sheet pan.  We applied about half the spices with the shaker.  Folded the meat to make three layers.  (Could also roll the meat, I suppose.)  And then mixed the meat a little bit.  Spread the meat back out on the sheet pan.  Applied the rest of the spices, folded, and mixed the meat a second time.  Then into the grinder for the second grind.  Nice, even distribution of the spices.  Minimal working of the cold meat (easier on the hands).

A third thing we did was to apply certain spices separately.  We were making some of Kirby's summer sausage, which is seasoned with a lot of mustard seed, various dry spices, and what I'll call wet spices, that included liquid smoke, minced garlic, and water for a carrier.  The last time I did the summer sausage, I had a hard time with the mustard seed, which wouldn't blend with the rest of the dry spices due to the difference in particle size.  This made it hard to evenly distribute the mustard seed.  So, this time I mixed and spread the ground dry spices.  Spread the mustard seed.  And then spread the wet spices.  Three separate, consecutive spice application steps.  Folded and mixed the the meat after first three spice applications, then repeated the three steps for the second spice application and lightly mixed the meat a second time.

Between spreading the ground meat into a sheet for spice application and applying the spices by particle size/density and dry vs. wet, we seem to have gotten a really good distribution of the spices with minimal mixing effort.

We were working with a five pound batch, so the half sheet pans that I had on hand worked OK for spreading out the meat.  But, more space would have been nicer and would have allowed a sheet of meat thinner than about 3/4 of an inch, for even better spice distribution.  The local restaurant supply house is having their annual sale this weekend, so I've got a full sheet pan on my shopping list to give more room to work.  And another shaker, so I have one to use for ground spices and a second shaker for applying the larger particle size spices. 
Title: Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: Tenpoint5 on June 05, 2014, 05:53:56 pm
After resting in the fridge for the 6 hour rest. The meat will be dense and hard to stuff. I have found that for me mixing and reworking the meat for a few minutes makes for easier stuffing without adding any additional water, unless your making snack sticks then add a tablespoon or two of water to help lubricate the meat.
Title: Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: tailfeathers on June 05, 2014, 06:52:08 pm
Thanks for the advice guys, I appreciate it. I think at this point my plan will be to grind and mix tomorrow evening, refrigerate overnight. Mix again in the morning just enough to be able to work with it, then stuff, let dry and smoke. One last question if you don't mind, the recipe says "refrigerate AT LEAST six hours" so I assume that 8-9 wont be a problem?
Title: Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: Tenpoint5 on June 05, 2014, 07:47:26 pm
Nope shouldn't be any at all
Title: Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: tailfeathers on June 06, 2014, 11:45:56 am
Thanks again for the help, I'll let you know how it pans out.
Title: Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: tailfeathers on June 07, 2014, 10:01:19 am
Well it's ground, mixed, cured chilled and stuffed. In for 2 hrs at 130F then up to 180. Got the A-Maze-N tube loaded with a hickory/oak blend. Had 1 Hillshire Farms smoked sausage left in the freezer so I threw that in the smoker as well for a comparison. It's going into a pot of beans, my daughter is moving tomorrow and since I'm still pretty much in recovery mode with my knee I'm feeding the troops. Pulled pork sammies and calico beans. Here's a shot of where I'm at up to this point.


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Title: Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: tailfeathers on June 07, 2014, 10:07:35 am
Oops. Here it is.(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/06/08/teqy8yry.jpg)


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Title: Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: tailfeathers on June 07, 2014, 07:34:34 pm
All done with the smoked sausage, it's cooling in the fridge for packaging tomorrow. Mrs TF and I did a taste comparison with the HIllshire Farms sausage (hers was a blind taste test) and looks like one more item we can bypass at the grocery store. NO contest!(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/06/08/teduma8a.jpg)(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/06/08/vevu2avu.jpg)


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Title: Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: pikeman_95 on June 07, 2014, 07:43:54 pm
I would say that that sausage does not look like they were made by a sausage newbie. Looks great.
Title: Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: rajzer on June 07, 2014, 10:51:18 pm
Good job on the sausage.  Very nicely and evenly smoked.  Something I always had problems with using my Bradley, unless I smoked 5lbs or less. 
Title: Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: WoodlawnSmoker on June 08, 2014, 06:11:30 am
They look perfect, nice job TF!  I too am having a blast with this sausage thing, so many possibilities.
Title: Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: tailfeathers on June 08, 2014, 06:39:27 am
Next up is polish or kielbasa to make pickled sausage. Lovin' this! @rajzer: this was an 8 lb batch and probably the max I will ever do at once for the reason you stated. I had a pretty long piece that there wasn't room for on the dowel so I put it on a rack below the hanging loops and it got to 155 when the rest were only @120. I moved the dowel down a notch after I took the rack out. Besides it's just me and Mrs TF so 5 lbs at a time is enough. Now I just gotta work on my stuffing skills so my loops are at least CLOSE to the same size! ::)
Paul
Title: Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: pjplovedog on June 08, 2014, 03:31:16 pm
Wow that looks like some really great sausage.  Good job!  My freezer is almost out of sausages so I'm seeing a sausage day in my near future!
:)
Title: Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: tailfeathers on June 09, 2014, 12:37:16 pm
I thought the casings looked pretty wrinkled so I put a big stock pot of boiling water on the stove and threw the sausages in (a couple at a time) for about 20 seconds, then took them back out with a tongs and let them dry on towels before I vac sealed them. It seemed to plump them up a bit and smooth out the casings.
Title: Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: pikeman_95 on June 09, 2014, 01:44:32 pm
I would suggest that you don't use boiling water but rather take the water to 165 and give them the same 20 minutes. The boiling water will melt the fat near the edge and cause fat out. At 165 you will draw in the moisture with out melting the fat. They will plump out even more.
kc
Title: Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: tailfeathers on June 09, 2014, 03:08:59 pm
Good to know. Thanks!!!I'm looking at getting one of those Anova sous vide cookers for just these kinds of uses.
Title: Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: pikeman_95 on June 09, 2014, 03:21:13 pm
Take a look at a over sized Sous vide. Think turkey fryer for a mid sized cooker.

http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=34923
Title: Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: tailfeathers on June 09, 2014, 04:01:48 pm
Take a look at a over sized Sous vide. Think turkey fryer for a mid sized cooker.

http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=34923
LOL. WAAAAAY out of my league! I just got done pre-ordering the Anova cooker, I think it'll suit my needs just fine! ;)
Title: Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: Saber 4 on June 09, 2014, 07:28:38 pm
I would say that that sausage does not look like they were made by a sausage newbie. Looks great.

I agree, that's some really nice looking sausage TF!
Title: Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: tailfeathers on June 09, 2014, 08:09:14 pm
I would suggest that you don't use boiling water but rather take the water to 165 and give them the same 20 minutes. The boiling water will melt the fat near the edge and cause fat out. At 165 you will draw in the moisture with out melting the fat. They will plump out even more.
kc
Kirby-
I missed it when I first read your post, but I only put them in boiling water for 20 SECONDS, not minutes. They were in the smoker to IT of 155, I just gave them a few seconds in boiling water to tighten up the casings. I think after I get the sous vide cooker I will probably finish them in a water bath.
Title: Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: pikeman_95 on June 09, 2014, 08:20:31 pm
I missed the 20 seconds part also. I still think you need to keep the temp at 165 and then you can let them sit in the water a little longer to pickup a little more moisture. Mine take about 15 minutes to go from about 105 out of the smoker and then 155 core temp in the bath. The sausage is moist and tight.
kc
Title: Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
Post by: tailfeathers on June 10, 2014, 06:01:13 am
That's kinda my plan after I get the new cooker. As soon as the smoking ends I'll finish them in a hot water bath.


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