Need some help with this one....I've only ever made fresh breakfast sausages and franks with hog's casing for as long as i can remember.
Now....I picked up some collagen casings - 18mm, not sure what that is in inches. But I am really not sure what to do. Do I need to soak them like hog's casing?
Here is what my plan was...tell me please if I should change something.
1) Grind meat
2) Mix seasoning into the meat.
3) Let meat sit in fridge over night
4) Stuff casings in the morning
5) Hang sticks for.....how long?? (or can i throw them into the smoker right after i stuff them?
6) Smoke appropriately, then allow to bloom when done.
Thanks for all your help guys!!
Did you get collagen casings or natural?
If collagen you dint need to soak, you can mix and stuff right away.
If natural you need to soak and rinse the salt off them. Most of the time the soak is about 30 mins. Then you can stuff.
If you mix and hold the meat in fridge before stuffing just make sure the meat is close to room temp. Very cold meat is hard to stuff through the smaller tubes. I mix stuff then put stuffed casings in the fridge.
Yes you can mix, stuff and smoke right away.
Hang time will depend on some things. Outside temps, wind, how wet the meat is. I start my sticks at 130-140* for an hour or so or until the casings are dry. A dry casing holds the smoke better. After this time i put from 4 to 6 pucks of wood and bump the heat to 150*. After the smoke stops i bump to 160* for 2-3 hours. Check the IT of the sticks, If need bump the heat to 170* for another few hours and then IT check of meat.
You may need to finish at 180* to get your target IT of the meat to 149-152* If you cant get your 152* dint worry cuz you have an oven that you can use for backup. Sticks can take anywhere from 8, 10 to 16 hours. REMEMBER try not to exceed 180* or you will have whats called a fat-out.
Bloom is done different ways. You can cold water rinse/bath or hang at room temp. I have done both ways with great success.
everyone has their own way so i'm sure you will get lots of ideas.