Ahh...that was a fake smile. Took longer than expected to grind and stuff, didnt get to bed til after midnight and had to get up at 430am for work. And for some reason my back was killing me, same thing happened last time I made sausage, maybe I need to do it in the kitchen rather than the dining room table.Chuckwagon wrote:Now those are some nice pics - especially the last one where Charcuterier Sui Generis Extraordinaire Nick is holding the goods with a smile on his face. That means it's all worth the effort eh?
Hey Nick, please tell us that you are using UNtreated wood dowels for your sticks. Your stuffing looks great - much easier with two people... takes the hard work out of it. Trying to juggle the volume going into the casing and cranking with one hand can be a little frustrating eh?
I don't have all the answers, but I've found that tough casings can be the result of too high a temperature for too short a period of time. Also, if they are not flushed then soaked in fresh water for quite a while before stuffing, they can be a little tough too. Then sometimes it is just the nature of the particular casing you are using. The texture may improve as they dry out a bit. I'm betting in about a week, you're going to be pretty satisfied with the stuff.
The mixture looks quite smooth for kabanosy, but the fat content looks about right. What plate size did you use? Did you fold in the spices rather than really beating up the primary bind? Quit worrying - another five days and you'll have some great sausages on your hands. Nice going Nick. Its beautiful stuff!
Best wishes, Chuckwagon
Im pretty sure the dowel rods are untreated. They werent specifically labeled "untreated". I bought them at Home Depot, they're labeled "hardwood". Guys on another forum Im on seem to think its untreated.
I had my wife helping me crank the stuffer, but she either goes too fast or too slow. She was too busy gossiping on the phone while cranking too which made following instructions a little more difficult. (hope she doesnt find this post). I think I need one of those foot pedals and a motorized stuffer were I can do it all myself.
About the tough casings: I did have a few bad temp spikes. The winds were blowing 20+ yesterday. Also I think the center of the smoker is about 40-50 degrees hotter than the outter edges. I think I have an idea for a fix for that. I did soak the casings for about 30 minutes and then flushed out the insides. I ran out of flushed casings so I had to quickly soak and flush a few more since it was getting late, so those I had ready in less than 10 minutes.
About the texture: I thought the same thing. I dont know what Im doing wrong. After I took the cured chunks of meat out of the fridge I layed them out in a single layer on a couple cookie sheets and stuck them in the freezer for about half an hour to firm them up nicely. I added the spices to about a 3/4 cup of cold water and poured it over and mixed up the spices and two piles of ground meat together. I just used my hands to mix, not really sure how else to do it. I guess I folded. I only did this for a couple minutes.
I think next time I will make about a 2 lb batch until I have this sausage making figured out. So far my success rate is pretty poor..lol.
Thanks for all the comments Chuck.