Hot sticks casing question
I took my first shot yesterday at making my own sausage. We shot a few deer this year and are fed up with the cost of processing, and since I had all but a stuffer, we embarked on this journey. Instead of ruining venison, which is harder to come by than beef, I tried my hand at beef hot sticks in an attempt to get the flavor right and process down.
The flavor turned out great with what I tried, but I am disappointed with the casings. I used collagen casings and ended up pulling all of them off this morning since they were chewy in spots and came off in your mouth in others. Any suggestions on what I did wrong? I am thinking of switching to lamb/sheep to see if that helps.
I smoked the sticks for an hour around 125 degrees. I then bumped the temp to around 175 and smoked them until they hit 152 internal temp, which was about an hour and a half later. I then plunged them in cold water for a minute to cool them and hung them in the garage with a fan on them for about 2 hours. I cut them and put them on a cookie sheet in the fridge, uncovered, overnight.
I did notice some fat pooling in between the casings and the meat. Did I raise the temp too fast? Was the water bath a dumb idea? Should I just go with natural casings? Flavor is great, I just want to get the "snap" in the chew correct now.
Thanks in advance.
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Weber 18" circa 1965
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