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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  • @kking It wouldn’t necessarily hurt anything, the only real danger you would run into is getting some case hardening. That is where the outside cooks too quickly and will not pass heat into the center. So you get an overcooked outside and an undercooked inside. If you stick to your previous smoke schedule and get good protein extraction when mixing (should be sticky and stretch if you grab a handful) then you should be good!

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    @jonathon Sounds great. Thank you!

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  • @kking Gotcha! Okay, that changes things a little, if you added sure cure then the only other difference is the grinding and mixing. All of that is contained in the article I posted in my previous one, so if you ground and mixed as I did in that video that . I’m glad people are starting to try adding cure to traditionally fresh products, it’s a great way to experience new flavors!

    Since there was nothing bad growing in your meat (since you used sure cure) then I think the most likely thing would be either be some fat rendering out and essentially basting the casing in fat(which would have happened if you did not get enough protein extraction), or it might just have been a less than perfect batch of casings. They are natural casings and even though they are processed there is going to be some variability. You certainly can use natural hog casings to smoke sausage, people do it often, I just prefer collagen because I find it so much easier to work with and I like the snap of it better.

    The major downside to collagen is that it will not accept a twist as natural casings will.

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  • K

    @jonathon thanks for the help. However I did add sure cure to it when I mixed it and stuffed it. Is the issue I’m using the wrong casing? Do the natural casing not hold up to that slow cooking process. I guess I called them brats because I used brat seasoning.

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