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Kielbasa Casings

 
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squaredealb



Joined: 20 Nov 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22 06 1:23 am    Post subject: Kielbasa Casings Reply with quote

I made my first batch of Kielbasa Wedzona this past weekend. I followed Len Poli’s “Babba’s Polish Sausage” recipe and found that the flavor and consistency were very similar to the kielbasa I had as a child in Syracuse, NY. However, the casings were extremely tough. I used pre-tubed, dry-salt packed 35-38mm hog casings that I rinsed gently with tap water. After stuffing, the sausage was refrigerated for ~15hrs before starting the following cooking precedure:

-place in smoker @180-200F, 6o min (no smoke)
-180-200F, 30 min w/ heavy smoke (apple wood)
-place in 325F oven to bring internal temp to 160F
-cool in ice water bath to prevent wrinkling

Would the delay between stuffing and cooking have caused this or does anyone have any other ideas? Thanks in advance for any help you can provide and also for all of the great information I’ve gotten from this group already.

Jeff Murray
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Mark H
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Joined: 08 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22 06 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really don't know on this one. For kielbasa I've used 28 to 32 in the past, but I really don't think this makes a great difference.
Mark H
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squaredealb



Joined: 20 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24 06 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply, Mark H. I have some 28mm casings too so I may try that and I'll definitely smoke immediately after stuffing next time to see if that makes a difference as well.
Jeff
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Mark H
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24 06 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should be able to let the sausage bloom for an hour or so before cooking.

I've been thinking about this one. No matter what temperature the water you rinse the salted casings at shouldn't matter. I just don't have a good answer.
The only thing that comes to mind is you got a batch of tough casings, but that sounds dumb to me because you finished them off at 325.
I just don't know.
Try the 28MM, maybe these will be better, maybe you did just get a tough batch.
If these are still too tough, you could try sheep casings, but these are a pain to stuff.
Mark H
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JimH
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01 06 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember reading somewhere that you get tough casings when you cook them at a too high initial temperature. I'll have to browse a few books tonight to see if I can find that info again.
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squaredealb



Joined: 20 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05 06 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info, JimH. I'm going to be making another batch this weekend and I'll stuff half of it into some 30mm casings I've used previously for some bratwurst that had good casing texture and half into the 35mm casings that were tough. Hopefully, this will help me determine if it's the casings or something else. I listed my initial cook temp as 180-200F but it was definitely on the high side of this range. Is this too hot? Thanks for the help.

Jeff
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Mark H
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06 06 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You listed your finishing temperature at 325. If anything this should cook things tender, or crisp up the casing.
Mark
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mosler
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Joined: 15 Feb 2005
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Location: Mashpee, MA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 22 06 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little late to the party here but I think your first instinct is right on the money. I'm sure your issue with the tough casing is the 15 hour gap between stuffing and smoking. Notes from my past smokes are littered with references to this issue and I now take pains to avoid this gap with kielbasa and andouille. However I plan on leaving about 6 hours of time in the fridge when I do snack sticks since people seem to like the extra bite that the tough casings give.

I know some folks don't pre-cure the meat prior to grinding and instead let the sausage cure in the casing. If you were super careful to make sure the sausage was wrapped airtight then maybe you could do this successfully, but for me one major reason to include the pre-curing step is so you're free to move directly to the smoker.
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Forkin Pork
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26 07 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Talk about late,,,looksa like the party is almost over! Do you folks mix you own spices or but you like to purchase from sausage maing companies?
I'm just getting back into the sausage making thing especially the kielbasa.
Thanks for any advice!
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bigabyte
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26 07 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I mix my own. I'm jsut starting out as well. I make my own rubs too, so go figure!
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mosler
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27 07 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Always mix my own too. Who knows what's in the bag you get from the store/web or how long it's been sitting around. Part of the appeal of doing it myself is controling exactly what goes in the sausage.

I know when you start out the appeal of a mix is taking one variable out of the equation which might increase your chance for success. However, if you weigh your meat, measure your spices and fry up a small piece prior to stuffing then you should be in good shape, even on your first few tries.
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nogoer



Joined: 10 May 2007
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PostPosted: Sat May 12 07 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would tend to agree with the too high of an initial temperature as well. I made smoked kielbasa for the first time last month. One thing i did notice as well was the tough casing. The cooked sausage came out ok and i could still cut it with a fork but it was chewy and tough when eating.

I did not let mine rest for anywhere near that long as far as i can remember. I ground the day before and let the spices meld overnight. Then i stuffed the next morning and hung them to dry for an hour or so to form a pellicle. I then smoked for about 5 hours until they hit the right internal temp.

Here's the clincher....i smoked on my weber propane grill Shocked After awhile i got the hang of it, cooking indirect with foil applewood packets. Most of the cook was around 100 degrees. However in the beginning temps were pretty uncontrollable and went over 200 once or twice.

As far as i knew though smoked kielbasa is supposed to be pretty close to cold smoked around 90 degrees F. I followed a recipe form Jerry Predika's book. I don't rememer exactly right now, but i think the highest he said was 150.
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JimH
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PostPosted: Sat May 12 07 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are going to do much sausage making I would suggest you get this book http://www.sausagemaker.com/browseproducts/-71200-Great-SausageRecipes-and-Meat-Curingby-Rytek-Kutas.html Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing by Rytek Kutas. It's a good reference book and it has a lot of recipes. I beleive he states the you should not go over 160*f when smoking sausages but it's in there and worth the money.
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nogoer



Joined: 10 May 2007
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PostPosted: Tue May 15 07 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JimH wrote:
If you are going to do much sausage making I would suggest you get this book http://www.sausagemaker.com/browseproducts/-71200-Great-SausageRecipes-and-Meat-Curingby-Rytek-Kutas.html Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing by Rytek Kutas. It's a good reference book and it has a lot of recipes. I beleive he states the you should not go over 160*f when smoking sausages but it's in there and worth the money.


thanks Jim, I keep seeing that book come up all the time. I knew the temp shouldnt go as high as it did. I just had alot more trouble controling the temp then i expected. I won't be smoking more sausage until i get a cold smoker put together.
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JimH
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PostPosted: Tue May 15 07 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been able to use my regular smoker to smoke bacon & snack sticks, the trick is to use just enough lit brickettes to get it to the required temp. I think I use 8 to 10 lit brickettes to get to 130*f for te initial smoke.
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nogoer



Joined: 10 May 2007
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PostPosted: Tue May 15 07 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have a charcoal smoker because i wanted as close to set and forget as i could get to start with. Using very small amounts of charcoal is a good idea though. Its probably closer to the "old world" methods when cold smoking was required to preserve food.

I want to be able to get a temp closer to 90 or lower and to get that easily and consistently. The best way i can see is with a traditional cold smoker set up. Then i can stay with an electric element and only have to fuss with adding more wood chunks
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JimH
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PostPosted: Tue May 15 07 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that Summer is here, my smoker will reach 90*f without charcoal. I would just have to find a way to generate the smoke. Laughing
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rawtalent
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PostPosted: Thu May 17 07 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dry salted casings seem to be tougher imo. Next time try the pre flushed casings available here:

http://northamericanhogcasing.emerchantpro.com/

Also, make sure the casings are tightly stuffed. That will stretch them out and make them thinner and easier to bite thru.
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mosler
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PostPosted: Fri May 25 07 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting point about fully stuffing the casing. I hadn't thought of that having an impact on bite, but I suppose it may.

And I will vouch for the Syracuse folks on that link. I've used them for my fresh casings for a few years now and they are excellent.
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