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Consider the Pig: Adventures in Sausage-Making (long + pics)

Consider the Pig: Adventures in Sausage-Making (long + pics)
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  • Post #91 - June 7th, 2020, 1:13 pm
    Post #91 - June 7th, 2020, 1:13 pm Post #91 - June 7th, 2020, 1:13 pm
    seebee wrote:Any opinions on putting the leftover casings in the freezer or not?
    I had one strand that I soaked but never used, so I patted it dry, then coated it in salt.

    Can I freeze them all and expect them to be just fine for next time?

    I've always just kept casings in their salt-pack tubs in the refrigerator. Freezer seems like it would be fine, though.

    Impressive maiden voyage, seebee. Starting with loin, and 15 pounds of it, no less. If that didn't dissuade you from doing more of this, nothing will. :D

    I don't mean to throw shade at the KA because it does well for many tasks but for 15 pounds of sausage, it was probably a nightmare. I think once you get past 2 or 3 pounds, you're probably maxing it out. If you know you want to do this regularly, you'll be happier if you invest in some dedicated hardware, like a stuffer similar to the one Lou linked to above and a grinder. Just make sure you don't get a grinder with plastic gears . . . or you'll be buying them on a regular basis.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #92 - June 7th, 2020, 3:09 pm
    Post #92 - June 7th, 2020, 3:09 pm Post #92 - June 7th, 2020, 3:09 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    lougord99 wrote:I love almost anything that uses andouille. In the same session, I also made bratwurst.

    Though wordsmith Ronnie_S was describing corn kernels were perfectly taut and plump perfectly applies to your plump taut sausage!

    Looking good!

    Agreed. They look terrific. Lou, would you mind sharing your andouillle recipe/method?

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #93 - June 7th, 2020, 3:15 pm
    Post #93 - June 7th, 2020, 3:15 pm Post #93 - June 7th, 2020, 3:15 pm
    I definitely trust the opinions that the KA is underwhelming for snausage making, but for my first trial, I never cranked it much over halfway, and I didn't notice anything that had me thinking I needed more ooomph. I know they make models with varying wattage, I was using the mac daddy - 575 - 600 watts, I think? When I crank it up for whipping tamale masa, the whole kitchen island moves.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #94 - June 7th, 2020, 3:19 pm
    Post #94 - June 7th, 2020, 3:19 pm Post #94 - June 7th, 2020, 3:19 pm
    seebee wrote:I definitely trust the opinions that the KA is underwhelming for snausage making, but for my first trial, I never cranked it much over halfway, and I didn't notice anything that had me thinking I needed more ooomph. I know they make models with varying wattage, I was using the mac daddy - 575 - 600 watts, I think? When I crank it up for whipping tamale masa, the whole kitchen island moves.

    I think it's more about how fast you can go, how much you can load at a time and, as Lou said, how much you can do by yourself. I don't think the power is where the KA bottlenecks.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #95 - June 8th, 2020, 5:45 am
    Post #95 - June 8th, 2020, 5:45 am Post #95 - June 8th, 2020, 5:45 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Agreed. They look terrific. Lou, would you mind sharing your andouillle recipe/method?

    =R=

    To 5 lbs of pork shoulder I add
    2 Tbsp Morton kosher salt
    1/2 tsp ground cayenne
    1 tsp pink curing salt
    1 tsp dried thyme
    1Tbsp Hungarian sweet paprika
    1/8 tsp blade mace ground on a micro plane
    1/8 tsp ground allspice
    1 cup fine diced onions
    2 Tbsp garlic put through a garlic press

    I know you say that you never freeze your meat, but I just get better results with meat that I have frozen for 30 minutes ( especially with andouille where the onion exudes liquid as you grind ). I set 1/4 - 1/2 lb meat and fat aside and grind the rest through the small die. I cut the set aside meat into small dice and add. I put 1/2 cup water into the freezer until a sheen of ice forms on top. I mix the meat and water with the mixing paddle for a minute or so. I stuff and then leave the sausages uncovered in the fridge for 4-6 hours, turning periodically. I smoke at a low temp ( I try to keep the smoker around 200 ) on lump charcoal with added pieces of pecan chunks for 2-3 hours until the sausages are internal 150. I dump the sausages into a cold water bath and then wrap in a way that there is plastic wrap between each sausage in the gallon freezer bag and then freeze.
  • Post #96 - June 8th, 2020, 5:50 am
    Post #96 - June 8th, 2020, 5:50 am Post #96 - June 8th, 2020, 5:50 am
    seebee wrote:Any opinions on putting the leftover casings in the freezer or not?
    I had one strand that I soaked but never used, so I patted it dry, then coated it in salt.

    Unless you are concerned about fridge space, there is no reason to freeze them. I have kept casings in the fridge for almost 2 years without bad effects. I have no idea what freezing will do to the texture of the casings.
  • Post #97 - June 8th, 2020, 10:33 pm
    Post #97 - June 8th, 2020, 10:33 pm Post #97 - June 8th, 2020, 10:33 pm
    lougord99 wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Agreed. They look terrific. Lou, would you mind sharing your andouillle recipe/method?

    =R=

    To 5 lbs of pork shoulder I add
    2 Tbsp Morton kosher salt
    1/2 tsp ground cayenne
    1 tsp pink curing salt
    1 tsp dried thyme
    1Tbsp Hungarian sweet paprika
    1/8 tsp blade mace ground on a micro plane
    1/8 tsp ground allspice
    1 cup fine diced onions
    2 Tbsp garlic put through a garlic press

    I know you say that you never freeze your meat, but I just get better results with meat that I have frozen for 30 minutes ( especially with andouille where the onion exudes liquid as you grind ). I set 1/4 - 1/2 lb meat and fat aside and grind the rest through the small die. I cut the set aside meat into small dice and add. I put 1/2 cup water into the freezer until a sheen of ice forms on top. I mix the meat and water with the mixing paddle for a minute or so. I stuff and then leave the sausages uncovered in the fridge for 4-6 hours, turning periodically. I smoke at a low temp ( I try to keep the smoker around 200 ) on lump charcoal with added pieces of pecan chunks for 2-3 hours until the sausages are internal 150. I dump the sausages into a cold water bath and then wrap in a way that there is plastic wrap between each sausage in the gallon freezer bag and then freeze.

    Nice. Very nice. Those non-ground chunks of diced meat are one of my favorite things about andouille. What size casings do you typically use for these?

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #98 - June 9th, 2020, 5:29 am
    Post #98 - June 9th, 2020, 5:29 am Post #98 - June 9th, 2020, 5:29 am
    32-35

    I usually get my supplies at: https://www.sausagemaker.com/ .
    I usually get the plastic jar full of casings and then you can just pull out as much as you need. This time I tried pre-tubed casings. Seems like a waste to me, especially if you are doing smaller than 5 lb. batches. They also seem to end and begin at odd spots. They also seem more fragile. So when I finish these, I will go back to jar of casings. Those come packed in a plastic bag sitting in very salty water. About every 6 months, I dump out the old water and put in fresh water and a lot of salt.
  • Post #99 - June 9th, 2020, 6:04 am
    Post #99 - June 9th, 2020, 6:04 am Post #99 - June 9th, 2020, 6:04 am
    lougord99 wrote:32-35

    I usually get my supplies at: https://www.sausagemaker.com/ .
    I usually get the plastic jar full of casings and then you can just pull out as much as you need. This time I tried pre-tubed casings. Seems like a waste to me, especially if you are doing smaller than 5 lb. batches. They also seem to end and begin at odd spots. They also seem more fragile. So when I finish these, I will go back to jar of casings. Those come packed in a plastic bag sitting in very salty water. About every 6 months, I dump out the old water and put in fresh water and a lot of salt.

    Yeah, that's where I get mine, too. I've always just used the plastic tubs. Never tried the pre-threaded.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #100 - June 25th, 2020, 8:09 pm
    Post #100 - June 25th, 2020, 8:09 pm Post #100 - June 25th, 2020, 8:09 pm
    I made homemade Danish-style hot dogs yesterday, based on a Danish-language recipe that was half-ass translated into English for me by Google. This marked my first time using sheep casings, about which I have made the following observations:

    * They are too darn skinny for my fat fingers to manage. I was cramping up trying to find the opening at the end and get it over the stuffer tube.
    * They seemed more fragile than other casings I've used, more prone to tearing as I tried to feed them on to the tube. See also: too skinny, fat cramping fingers.
    * I've worked with hog casings. I've worked with beef bung. But nothing has smelled more like it was once attached to a dead animal's asshole than sheep casings.

    The sausages were decent enough, after a 1-hour smoke over beechwood, finished by simmering in water then pan-frying. Here's one dressed in the Danish style with ketchup, brown mustard, remoulade, raw diced onions, crispy fried onions, and agurkesalat.

    Image
    Ronnie said I should probably tell you guys about my website so

    Hey I have a website.
    http://www.sandwichtribunal.com
  • Post #101 - June 25th, 2020, 9:37 pm
    Post #101 - June 25th, 2020, 9:37 pm Post #101 - June 25th, 2020, 9:37 pm
    Hi Jim,

    That sausage looks excellent. Did you make the rolls, too? I really do appreciate the great lengths you go to replicate a sandwich experience. It is very inspiring.

    I am really glad to hear about your experience with sheep casings. I had been seriously considering making rostiljska kobasica (dimljena), though fortunately some were located at Sandy's Deli. If they are as good as Rene G reports, I will be very happy.

    BAlkan food is just what we will enjoy for the 4th of July this year.

    Regards,
    CAthy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #102 - June 25th, 2020, 10:51 pm
    Post #102 - June 25th, 2020, 10:51 pm Post #102 - June 25th, 2020, 10:51 pm
    JimTheBeerGuy wrote:. . . This marked my first time using sheep casings, about which I have made the following observations:

    * They are too darn skinny for my fat fingers to manage. I was cramping up trying to find the opening at the end and get it over the stuffer tube.
    * They seemed more fragile than other casings I've used, more prone to tearing as I tried to feed them on to the tube. See also: too skinny, fat cramping fingers.
    * I've worked with hog casings. I've worked with beef bung. But nothing has smelled more like it was once attached to a dead animal's asshole than sheep casings.

    Hahaha . . . totally agree with all of this. I was so stoked the first time I managed to get my hands on them -- I was going to make breakfast sausage -- but the excitement soon faded in a flurry of frustration. More than anything else, they were fragile and hard to work with. They just kept breaking. Mine didn't have an ultra-strong stank but still, they were notably gamier than hog casings. That said, the sausage and your sandwich look great.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #103 - June 26th, 2020, 7:15 am
    Post #103 - June 26th, 2020, 7:15 am Post #103 - June 26th, 2020, 7:15 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi Jim,

    That sausage looks excellent. Did you make the rolls, too? I really do appreciate the great lengths you go


    Thanks, Cathy! No, these hot dog buns came from the Mariano's in Oak Lawn :) but I do think they worked better than standard mass-produced buns would have.
    Ronnie said I should probably tell you guys about my website so

    Hey I have a website.
    http://www.sandwichtribunal.com
  • Post #104 - June 29th, 2020, 9:19 am
    Post #104 - June 29th, 2020, 9:19 am Post #104 - June 29th, 2020, 9:19 am
    Jim-

    Thanks for the laugh. I almost spit out my coffee. I don't have plans to make sausage, but I'll stay away from sheep casing. :lol:
    -Mary
  • Post #105 - October 21st, 2020, 1:00 pm
    Post #105 - October 21st, 2020, 1:00 pm Post #105 - October 21st, 2020, 1:00 pm
    Team -
    I've been stockpiling boneless/skinless thighs for grilling, and also for my second go at sausage making. I've been getting them on the regular for 1.39lb, and my freezer is getting full, so...I'm ramping up for another sausage making session.

    I gleaned a good amount of info from my first trial, thank you once again for the little tidbits of info. Anything I should take into consideration for using chicken instead of pork?

    This time around, I'll be making (all chicken:)

    Tandoori
    Jerk
    Italian.

    Probably 5 lbs of each. I'm pretty confident in recipes for the Jerk and Italian, but I'm going to have to pay special attention to the tandoori, and adjust/taste a few times before the final stuffing. The previous batch of Tandoori I made with the pork was just kinda wingin it, and I wasn't too happy with the outcome, but it had a lot of potential.

    Just wondering if anyone has any special tips for using chicken?
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #106 - October 21st, 2020, 4:26 pm
    Post #106 - October 21st, 2020, 4:26 pm Post #106 - October 21st, 2020, 4:26 pm
    seebee wrote:Just wondering if anyone has any special tips for using chicken?

    How are you getting the fat levels high enough? And if not extra schmaltz, binders to keep moisture?
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #107 - October 21st, 2020, 4:32 pm
    Post #107 - October 21st, 2020, 4:32 pm Post #107 - October 21st, 2020, 4:32 pm
    JoelF wrote:
    seebee wrote:Just wondering if anyone has any special tips for using chicken?

    How are you getting the fat levels high enough? And if not extra schmaltz, binders to keep moisture?

    I've made sausage numerous times using only boneless, skinless thigh meat and believe it or not, no additional fat was needed to create a proper bind. If you're nervous about it, throw in a 5-10% pork fat but I doubt it'll be necessary.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #108 - October 21st, 2020, 7:30 pm
    Post #108 - October 21st, 2020, 7:30 pm Post #108 - October 21st, 2020, 7:30 pm
    Good to know. It wouldn't have been something I'd try.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #109 - October 21st, 2020, 7:39 pm
    Post #109 - October 21st, 2020, 7:39 pm Post #109 - October 21st, 2020, 7:39 pm
    JoelF wrote:Good to know. It wouldn't have been something I'd try.

    Initially stumbled onto this making a bastardized version of gyros for a friend who doesn't like lamb. Yeah, we're still friends. Go figure!

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #110 - October 22nd, 2020, 5:11 am
    Post #110 - October 22nd, 2020, 5:11 am Post #110 - October 22nd, 2020, 5:11 am
    I also have made chicken sausage without extra fat and it was fine. I do use the skin. The cheaper thighs ( which seebee seems to be using) usually have more fat attached than the more expensive ones.

    Edit: I just reread the post and see that you are using boneless / skinless. That does cause me some concern as my experience with them is that they often have very little attached fat. Ronnie has used boneless so you will probably be ok.

    Chicken is a naturally softer meat than pork and you want it to be very cold. I would definitely freeze them for 10 minutes or so.
  • Post #111 - January 25th, 2021, 8:29 am
    Post #111 - January 25th, 2021, 8:29 am Post #111 - January 25th, 2021, 8:29 am
    UPDATE ON MY OPINION OF THE KITCHENAID -

    Just had my 4th or 5th go-round of making snausage. The Kitchenaid is not the greatest appliance for stuffing the casings. It "works," but it is far from optimal. Just echoing others' statements already posted in this thread. The Kitchenaid DOES, however, grind and mix the meat pretty efficiently. I can do 5lb in about 15 minutes. Stuffing is where it's pretty crappy.

    As for snausage making? It's pretty damn easy. The boneless skinless chicken thighs are easy peasy, and for this household's taste - the texture has been great - not grainy, totally fine amt of fat "as is." I've tweaked my recipes enough that I'm gonna start making this on the regular for extended fam and friends. I should have been doing this for years.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #112 - January 25th, 2021, 9:51 am
    Post #112 - January 25th, 2021, 9:51 am Post #112 - January 25th, 2021, 9:51 am
    Seebee: Definitely agree on Kitchenaid stuffing not being ideal. Same for any small grinder, manual or electric. I've used a couple cheap and easily washed stuffing alternatives: Best: small horizontal crank stuffer with suction cup base from Amazon, $20-30. Second choice and good for snack sticks: Jerky gun/cannon. Some of these will fit the Kitchenaid stuffer tubes. Third choice, really only good for tiny quantities but super cheap: Cookie press with KA stuffer tube.
  • Post #113 - February 21st, 2021, 12:53 pm
    Post #113 - February 21st, 2021, 12:53 pm Post #113 - February 21st, 2021, 12:53 pm
    For anyone considering a dedicated grinder, there's an interesting-looking #12 model currently on sale at Sausage Maker's website. At this price, I'm guessing the gears are plastic but for ~$72, it might be worth a shot in spite of that. Heck, at that price, even if you already have a #12, it might worth a buy just for the stainless plates, cutter, auger, etc.

    #12 TSM 8-Speed Electric Kitchen Meat Grinder

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #114 - February 21st, 2021, 2:37 pm
    Post #114 - February 21st, 2021, 2:37 pm Post #114 - February 21st, 2021, 2:37 pm
    Interesting grinder. The auto stop/reverse feature would do a lot to protect weak points as long as it's not too sensitive.

    The picture is fairly confusing. The slicer/shredder and juicer turn out to not be included - if they were, this would be a super-duper value. The s/s is $16.99 and the juicer $14.99, so the whole package is cheaper than the comparable addons for a KA mixer. If stuffing tubes are desired, and perhaps this unit would stuff OK at the lowest speed, I'd skip the stainless ones at TSM in favor of a set of plastic ones.

    The grinder plates pictured appear to be the 2-ear style, while the kidney plate, or spacer as it's called there, is a 1-notch style. Not sure that all #12 augers and knives are interchangeable.
  • Post #115 - February 21st, 2021, 3:00 pm
    Post #115 - February 21st, 2021, 3:00 pm Post #115 - February 21st, 2021, 3:00 pm
    tjr wrote:Interesting grinder. The auto stop/reverse feature would do a lot to protect weak points as long as it's not too sensitive.

    The picture is fairly confusing. The slicer/shredder and juicer turn out to not be included - if they were, this would be a super-duper value. The s/s is $16.99 and the juicer $14.99, so the whole package is cheaper than the comparable addons for a KA mixer. If stuffing tubes are desired, and perhaps this unit would stuff OK at the lowest speed, I'd skip the stainless ones at TSM in favor of a set of plastic ones.

    The grinder plates pictured appear to be the 2-ear style, while the kidney plate, or spacer as it's called there, is a 1-notch style. Not sure that all #12 augers and knives are interchangeable.

    Yeah, the plates aren't compatible with the grinder I own (single notch) but they may work for others. Still, this may be a great starter unit. That said, I wouldn't count on its reliability for stuffing. I'd think of it as a dedicated grinder and nothing more.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

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