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PurpleFloyd

Pre struck casings

24 posts in this topic

I bought some supplies from Waltons online. One of the items I bought were the mahogany casings for summer sausage. I made the batch as usual by starting at 120 for an hour and bumping up the temp by 10 degrees an hour over several hours ending with a final temp of 165 to get them to 155. 

Everything was going OK until I bumped the temp to 160 to finish them off. The internal temp was registering about 135 when I did the last bump and everything looked fine. Then after about 45 minutes the internal temp was registering 144 so I went to sheck o it and there was a huge puddle of melted fat on the floor and after opening the door to the smoker all of the fat had seeped through the small holes punched in the casings and leaked all over the inside of the smoker, filled the grease tray and ran everywhere. The casings were now wrinkled and obviously shrunk back from losing the fat that leaked out of the casing.

I didn't intentionally order these casings like that and have never seen them before but obviously they will never be used again now that I have 50 pounds of ruined sausage. Has anyone ever used this type of casing before? The web page says 

Quote

Pre-stuck casings allow for air to escape from inside the casings giving a cleaner, more professional-looking final product.

IME the end result was in no way cleaner or professional looking. 

Edited by PurpleFloyd

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I'm thinking these were fibrous casings.  Those you do not put holes in.  Also did you use dry powdered milk as a binder?  Man I really feel bad for this happening to you.  good luck.

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man thats to bad, sorry for your loss. prayers go out to you. 

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39 minutes ago, reinhard1 said:

I'm thinking these were fibrous casings.  Those you do not put holes in.  Also did you use dry powdered milk as a binder?  Man I really feel bad for this happening to you.  good luck.

They were fibrous. I didn't put holes in them, they came that way.

https://www.waltonsinc.com/24-x-20-mahogany-pre-stuck-fibrous-casings

 

I didn't notice that part when I ordered them and am trying to figure out what purpose that serves other than ruining perfectly good sausage and getting men to power wash their garage floors on a Sunday afternoon.

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I've never even heard of pre-stuck fibrous or any other kind with that kind of name.  I do put tiny holes in my natural hog casings for easier twisting and removing air pockets but all t he fibrous casings I have bought do not have that.  Over all the years I have made sausage both at work and at home we and I have never used that type of casing.  Another thing to look at is the formula of fat/lean ratio of the meat and if you used a binder such as dry powdered milk.  good luck.

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And while I am not by any means a sausage guy, if there is a bunch of fat that would leak out, wouldn't it just pool in the casing and be disgusting if there was no place for it to go or nothing  to absorb it? 

 

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1 hour ago, reinhard1 said:

I've never even heard of pre-stuck fibrous or any other kind with that kind of name.  I do put tiny holes in my natural hog casings for easier twisting and removing air pockets but all t he fibrous casings I have bought do not have that.  Over all the years I have made sausage both at work and at home we and I have never used that type of casing.  Another thing to look at is the formula of fat/lean ratio of the meat and if you used a binder such as dry powdered milk.  good luck.

Yeah, new to me too. What ratio of fat/ lean do you use? I have never used a binder in the past but heck, that may be in the cards in the future. Evolution.

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For summer sausage, salami and sausage of that nature I go 80/20 lean to fat.  I also use dry non fat powdered milk as a binder.  What it does is it absorbs the moisture within the mix so you end up with great texture and less shrinkage.  I add one cup per 5 pounds of mix.  The right amount of water is also important in the mix [or beer].  For example If I was going to make 25 pounds of summer sausage,  I would use 5 cups of dry powdered milk and 6 cups of beer or water.  The powdered milk should not be mixed with the water but sprinkled on after you grind the meat.  Spices and cure should be mixed with the water then poured over the mix.  Also to prevent wrinkling, after you reach the proper internal temp, give the tubes of summer a cold bath in sink.  This stops the cooking process.  After they cool down some take them out and let them further cool on a rack and then put them in the fridge overnight.  Next day you can pack them away for the freezer.  good luck.

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sheez reiny...........you got a 50,000 gal silo out back with that dry non fat powdered milk??????????:P:grin:

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9 hours ago, reinhard1 said:

For summer sausage, salami and sausage of that nature I go 80/20 lean to fat.  I also use dry non fat powdered milk as a binder.  What it does is it absorbs the moisture within the mix so you end up with great texture and less shrinkage.  I add one cup per 5 pounds of mix.  The right amount of water is also important in the mix [or beer].  For example If I was going to make 25 pounds of summer sausage,  I would use 5 cups of dry powdered milk and 6 cups of beer or water.  The powdered milk should not be mixed with the water but sprinkled on after you grind the meat.  Spices and cure should be mixed with the water then poured over the mix.  Also to prevent wrinkling, after you reach the proper internal temp, give the tubes of summer a cold bath in sink.  This stops the cooking process.  After they cool down some take them out and let them further cool on a rack and then put them in the fridge overnight.  Next day you can pack them away for the freezer.  good luck.

So for a 50 pound batch you would use 40 pounds of venison and 10 pounds of beef or pork fat?

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For 50 pounds I would use 30 pounds of venison and 20 pounds of pork butt.  Not a fan of adding just fat.  A pork butt is about 35% fat in itself.  Not a fan of using beef fat as well.  That's what locker plants use, but I would not use that at home.  good luck.

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I think you better check your smokers heat sensors. Animal fat melts a 180F. I think your product got too hot. Dry milk

is not going to help if your product is too hot. I only use dried milk for swedish sausage. Modern sausage meisters use products such as instantized sodium phosphates for a binder.

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Thunder I may have to differ on the dry milk thing.  I have smoked sausage up to 250 using dry milk and never had a melt out.  It's all about the right formula used.  Soy powder is also used a lot.  I put foil on the bottom rack for example in the oven to catch any drips when I do sausage in the oven and have yet to have a melt out.  The sausage is moist and has good texture.  The reason dry milk is in the mix is to retain the juices from the fat.  I do not know anything about instantized sodium phosphates as far as a binder.  Guess I'm old fashion and not modern LOL.  good luck.

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8 hours ago, Thunderbird said:

I think you better check your smokers heat sensors. Animal fat melts a 180F. I think your product got too hot. Dry milk

is not going to help if your product is too hot. I only use dried milk for swedish sausage. Modern sausage meisters use products such as instantized sodium phosphates for a binder.

You may be right. This is a brand new smoker so I trusted it to work as advertised but the more I think about it what happened doesn't make sense at the temps I was cooking. I also had some communication with Waltons and the casings should have worked fine at the temps I had it set at.

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Think I figured out the problem.

 

My smoker is a Masterbuilt 40" digital electric smokehouse with the window on the door. I decided as someone suggested to check the temps in it and since I have one of the portable digital thermometers with a meat proble and another old school thermometer for the oven I threw them in and set it to 165 degrees. Originally the temp on the smoker display read about 10 degrees lower than the actual thermometer then after 100 degrees it caught up and surpassed it in temp readings. Not that big of a deal there but when it got to 165 it didn't stop but continued to climb until the max temp reached 196 degrees. Also, the integrated meat probe read 100 degrees higher than the meat probe sitting right next to it from my grill thermometer. The grill thermometer, meat probe and oven thermometer all read within a few degrees of each other.

Email sent to masterbuilt to see how they address this situation. So the casings might not be the bad guy in all of this and I will do another batch with them when I get the smoker resolved.

reinhard1 likes this

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I hope they work out for you but I would start using a binder with your mixes like non fat dry milk.  It absorbs the moisture and gives you better results.  I've heard of folks a lot with "fat out" issues  and it does happen to them.  I have made sausage for over 40 years and have never had this problem even with temps as high as 250 deg even though most of my smoking is done at lower temps.  Proper mixes, liquid, and a binder is the key.  Fibrous casings are permeable, designed for smoke penetration. I checked some of the places that sell fibrous casings and some don't mention making small holes in the casings and some say if they are not pre-struck [perforated] then you should make small holes in them with a knife point.  And I go, what?  This is to eliminate air pockets or fat pockets they say.  I don't buy it with fibrous casings.  Natural casings yes because you are making links for they have a memory and collagen and fibrous do not.  So it's back to proper mixes [ratio of fat to lean, moisture, binder] for a better product.  

To eliminate or cut down on air pockets, push down on each amount of mix you put in your stuffer.  This gives you a almost air free mix in your stuffer and the piston in your stuffer should take care of the rest.  Can't always get all the air out but most of it this way.  The fibrous casing should also be filled well and not loose.   Masterbuilt has always been good to me when I had a problem.  Hope you get that issue resolved.  Try making a smaller batch next time for your next go at it to make sure everything is working good.  good luck.

 

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This is the jalapeno summer sausage that I made recently.

Edited by reinhard1
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purplefloyd.....i had a similar problem with the same smoker....fortunatly i did not lose any meat as i stumbled on the problem. i had owned the smoker for several years so warrenty was out of the question....i unscrewed the controller on top and unkinked the wires and have had no problem since,   

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Purple Floyd.....I have had one of the first Masterbuilt smokers made. Way back then I set it at 225 to get it done faster, and had the same thing happen.....fat on the bottom of the smoker and crumbly texture. When I contacted Masterbuilt, they told me "do not set the temp higher than 175 degrees. If you do the fat will render out." Have not had the problem in the many years since then. They will probably tell you the same.

I know Reinhard goes with a higher temp....doesn't work for me. To each his own.

 

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First of all I have never advocated doing summer sausage or any other smoked sausage at high temps.  The higher temps have been the last settings as I needed them other than doing it in the oven.  Crumbly texture and fat outs have more to do with mixture and if it's temps it has to do with leaving them in the smoker too long regardless of temps.   I also cold smoke my sausage and then go into higher temps to finish them off.  If you look at my page you will see that in the smoker I start off with lower temps and gadualy go higher by hour.  Not setting the temp higher than 175 is a guideline and generally I agree with that as far as smoked sausage.  That also involves the surrounding temps when you make the sausage.  This is something you learn over the years.  However I do not believe temps like 225 cause fat outs when the formula is properly used.  I do not expect that what I say should be used by everyone and whoever doesn't use that method is flat out wrong.

 

I put my page on here to help those who are starting out.  No advertising and I do not sell anything on there.  Just my hobby and personal page I pay for.  What has worked for me over the years and still do.  Using the proper mix is the key and always will be.  In the smoker low and slow does work the best.  In the oven when something comes up and I do not have the time for low and slow is go with 225 most of the time and to this day have not had any fat outs.  Why is that?  Not going to change as far as I'm concerned.  Way too many years invested in trial and error to try anything else.  But that's how you find out.  good luck.

KEN W, Cooperman, RebelSS and 1 other like this

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 No one here has the experience in sausage making that you have. Doing all the things you list above won't happen with most of us. I am not criticizing you or your methods. Just saying the temp is what Masterbuilt told me to be carful of. After doing that I have not had any problems with rendering the fat out. If I upset you I apologize.

Edited by KEN W
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Ken I'm not upset at anyone and least of all you.  You have put in plenty of time in sausage making and smoking.  I just didn't want to give the impression that I advocate high temps which could be my fault in not explaining it correctly on here.  I go into it more on my page and those higher finishing temps may throw folks off.  Almost everyone I know do the low and slow method.  It's just when I do it in the oven and I go higher temps like 225 I still do not get fat out and that's the result of proper mixes and the use of dry powdered milk.  

Always best in the smoker, always and it's always best to use the lower temps there so you can get as much smoke as you want until the higher temps is needed to finish the sausage off.  You are not going to get the color and the smoky flavor by setting the smoker at 225 right from the get go of course.  Sausage would get done before that would be achieved.  But in the oven were there will be no smoke, That low temp is not required because the objective is not to get the flavor of smoke, but to get the sausage done.  I think there is the thinking that you will get fat out at temps like 225, and that in my opinion is wrong.  I guess that is what I'm trying to get across.   I do use that temp in the oven [because I will get no smoke] but not in the smoker which is my preffered method.  Sometimes things happen that you do not have the time for the full smoke and that's when I use the oven.  good luck.

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On 4/25/2016 at 4:16 PM, KEN W said:

Purple Floyd.....I have had one of the first Masterbuilt smokers made. Way back then I set it at 225 to get it done faster, and had the same thing happen.....fat on the bottom of the smoker and crumbly texture. When I contacted Masterbuilt, they told me "do not set the temp higher than 175 degrees. If you do the fat will render out." Have not had the problem in the many years since then. They will probably tell you the same.

I know Reinhard goes with a higher temp....doesn't work for me. To each his own.

 

Yeah, I had the temp set at 160 when this happens. I have no intention of using high heat to finish it off. Thanks.

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