Friday, July 20, 2012

Which meat grinding plate should I use?

Wayne from Duchesne, Utah asked:
My Weston Meat Grinder came with two grinding plates. What grinding plate do I use to make regular sausage like polish or bratwurst?

Wayne you have just asked my favorite question!!

When grinding sausage products I like to use a variety of plates to give me different textures. I talk about this a lot in our Advanced Sausage Processing DVD that is on The Hunter's Butcher Shop.

Often times, I will grind half of my meat block through the small plate and half through the large plate. What I have found is if you grind everything through the small plate, wild game meat tends to get tough or "rubbery." If you grind everything through the large plate, it's tough to hold the product together. So by grinding half and half, I've found that you get a firm product that has a great bite to it!

Good luck and for more grinding information check out that Sausage DVD!

The Meat Man!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Natural vs. Collagen Casings

George from Punxsutawney, PA asked:
I’m making Italian sausage myself for the first time from venison. Do you think I should use natural hog casings or collagen casings?
Great question George!

As a home user I have found natural casings to be much easier to work with. Especially when it comes to making links. Collagen casings have a tendency to break more often than natural casings. A great tip for working with natural casings is to flush the casings well, inside and out with good cold water. Open the end of the casing and place it over the end of you faucet and flush water down through the casing then soak your casings overnight. This will ensure that the casings are fully re-hydrated and this will make them much easier to stuff. I'm a big fan of natural casings and try to use them over collagen anytime I can. Good luck!