Summer sausage casing



  • Hey I made a 10 pound batch of summer sausage using a 70/30 mix of buffalo meat and bacon ends. I tried Walton’s H summer sausage seasoning with 2.5 Tbsp mustard seed thrown in. I stuffed the Walton’s 12” mahogany casings tight and because I didn’t use ECA I refrigerated the sticks overnight. Using a Masterbuilt 30” digital smoker I followed Walton’s guidelines on slowly heating/smoking them. First the good news, they were perfectly cooked from edges to the center and the flavor was so good I will be hard pressed to try anything else! My only issue was in ice bathing the sticks. I got a fair amount of meat shrinkage away from the casings. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! And fear not; I will suffer through eating my “mistakes”.


  • Walton's Employee

    @big-mike There are a couple of things it could have been, all the 12" Mahogany Casings are all prestuck so it’s not that you were using non stuck casing. Were the casings soaked for 30 minutes in warm water to where they became pliable before you stuffed them? The only other thing I can think of would be fat content of the meat or not enough protein extraction but with either of those probably would have caused fatting out and you would have noticed that on the outside of your meat.

    How much Ice did you use and how long were they in there for? If the water wasn’t really cold or if they were only n there for a few minutes then maybe that could have contributed.



  • I soaked the casings for 50 min in warm water, mixed the meat 8 minutes (4 min in each direction) using a mixer then sprinkled the mustard seed in and hand mixed for 2-3 minutes more. I got excellent protein extraction. The sticks were soaked in ice cold water (1/2 ice & 1/2 water) for 30 minutes then patted dry and placed on racks to air dry for one hour. Cases were all nice and tight prior to the ice bath but were wrinkled after the ice bath. @jonathon


  • Walton's Employee

    @big-mike I’m stumped on what could have caused it. Give me a couple of days, I want to talk to someone here but he is out of the office and out of reach for a couple of days.


  • Walton's Employee

    @Big-Mike Can you send me a picture of the product or are they already all gone? I spoke with someone here and they thought cook schedule and fatting out but your process doesn’t indicate to me that either of these was the issue.


  • Regular Contributors

    You may not have stuffed them enough. Sometimes it hard to stuff the larger casings and if it’s not tight the may cause the shrinking during the cooling process. Those cases are extremely durable don’t be afraid to stuff them.


  • Regular Contributors

    Sitting at the beach on vacation my mind has time to wander…when you’re done stuffing give them a good twist to compact the meat. I’ve also give up on string tying I use zip ties and yes I wash them most of the time. We have zip tie loops that we’ll zip tie to the casings, makes hanging so much easier then just reuse the loops. That should help with the shrinkage issue.



  • @parksider Thanks. I did all that. I stuffed them tight twisted the tops down tight and secured them with twist ties. I’m going out right now to try again. Thanks for the tips!


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Recent Posts

  • W

    In the ‘Meat Block’ you don’t list using a cure. The packet of Landjaeger seasoning I purchased came with a packet of Cure.

    As this is a sausage that is ment to be consumed without cooking shouldn’t a cure be used. I know you put in the wrap up about using Smoked Meat Stabilizer or Sodium Erythorbate are they equivalent to using a true cure.

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  • @tswohl6
    You shouldn’t have a noticeable difference in stuffing based upon the difference of using a grinder or a bowl chopper.
    Your biggest help in making stuffing easier will be using plenty of water. At least 1 quart per 25 lb meat block, but up to 2 quarts is even better. And, your lean to fat ratio will make a difference. Leaner meat will be harder to stuff while a higher fat content will make things easier. Keep the meat as cold as possible too and that will help make things a little easier to stuff as well.

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  • I would continue to use the grinder and just add a little more water to the mixture and make sure you lube the gasket and you should be good to go. Although you could definitely use the Buffalo chopper and just add ice instead of straight water and that should help.

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  • Cured Sausage Specialty Sausage 103: Making Landjaeger

    Attend this entry-level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    Breaking Down Beef Flushing Natural Casings Grinding Meat Protein Extraction Flatenning Out Sausage What is Landjaeger?

    Landjaeger is a German sausage that is made from a combination of beef and pork. It is stuffed into natural casings and can be smoked and semi-dried or just smoked. Before smoking, it will be pressed either flat or formed with a mold to give it its classic flattened look.

    Meat Block

    6 lb of Untrimmed Pork Butts
    4 lb of Lean Beef
    1 Bag of Landjaeger
    1 Bag of Sure Gel
    1 Bag of Encapsulated Citric Acid

    Equipment

    Weston #12 Butcher Series Grinder
    Walton’s 11 lb Sausage Stuffer
    20 lb Meat Mixer

    Process

    Landjaeger needs to be stuffed into a natural hog casing for it to really be an authentic landjaeger and we also want to press and form it so natural hog is the best choice. I’m using a home pack of hog casings so they need to have the salt rinsed off of the casings, then the insides need to be flushed with running water and then let them soak for an hour in warm water.

    We need to cut up our beef and pork into pieces that a grinder will easily handle. The smaller the grinder you are using the smaller you will need to cut up your product. With something like this Weston #12 Butcher Series, we want to cut our product into chunks between 2 and 3 inches.

    I have had our meat in the freezer for about 45 minutes before to make it ice cold, cold meat will always grind better than warm meat. We will we are going to grind the beef once through a 3/16th plate, before we started we made sure our plates and knives were well oiled to prevent any friction between the plate and knife, this would cause the plate to heat up and it would add unnecessary wear and tear on our equipment. Then we will grind the pork twice, first through a 3/16th-inch plate to break down the meat and then through a 1/8 plate to finish it off.

    Meat Mixing

    We are going to smoke this so we need to get good protein extraction when mixing. Place in a mixer with water, seasoning, and cure and mix until you have achieved protein extraction. Remember to mix it an even amount of time forward and reverse, about 8 minutes should do it. Remember if you are using Encapsulated Citric Acid like we are that it needs to be added during the last 60 seconds of mixing or you run the risk of breaking the encapsulation.

    Sausage Stuffing

    Before you load your stuffer you should oil your piston gasket with White Oil to make sure it moves smoothly along the walls of the canister. Load your stuffer, being careful not to create any air pockets in the canister and stuff it somewhat loosely into the casings, you will want to stuff them loosely so you can form them before smoking.

    Thermal Processing & Smoking

    Lay them out on screens in a smoker and cook with no smoke at 120° for 30 minutes, then 140° for 1 hour, again with no smoke at this stage and dampers still wide open, then at 145° with smoke for an hour and finally 180° until internal temp reaches 160°. The smoking process is a lot easier with something like the Grilleye Pro Plus thermometer that can track your temperature and alert you when you have reached your desired temps. Adding a water pan is a good idea to help add some moisture to the smoker.

    Cooling

    Once you are done smoking them leave them out for an hour at room temperature to allow them to cool and then place them in a fridge for 24 hours before vacuum packing.

    Wrap up

    All in all the largest difficulty we faced was flattening the Landjaeger out. Other than that it was really very similar to making any other cured sausage. Adding more water might have made the flattening the meat out easier and allow it to hold it’s shape better, if we do this again we will try that.

    I would also either use less Encapsulated Citric Acid as the seasoning appears to have some tang to it by itself. So if you still want to use a cure accelerator I would recommend Smoked Meat Stabilizer or Sodium Erythorbate

    Additional Tips As always make sure you keep your meat as cold as you can before grinding. This not only helps speed the grinding process but also helps with food safety which is especially important here if you are going to try to flatten it out. *In the end, flattening out the sausage was the hardest part, getting it between two hard surfaces with a LOT of weight is important. * Other Notes

    We also tried to take an extra stuffing tube and flatten the opening with a vice to give us the desired flattened outlook. I was limited in how much I could flatten it out and still be able to get the hog casing over the flattened out portion. Once I stuffed the meat into the casings it immediately took on the shape of the casing so it did not work.

    Watch WaltonsTV: Specialty Sausage 103: Landjaeger Shop waltonsinc.com for Cured Sausage Seasoning Shop waltonsinc.com for Meat Grinders Shop waltonsinc.com for Sausage Stuffers Shop waltonsinc.com for Boning Knives

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  • T

    looking at some of the questions about stuffing snack sticks got me to thinking. For years I have used my grinder to grind the meat for the process and then mix and stuff right away. The stuffer was hard to turn but not impossible, I purchased a 20 electric LEM stuffer a few years back and it just doesn’t have enough power for the snack sticks. I do have a buffalo chopper and was wondering if I used that instead of just grinding it and adding a bit of water to the mix if it would be easier to stuff. has anyone done this?

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