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.


  • Power User

    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.


  • Power User

    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

  • M

    @parksider Thanks for the follow up!! I was really watching the internal temperature when they were in the rolling (HOT) water and making sure to pull them right at the 165. And then right into the ice water bath.

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  • You guys got a great job! Im pretty passionate about this kinda stuff. I enjoy it a lot and love doing R and D stuff! Keep up the fun work!

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  • P

    @Jonathon Yes Jonathon-it’s in your head 🙂
    @mikeihuntr My only advice is to keep the water around 170F, not a rolling boil. If the casing are too tight they WILL explode then you have a really big pot of bad soup! A nice simmer is the way to go, take them out 155-160 and into a water bath. Here is a pic, we just use the turkey fryer with the basket. It makes it really easy to remove from the water and rinse. I will also recommend keeping a temp probe right in the meat you can see the wire going into the water. Good luck!!

    0_1548289087099_19MM bologna in water bath.jpg

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  • P

    This was a big topic of conversation because we do freeze/thaw/process/refreeze venison and pork, never an issue. As a former restaurateur and certified food handler here is what Dept of Agriculture has to say. I’ll defer to the experts:

    https://food.unl.edu/it-safe-refreeze-raw-meat-and-poultry-has-thawed
    Author: Alice Henneman, MS, RDN

    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.

    Safety will depend on whether the raw product was handled properly before it was frozen, refrozen shortly after it was thawed, cooked to a safe temperature when it is eaten and handled safely if there are any leftovers.

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  • K

    What temperature should I pull my cured and smoked bacon out of my smokehouse?

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  • P

    @jonathon it is printed on the Box. I’m looking for a bag that has a evoh barrier. Does Waltons carry a four or five mm evoh High barrier bag?

    read more

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