Cured Sausage 105 - Casings For Smoked Sausage


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    Cured Sausage

    Cured Sausage 105 - Casings For Smoked Sausage

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

    Clear Collagen
    Tubed Hog Casings

    What Are Common Styles Of Casings?

    Smoked Sausage covers a wide variety of products, technically snack sticks and summer sausage would fall under this category. For our purposes today though we are talking about a bratwurst like product that is going to have cure added to it and will be smoked in a smoker. The type of casing that is used for this will be important as not all collagen casings are suitable for this.

    The two most common styles of casings for this type of sausage are Collagen and Natural Casings like Hog or Sheep intestines. Collagen Casings come in 3 different styles, Fresh, Clear and Smoked. For a smoked product, Fresh Collagen should not be used, they won’t stand up to being hung in the smokehouse like Clear and Smoked will.

    What Are The Sizes Of These Casings?

    Collagen - Smoked Sausage will generally be 30mm or larger. Both Clear and Smoked Collagen have many options above this size.

    Natural Casings - Smoked Sausage like Boudain or Kielbasa will almost always be 32-35mm or larger. However, you could make a strong argument that Hot Links belong in this category and those can be as small as hotdogs, around 26mm. So for natural casings, they can range from 26mm sheep casings all the way to 42mm hog casings.

    How Are Casings Prepared For Use?

    If you are using collagen casings there is no preparation necessary, simply remove them from the package, load them onto your stuffing tube and begin stuffing.

    For Natural Casings you will need to rinse the salt off of the outside of the casing with clean running water and then soak them for 60 minutes in warm water before they are ready for use. If you purchased your natural casing in a “home pack” you will also need to flush the inside of the casing by running water through the middle of them. Then you load them on to your stuffing tube and you are ready to stuff.

    Advantages and Disadvantages

    The main advantage of collagen is the convenience, no preparation is needed for these casings to be ready to use. Another benefit from collagen is uniformity, they will be the same diameter throughout the entire run, this is especially important for commercial processors. Collagen casings are also less prone to blowouts than natural casings are. The biggest drawback of collagen is that it does not accept a twist as natural casings will. You can twist them and they will stay that way until you go and cut them at which point they will unravel and open slightly.

    The main advantage of Natural Casings both hog and sheep is that they will accept a twist and once cut they will remain closed. Some people also prefer the snap of natural casings. The biggest drawbacks are the difficulty in getting them ready and the fact that they are prone to blowouts.

    Other Styles Of Casings

    Cellulose Casings can be used for skinless smoked sausage products like some types of hot dogs. Cellulose is made from plant material, is very strong, smoke permeable and even has a black stripe down the side to let you know if the casing has been removed or not.

    Other Notes

    *For beginners I always recommend collagen casings over cellulose or natural hog or sheep casings. They require less work and make the entire process less complicated and the fewer complications the better!

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  • Cured Sausage Specialty Sausage 102: Making Lebanon Bologna

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

    Cutting Meat Grinding Meat Stuffing Lebanon What Is Lebanon Bologna?

    Lebanon Bologna was originally made by the Pennsylvania Dutch in the 1800’s. Traditionally it is a dark bologna, similar to salami in appearance and texture and it has a tangy flavor. It is often eaten as cold cuts and it can be slow cured and cold smoked or smoked using more modern methods. We are going to be making a version today that will not be slow cured or cold smoked as that makes it more difficult for the average home user.

    Meat Block

    7 lb of Untrimmed Pork Butts
    3 lb of Lean Beef
    1 Bag of Lebanon Bologna Seasoning
    1 10 lb Capacity Bologna Casing
    1 Bag of Sure Gel
    Sodium Erythorbate

    Equipment

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

    Process

    If you can you should cut the fat off of your pork and grind your pork fat separately through a 3/16th plate twice. Then grind your beef and lean pork through a 3/8 plate and then through a 1/8 plate. Keep ground pork fat separate. Making sure EVERYTHING but especially your pork fat is cold before you grind it is very important here for particle definition.

    Meat Mixing

    Place lean meat in the mixer. While mixing add Lebanon Bologna seasoning, Sure Cure and Ice Cold Water. Mix for 5 minutes. Add ground fat trim, sodium erythorbate and mix for 3 more minutes. Lastly, if you are using Encapsulated Citric Acid add it during the last 60 seconds of mixing. If you add the Encapsulated Citric Acid too soon you could break the encapsulation and release the acid into the meat too soon.

    Sausage Stuffing

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    Note

    You can also use Fibrous or Non-Edible Collagen casings, we chose this as it had the capacity we wanted and it presented the product well.

    Thermal Processing & Smoking

    To smoke start them out with 125 for 1 hour, then 140 for 1 hour then 165 for an hour and finally at 180 until the internal temperature reaches 155°.

    Cooling

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    Wrap up

    All in all, this is very similar to making a salami or even a summer sausage, the main differences are separating out the pork fat from your lean and using the correct ratio, seasoning, and casings. The fried Bologna sandwiches were very good!

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

    What is Specialty Sausage?

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    Sourcing the meat might be a little harder for this than a normal sausage but a quality butcher should easily be able to get you pork liver, trim and even pork blood that you will need to make some of these. Others like Lebanon bologna and some landjaeger only require a mix of pork and beef and a special seasoning.

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    What Videos are being released soon?

    We just released our Pre Thanksgiving Sales that will be good through Friday so you should absolutely check that out. You will also see that we have reduced shipping on orders over $5 all week.

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    Specialty Sausage 103: Landjaeger - We made Landjaeger or a version of it at least! It came out tasting excellent but the appearance wasn’t exactly what we were going for, for more details keep an eye out for this video in the next few weeks.

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    It is almost Thanksgiving time and I’m going home for the first time in years! Like everyone else, I am excited to see family and friends and eat delicious food! Don’t forget to take a few minutes this Thanksgiving to really concentrate on what you are thankful for. For me, a huge thing I am thankful for is this job, I really love what I do here! I mean, who wouldn’t love talking, filming and answering questions about meat processing all day!

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  • @TinCupTom I agree with both @bobing195-7 and @ed-jordan in regards to the H Summer, great tasting Summer Sausage without being too strong or having any real heat.

    Just so you know, in case you were looking for it and couldn’t find it, the ingredients are listed on the products web page. Just scroll down and click the “Additional Info” tab and it will show up.

    The W Summer (4550300082) might be the most mild of all the ones you listed. That doesn’t make it bad at all just a very mild flavor

    Summer 107 (4550300032) Similar to H, contains mustard seed but I don’t think it is whole.

    Summer Sausage Seasoning (4550300012) Very similar to the 107 in flavor, has whole mustard seed.

    H - Summer (G4550300070) is our best selling Summer Sausage Seasoning, contains whole mustard seed. If you are looking for a peppery seasoning this is the best one to use for a base and add some black pepper. This would be the basic summer seasoning favored by most employees and customer.

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  • E

    @tincuptom i can only speak to the H summer sausage seasoning, but it has a lot better taste than the backwoods. Not a lot of pepper (you could add more I am sure) but it is a good solid flavor profile. I did not use the ECA for the tang, but plan on doing it this week in a batch. You can’t go wrong with the H seasoning!

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  • B

    I have been in search for a summer sausage seasoning with black pepper but couldn’t find one. I’m new at this so the H Summer Sausage is the only one I have used so I can’t give you any comparisons with the other 3, but you mentioned black pepper so thought I would share my first experience.
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