1st time using natural casings-Bratwurst

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by ssbaldy, May 15, 2015.

  1. ssbaldy

    ssbaldy Fire Starter

    This is about the 8th or ninth batch of sausage that I have made. I started with collagen casings because I thought they were easier, and didn't want the hassle of dealing with a natural product. After having to peel most of the casings, I decided it was time to try it as my favorite is bratwurst. Was I ever wrong about the natural casings. It produced a sausage that I am very happy with.

    I used a modified recipe of Michlich Bratwurst seasoning with some added nutmeg and NFDM.

    First go using the new Vivo stuffer (purchased through Amazon. So much better than trying to use the KA to stuff). I did have a bit of a time getting the casing on the tube at first, but was able to work out a solution (more water on the tube, and kinda work it back and forth).

    First ring all stuffed

    All of the sausage stuffed & twisted. This was one batch through the stuffer.

    I have 4 of them in the smoker now (along with other stuff...macadamia nuts...mmmm) and will post the 'money shot' when they come out. 

    Test with stuffer leftovers..Really good

    Here are the final product photos. 


    Still not sure if I am going to freeze the rest raw or cook them first. Any thoughts?
    Last edited: May 15, 2015
    crazymoon likes this.
  2. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    SSB, nice job on the sausage and other smoked goodies ! [​IMG]
  3. chewmeister

    chewmeister Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Looks good. [​IMG]
  4. jrod62

    jrod62 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Looks great !!! I would freeze them raw and smoke them as you need them....
  5. Nice Job   Looks Great

  6. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    They look great!!!  I would freeze them first and then cook them as you need them.  Reinhard
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Be sure you mark "RAW" on the packages you freeze...

  8. cal1956

    cal1956 Smoking Fanatic

    man I'm happy that you posted this , we just made our 1st batch of pork sausage and used the collagen casings and while we like not having to deal with the mess of natural casings,  we had already decided to try the natural casings next , from the photos it looks like the natural casing has more stretch than the collagen . what size tube did you use ?  
  9. ssbaldy

    ssbaldy Fire Starter

    The stuffer came with 10mm,20mm,30mm,40mm tubes. I used the 2nd to smallest, which would be the 20mm. Since the casings are 32-35mm, maybe I should have used the 30mm?
  10. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wow they look great, well done
  11. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Are you happy with the size? Then its the right size! I always wondered why folks wanted those big fat plump brats that don't fit on a hot dog bun. The advantage of making your own, do as you like!

    Nice looking Brats. Dang good job.
  12. cal1956

    cal1956 Smoking Fanatic

    the reason that I asked is that we are looking to make sausages that are in the 1 1/2 inch range .......and I agree your sausage came out great !!!!!!
    Last edited: May 16, 2015
  13. ssbaldy

    ssbaldy Fire Starter

    Well, got em all vacusealed (is that even a word) and in the freezer, except for the bulk, uncased stuff that was left in the stuffer. Thanks Dave for the reminder to mark the raw ones. Using the natural casing I found that it took a little while to learn how to  regulate the size. The 1st few were pretty 'irregular', but it was pretty easy to move the meat inside the casing to even them out. I was surprised as to how resilient the casings were. You could really stuff them full if you wanted to, but I agree with Foamheart that I wanted them a little thinner to fit in a bun. My wife decided to make potato salad for church tomorrow, and it definitely needs to be tested, and the bulk brats are done, so some good eatin tonight.
  14. cal1956

    cal1956 Smoking Fanatic

    I have seen natural casings on amazon , anyone here ever use them ? 
  15. ssbaldy

    ssbaldy Fire Starter

    I got my supplies at Michlitch (aka Spokane Spice Company). They were reasonable and very friendly on the phone. Several of the butchers around here use their spice mixes for all of their sausages. You can Google them for the website.
    Last edited: May 16, 2015
  16. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have never used anything but natural. I get mine from Butchers and Packers, they ship 'em. They are knowledgable, helpful but they do have a bit of a Detroit attitude....LOL  You know, "let me sell you what you need and not what you want!" "I'll save you from calling back with a problem" LOL They do know what they are talking about.

    If you are just changing over from colligen, make sure and study Boykjo's tutorial on using hog casings. I learned on my own and he could have sure helpped me. Learning how to pull a casing off a hank of casings, water soaking, loading, tying, etc etc.......I need to try colligen just so I can say I have. I do like natural.

  17. cal1956

    cal1956 Smoking Fanatic

    that's the kind of attitude that I will not tolerate , no matter how good they are  at what they do , with an attitude like that I hang up the phone or walk away ....I was taught the customer  is ALWAYS right  even if he is wrong

    its my money and I demand courteous service or my money stays firmly in my pocket
  18. ssbaldy

    ssbaldy Fire Starter

    I 2nd studying Boykjo's tutorial on using hog casings...it was what helped me to understand the why's and wherefore's that led to success the 1st time out. 

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