I've got a lot to learn (pic heavy)

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by nunantal, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. nunantal

    nunantal Fire Starter

    For my first ever sausage links, I chose Chef Willie's hot link recipe.  Here's the recap....

    First grind.  5 lbs of pork butt

    This is after the spices were added, the second grind and a night in the refr.

    Time for the stuffing.  My grandson assisted even tho he was still finishing his breakfast.  I used Lem

    32 to 35 mm hog casings.  I need to learn how to control the size of the stuffed casing.  I didn't know it

    but over stuffing was going to cause problems later.

    Time to make links...  I burst the casing two times due to the over stuffing  while trying to twist links.

    That is what caused the 2 and 3 link separates.  I finally decided to just twist once and then tie

    each link off with butcher twine. Also had trouble keeping the length of each link reasonably close.

    Into the home brew smoke house that used two 110 volt hot plates as a heat source.  One is controlled

    by a home brew JLD 612 P.I.D. controller.  The other is on standby.  There is a temp probe in one link on 

    the second row on the right side. 

    Started the smoker at 120 to dry the links, raised the temp to 130 and started the Amazn tube smoker loaded

    with hickory pellets.  Smoked for about 2.5 hours while raising the smoker temp 10 degs per hour.

    Had intended to hang the links another way but due to the aforementioned problems had to resort to this

    arrangement. It did however get the job done.

    When I stopped the smoke, I checked another link that was on the other side of the smoke house to 

    verify internal temp.  Both probed links were withing 2 degs of each other but were still a long ways

    from my target of 155. So, I decided to poach.

    Didn't get a picture of the poaching but here they are in the ice bath afterward.

    Using my engineering ability.... I constructed a blooming station.  

    Couple of hours later I vacuum packed them for the freezer.

    Finally, the taste test.  They were spicy, had a reasonable amount of moisture and the casings were

    not too tough. I need to learn how to control the stuffed diameter of the casing and how to twist links

    so they're reasonably close to the same length.  Overall, I'm satisfied my setup will produce a reasonable

    product if the operator (namely me) can pick up some sausage making skills.  I'd appreciate any suggestions

    on how to address my deficiencies.

    P.S.  Hope this post wasn't too long.

  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks great!

    For linking I have a cutting board marked out. Works great. Put sausage along marks, pinch and twist or tie the length you want.

    I leave extra casing on one end. That way I can push extra meat along towards that end as I link.

  3. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Points for your progress thus far!

    The amount you stuff as you go along will come with time.  It's more a feel than a look I think.  

    Case is on target about marking the cutting board or other surface you're working on.  In the past, I've told folks to use a corncob tray to size their links, that's worked for a few of them since that gives you a "dish" to place it into while you pinch each end.

    When smoking, bump the temp 10 degrees each 30 minutes until you hit 170 on the smoke house.  To have a good idea of how you are progressing, a remote Maverick type thermometer is a great item to have.

    Keep on going, this is a lot of fun!
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Here's a picture of my linking board. Each mark is 1" with the large marks indexing 6".

  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I think your sausages look excellent!

    Point worthy for sure!!!

  6. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    N, your sausage looks great! I only grind  pork sausage once and then add seasonings and stuff immediately. It prevents your meat from "setting up" and then after stuffing I let the links rest in the fridge for a day before smoking. You're well on the way to total addiction for sausage making !
  7. gearjammer

    gearjammer Master of the Pit

    Looks like very good stuff from here.

    For a first attempt I'd say you're doing just grand.

    A worthy job, points to you.

    Have fun and keep on doing it.

  8. nunantal

    nunantal Fire Starter

    Thanks for the suggestions and the kind words.  Hopefully, I'll improve on my next batch.

  9. Nice Job, Those look great  ----  [​IMG]

  10. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great post. I love the qview and that your grandson assisted. Points!

  11. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Those links looks great!  point! b
  12. redheelerdog

    redheelerdog Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Hi Wayne, those links look allot better than my first try!

    That is a mighty fine smokehouse you have there.

    Great job!

  13. pmorton62

    pmorton62 Newbie

    The way to learn how to stuff sausage is the same way to get to Carnegie Hall...practice, practice practice.  Looks good for a first attempt. 
  14. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks good to me. Nice going.

  15. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Looks pretty good to me, especially for a first try! I never have gotten the hang of stuffing, then tying. I just twist as I go :)

    Now that you're hopelessly hooked (and you are), check WalMart for one of those fold up wooden racks for laundry.


  16. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Great looking links! Points!

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