Casing the Joint

A rhythmic thwack reverberates through the room every time the machine stuffs and twists a sausage into a link. Ray, who is also the deboner today, takes the final necklace of sausages, sometimes measuring 30 to 40 feet, depending on the length of the casing, and racks the sausages. All the finished sausage strands are then wheeled into a nearby smoker for final slow processing into ready-to-grill treats. Fresh sausages go directly into a cooler or walk-in freezer. Schreiner's recommends parboiling the fresh product for 15 minutes before grilling or frying them to make sure the sausage is cooked through.

Do Gary and Nancy Schiller eat a lot of their own sausage? "I do, really," admits Gary. "It's so great coming out of the smokehouse -- that's the best way. So we usually cut whatever we're making and sample it to make sure we're doing everything right."

"We think it's the crème de la crème of sausage," he adds. "We don't eat anyone else's, that's for sure."

Leah Fasten

Contact Kathleen Vanesian at her online address: goodtaste@newtimes.com

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