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Thread: Grilling/smoking sausages and tough casing

  1. #1
    Nunya Bidnits Guest

    Default Grilling/smoking sausages and tough casing

    I'm talking about "skin on" sausages in casing, not loose.

    I've read that the correct method of preparing cased sausage is to slow
    smoke and poach. But I constantly see and hear about sausage on the grill.
    In my experience the casing goes unacceptably tough, virtually inedible,
    when any kind of serious heat is applied on a grill, or in a saute pan for
    that matter. Even a venerable local sausage dealer in the Polish community
    here called Strawberry Hill, whose offerings include sausage made for
    barbecue, can't seem to produce it with a casing that one can chew up.
    Natural and not-so-natural casings don't seem to make a diff.

    What's up? Does anyone know how to grill sausage which has both a satisfying
    snap when bitten into, and which can be chewed without pulling sinewy casing
    back out of your mouth?

    I've gotten so fed up with it that when we do barbecue competitions I just
    make skinless chubs, par cooked in food wrap and foil to set them to shape,
    which I then treat on the grill or in the smoker as I would cased sausage.
    But I miss the snap of biting into a good cased sausage.

    MartyB
    [cross posted to afb]



  2. #2
    tutall Guest

    Default Re: Grilling/smoking sausages and tough casing

    On Sep 26, 9:47*am, "Nunya Bidnits" <nunyabidn...@eternal-
    september.invalid> wrote:
    > I'm talking about "skin on" sausages in casing, not loose.
    >
    > I've read that the correct method of preparing cased sausage is to slow
    > smoke and poach. But I constantly see and hear about sausage on the grill..
    > In my experience the casing goes unacceptably tough, virtually inedible,
    > when any kind of serious heat is applied on a grill, or in a saute pan for
    > that matter. Even a venerable local sausage dealer in the Polish community
    > here called Strawberry Hill, whose offerings include sausage made for
    > barbecue, can't seem to produce it with a casing that one can chew up.
    > Natural and not-so-natural casings don't seem to make a diff.
    >
    > What's up? Does anyone know how to grill sausage which has both a satisfying
    > snap when bitten into, and which can be chewed without pulling sinewy casing
    > back out of your mouth?
    >
    > I've gotten so fed up with it that when we do barbecue competitions I just
    > make skinless chubs, par cooked in food wrap and foil to set them to shape,
    > which I then treat on the grill or in the smoker as I would cased sausage..
    > But I miss the snap of biting into a good cased sausage.
    >
    > MartyB
    > [cross posted to afb]


    Lord knows, you've described your problem well enough, and it seems
    obvious enough it's a material issue. I think.

    Have you grilled commercial brats/sausages with the desired results?
    Kinders, a medium size company, has released a very good brat that's
    sold through Costco. Maybe someone there would be willing to tell what
    material they use?

    Could it be the hanging? Mmm, that's contradicted by the raw/uncooked
    stuff that's sold and I've grilled with good results.

    Good luck, keep us informed, and completely agree with your goal.


  3. #3
    Ed Pawlowski Guest

    Default Re: Grilling/smoking sausages and tough casing

    On Wed, 26 Sep 2012 11:47:28 -0500, "Nunya Bidnits"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I'm talking about "skin on" sausages in casing, not loose.
    >


    >
    >What's up? Does anyone know how to grill sausage which has both a satisfying
    >snap when bitten into, and which can be chewed without pulling sinewy casing
    >back out of your mouth?



    >
    >MartyB
    >[cross posted to afb]
    >


    Interesting. With rare exception, never had the problem. I only buy
    natural casing dogs and buy all sorts of sausages. I just put them on
    a heated grill and let them go. Never bothered with the par cooking
    either.

    No one in my house has ever complained.

    Maybe the way you handle them makes them stiff.

  4. #4
    Sqwertz Guest

    Default Re: Grilling/smoking sausages and tough casing

    On Wed, 26 Sep 2012 19:19:45 -0700 (PDT), tutall wrote:

    > Lord knows, you've described your problem well enough, and it seems
    > obvious enough it's a material issue. I think.


    That's what I think. I have problems with some sausages, but not all.
    I often cook them in the toaster oven or pan and don't have that
    problem - only with some of them. I don't notice any pattern to it or
    brands, it just seems the luck of the draw.

    I have never had the problem with the sausages I squeeze at home, but
    I've been using the same package of casings for 6-7 years.

    -sw

  5. #5
    John John Guest

    Default Re: Grilling/smoking sausages and tough casing

    On Wed, 26 Sep 2012 22:31:12 -0400, Ed Pawlowski <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Wed, 26 Sep 2012 11:47:28 -0500, "Nunya Bidnits"
    ><[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>I'm talking about "skin on" sausages in casing, not loose.
    >>

    >
    >>
    >>What's up? Does anyone know how to grill sausage which has both a satisfying
    >>snap when bitten into, and which can be chewed without pulling sinewy casing
    >>back out of your mouth?

    >
    >
    >>
    >>MartyB
    >>[cross posted to afb]
    >>

    >
    >Interesting. With rare exception, never had the problem. I only buy
    >natural casing dogs and buy all sorts of sausages. I just put them on
    >a heated grill and let them go. Never bothered with the par cooking
    >either.
    >
    >No one in my house has ever complained.
    >
    >Maybe the way you handle them makes them stiff.


    LOL.

    --
    John

  6. #6
    Big Jim Guest

    Default Re: Grilling/smoking sausages and tough casing


    "Nunya Bidnits" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:k3vbj5$qa$[email protected]..
    > I'm talking about "skin on" sausages in casing, not loose.
    >
    > I've read that the correct method of preparing cased sausage is to slow
    > smoke and poach. But I constantly see and hear about sausage on the grill.
    > In my experience the casing goes unacceptably tough, virtually inedible,
    > when any kind of serious heat is applied on a grill, or in a saute pan for
    > that matter. Even a venerable local sausage dealer in the Polish community
    > here called Strawberry Hill, whose offerings include sausage made for
    > barbecue, can't seem to produce it with a casing that one can chew up.
    > Natural and not-so-natural casings don't seem to make a diff.
    >
    > What's up? Does anyone know how to grill sausage which has both a
    > satisfying snap when bitten into, and which can be chewed without pulling
    > sinewy casing back out of your mouth?
    >
    > I've gotten so fed up with it that when we do barbecue competitions I just
    > make skinless chubs, par cooked in food wrap and foil to set them to
    > shape, which I then treat on the grill or in the smoker as I would cased
    > sausage. But I miss the snap of biting into a good cased sausage.
    >
    > MartyB
    > [cross posted to afb]
    >


    Marty, the way the old timers sausage was cooked here, although not
    grilled,
    was to drag out the cast-iron skillet, put maybe a " of water in it and
    put the sausages in. Simmer until all the water is gone and then continue
    cooking the sausage until nice and caramelized. Of course you need to be
    turning the sausage while you cooking it.
    As far as grilling, I never notice a skin. The "POP" you get when you bite
    into ones, to me, is part of eating grilled sausage.
    BeeJay



  7. #7
    Andy Guest

    Default Re: Grilling/smoking sausages and tough casing

    "Big Jim" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Marty, the way the old timers sausage was cooked here,
    > although not
    > grilled,
    > was to drag out the cast-iron skillet, put maybe a " of
    > water in it and
    > put the sausages in. Simmer until all the water is gone and
    > then continue cooking the sausage until nice and
    > caramelized. Of course you need to be turning the sausage
    > while you cooking it.
    > As far as grilling, I never notice a skin. The "POP" you
    > get when you bite
    > into ones, to me, is part of eating grilled sausage.
    > BeeJay



    That's pretty much how I do it.

    The casing is probably tough since it's being seared while the
    inside cooks.

    For grilling brats and other sausages I insert a flat metal
    skewer from end to end so they don't curl and cook unevenly as
    well as they turn much easier.

    Par boil them to doneness in water before putting them on the
    BBQ and "roll over Rover" to your liking, plate them up. So
    guests can have the casings done their way while preserving the
    filling tenderness to a degree.

    Or not.

    These ideas are NOT low & slow worthy.

    Andy

  8. #8
    Michelle Guest

    Default Re: Grilling/smoking sausages and tough casing

    On Sep 26, 11:47*am, "Nunya Bidnits" <nunyabidn...@eternal-
    september.invalid> wrote:
    > I'm talking about "skin on" sausages in casing, not loose.
    >
    > I've read that the correct method of preparing cased sausage is to slow
    > smoke and poach. But I constantly see and hear about sausage on the grill..
    > In my experience the casing goes unacceptably tough, virtually inedible,
    > when any kind of serious heat is applied on a grill, or in a saute pan for
    > that matter. Even a venerable local sausage dealer in the Polish community
    > here called Strawberry Hill, whose offerings include sausage made for
    > barbecue, can't seem to produce it with a casing that one can chew up.
    > Natural and not-so-natural casings don't seem to make a diff.
    >
    > What's up? Does anyone know how to grill sausage which has both a satisfying
    > snap when bitten into, and which can be chewed without pulling sinewy casing
    > back out of your mouth?
    >
    > I've gotten so fed up with it that when we do barbecue competitions I just
    > make skinless chubs, par cooked in food wrap and foil to set them to shape,
    > which I then treat on the grill or in the smoker as I would cased sausage..
    > But I miss the snap of biting into a good cased sausage.
    >
    > MartyB
    > [cross posted to afb]


    I have cooked the same sausage you're referring to (though I think
    Strawberry Hill
    is Croatian, not Polish), along with sausages from various other local
    Kansas City
    makers. I haven't noticed that problem at all. Does everyone on your
    team have the
    same problem?

    If you notice it a lot more than others - could it be a teeth problem,
    rather than a
    sausage problem? (Not trying to be rude here - it's a serious
    question.)

    Michelle

  9. #9
    John John Guest

    Default Re: Grilling/smoking sausages and tough casing

    On Thu, 27 Sep 2012 04:54:00 -0700 (PDT), Michelle
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Sep 26, 11:47*am, "Nunya Bidnits" <nunyabidn...@eternal-
    >september.invalid> wrote:
    >> I'm talking about "skin on" sausages in casing, not loose.
    >>
    >> I've read that the correct method of preparing cased sausage is to slow
    >> smoke and poach. But I constantly see and hear about sausage on the grill.
    >> In my experience the casing goes unacceptably tough, virtually inedible,
    >> when any kind of serious heat is applied on a grill, or in a saute pan for
    >> that matter. Even a venerable local sausage dealer in the Polish community
    >> here called Strawberry Hill, whose offerings include sausage made for
    >> barbecue, can't seem to produce it with a casing that one can chew up.
    >> Natural and not-so-natural casings don't seem to make a diff.
    >>
    >> What's up? Does anyone know how to grill sausage which has both a satisfying
    >> snap when bitten into, and which can be chewed without pulling sinewy casing
    >> back out of your mouth?
    >>
    >> I've gotten so fed up with it that when we do barbecue competitions I just
    >> make skinless chubs, par cooked in food wrap and foil to set them to shape,
    >> which I then treat on the grill or in the smoker as I would cased sausage.
    >> But I miss the snap of biting into a good cased sausage.
    >>
    >> MartyB
    >> [cross posted to afb]

    >
    >I have cooked the same sausage you're referring to (though I think
    >Strawberry Hill
    >is Croatian, not Polish), along with sausages from various other local
    >Kansas City
    >makers. I haven't noticed that problem at all. Does everyone on your
    >team have the
    >same problem?
    >
    >If you notice it a lot more than others - could it be a teeth problem,
    >rather than a sausage problem?


    I think you nailed it.

    --
    John (great thread)


  10. #10
    Nunya Bidnits Guest

    Default Re: Grilling/smoking sausages and tough casing

    Michelle <[email protected]> wrote:
    > On Sep 26, 11:47 am, "Nunya Bidnits" <nunyabidn...@eternal-
    > september.invalid> wrote:
    >> I'm talking about "skin on" sausages in casing, not loose.
    >>
    >> I've read that the correct method of preparing cased sausage is to
    >> slow smoke and poach. But I constantly see and hear about sausage on
    >> the grill. In my experience the casing goes unacceptably tough,
    >> virtually inedible, when any kind of serious heat is applied on a
    >> grill, or in a saute pan for that matter. Even a venerable local
    >> sausage dealer in the Polish community here called Strawberry Hill,
    >> whose offerings include sausage made for barbecue, can't seem to
    >> produce it with a casing that one can chew up. Natural and
    >> not-so-natural casings don't seem to make a diff.
    >>
    >> What's up? Does anyone know how to grill sausage which has both a
    >> satisfying snap when bitten into, and which can be chewed without
    >> pulling sinewy casing back out of your mouth?
    >>
    >> I've gotten so fed up with it that when we do barbecue competitions
    >> I just make skinless chubs, par cooked in food wrap and foil to set
    >> them to shape, which I then treat on the grill or in the smoker as I
    >> would cased sausage. But I miss the snap of biting into a good cased
    >> sausage.
    >>
    >> MartyB
    >> [cross posted to afb]

    >
    > I have cooked the same sausage you're referring to (though I think
    > Strawberry Hill
    > is Croatian, not Polish), along with sausages from various other local
    > Kansas City
    > makers. I haven't noticed that problem at all. Does everyone on your
    > team have the
    > same problem?
    >
    > If you notice it a lot more than others - could it be a teeth problem,
    > rather than a
    > sausage problem? (Not trying to be rude here - it's a serious
    > question.)
    >
    > Michelle


    It's not a teeth problem. All three of them are fine. ;-)

    Where I notice it is when I run cased sausages in the smoker or on the
    grill, which I usually run fairly hot. Maybe it's just too hot.

    Depending on who I'm talking to, I hear Polish, Croatian, and Slavic
    references about Strawberry Hill, but I think you're right.

    Have you gotten sausage from Krizmans? I really like their mix, but their
    sausage always cooks to a tough skin in a hot smoker. Maybe I should try
    some stovetop as Big Jim was talking about to see if it's the method or the
    sausage at fault. Krizman's apple and raw polish sausages are otherwise
    excellent IMO.

    Have you tried Local Pig? I had several of their sausages and the best thing
    I can say is "different".

    MartyB




  11. #11
    Gary Guest

    Default Re: Grilling/smoking sausages and tough casing

    Nunya Bidnits wrote:
    >
    > Michelle <[email protected]> wrote:
    > > If you notice it a lot more than others - could it be a teeth problem,
    > > rather than a
    > > sausage problem? (Not trying to be rude here - it's a serious
    > > question.)
    > >
    > > Michelle



    > It's not a teeth problem. All three of them are fine. ;-)


    LMAO!@ Good one!

    G.

  12. #12
    Nunya Bidnits Guest

    Default Re: Grilling/smoking sausages and tough casing

    Big Jim <[email protected]> wrote:
    > "Nunya Bidnits" <[email protected]> wrote in
    > message news:k3vbj5$qa$[email protected]..
    >> I'm talking about "skin on" sausages in casing, not loose.
    >>
    >> I've read that the correct method of preparing cased sausage is to
    >> slow smoke and poach. But I constantly see and hear about sausage on
    >> the grill. In my experience the casing goes unacceptably tough,
    >> virtually inedible, when any kind of serious heat is applied on a
    >> grill, or in a saute pan for that matter. Even a venerable local
    >> sausage dealer in the Polish community here called Strawberry Hill,
    >> whose offerings include sausage made for barbecue, can't seem to
    >> produce it with a casing that one can chew up. Natural and
    >> not-so-natural casings don't seem to make a diff. What's up? Does anyone
    >> know how to grill sausage which has both a
    >> satisfying snap when bitten into, and which can be chewed without
    >> pulling sinewy casing back out of your mouth?
    >>
    >> I've gotten so fed up with it that when we do barbecue competitions
    >> I just make skinless chubs, par cooked in food wrap and foil to set
    >> them to shape, which I then treat on the grill or in the smoker as I
    >> would cased sausage. But I miss the snap of biting into a good cased
    >> sausage. MartyB
    >> [cross posted to afb]
    >>

    >
    > Marty, the way the old timers sausage was cooked here, although not
    > grilled,
    > was to drag out the cast-iron skillet, put maybe a " of water in it
    > and put the sausages in. Simmer until all the water is gone and then
    > continue cooking the sausage until nice and caramelized. Of course
    > you need to be turning the sausage while you cooking it.
    > As far as grilling, I never notice a skin. The "POP" you get when
    > you bite into ones, to me, is part of eating grilled sausage.
    > BeeJay


    That's how I cook my Italian sausages, it works well for stovetop.

    Maybe it's the casing. I like the pop, but I don't like having a piece of
    casing that remains in my mouth, unchewable, after the rest is gone. I'm
    starting to think it's a temperature issue, just cooking them too hot.



  13. #13
    Michelle Guest

    Default Re: Grilling/smoking sausages and tough casing

    On Sep 27, 9:01*am, "Nunya Bidnits" <nunyabidn...@eternal-
    september.invalid> wrote:
    > Michelle <mcmoor...@gmail.com> wrote:
    > > On Sep 26, 11:47 am, "Nunya Bidnits" <nunyabidn...@eternal-
    > > september.invalid> wrote:
    > >> I'm talking about "skin on" sausages in casing, not loose.

    >
    > >> I've read that the correct method of preparing cased sausage is to
    > >> slow smoke and poach. But I constantly see and hear about sausage on
    > >> the grill. In my experience the casing goes unacceptably tough,
    > >> virtually inedible, when any kind of serious heat is applied on a
    > >> grill, or in a saute pan for that matter. Even a venerable local
    > >> sausage dealer in the Polish community here called Strawberry Hill,
    > >> whose offerings include sausage made for barbecue, can't seem to
    > >> produce it with a casing that one can chew up. Natural and
    > >> not-so-natural casings don't seem to make a diff.

    >
    > >> What's up? Does anyone know how to grill sausage which has both a
    > >> satisfying snap when bitten into, and which can be chewed without
    > >> pulling sinewy casing back out of your mouth?

    >
    > >> I've gotten so fed up with it that when we do barbecue competitions
    > >> I just make skinless chubs, par cooked in food wrap and foil to set
    > >> them to shape, which I then treat on the grill or in the smoker as I
    > >> would cased sausage. But I miss the snap of biting into a good cased
    > >> sausage.

    >
    > >> MartyB
    > >> [cross posted to afb]

    >
    > > I have cooked the same sausage you're referring to (though I think
    > > Strawberry Hill
    > > is Croatian, not Polish), along with sausages from various other local
    > > Kansas City
    > > makers. I haven't noticed that problem at all. Does everyone on your
    > > team have the
    > > same problem?

    >
    > > If you notice it a lot more than others - could it be a teeth problem,
    > > rather than a
    > > sausage problem? (Not trying to be rude here - it's a serious
    > > question.)

    >
    > > Michelle

    >
    > It's not a teeth problem. All three of them are fine. ;-)
    >
    > Where I notice it is when I run cased sausages in the smoker or on the
    > grill, which I usually run fairly hot. Maybe it's just too hot.
    >
    > Depending on who I'm talking to, I hear Polish, Croatian, and Slavic
    > references about Strawberry Hill, but I think you're right.
    >
    > Have you gotten sausage from Krizmans? I really like their mix, but their
    > sausage always cooks to a tough skin in a hot smoker. Maybe I should try
    > some stovetop as Big Jim was talking about to see if it's the method or the
    > sausage at fault. Krizman's apple and raw polish sausages are otherwise
    > excellent IMO.
    >
    > Have you tried Local Pig? I had several of their sausages and the best thing
    > I can say is "different".
    >
    > MartyB- Hide quoted text -
    >
    > - Show quoted text -


    Might be too hot - I tend to cook sausages over a pretty low heat, so
    all the yummy fat stays mostly inside.

    Krizman's sausage is fantastic. Ditto Fritz's and Werner's. We have
    some from Kurzweil's, but haven't tried it yet.

    Haven't made it to Local Pig. It's on my list, though.

  14. #14
    Colt T Guest

    Default Re: Grilling/smoking sausages and tough casing

    If you fry hotdogs that having a casing the casing gets tough.


  15. #15
    tutall Guest

    Default Re: Grilling/smoking sausages and tough casing

    On Sep 27, 8:14*am, Michelle <mcmoor...@gmail.com> wrote:

    > Might be too hot - I tend to cook sausages over a pretty low heat, so
    > all the yummy fat stays mostly inside.


    Don't you manage this by how far from the fire you put the sausages?

    I put them on the edge of the fire so they get browned, but the casing
    doesn't burn through or crack. (releasing the fat). Do tend to make
    those fires a bit smaller than otherwise too.

    Or mebbe (probably?) you use a gasser/ourdoors stove.



  16. #16
    Sqwertz Guest

    Default Re: Grilling/smoking sausages and tough casing

    On Thu, 27 Sep 2012 10:13:56 -0500, Nunya Bidnits wrote:

    > That's how I cook my Italian sausages, it works well for stovetop.
    >
    > Maybe it's the casing. I like the pop, but I don't like having a piece of
    > casing that remains in my mouth, unchewable, after the rest is gone. I'm
    > starting to think it's a temperature issue, just cooking them too hot.


    Do you grind/grit your teeth by chance, or have you in the past?

    -sw

  17. #17
    Nunya Bidnits Guest

    Default Re: Grilling/smoking sausages and tough casing

    Sqwertz <[email protected]> wrote:
    > On Thu, 27 Sep 2012 10:13:56 -0500, Nunya Bidnits wrote:
    >
    >> That's how I cook my Italian sausages, it works well for stovetop.
    >>
    >> Maybe it's the casing. I like the pop, but I don't like having a
    >> piece of casing that remains in my mouth, unchewable, after the rest
    >> is gone. I'm starting to think it's a temperature issue, just
    >> cooking them too hot.

    >
    > Do you grind/grit your teeth by chance, or have you in the past?
    >
    > -sw


    A little bit, and I have a partial upper plate. Why? Hmm.



  18. #18
    Sqwertz Guest

    Default Re: Grilling/smoking sausages and tough casing

    On Thu, 27 Sep 2012 14:18:34 -0500, Nunya Bidnits wrote:

    > Sqwertz <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> Do you grind/grit your teeth by chance, or have you in the past?

    >
    > A little bit, and I have a partial upper plate. Why? Hmm.


    It makes your teeth dull. I have certain things that I can't chew as
    well as other people can. Sometimes sausage casings. There's a few
    other things but I can't remember what they are now.

    I know I've had sausage that I couldn't chew the casings whereas
    others had no problem with them.

    -sw

  19. #19
    George M. Middius Guest

    Default Re: Grilling/smoking sausages and tough casing

    Another crack appears in the wall of sqwishiness.

    > I have certain things that I can't chew as
    > well as other people can.


    So much for the theory that your true species is actually castor
    canadensis. I'm switching my money to rat rattus. Let us know when the
    DNA results are in.



  20. #20
    [email protected] Guest

    Default Re: Grilling/smoking sausages and tough casing

    On Thursday, September 27, 2012 4:00:23 PM UTC-4, George M. Middius wrote:
    > Another crack appears in the wall of sqwishiness.
    >
    >
    >
    > > I have certain things that I can't chew as

    >
    > > well as other people can.

    >
    >
    >
    > So much for the theory that your true species is actually castor
    >
    > canadensis. I'm switching my money to rat rattus. Let us know when the
    >
    > DNA results are in.


    You're trying to be unfunny, aren't you?

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