How do you protect your reputation?

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JerBear
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How do you protect your reputation?

Post by JerBear » Wed Jun 13, 2012 05:56

Hopefully the title of the posting got your attention as I'd really like to hear as many opinions as possible. I'll try to make this story as short as possible.

A couple weeks ago I was grilling at my house and my mom brought over some fresh andouille from a local butchershop that is well regarded in my neck of the woods. The coals got the best of me and the sausage got overheated and some of the fat melted out. I tucked into a small piece and my first thought was, "Man, my sausage is waaay better than this stuff!!" However, in hindsight, when I know I'm going to be grilling I'll normally pre-poach my sausages, setting the emulsion making the grilling mostly a re-heat. Also, if I don't pay attention during the poaching I can break the emulsion then also. So in reality, the bad sausage was my fault, not the sausage maker's.

So, back to your reputation....typically we won't be pre-poaching our fresh sausages before giving them out to friends and family so how do you make sure that your "customer" doesn't abuse the product which in turn damages your reputation?
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Post by Baconologist » Wed Jun 13, 2012 06:22

I've found that 99.9% of the population can't help but overcook sausages! No matter how great the instruction, strong the pleas, or harsh the threats!!! It's an incurable disorder!!! LOL

I only send fresh sausages home with a handful of very highly trusted souls who I know for certain won't ruin them, all the rest get sausages and cured meats that don't require careful cooking.
Godspeed!

Bob
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Post by Chuckwagon » Wed Jun 13, 2012 06:39

Hi Jer, you wrote:
how do you make sure that your "customer" doesn't abuse the product which in turn damages your reputation?
That is a question that has driven sausage makers nuts since the first one was sold across a stone counter by some caveman eh? Of course you have no control over what people will do with your product. But, you DO have control over what you put into it and how you make it. Every little detail will help raise the percentage of success. I've only found one other method and surprisingly, it helps a lot. It is to simply print cooking instructions in large, legible, letters on a card with a cartoon to grab folks' attention. I took a little time in designing it and I staple one of the cards to the package as it leaves the shop. Of course, I have separate cards made up for different products with different cooking instructions. Don't make the instructions too lengthy or people won't bother to read them.
Ultimately, you must let it go and trust that people will read the instructions or use the good sense not to turn your product into cinders. In the end, I believe if you do all you can to follow my ol' pappy's advice on the matter, then your reputation will be alright. My ol' pappy used to say, "Give people the best product you can, and do it at a fair price...then they will always come back for more".
Jer, I'm surprised that your question has never been brought up on this board previously. It is a darned good question. It sure is something to think about eh?

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
Last edited by Chuckwagon on Thu Jun 14, 2012 06:30, edited 1 time in total.
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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Post by NorCal Kid » Wed Jun 13, 2012 14:55

I always give specific cooking instruction when giving packets of fresh sausages to my victims...er...friends. Nothing too elaborate. Just simple heat recommendations & cooking length times. I also suggest if they follow these simple guidelines, the results will be fine.

Re: Reputations.
I hope to be judged not necessarily for the 'quality' of the product I produce-which can be highly subjective, but more for the care & consideration that went into making it. We're often at the mercy of other people's palettes, which vary considerably, but if they know that what I make is a labor of love and I'm sharing my 'joy' with them, they tend to be more 'merciful' and recognize the affection with which I share it.

Kevin
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. — Hebrews 13:8
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Post by uwanna61 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 01:29

This is interesting! Although not a sausage but speaking of grilling tactics, back a couple weeks ago, we had a get together with friends. I served pork ribs that I worked on all day to perfection in my smoker! My wife mentioned we should put on chicken (legs & thighs) on the grill. Of course I slathered the chicken with my favorite BBQ rub and 15 min later ready for the grill. The point is, although the ribs turned out great, everyone could not get over the flavor & texture of the barbecued chicken! I have to admit the chicken was good! Anyway, I replied "like an expert of course" indirect heat on the grill and then put the chicken over direct heat the last few minutes to crisp up. I guess we can consider our self`s as professional grill master compared to others, who would directly throw the food right on top of an open flame just to watch it dry out and loose all flavor. :???:
Great write up and conversation!

Wally
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Post by Chuckwagon » Thu Jun 14, 2012 07:04

Wally, you wrote:
I served pork ribs that I worked on all day to perfection in my smoker!
Did you get any comments about your ribs at all?
I know how you feel. A couple of years ago I smoked turkeys for Thanksgiving. One of them was brined, injected with all sorts of flavors including melted butter, and smoked too. I worked like crazy on it and it came out perfectly. I overheard one comment when my wife's lard-butt kid told his wife... "try the turkey dear, it's not bad".
Not bad! Not bad? :shock: Well, that did it for me. I just figure he can rustle up his own wife's dried out, parched, sour owl from now on. Either that or chomp on my wife's abominable and intensely frightening "turkey jerky" with molecular acid gravy poured over the top!
Sometimes "ya' jest cain't edjukate these here folks"! Save the ribs for yourself Wally and eat them with a smile.

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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Post by ssorllih » Thu Jun 14, 2012 14:49

I once boned a large chicken, kept the skin in one piece cut the meat into long strips and seasoned them, laid them on the skin with a seasoned bread crumb stuffing and rolled them. I roasted them carefully to just to proper edge of doneness and one of my guests said that it was the best roast pork she had ever had.????
Ross- tightwad home cook
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Post by Cabonaia » Thu Jun 14, 2012 15:10

A few months ago I was at a picnic and a couple friends asked me for sausage making lessons. I am hardly qualified, but took them up on it. Finally got around to it recently, and had them all over while the wife was away. Well, we had fun but they didn't realize how much work it is and how long it takes - becuase I didn't tell them. Oops. We started late, and they soon cleared out. I was up stuffing, linking, hanging, and CLEANING till 1 AM. Next night I had a meeting to go to, so came home and started my smoking fire at 9:30. I don't have a Bradley or anything, just a water smoker that needs a fair amount of attention. That was a late evening too. Next day I had to travel. I left their sausage in my garage fridge and told them to pick it up. Got home - they had never come by. Now these are fine fellows, but they just don't get it!

To make a long story longer - I had sent them detailed instructions for cooking their dang sausage by various methods. One guy actually followed these directions, and reported that he and his wife grilled some and decided it was THE best sausage they had ever eaten, and he was NOT just saying that, and his WIFE requested a bi-monthly sausage making schedule. Well! I think I can work with this guy. The other one is traveling now himself and I dropped his sausage off with his wife. He did bring some lovely rib-eyes to our little party. I may be able to work with him as well. :razz:

Lesson learned - heck, I dunno. But the cooking instructions are surely vital.
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Post by Baconologist » Thu Jun 14, 2012 16:26

To those who send folks home with written instructions, what are they?
Especially the instructions for grilled sausages.
Lets compare notes.
Godspeed!

Bob
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Post by Cabonaia » Thu Jun 14, 2012 16:39

Here is what I wrote. I am sure someone gave better instructions than this, which I would love to see.

The reference to rendering out some of the fat is there because the first grind had more fat in it than I intended. That said, they tasted great. :mrgreen: These were stuffed into 42mm hog casings, which is what I had on hand. Since they were so thick, and some of them were on the fatty side, bringing up the heat slowly on them seemed especially important.

"These are FRESH sausages. Even though they are smoked, you have to cook them, just like you do Italian sausage. The smoked sausages you buy at the store are poached in water, which is what I would recommend here. Just put them in a pan in cold water and bring it to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or so until the internal temp. is 155 degrees. Then "shower" them in cold water and stick in the fridge, unless you are eating them on the spot. You can saute them a bit first to get some color on them, which is nice. They will probably taste a little better that way, too. Or you can saute them start to finish. If you grill them, take your time because they are fat boys and will take a while. Sticking a thermometer in them before pulling them off the grill would not be a bad idea (depending on which relative you are feeding).

Suggested deployments (after cooking):
Slice and eat cold. With mustard.
Andouille is classic in gumbos. Slice in "coins" for this purpose. Saute in a Dutch oven to render the fat, pull them out and make your roux with the fat. If you don't want to taste the sausage in the roux, dump the fat and make the roux with oil or butter.
Split them in half and eat them on a roll with lots of mustard. They go GREAT with mustard, including plain old ballpark French's.
Add to red beans and rice, plain old beans, jambalaya, dirty rice - anything cajun/creole
Fried with eggs for breakfast.

If some of them are too fatty for your tastes, saute them slowly to render out extra fat, then add to whatever you're cooking. Sorry about that."
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Post by uwanna61 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 02:19

CW
Did you get any comments about your ribs at all?
Sure did, they turned out great, no left over`s. :mrgreen:
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Post by uwanna61 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 02:22

Ross
my guests said that it was the best roast pork she had ever had.????
Way to go :lol:
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Post by laripu » Fri Aug 10, 2012 17:58

:mrgreen:
'abominable and intensely frightening "turkey jerky" with molecular acid gravy'
I'm a little late to this party, but when I read your lines below, I got a good chuckle.
Chuckwagon wrote:Not bad! Not bad? :shock: Well, that did it for me. I just figure he can rustle up his own wife's dried out, parched, sour owl from now on. Either that or chomp on my wife's abominable and intensely frightening "turkey jerky" with molecular acid gravy poured over the top!
Sometimes "ya' jest cain't edjukate these here folks"!
CW... every once in a while someone tells me my homebrew is "drinkable". :roll: One guy called a mixed homebrew six-pack "brewskis". :evil:

I think I'd feel the same way if anyone talked about my brined & smoked turkey that way. Right now I'm not yet good enough at making sausage to be offended by comments, but soon... soon...
"Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man auch am Ende Menschen." - Heinrich Heine
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Post by sawhorseray » Fri Aug 10, 2012 20:20

Baconologist wrote:To those who send folks home with written instructions, what are they? Especially the instructions for grilled sausages. Lets compare notes.
Most of the folks I give my sausage to have a webber kettle, as do I. I tell them to fire up the coals on one half of the grill, when coals are red hot direct cook for three minutes a side, then move over to the indirect side of the grill for 5-7 minutes, let them sweat a bit more. Works out for pork and chicken sausage pretty well. Sometimes for brats I'll boil up some onions in beer in a large pot. When the beer hits boiling I throw the brats in the pot, cover, and turn off the flame, just let then sit for 8-9 minutes. I'll remove the brats and drain the onions, throw the brats on the webber, and sautee the onions in butter while the brats are cooking. Nice change from sauerkraut occasionally, tho probably not quite as healthy.
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