Casings, casings, which I wonder

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by marknb, May 21, 2009.

  1. Hi all,

    Just finished my third batch of meat sticks this weekend. Sorry, no Q-view, not that I'd want you all oogling my failures anyways. [​IMG]

    I posted here the last time I made snack sticks and the problem was, and still is, adherence between the casings and the meat. You may remember that thread was titled, 'Not enough bondage', or maybe it was 'Need more bondage'. I won't resort to such cheap tactics ever again. Promise. Not. teehee.

    I used a non-smoked colligen casing the last time, and found some narrower, 19mm smoked colligen casings this time round. Things seemed to go well, I used the beef stick recipe from Kutas' book, followed the ingredients list close enough, and when I pulled them out, they looked good. I'm pretty sure I pulled them at the right time, internal was 147, which I didn't think was too hot, the directions said 145. but after they sat in the fridge for a couple days, they now appear to be 'smeared' with orange grease on the outside and the cases not sticking to the meat any more.

    So, maybe I should be using pig or sheep casings? Should I have hung the sticks in a cool room rather than putting them in the refrigerator, you know, more drying at a cool room temp? Its just that those colligen casings are so convenient....

    My buddy at work says they taste like those canned vienna sausages. Could've smacked him for that, but he loves those things so I guess it was a compliment. I think they taste a lot like Hotrods/SlimJims.

    Thanks folks for any advice you might have!

    Mark B
  2. Look at page 355, much better product, been making them for years. I usually hang them in the cellar after smoking to age for a few days, they'll start to dry out. Bleeding is a perfectly natural. I use sheep casings.

    Good Luck[​IMG]
  3. isutroutbum

    isutroutbum SMF Premier Member

    Ditto Hank! Great advise. I like to go w/natural casings when I can too.
  5. Just my two cents but I have had this problem too sometimes. Some of my best guesses why this happens would be:

    1) How fatty your meat was? The fattier the meat the more critical it is go slow and not render the fat - I just smoke mine at 160 instead of the 190 Rytek says. The tighter the better on the stuffing with fattier meat since if the temp. renders the fat the meat will shrink

    2) Did you soak or not soak your casings? Collagen casings don't need to be soaked - I soaked once to aid in putting on the stuffing horn [​IMG] Not good!

    3) And did you let the sticks get to room temp. prior to smoking? This will help evaporate some moisture from the stick / casing

    4) Maintaining low temps. to start then finishing with higher temps? Again, too hot too quick will render the fat especially in small diameter sticks not letting the meat adhere to the casing

    Remember these recipes are Semi -Dry sausage recipes - the sheep casings are made to shrink with the meat when you are curing / fermenting with a humidity / temp. controlled room.

    Hope this helps out.
  6. Thanks for the tips, everyone! FYI, I started these out at 105F, and they were at that temp for 18 or so hours. Then I turned up the thermostat to 160 and pulled them an hour and a half later (when the alarm woke me....) and the internal was 147. And, nope, I didn't soak the casings this time round, and they seemed much less likely to tear this time while twisting into links, actually no tearing at all.

    And and, I did use the recipe on pg 355, where's the other one I should've avoided? ;)
  7. I think Hank was thinking you were using the recipe on page 345 "Dried Sausage Sticks" instead of the "Kabanosy" on page 355. I was thinking the same thing myself....[​IMG]
  8. danmcg

    danmcg OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm pretty sure the problem is not the casing, so switching to a different won't help.
    I'm thinking it's either your thermometer is inaccurate and/or your cooling method. I like to give them and ice bath to get the temps down quickly, then hang them to bloom for a while to dry and take on some color.
    Was the meat well chilled before it got stuffed?
    show a pic of one, it might help figure out the problem.
  9. danmcg

    danmcg OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ok, I'm confused, which happens allot. help me out here. where did you get the directions for the cooking process? The recipe on 355 is different or our books are not the same. semi dry kabanosy right?
    I read your second post a couple times and something ain't right. You went 18 hours at 105° then bumped it to 160° and they were done in 1.5 hours?
    that's a 40° jump in internal temp in 90 minutes. Thats a big jump! Which makes me think there's cooking temp issue.
  10. Something is amiss, methinks. I've got my copy beside me, I used the (all beef) Dried Sausage Stick recipe on pg 355, the Kabanosy is on pg 365. I just got this book about two months ago, and the Copyright date is 2008. I'm thinking things might have moved a bit in the different editions? Anyway, I wanted to make Kabanosy in the first place, but with swine flu being all up in the news, my wife didn't want any raw pork in the house for a while. Next batch for sure!

    Now, I think whomever said my thermostat might be off may be on to something, but I think maybe its more to do with the heating element than the final temp. I should've brought the temp up more slowly from 105-160, like in a few stages, rather than all at once. And, according to the dried Sausage stick recipe (on my page 355! lol) there's no cool-off bath, just right from the heat to a cool 50-55f dry room. I think they're getting a bath anyway next time.
  11. danmcg

    danmcg OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    lol ok I got an old edition 1984 ...that answers a few questions :)
  12. theres diff copies of the bible-not everything on the same pages.think 4 editions to date
  13. Did you give them a water bath in cool water when you pulled them out of smoker? I always water bath mine, it washes off the grease and help shrink back the casings. I always use collagen casings too. I also always poke a hole in the casings to drain the grease out when they are still in the smoker. Hope that helps..............
  14. go with sheep casing - it's just better all round.
    Also cut down on the fat (seriously most of kutas recipes can be made without the added fat) and throw in some oats.
    Oats help binding, stop moisture and fat escaping from the sausage during cooking (hence no need for the fat) and lower your cholesterol.
    I use aprox 1/2 cup per 5 lb sausage meat. Add and mix in before grinding and you'll never know it's there but for the fact that your sausages are just all round better :)
  15. Good info Aardvark, thanks.

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