Author Topic: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie  (Read 6640 times)

Offline tailfeathers

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(STILL A) Sausage Newbie
« 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)
Where there's smoke, there's HAPPINESS!!!

Offline CoreyMac

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Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
« Reply #1 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

Offline tskeeter

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Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
« Reply #2 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. 
« Last Edit: June 05, 2014, 03:35:56 pm by tskeeter »

Offline Tenpoint5

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Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
« Reply #3 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.
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Offline tailfeathers

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Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
« Reply #4 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?
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Offline Tenpoint5

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Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2014, 07:47:26 pm »
Nope shouldn't be any at all
Bacon is the Crack Cocaine of the Food World.

Be careful about calling yourself and EXPERT! An ex is a has-been, and a spurt is a drip under pressure!


Offline tailfeathers

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Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2014, 11:45:56 am »
Thanks again for the help, I'll let you know how it pans out.
Where there's smoke, there's HAPPINESS!!!

Offline tailfeathers

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Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
« Reply #7 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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« Last Edit: June 07, 2014, 10:05:19 am by tailfeathers »
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Offline tailfeathers

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Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2014, 10:07:35 am »
Oops. Here it is.


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Offline tailfeathers

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Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
« Reply #9 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!


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Offline pikeman_95

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Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
« Reply #10 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.

Offline rajzer

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Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
« Reply #11 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. 

Offline WoodlawnSmoker

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Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
« Reply #12 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.

Offline tailfeathers

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Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
« Reply #13 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
« Last Edit: June 08, 2014, 06:41:16 am by tailfeathers »
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Offline pjplovedog

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Re: (STILL A) Sausage Newbie
« Reply #14 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!
:)