Cajun/Chorizo Sausage.

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UpInSmoke
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Cajun/Chorizo Sausage.

Post by UpInSmoke » Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:20 pm

Let me start by saying I'm a huge sausage fan. For the last year or so, I've been picking up pieces of the puzzle (grinder, 5lb stuffer, cheap walmart propane smoker) which will allow me to make the goodness at home. I had a free weekend so figured to heck with it, lets get this show on the road.

I've been doing lots of reading on various forums, and also picked up Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing by Rytek Kutas. While on honeymoon last year, the wife and I were driving through Buffalo and made a stop at The Sausage Maker. I picked up some Chorizo and Cajun seasoning mix to get me started.. This would take some guesswork out for now..

I spent a few hours on Saturday, grinding up the shoulders, mixing the spice blend, and stuffing.. Everything went pretty smooth for the most part, stuffing/twisting seems to be a bit of a challenge, but after a few more attempts, I should be able to get this figured out.

I smoked the sausages for a few hours in a cheap walmart propane smoker w/cherry chips. I had to tend to the smoker quite a bit, as it got a little hotter than I wanted, on the low setting, I was sitting at 200 degrees. I propped open the door a hair to let the excess heat out, I was able to stick at 160 degrees long enough to get my sausage to temp.

For a first attempt, things came out great! I only did up 10lbs, but its definately something I can see me doing in larger scales!! The cajun came out perfect, wouldn't have changed a thing.. The chorizo tasted great, but it looked a little rough.. the casings didnt really shrink the way I had hoped they would... any suggestions?

Here's some pics of the day...

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Peter
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Post by Peter » Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:42 am

They look pretty good IMO. When you speak of casings shrinking, I'm not sure what you mean. Are you using natural casings?
After smoking, you can expect a little shrinkage in the sausage and some natural wrinkling of the casing. The casing stretches a bit during stuffing (at least the natural casing does) and eases back a little after cooling. All normal happenings.
What was the max temp you got to during smoking?
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UpInSmoke
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Post by UpInSmoke » Wed Jun 04, 2008 12:33 pm

I used calogen casings... The meat for the Chorizo didn't bind as I thought it would, it was really loose in the casings, even though I thought I did a better job at stuffing them. But for something that minor to happen for the first time, I'm not complaining!!

I tried to keep it at 160, but there were a few periods where i hit 200->210. I was able to get the casings to "dry" off without any problems at low-temperatures. I'm going to try an electric burner, to see if that keeps the temps a little lower.

I must say though, after letting the cooked sausages sit in the fridge for a day or so afterwards, made a big difference too...

We bought WiiFit and made sausages the same weekend... Coincidence? ha!

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Post by Peter » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:09 pm

At the higher temps, you will lose some of the fat in the mixture and see some shrinkage from that. Holding at 160 max will help a lot.
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