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Thread: Stuffing sausage casings....

  1. #1

    Question Stuffing sausage casings....

    I've been making my own bulk sausage for years and am now getting ready to try stuffing it into casings. I have read lots on the Web and have gotten some ideas on how to go about it and what to watch out for in terms of lubing my casing feed tube, going slow, etc.
    I'm interested if anyone here has some hands on experience they can share. I don't have specific questions as I have never done it before so I'm looking for any tips. Tips that have been learned through trial and error that don't generally show up in the instructions for this kind of thing are always the best. Also, is PAM cooking spray a good enough lubricant for the tube the casing goes onto? Or should I use something slipperyer so my casings don't stick and tear?
    Thanks in advance for any help.

  2. #2
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    I have never made my own link sausage and I'm dying to try. I have the meat grinder from Kitchen Aid and I wonder if it's worth investing in the tube or the casings to make my own. I've watched them being made and I know that it's important that the casings be of high quality and the most important thing is to make sure they are lubricated enough and handled gently so they won't tear. Please tell me if you are making these with your KA or another method and I'd love to have your recipe.

  3. #3
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    Are you using natural casings or synthetics? Do you have a sausage stuffer or are you doing it by hand? I've never used a lubricant besides water - I rinse out my (natural) casings, slide them onto the stuffing tube, and go for it.
    "Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But, we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh, yeah, did I mention that this whole time we're standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick. Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. Next question."

  4. #4

    Thanks so far....

    I'm using my kitchenaid food grinder and I have the sausage stuffing attachment. That is the way I'm going to try and make my sausage links. I'm using hog casings and they are very good quality. I bought them from a market that makes their own sausage and I know their sausage is quite good.
    Thanks for the tip about the water on the casing tube. I will try that out.

  5. #5
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    Re: Thanks so far....

    Originally posted by Hammster
    I'm using my kitchenaid food grinder and I have the sausage stuffing attachment. That is the way I'm going to try and make my sausage links. I'm using hog casings and they are very good quality. I bought them from a market that makes their own sausage and I know their sausage is quite good.
    Thanks for the tip about the water on the casing tube. I will try that out.
    I don't necessarily wet my tube before hand - there is usually enough water in the casing after having rinsed them (which you have to do anyways, as they are packed in salt) that they just slide right on. If you don't work fast enough (and it's not exactly lightening speed we are talking about) the casings will dry out on the tube. However, the phone would have to ring and you'd have to walk away to talk to mom in Iowa for about a half hour before this would be an issue.
    "Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But, we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh, yeah, did I mention that this whole time we're standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick. Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. Next question."

  6. #6

    Question How much for 3 lbs of sausage?

    Hey Bad,
    I'm going to use about 3 pounds of sausage. How much casing would you use for that amount of sausage?

  7. #7

    Tube and casings...

    Dramaqueen said:
    "I have the meat grinder from Kitchen Aid and I wonder if it's worth investing in the tube or the casings to make my own. "

    Hey dramaqueen:

    I got the stuffing tube for $9 and I got 80 feet of hog casings for $16. So fortunately only a $25 investment so far.
    I'm also going to get pasta dies for my food grinder attachment to try my hand at fresh pasta. And I intend to make some ravioli filling with the grinder attachment.

  8. #8
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    Re: How much for 3 lbs of sausage?

    Originally posted by Hammster
    Hey Bad,
    I'm going to use about 3 pounds of sausage. How much casing would you use for that amount of sausage?
    For hog casings, I'm guessing 24" per pound. So... 6'? I think that's about right. I'm thinking back to Christmas and how long each package of kielbasa ends up being.
    "Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But, we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh, yeah, did I mention that this whole time we're standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick. Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. Next question."

  9. #9
    I remember my mother making sausage, bless her heart, I remember her using just water to keep it going, I think she used the real thing for the casings. (pig guts???) Yikes

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by pattyp.
    I think she used the real thing for the casings. (pig guts???) Yikes
    That's what we still use in my house, and it sounds like that is what Hammster will be doing as well.
    "Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But, we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh, yeah, did I mention that this whole time we're standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick. Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. Next question."

  11. #11
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    I have a few suggestions, if you are using the real stuff (meaning pig intestines, the only type of casing I've ever used). I learned these tips from my mother, which is an expert in sausage-making.
    1. Rinse very well.
    2. Take an end of the casing and blow into it to open it up. This process vastly decrease the risk of the casings rupturing during stuffing. If the casing doesn't inflate all the way through, there is a hole, in which case you either have to cut out the offending part or discard the casing.
    3. When you twist the filled casing to create individual sausages, twist in one direction after a sausage, and in the other direction after its neighbour, and alternate like that for the whole chain. This stops the sausage chain from unravelling when handled afterwards.
    4. Hang the sausages for a day in a cool place to dry out before storing or cooking. We only make them in the winter, as it's traditional, and we hang them on the balcony. The temperature outside in December is about the same as the temperature in my fridge.

    Hopefully these were the kind of tips you were looking for. Good luck! Home-made sausages are good stuff.

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by Luiza

    1. Rinse very well.
    2. Take an end of the casing and blow into it to open it up. This process vastly decrease the risk of the casings rupturing during stuffing. If the casing doesn't inflate all the way through, there is a hole, in which case you either have to cut out the offending part or discard the casing.
    Oooh! I forgot about this! You can also attach them to the faucet, a la a water balloon, and check for holes that way.

    I need to make sausage again. Sandy? Cheryl?
    "Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But, we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh, yeah, did I mention that this whole time we're standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick. Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. Next question."

  13. #13

    Thumbs up Thanks and thanks again...

    Luiza and badunnin and PattyP.
    Thanks so much for the tips. They are all very useful and helpful.
    Last edited by Hammster; 02-28-2005 at 07:59 AM.

  14. #14
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    HAMMSTER: When I said "worth investing in" I wasn't so much referring to the cost of the stuffing tube but to the work involved in making my own sausage. I love this kind of thing but don't want to bother if it doesn't come out right. I "googled" recipes for homemade sausage and I think I might give it a try. I have the pasta roller, the pasta cutters and the separate dies and they make excellent pasta in a snap. The dies give you different shapes and work very well with very little cleanup. I haven't tried my ravioli maker yet, plan on doing it this week but I wonder if it's worth it. The roller rolls the dough out very thin and it doesn't take much to lay the sheets on a board, fill them and cut them with a ravioli cutter so the attachment might not be worth the money. PLEASE LET US KNOW HOW THE SAUSAGES TURNED OUT AND IF YOU THINK IT WAS EASY ENOUGH TO GO FOR IT. GOOD LUCK!!

    By the way, I grind my own meat now. Purchased ground beef has more bacteria than a toilet seat so I like doing my own. You can control the amount of fat, and the quality and type of meat you want so Iike that. I made Dolmades a few days ago (Stuffed Grape Leaves) and couldn't find any ground lamb so I bought some inexpensive shoulder lamb and ground my own. Terrific. For some reason burgers taste better when you grind your own meat.

  15. #15

    Exclamation It will be worth it for sure.

    Since I have been making my own sausage for years, I feel it is worth the effort to learn and make it into links. I feel it is worthwhile as I get to control what goes into my sausage and more importantly what doesn't. So for me it will be a good investment. I will invest the time to learn it. I think once I've learned it it will be so easy to make sausage links whenever I want.
    I rarely buy ground beef too. It is so easy to just chunk up some chuck or some other cut of beef to get the hamburger I want.
    I'm not too interested in the pasta roller, but just the pasta dies that fit into the food grinder attachment.
    Here is a link to some sausage recipes and an Excel spreadsheet that will automatically calculate quantities of ingredients for various types of sausage just based on the quantity of pork you intend to process.

  16. #16
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    [COLOR=darkred]Thanks Hammster: that was a great site and I've put it in my "Sausage making" folder. I think I just might go ahead and give it a try. I bake my own bread, grind my own meat, make my own pasta and now I'm going to make my own sausage. Isn't it funny how all this technology is turning us into pioneers.]

  17. #17

    Oops on my part...

    Well I may have already made a rookie mistake. I was worried about how long the sausage casings would keep in the fridge so I stuck them in the freezer. Well I have read a few things since then that says DO NOT FREEZE the casings and that they will keep a couple of years in the fridge. D'oh. Oh well. I will still try them once they thaw out. Hopefully they aren't weakened too much due to being frozen for about a week.
    Sheesh!!

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