So I’ve posted a few times but missed this Intro thread.
I’m Jamie from Frankfort, IL (SW Burbs of Chicago). Been smoking meats for 25 years or so but had only done a single 30lb batch of sausage (Kitchen-Aid) many years ago until recently. Sure you can guess why a second batch didn’t follow. Now have a LEM Big Bite #8 and Hakka 15# stuffer and have done a couple hundred pound of sausage/snack sticks with them.
Mainly cook on a built-in stainless steel Pitts & Spitts Maverick 1250 pellet smoker, Kamado Joe Big Joe II, and a Napoleon 38" 700 Series built-in gasser. Also just ordered a PK 100 for sausage/snack sticks/bacon/low-temp smoking. Guess you can say the sausage hook has been set.
Best posts made by Jamieson22
RE: Roll Call (Start Here First)
So I’ve posted a few times but missed this Intro thread.
25lb batch of Signature Smoked Kielbasa - Ready for smoke tomorrow
Stocked up a bit when butts were on sale for $1.49/lb which is cheapest I’ve seen in some time. Made 25lb of Jalapeno Cheddar Brats earlier this week and today did 25lb batch of Signature Smoked Kielbasa with the rest of it.
Just upgraded my LEM #8 to a LEM #22 so got to use it for the first time. Made my batch seem small with how fast it tore through it. Used a 10mm plate and then reground maybe 1/3 of it back through the 10mm plate. Stuffed into 42-45mm hog casings. Shooting for a chunkier texture.
Any advice on smoking them tomorrow? Plan to hang and dry at room temp with a fan for an hour or so before starting. Then figured 120F for 1 hours, 135F for 1.5 hours with smoke (and water pan), 155F for an hour, 165F for an hour, then 175F till done? Am using my PK100 but pretty new to smoking sausage.
Also, I turned them all into rings by basically stuffing till 17" (can see my green tape on counter to measure) then extending some extra casing before starting the next one. Then cut to separate them. give a few twists, then tie both ends of casings together to form ring. Is the an easier way?
Also a bonus pic as I bought three 2-packs of butts to cover my two batches. Deboned and cut into chunks last night to prep for today and one weighted in at 11lb7oz after deboning. So I had an entire butt left-over. Fired up my smoker and did an overnight cook on it for pulled pork.
RE: Help with Snack Sticks - Should cranking the stuffer be so hard?
So just finished smoking them. Took two batches and 2.5 hours at 180F to hit 154F internal. Came out great!
25lb batch of Hot Links with Swiss Cheese
Beautiful day to stay inside here in Chicagoland as we are getting DUMPED on with rain.
Did 25lbs of pork Hot Links and added high-temp Swiss cheese. Decided to try a 3mm plate grind vs my usual coarser preference. I am still only grinding once as I fear a 2nd grind on my LEM #8 would suck and I’ve been pretty happy with the single grind product.
I added cure so plan to break in my new PK100 smoker with them tomorrow.
Jalapeño Cheddar Brats - Excited about these!
Butts were on sale for $1.49/lb so grabbed enough to make two 25lb batches. Planned to do one today and another at end of week. After long weekend I figured I’d do myself a favor do some fresh brats and save the smoked batch for next.
This is 25lb of the Walton/Excalibur Jalapeño Brat seasoning with 2.5lb hi-temp cheddar:
I was surprised by how vegetal this seasoning is. It basically sucked up 4 cups of ice water during my ore-mix. Smells fantastic and will grill up the stuffer tube bonus later this eve for dinner.
Help with Snack Sticks - Should cranking the stuffer be so hard?
So just finished my second batch of snack sticks. Both batches used were made with pre-ground 80/20 beef chubs (25lb first batch and 24lb second batch). Both made with Walton/Excalibur seasonings and hi-temp cheese. I have a Hakka 15lb stuffer and a 12mm stuffer tube. Meat was hand mixed. When stuffing I only use the low/slow gear vs the gear meant to pull plunger back up quickly.
First batch was Jalapeno w/ 2.5lb cheddar and sure gel, mixed with 1 quart water in 19mm mahogany collagen casings. Stuffer was ridiculously hard to crank. Had to have my wife help and she had issues turning it. If you let go, the handle would kick back strongly a full spin.
Second batch was Willie’s with 2.5lb hot pepper cheese with 2 quart water in 21mm mahogany collagen casings. I skipped any binders this time. Definitely took some muscle to crank, but I did it myself. If I let go it would kick back just a quarter turn or so.
To stabilize I have been using 3 trigger clamps and have honestly been concerned if I could crack my granite counter tops. The Hakka has a air-release screw and I’ve tried loosening that up to point I get some meat pushing up through. Also added some white oil to the o-ring and verified it is oriented correctly. Fresh sausages using large stuffer tube are super easy to push through.
Is this just the physics of a large 15lb cylinder and a small 12mm tube and is perfectly normal? Any advice? Are my counters at risk?
RE: Pre-tubed casing for small batches
glen You do not have to pack the entire length. I kind of thread it from the tube it comes on to my stuffer tube and cut it (through casing and plastic tube) when I think I have enough. This leaves the remains on the casing tube as it came and I don’t have to worry about it picking up any sausage meat that may spoil. I then shake off as much water as I can and put in sandwich bag coated in kosher salt.
New Smoker Day!
My 9am-5pm freight delivery window ended up with a 7pm delivery time. Got it unboxed, put the wheels on and peeled the stainless protector film off. Will do initial burn-in tomorrow and hopefully smoke first batch of sausage this weekend!
It is a beautiful machine and can’t wait to put it to use!
Beautiful day to make some Blue Ribbon Brats + tubed casing question
Butts were $.99/lb so grabbed some to do a 25lb batch. Came back from the pool with the family, opened the windows, cranked up some Grateful Dead and went to work. Blue Ribbon smells amazing. Have enough that didn’t stuff to grill up a patty for dinner to try it out.
Now to my question: assume it is okay to re-use tubed casings I soaked but didn’t need? I seem to be terrible at guesstimating so often end up with lots of extra. Ive just rinsed them in cold water and packed in a sandwich bag with like 1/2 cup kosher salt to stash back in fridge. Any issues? I am cautions when threading to not let the excess touch meat.
Latest posts made by Jamieson22
RE: Makin' Bacon (EQ Method)
cure and smoke my own bacon, hog jowl, pigs feet, pork hocks, etc. and unless your plan is to completely cook your belly 180 degrees is way to high.
I’m simply following the smoke schedule that Walton’s recommends. Although as I was not too far below target and still have plenty of daylight I’m taking it to internal of 138F with smoker at 165F.
Makin' Bacon (EQ Method)
Started EQ method cure on this 10lb-ish belly on 7/1 and pulled out out and rinsed last night. Let it rest open in fridge to form pellicle and just put it into my PK 100. Smokehouse plan is following schedule using cherry (or apple, not 100% certain yet):
- 120F - 1 hour (no smoke) - vents 100% open
- 120F - 1 hour (smoke) - vents 20% open for rest
- 135F - 1 hour (smoke)
- 150F - 1 hour (smoke)
- 165F - 1 hour (no smoke)
- 180F till IT is 138F