Author Topic: Pepperoni sticks - collagen casing not sticking  (Read 3823 times)

Offline officework13

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Pepperoni sticks - collagen casing not sticking
« on: June 10, 2015, 01:09:59 pm »
i need some help.
i have made pepperoni sticks 3 times now with upsetting results with respect to the casings not adhering to the meat.  i then have to peel them all which is a PITA.
here is what they look like - not very appealing.

the batch was as follows.
7 lbs deer
1 lb lean beef
8 lbs lean pork

Recipes used.
2 store bought and 1 home made

i am pretty sure for one thing, 16lbs is way to much to pack into the 4 rack bradley.

i tried to follow the standard directions for smoking
1 hr @ 130-140 - dry the casings (
2 hr @ 140-150, - 2hr 40mins smoke (8 Hickory pucks & 3 alum pucks)
2 hrs @ 150-160,
2 hrs @160,
2hrs @ 170 &
hold at 170.
Internal temperature to be 150-155 - Ideal 152 (some say 149-152)

(rotated wracks every hour).
i have the fan mod, but i do not have a PID controller.

using collagen casing.
also, it took me 18 hours to get to 152, and it was 3am and i needed sleep so in the last 3 hours i had bumped the temp up to 180 - 190 - 200 each hour.


any tips much appreciated.

Offline watchdog56

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Re: Pepperoni sticks - collagen casing not sticking
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2015, 01:23:06 pm »
I sometimes have same problem with casings and have not figured out the perfect way yet. I do know your final temps are to hot. Anything over 180 will cause a fat out and dry your sausage sticks which will allow for meat to pull away from casing. For me I will not even try to do sausage without a PID. Cabin temps can vary =?- 20 degree so when you set it at 170 there may be times it bounces from 150-190. The heating element will cool so the temp will kick in and by the time it actually reaches temp and tells itself to turn off it will climb some more. With a PID I get +/- 2 degree so I do not take mine over 175. There should be some more experienced members along with more knowledge than me to hopefully give you( and me ) the right answer. I will be watching this one.

Offline AkBillyBow

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Re: Pepperoni sticks - collagen casing not sticking
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2015, 02:16:08 pm »
I would agree that without a PID, your temperatures will fluctuate too much.  I too never even attempted sausage until I had the PID and larger heating element, as mine would fluctuate 20-40 degrees out of the box. 

I have never had your issue with my PID.  May be something to it ?!?!

Offline cobra6223

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Re: Pepperoni sticks - collagen casing not sticking
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2015, 07:20:10 pm »
Not that I'm a pro but the first thing I see is that you got a little impatient !! Only joking. You really did take those way to high and yes it probably fatted out, next you ran out of time and for this I start early as I know they will eventually stall and then may shoot up in temp at once and I finish my sausage in a hot water bath, Huge time saver. As for the PID I'm not rich and cant really afford one soooooooooooo yes the temp swings are horrible and it sucks that Bradley with such a good product cant do something to control the temp better unless they get a kick back on PIDs or the other gadgets that control the temps. I use a Maverick with remote sensor that I sit in the house and sometimes I don't trust it and I just check the temp on the Bradley more often and if it's real hot out I keep an even closer eye on it because once again it can go up very fast and then you get the fat outs, if I see it start to climb I prop the door open a couple of minutes and then check and either shut it or just keep checking, PITA oh yeah but still cheaper than a PID. I know I haven't made the amount of sausage some of these guys have but its worked okay. As for the amount of pounds your putting in, it all affects the temps and how fast it may get done, I have done 30# of SS with help of a wife and careful placement so it all gets a good smoke and then it's off to the hot water bath to finish, I have done the same with bigger batches of sticks also. BTW I use collagen casings also, good luck and I hope this helps you out a little.

Offline renoman

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Re: Pepperoni sticks - collagen casing not sticking
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2015, 01:08:22 pm »
When making sausage with your Bradley, especially thin sticks, smoke the for 2-3 hrs at 130-140 then water bath them to 155 MAX. It is the only sure way to finish them properly as the Bradley temp swings are atrocious. Even with a PID the cabinet temp differences are too big top to bottom and front to back.

Offline theLDP

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Re: Pepperoni sticks - collagen casing not sticking
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2015, 06:21:52 pm »
Do not try sticks without PID. 

Offline AkBillyBow

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Re: Pepperoni sticks - collagen casing not sticking
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2015, 09:32:33 pm »
I have had the same find issue (but not as bad) when I make "thin" sausages with collagen casings (19mm), and I have a PID.  I was wondering if it was something with the casings.  I have not figured it out yet.

Here are my results: I finish the sausages off in the smoker to 152-157 degrees.  No cold water bath, just cool on the counter on cooling racks.  Sausages all look perfect at this point.  After they cool for a couple of hours, I refrigerate overnight.  Sausage still look good at this point.  Casing are full and "crisp" when you bite them.

Vacuum pack and freeze.  When I pull them out of the freezer to eat them, the casing are soggy and kind of loose from the meat inside them.  They can actually be "peeled" away from the meat, or you can eat them....but they are kind of soggy so a bit disgusting.  The meat product inside seems normal....good tasting, good fat content.

Not sure what this means, but am leaning towards the casing being the issue.

Any inputs??

Akbillybow

Offline watchdog56

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Re: Pepperoni sticks - collagen casing not sticking
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2015, 07:42:23 am »
Just made a batch this weekend but instead of using my own seasoning I bought a prepackaged spice and put in collagen casings. I used to use 3-1 ratio using venison and ground pork butt, but this time I used 3-1 ratio using venison and 50/50 mix of ground beef.
Not sure if it was the beef fat help adhering  to the casings better or if it was something in the mix but this batch is the best I have had yet. (I must have tried 15-20 different recipes).

Offline watchdog56

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Re: Pepperoni sticks - collagen casing not sticking
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2015, 09:25:24 am »
After a couple of days the casings look good but when you bite into them they seem like they are starting to pull away. Any body have any ideas why? Should I be using sheep casings instead? I don not soak my collagen casings. Have been kept in frig, so I took them right out of package and stuffed about 15 minutes later.

Offline tailfeathers

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Pepperoni sticks - collagen casing not sticking
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2015, 12:13:00 pm »
Sheep casings cost more and are harder to work with. But they are worth the extra cost and effort in my opinion. They are all I use for sticks any more. You will love the snap you get with them.


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Offline Johnny

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Re: Pepperoni sticks - collagen casing not sticking
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2016, 05:12:14 am »
I know this is an old post but figured I'd put my 2 cents in still lol.. In my experience with using collagen casings for snack sticks I find 2 things extremely important to adhere the casings to the meat. #1 being the casings need to be as full as possible and #2 being a cold water bath helps the casing to adhere to the meat. I buy a bag of ice from the local gas store, fill up the sink with water, add the ice and leave the sticks in for 10 mins.. I wouldn't even consider not doing this now!

Hope this helps!
Cheers