Stuffing Horn Size

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by mabrandt, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. mabrandt

    mabrandt Fire Starter

    What size horn do you folks use for general stuffing of common sausage such as Brats, Italian, and the like? I have been using a 3/4" OD, but seem to be getting air pockets. Is it my technique or should I move up to a 1"
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use a technique...    left hand cradles the sausage being stuffed with the index finger and thumb on the casing and horn....  I try to keep the casing on the horn,squeezing gently, while the casing is crammed full from me cranking the handle......   It's a balance....   over stuffing pressure will cause "blowouts" of the casing....      If you can get the casings on a larger horn, I'd do it....   makes stuffing easier..... the pressure still needs to be applied to the casing so it will fill with ground meat.....  you can watch it expand and gauge the pressure.....  

  3. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I use a 3/4 inch tube for the sasages you describe above.  I do the same thing that Dave does.  As carefull and as many time's that i make sausage, i get an air pocket or two once in awhile.  One thing i do that helps is when puttting on the casing on the tube is pull the casing back toward the exit end of the tube after i put all the casing on that i could put on per stuffing. 

    What this does, it makes it easier to control the flow of the sausage mix.  If you leave the casings up the tube and then stuff, i find that toward the end i have to push the casings forward manualy otherwise you create a drag on the casings possibly overstuffing and creating a blowout. I hope i explained this properly.  Wish i had a pic or do of me doing this.

    Another thing is, after stuffing the casings full of sausage mix, I poke a few holes in the stuffed casings before linking it.  This releases  pressure in the casings and get's rid of air pockets that may be there. Reinhard
  4. mabrandt

    mabrandt Fire Starter

    Basically, this is how I do it too, but I was having trouble maintaining my left hand placement while cranking. The batch before this one I overstuffed and the batch this last weekend I had  a lot of air.  I usually have to keep stopping to adjust the filled sausage otherwise it bends at an unusual angle at the tube. I also kept the casings pushed up towards the stuffer and not at the tube end. I will try that next time. I was also thinking of letting my wife crank the stuffer while I just handle the sausage end. When I was using collagen exclusively, I didn't have these troubles as everything came off straight, but now with the natural casings it's like I am learning all over again, which I guess I am.
  5. I agree with all of the above post. It iust takes a little patience.

    Happy smoken.

  6. Letting your wife crank the handle might be a big help as you learn to work the casings. Do you give the casings a nice long soak & keep them wet on the stuffer tube so they slide easily for you?
  7. mabrandt

    mabrandt Fire Starter

    Yes, I do all that. I never had a problem with them sticking at all. I guess what I am having some trouble with is the amount. Last time all was well until I tried to link them, then blowouts galore. This time, less filling but a lot of more air. Maybe I didn't fill them enough? With the collagen you just filled them. They don't stretch much.
  8. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sounds like maby the left hand and forefinger and thumb still need the right "feel".   As far as the filled casings bending near the end of your tube, you should probably momentarly stop stuffing and with your left hand pull the filled casings straight and then procceed to stuff again.  I do this all the time because i stuff and link by myself.  After awhile you will get the hang of it.  I have learned to use the correct pressure while cranking on the stuffer and also what pressure if any i put on the casings while stuffing. Try putting the casings near the end of the tube next time and i think it will make stuffing easier for you.  If you dont have a vertical stuffer is would suggest that as well.  Reinhard
  9. nepas

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

    Just take your time. I do all the stuffing.

    Air pockets can be from not packing the main canister right (air pockets between meat placement) Pulling the casing forward some then back to fill causing an air pocket. Try to keep the casing close to the end of the tube (some can be long i know) Natural twist will want to go to one side, keep the meat tight to the end and twist the casing on the tube.

    Casing stick on the tube you can resolve by keeping the stuffing tube area wet. You can apply Pam or Crisco to the tube also with no taste. Avoid Olive oils.

    For hog casings i use the 1/2" or 3/4" OD tubes. Larger SS or Bologna i use my 1" tube.

    Your results may vary.

  10. shoneyboy

    shoneyboy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

     One thing that I like to do is use a large round bowl, I prefer a large stainless steel one, but anyone will work. I use it as  a catch container when I’m stuffing, add a little water to it and the sausage will try to coil up on its on……..

     it wants to revert back to it's original shape......having 4 hands are a lot easier to control everyhting with also.......ShoneyBoy
  11. mabrandt

    mabrandt Fire Starter

    Yes, I have the LEM 5lb vertical with the stainless tubes. I didn't care for the plastic and they have the stainless now in the most popular sizes. I will put the casings near the end and might try Shoneyboy's suggestion of a bowl to catch the meat. I appreciate all the suggestion. BTW, the Kielbasa I made this past weekend came out excellant taste wise. Just had the ai rpockets and was able to rid most of those that I saw with a pin before smoking. Some I missed and when the smoke ended, they were plainly seen, but the taste is the same.
  12. shoneyboy

    shoneyboy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

     A couple other suggestions, when packing your stuffer pack it in small amounts and press it down in-between……that will help remove any air pockets.  When stuffing I usually try to keep enough pressure on the casing so that if I do hit an air pocket the air will push back into the casing still hanging on the horn and not allow it to follow the meat out....if that makes sense…….SB
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2013
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    One more thing you could try.....  I'm trying this next batch of Andouille....     tie a knot in the end of the casing.... stuff about 20" 's or so...  squeeze the meat toward the knot until you get the right amount of filling in the casing....  cut the casing about 2" from the meat and tie the cut end to the knot in the other end...   now you have a 20" loop to hang in the smoker and you are not fiddling with 20' of stuffed casing that needs twisting and turning into links....   It may not be as pretty but it does eat just the same...... 

  14. X2

  15. mabrandt

    mabrandt Fire Starter

    Yes, I hand pack the stuffer really tight. I think you may have hit where the air comes from in your second sentence there. The casing does mpoth back and forth on the tube. Not on purpose but it slides on and off when I let go to adjust the coil. I will try and watch that the next time.
  16. Maybe you need 6 hands, one Person cranking and filling the top of the hopper with meat. One Person holding the casing on tube and also helping fill the hopper with meat.  Then the third Person, coiling and twisting the sausage and a time helping hold the casing on the tube.  It would help a Lot having that third person.

    Recruit a son or daughter, neighbor or friend to help
  17. mabrandt

    mabrandt Fire Starter

    You make me sound pretty pathetic.I'm glad I got such "Expert" advice. 
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
  18. It takes practice and I think it's easier to do it alone.

  19. I agree - once you get the hang of it things will go much smoother for you. I stuff alone as well & it's not bad. Don't get discouraged - you'll get it  [​IMG]
    beeflover likes this.
  20. mabrandt

    mabrandt Fire Starter

    Thanks for the helpful advice. I'll try some of these techniques the next time I make a batch.

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