Summer Sausage problems...

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by kmor, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. kmor

    kmor Newbie

    Hey fellas,

    Meat/fat ratio is fine, flavor is great, (tried several different recipes), but the consistency of the sausage itself is not what I expected. Also, my casings seem to fill with grease from the meat and shrivel up. What is going on here? Smoking method I have been using is the typical 100-120 degree for 1.5 hrs to dry the casings. Then raise the temp to 140 and apply smoke. After a few hours at this temp, I raise it to 170-180 for final cook to bring the IT to 160. Cure I have been using is Morton Tender Quick. How do I keep my sausages plump? How do I keep the casings from filling with large pockets of grease. Please help guys!


    Ive heard ice water bath will help keep the plump appearance. My sausages are shriveling before they are finished cooking.
  2. fagesbp

    fagesbp Smoking Fanatic

    180 is a bit high. If the casing is filling with grease then you are definitely going too high on IT. The goal is to cook the meat without rendering the fat. I always go to 152 IT on them then immediately into an ice water bath til it cools. I have a few wrinkles but not much.
  3. doctord1955

    doctord1955 Smoking Fanatic

    I would check your thermos first.  Sounds like your smoker is running hotter than you think. An i wouldnt go over 170 with smoker temp try to stay right at that temp. 
  4. doctord1955

    doctord1955 Smoking Fanatic

    Sounds like you are getting them to hot and rendering the fat!
  5. doctord1955

    doctord1955 Smoking Fanatic

    Do you immerse your SS in ice or cold water when you r done to stop the cooking?  Then hang for a hour or so before putting in frig?
  6. kmor

    kmor Newbie

    I immerse them in cold water immediately for about a half hour to stop the cooking process.
  7. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    You are getting a fat-out.

    Your temps are kinda off also

    You using an electric smoker?
  8. kmor

    kmor Newbie

    I am using an electric smoker
  9. kmor

    kmor Newbie


    The casing does not peel off cleanly; part of the meat sticks to the casing and gives it a rough and ugly textured appearance. I am using dark fibrous casings. How tight should I be stuffing the meat into the casing? Currently I am stuffing them pretty tight, should it be more loose?
  10. kmor

    kmor Newbie

    The meat seems to stick to the casings as well. Why is this?
  11. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    This should help you out some. Its a good read.

    Collagen Casings

    Problem: Product falling in smokehouse
    Possible Cause:High humidity in first cycle

    Collagen must be dried in the first cycle to toughen the casings before finish cooking.

    Problem: Finished product wrinkling

    Possible Cause:
    1.)Product too dry
    2.)Improper cooling
    3.)Under stuffing

    1.)Maintain humidity level of at least 50% in cook cycle.
    2.)Upon reaching required internal temperature, product should be showered then removed to room temperature for 30 to 40 minutes and then cooled.
    3.)Product should be stuffed to recommended diameter.

    Problem: Casing dry and breaking

    Possible Cause: Dehydrated casing

    Collagen needs to be stored in a cool place. If casings get dry, open caddy and store in the coolers overnight. This will add moisture back into the casings.

    Problem: Product not coloring

    Possible Cause: Over drying of product before smoke is started.

    Casings should only be dried until tacky to the touch before smoke is started.

    Problem: Product streaking

    Possible Cause: Under drying of product before smoke is started

    Product not being dried properly will cause drops of water to run down product causing streaking.

    Problem: Casing Tough

    Possible Cause: Too little humidity in last cycle

    After casing is dried in the first cycle, product should next be smoked to desired color. High humidity of at least 50% should be used in the cooking cycle.

    Problem: Casing small in size

    Possible Cause: Dehydrated casing

    1.)Check flat width against allowable flat width in the size being used.
    2.)Casing may have dried, open caddy and store in cooler at least 24 hours.

    Fibrous Casings

    Problem: Casing splitting

    Possible Cause:
    1.)Over stuffing
    2.)Too dry during entire cook cycle
    3.)Burns or nicks
    4.)Poor quality meat

    1.)Measure stuffed circumference and make sure it matches the circumference recommended for casing.
    2.)Casings should be dried until sweat is out, then smoked - If smoked and finished in higher humidity of at least 50%.
    3.)Soak casings in 90 to 100 degree's F water for 20 minutes to 30 minutes. Make sure water gets inside the casing.
    4.)Burns or nicks can be on the stuffing horn, clipper, stuffing table or racks in smokehouse.
    5.)Meat with high loads of bacteria will gas and burst the casing during cooking.

    Problem: Casing seperating from meat

    Possible Cause:
    1.)Casings are not being soaked properly.
    2.)Very high humidity is present during the first cycle.
    3.)Clip is slipping
    4.)Under stuffing.
    5.)Need protein coated casing

    1.)Soak in 80 to 90 degree F water for 20 to 30 minutes, make sure water gets inside.
    2.)Very high humidity and no drying in the first cycle can cause early casing release.
    3.)Check Clip tightness on casings.
    4.)Stuff casing to recommended stuffing circumference.
    5.)For many semi-dry products it is recommended that a casing with an inside protein coat be used.

    Problem: Muddy Color

    Possible Cause:Humidity is too high during entire smoke cycle

    Smoke should be started when product is tacky to the touch. Product should be smoked at approximately 25 percent to 30 percent relative humidity, then finish product with at least 50 percent humidity.

    Problem: Wrinkling

    Possible Cause:
    1.)Under stuffing
    2.)Improper cooling
    3.)Clip slipping

    1.)Measure stuffed circumference and make sure stuffed circumference matches that recommended to casing.
    2.)Product is probably cooling to fast. Shower the product and then hold it at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before placing in cooler.
    3.)Check to see if clips have moved up on casing during cooking.

    Problem: Casing will not peel

    Possible cause:
    1.)Product is too dry during entire cook cycle
    2.)Product is not showering or cooling properly
    3.)Need easy-peel casing

    1.)Dry to set casing and smoke, then finish with at least 50 percent relative humidity.
    2.)Ensure a showering step is being taken.
    3.)A coating can be added to the inside of the casing to increase "peelability".

    Problem: Product does not stuff in to the diameter from end to end

    Possible cause:Not soaked porperly

    Soak in 80°F to 90°F water for 20 to 30 minutes, make sure water gets inside

    Problem: Streaking

    Possible Cause:Humidity is too high before and during smoking

    If product is not dry and moisture droplets are running down the product, the smoke will be washed off by the running droplets of water

    Problem: Pear or water drop shape

    Possible cause:
    1.)Product is not soaking properly
    2.)Under stuffing
    3.)Clip is slipping
    4.)Too much weight to hang

    1.)Soak in 80°F to 90°F water for 20 to 30 minutes, make sure water gets inside.
    2.)Stuff casing to recommended stuffing circumference.
    3.)Check tightness of clips.
    4.)On larger diameter casings, very long casings may contain too much weight for the casing walls to withstand.

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