How to Link Sausage
Meat Hacks: How to Link Sausage
Learn How to Link Sausage with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.
How to Link Sausage
So, you’ve gone through all the process of making some fresh sausage, you’ve ground the meat, seasoned it and stuffed it and now you are getting ready to link it. Well if you’ve never done it before we are going to show you how to do it with a few different types of casings and show you three different techniques.
I am going to go over the most basic way to link them first. Grab your rope by the very end and pinch it down where you want the casing to begin, then with your other hand grab the casing about 5 inches down from that. If you like a little shorter brats then keep it closer or for longer move it a little further down. Now pinch the casing down at that point and start rolling the casing towards yourself with your finger, how many time you will need to spin it depends on how tightly or loosely you stuffed your casings.
If your casings are popping after just a twist or two then you have overstuffed them. Next, fold the now formed sausage down your rope and start a new pinch where the first one ended, this will help you keep some uniformity to your lengths. Now begin to twist it in the opposite direction as you did the first one. So if you started by twisting your first one towards you then twist the next one away from you. Continue this process until you have made it all the way down your rope. If you are using collagen I like to freeze them at this point before I cut them as this will help the collagen stay in place a little more and you need to freeze them before vac packing them anyway or they will get crushed. If you are using cellulose casings then you need to tie them closed.
A slightly quicker way to do this is to skip a link. So start as you would above but when you go to move on to the second link, pinch it where the first link ended but then fold it again and pinch it where that link will end, all while still holding that first pinch you made. Now, you twist them in the opposite direction as the first and you will be making two links at the same time. Just continue this down the rope until you are done. This is the method I generally use.
The third one is a bit advanced but it gives you nice uniform links and it looks pretty impressive. Just like the first two methods make your first link and then fold it over the rope so you second link is the same size. Then pinch this area down and wrap some of the casing at the end of the first link around where you have pinched. Then spin the two links that are now making an oval shape a few times. Next take the rope that is hanging down from the two brats and bring it up to the top of them where the twist is. Pinch this down and then fold it over and through the oval at the twist and then pull the rope through the oval. Now fold the rope down along the oval and pinch it, pull it up and at this point your oval should be hanging below the link you just pinched. Now let the rest of the rope hang down and pinch that where it meats your previous oval, now twist the new oval you have just created and pull the rope up to the top of that where you will pinch it and then fold the rope over and through the oval again, creating your second link. Continue this process until you have done the entire rope.
So those are the three ways we hand link sausages here, each gives you uniformity which is important for appearance and packaging. Another nice thing about hand linking is if you have under stuffed some casings like I have here you can give it a few extra twists to tighten it up. Remember, an under-stuffed casing is preferable to an overstuffed casing as it is easier to give it a few extra twists than it is to deal with a blow out after your stuffing has been completed!
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I believe the recommended curing time is 12 hours but can I go less than that? I was expecting my order to be here tonight and it won’t be here till tomorrow morning now.
I was going to mix up my batch of jerky tonight but will have to do it tomorrow on my lunch break. Just wondering if tomorrow evening would be long enough to let the meat cure.
Your recipe calls for 1. Sure Cure, 2. Sure Gel Meat Binder, and 3. Smoked Meat Stabilizer. I have all but the Sure Gel Meat Binder. Can I get by without using this? Second question- Is Excalibur’s Cure Excellerator the same as Sure Cure?
@andyman Great question, Carrot Fiber holds up to 26 times its weight in water, and while the 80 oz is still well inside that I have never done that before. I max out (even with Carrot Fiber) at 64 oz which is 2 qts. My only fear with doing 80 is that it might take a lot longer to cook as it will have more water content that will be trying to evaporate. Most of that water should be bound up in the carrot fiber though so it wouldn’t really be available to be cooked out. Hmmm, my recommendation, to be safe is to stick with 64 oz of water.
Now, as to should you add more seasoning, some people will taste the difference if you did not add additional seasonings and some (most) will not. Your water and your seasoning is technically part of your meat block (anyone who is reading this who doesn’t consider this don’t worry!) so adjusting your meat block to include your water is sometimes done. If you do decide to add more spices or seasonings I would add aromatics and things like Rosemary and Basil, don’t add more salt as that is formulated specifically for the meat block.
Hope this helps and if you do decide to go with 80 oz of water then I would be very interested in the results!
i use denuded round. higher cost, less waste, cleaner eating
@jonathon I enjoyed this line of questions and comments, it made me think. Here is my related question: Assume I use 25 lbs. of meat to make summer sausage and add one package, 4 oz., of Carrot Fiber and 80 oz. of water. The ratio is 20 times the weight of water to the weight of CF. In other words, I am adding 5 lbs. 4 oz. of water/CF paste to my meat dough. Should I adjust the amount of salt and spices, I add to the dough? I am concerned that the flavor will be weaker if I don’t add spices for the new total, 30 lbs. curious as to what y’all thinking.