Breakfast sausage help



  • I made a batch of your Holly regular medium pork sausage. This was my second time making it. The first time i added a couple ingredients and made it all into bulk sausage. This time i made it the same way but made the majority of it in links using your 19mm fresh collagen casings. They turned out great and looked almost professional. And then i decided to brown a couple.

    This is where i need help. The meat came right out of the casing whether i cooked it on medium or medium low heat. Could this be fat content too high, too low or could it be the water content? Any help would be appreciated. I used all pork shoulder and a 12oz package of fatback left over from making summer sausage. I broke the recipe down to 1 pound increments using grams and multiplied by my meat block. Like i said the flavor and bite was amazing just cant keep the meat inside the casing.



  • @BrianB

    Mine did the same…I was told to cook them on a lower heat…tried that and no help…not sure what to tell you…I saw somewhere where they poke holes into the links with a tool…maybe this will help both of us…


  • Admin

    @BrianB @bigruckus
    Hey guys,
    I’m not 100% sure on what all the possible causes would be yet. I’m getting a list of ideas together and I’ll respond again with more details and a full list of ideas or things to try for next time as soon as I can.



  • @bigruckus I’ll bet you are right. That would allow steam to escape.


  • Regular Contributors

    @BrianB Not an expert but i have made a lot of breakfast sausage other sausages and all I use is natural casings. They might be a little bit more spendy and a little bit more fickle to use but with a little bit of practice I think you will be much happier with the final product. Don’t be afraid of them give them a try.


  • Admin

    @BrianB
    A few ideas, comments, and questions for you…

    Can you estimate what your fat percentage was of the total meat block, and how much water you added?
    Were the casings stuffed loose, firm, or very tight?
    Were your links twisted and closed or did you cut them and leave the ends open?

    A lot of times, if the meat comes out the ends, it can be related to understuffing so there is little resistance against the edge of the casing and the casing shrinks to push the meat out, or if not understuffing, it can be related to air pockets in the sausage. Sometimes the links are not twisted well enough either, or maybe not twisted at all and the ends are cut and left open. One additional remedy besides getting them stuffed at the correct firmness and making sure twists and links are held together better, is to hold the meat overnight or a few hours in the fridge so it firms back up a little bit as it may be getting a little bit too warm during processing for it to link together well.

    If you are having some issues as well with the casing bursting and meat coming out that way, that is typically associated with cooking at too high of a heat, and may just require an even lower cooking temp. Or it could be a result of overstuffing and the casing can’t hold in the meat simply because there is too much in there.

    One final thought about poking holes in the casings, if you do that, you might cause a lot of juices (thus fat/flavor) to escape during cooking. We would necessarily recommend doing that, unless you had run out of other options.



  • Brian…I did not add any water to my mix…most likely this MIGHT be the issue…I plan on making more links next week and so I will add some water…I will be making about a 10-12lb batch…wondering how much water should I add…thanks

    pete sindo



  • @bigruckus I added 9.07 grams of seasoning, 4tsp ice water, .5 tsp of dried rosemary, .5 tsp dried thyme, .25 tsp sage and 1tsp red pepper flakes. This is all per pound of meat.



  • @Austin said in Breakfast sausage help:

    @BrianB
    A few ideas, comments, and questions for you…

    Can you estimate what your fat percentage was of the total meat block, and how much water you added?
    I estimate to be around 22%.

    Were the casings stuffed loose, firm, or very tight?
    Initially stuffed a little loose as i know they get tight after twisting. They seemed to be just right.

    Were your links twisted and closed or did you cut them and leave the ends open?
    Twisted.

    A lot of times, if the meat comes out the ends, it can be related to understuffing so there is little resistance against the edge of the casing and the casing shrinks to push the meat out, or if not understuffing, it can be related to air pockets in the sausage. Sometimes the links are not twisted well enough either, or maybe not twisted at all and the ends are cut and left open. One additional remedy besides getting them stuffed at the correct firmness and making sure twists and links are held together better, is to hold the meat overnight or a few hours in the fridge so it firms back up a little bit as it may be getting a little bit too warm during processing for it to link together well.

    If you are having some issues as well with the casing bursting and meat coming out that way, that is typically associated with cooking at too high of a heat, and may just require an even lower cooking temp. Or it could be a result of overstuffing and the casing can’t hold in the meat simply because there is too much in there.
    So mine are definitely bursting at high and low temps not coming out the ends. I have now tried poking needle holes in the casings and that seems to help. Only half of them burst.

    One final thought about poking holes in the casings, if you do that, you might cause a lot of juices (thus fat/flavor) to escape during cooking. We would necessarily recommend doing that, unless you had run out of other options.
    0_1478091311669_IMG_3993.JPG


  • Admin

    @BrianB Are you using a thermometer when you are cooking the sausages and pulling them off when they hit an internal temp of 160? Could be bursting even when the cooking temp is low, if you are getting them too hot.


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    @Jonathon Yes Jonathon-it’s in your head 🙂
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    https://food.unl.edu/it-safe-refreeze-raw-meat-and-poultry-has-thawed
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    The U. S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) advises:

    Once food is thawed in the refrigerator, it is safe to refreeze it without cooking, although there may be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost through thawing. After cooking raw foods which were previously frozen, it is safe to freeze the cooked foods. If previously cooked foods are thawed in the refrigerator, you may refreeze the unused portion. Freeze leftovers within 3-4 days. Do not refreeze any foods left outside the refrigerator longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F.

    If you purchase previously frozen meat, poultry or fish at a retail store, you can refreeze if it has been handled properly, according to USDA.

    DO NOT thaw meat at room temperature, such as on the kitchen counter.

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