Brats Casing

  • Masterbuilt

    I made Philly brats using fresh 30mm collagen casing & hi temp cheese. Added cure & carrot fiber, stuffed and smoked the next day to a 147 internal temperature to be finished either boiling or on the grill. My down fall is the same result as I get with snack sticks, the casing gets tough. Yes I use the 120-140-150-170 step schedule with a water pan & sponge. Even the smoke colored casing seem tougher than ones at the Meat Market. Product is excellent, skin tough. Constructive comments very welcome.

  • Team Blue Dry Cured Sausage Admin Walton's Employee Canning

    deweymeats Philly brat is meant to be a fresh product not a cured sausage. This matters because the salt content of Philly is designed for a fresh and not cured brat, salt helps solubilize the proteins in the meat, without it you are always going to struggle, your fat will render out and that can give you a dry finished product and since the casing has been dealing with more fat it can cause issues there too. Also, if you are smoking, you don’t want to use 30mm fresh collagen, use the clear as that is designed to be smoked, the fresh is designed to be grilled or cooked in the oven.

    What are you doing when they come out of the smoker? Are they given an ice bath, do you leave them out for a few hours at room temp and then store overnight in a cooler?

    I also don’t like Carrot Fiber as much for Cured Sausage as I do for Fresh Sausage. The Sure Gel is a better option for cured products. I don’t think this had anything to do with casing toughness but it is worth trying.

    So if you are still wanting to use the Philly for a smoked brat I would use about 10% less meat to get the salt content closer to a cured brat, use collagen casings that are designed for smoking (clear probably sounds like what you’d want) and use sure gel. Hope it helps!

  • Masterbuilt

    Thanks for the info. I will order some SureGel and clear casing for my next adventure. Looks like 32mm is available for the small orders. Cheers, Dwayne

  • Team Blue Dry Cured Sausage Admin Walton's Employee Canning

    deweymeats Here is a modified search that will show you all casings that are available in smaller packs I would go with the 32mm clear if you are wanting to smoke them. It’ll look yellowish until they are cooked and then they will be clear.

  • Team Blue

    Jonathon Re your comment on the clear casings for smoking. Could you explain why the smoke casing is not to be used when smoking?

  • Regular Contributors

    Is there any other type of casing besides natural and collagen? Not your casings but I bought collagen casings for snack sticks and they were impossible to chew. They were pretty thick compared to whatever casings slim jims use, or D&W use for Landjeagers. I know neither are using natural but whatever they use its very thin and more edible then the collagen casings i bought. I would like to know if there are different types.

  • Team Blue Dry Cured Sausage Admin Walton's Employee Canning

    mikemikemike There are cellulose casings but those are inedible. They work great for skinless hotdogs or other skinless products but they have to be removed before eating. What Slim Jim is almost certainly doing is called co-extrusion and it is a process in why a liquid collagen is applied to the meat as it comes out of the stuffer. It dries within seconds and forms better to the meat. Tough collagen casings are almost always a sign of something wrong with smoke schedule or fitting out. Can you please list your smoke cycle for us? include temps, times at those temps when you add humidity and when you remove it. Plus what you do when it comes out of the smoker. We will see if we can figure out what the issue might have been.

  • Team Blue

    Jonathon Need your humble opinion on casings. I’ve tried many different companies in the past and have settled in on your collagen casings. But, the real question is: We usually smoke about half of our stuffed product using one casing (30mm fresh collagen). If we do this, what casing would you recommend for this practice? OR Would you recommend that we do more planning and stuff with 2 different casings. We smoke on a rack in an electric smoker. So, hanging the links is not an issue. Looking to purchase more. But, will wait for your opinion. Thank you.

  • Team Blue Dry Cured Sausage Admin Walton's Employee Canning

    zbigjeff Sorry, I missed your initial question, smoked collagen casings can absolutely be used to hang and smoke, I just told him to use the clear b because he was using the fresh so I assumed he didn’t want to use the mahogany-colored casings. I’d say the same thing for yours, I’d switch to clear IF you are hanging them. if you are just coiling them (sounds like that is the case, sorry, trying to answer as I go!) then using fresh should be okay. If you try to hang fresh casings you are eventually going to open your smoker and have all your sausage on the floor because they will break.

    Read first! You are fine to continue using fresh as you are laying on a rack and not hanging. I am going to leave the above information for anyone who might want a little more information on it but as long as you don’t want to hang them you are good to go. You may possibly have a texture or “bite” difference but it isn’t anything I think would be worth buying double the casings for!

  • Team Blue

    Jonathon Thank you for the response on “casings” to utilize. Will be purchasing some soon. You guys are wonderful and your candor is exactly what’s needed. No “beating around the bush” is required. 🙂 Keep up your good work, banter and sarcasm. Now, go have another good day.

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