Gilbert's Craft Sausages

Post
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
2011/04/23 23:37:36
Gilbert's Craft Sausages is a new company in Sheboygan County Wisconsin that opened late last year. You can check their site here for info about them:   http://gilbertssausages.com/
 
Thanks to one of the co owners, Eric Romberg for posting about his company and specifically about their beef frank called the Froman. I've never heard about Gilbert's before but their hot dog sounded good. Described as a quality craft sausage with a unique collagen casing and made from whole cuts (not trimmings) of beef sirloin. Wisconsin may be the best state for sausages. It's up there with New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut when it comes to hot dogs alone. Usinger's is one of the finest hot dogs available.
 
I had their beef dog (called the Froman) last night and again tonight. Last night my son and I compared the Froman with a Nathan's (natural casing), Vienna Beef (natural casing), and a skinless Hebrew National. All were heated (not boiled) in water. The Vienna frank was good, but not as good as the other 3 in both of our opinions. We both liked the Nathan's and Hebrew National a lot, but we preferred the Froman. It is just as it's described on the site. Individually wrapped and cooked in the wrapping so that it can stay in the fridge for a long time (6 months) without having to be frozen. The frank itself is between 7 and 8 to a lb; closer to 7. It has a nice soft collagen casing that differs from a regular collagen casing. It's called a collagen co-extrusion casing, which is basically a collagen casing that they are able to dial the thickness up and down in minute increments to get the snap they want.  The result is a casing that has the snap of a natural casing dog, but doesn't leave the chewy, rubbery bits behind like a natural casing.
 
The texture of the casing is excellent as is the texture of the meat. The meat is nice and firm and juicy. As for flavor, this dog has plenty of it. Very nicely balanced without being overpowering in the spice department. I would say that this dog has more in common with the Chicago style than the New York style of beef frank. But it's better than any Chicago brand I've had although Romanian Kosher franks are close. The spices are more paprika than garlic. Sometimes I might be in the mood for a very spicy Nathan's, Usinger's or Sabrett. Other times a less spicier beef dog like Best's or Gilbert's. And there are times that I prefer a milder German frank with no garlic and easy on the spices. That's why it's so hard to pick an absolute "best" hot dog. There are different dogs for different moods. But I will say that I haven't had a higher quality frank than the Gilbert's "Fromans" all beef dog. Made from whole cuts (not trimmings) of all beef sirloin, this dog is a winner. It's as good or better than any beef frank I've had. And that includes Best's and Usinger's
 
I ran to Best's this morning to get some of their natural casing 8's to compare with the Froman's. I heated both in water and then put them in a hot skillet for a minute or 2. Both tasted great. Best's a little spicier, Gilbert's a little more tender and milder. Two of the best beef dogs I've had along with Usinger's, Sabrett, and Boars Head. Again it depends on the type and level of spicing you prefer and the mood you are in. No beef dog fries up better than Best. I have yet to grill the Froman. But Best's makes the Syd's dog which is excellent chargrilled. Heated in water and/or lightly grilled in a skillet, both are excellent. Gilbert's beef dog tastes exceptionally good prepared this way as the casing is nice and light and keeps the juices in.
 
I will definitely be ordering this frank in the future. Franks this good remind me of the care and quality that goes in to hand crafted beer. I highly recommend Gilbert's Sausages beef (Froman) dog. It may just be the best hot dog you ever tasted.
 
 
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/23 23:56:24
Great report John. Thanks.
EdSails
Filet Mignon
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/24 00:14:22
I've been a Sabrett's person for a long time, but it sounds like this one's worth checking out. Thanks John.
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/24 01:55:42
Wow! Great report John. With accolades like that from the person who's opinion I respect the most when it comes to tubular meats I gotta order some as soon as they get their online ordering system up and running. They're the first company I've heard of that packages their dogs individually and is that coextrusion process something new?
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/24 06:24:19
I believe the coextrusion process is something new. It makes for a great casing and texture. It's also nice not to have to freeze dogs and tear them apart. The franks in the wrapping are very easy to open and convenient. I would love to have these franks and sausages available in Jersey.
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/24 12:17:00
I'm trying to order, no luck!
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/24 12:42:38
I live in the wrong place.
 
I now have the need for a Froman.
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/24 17:44:29
I emailed the folks at Gilbert's Sausages about shipping and they responded promptly:
Hi Jim -
Thanks a lot for your interest. Unfortunately, to get it to AZ in 2 days (which is about the most we're comfortable with using cold-paks) it would cost $55.
Our workaround here is that we're also sold through Entrees to Excellence (http://www.entreestoexcellence.com/c-63-gilberts-craft-sausages.aspx). They're able to ship using dry ice, so they can ship ground. The products cost a bit more from their website, but I believe their shipping is usually only around $12 or so nationwide.
Anyway, thanks again, and if you order through E to E I hope you enjoy the sausage!
Best,
Chris
JRPfeff
Filet Mignon
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/24 18:19:38
Thanks John, I'll be looking for these tomorrow (& there may be some flying to AZ on Tuesday, Jim - what is your order?).
Jim
post edited by JRPfeff - 2011/04/24 18:22:48
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/24 18:32:23
*Sniff*  I lose again.
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/24 18:57:24
mar52
*Sniff*  I lose again.

You don't loose! You can order from,
http://www.entreestoexcellence.com/c-63-gilberts-craft-sausages.aspx).
As stated in the Email they sent me.
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/24 19:05:23
Thanks for the website.  But...
 
$29.95 for 16 links.
 
I'm too depressed to even look at the shipping charge.
 
There's also the fact that they want all of my personal  information before giving me a shipping charge.  All they really need is my zip code.
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/24 19:08:13
JRPfeff
Thanks John, I'll be looking for these tomorrow (& there may be some flying to AZ on Tuesday, Jim - what is your order?).
Jim

If I understand you correctly, you're going to the store to pick some up tomorrow? If so, would you be so kind to pick up one package of "The Fromans" and one package of "The Shebeergans" for me? I'll gladly pay for the product and a S & H charge of one 6-pak of your favorite beer!
post edited by Foodbme - 2011/04/24 19:13:04
JRPfeff
Filet Mignon
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/24 19:11:53
Foodbme - I'll buy them, but cannot guarantee they won't be eaten before you see them.
Jim
joerogo
Filet Mignon
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/24 19:14:30
John Fox, How did you get your hands on these dogs?
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/24 20:24:17
joerogo

John Fox, How did you get your hands on these dogs?


That's on another thread. He had them shipped to him.
http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/Divulging-the-DogThere-Ought-to-be-a-Law-m183899.aspx
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/24 20:39:51
mar52
Thanks for the website.  But...
$29.95 for 16 links.
I'm too depressed to even look at the shipping charge.
There's also the fact that they want all of my personal  information before giving me a shipping charge.  All they really need is my zip code.

Look at it this way. that's $1.87 a dog + maybe a $1.00 Shipping = $2.87 a serving. If you bought a hot dog at Carney's or Pinks or off a cart, you'd pay at least that much maybe more. PLUS the gas to get there!
Go for it!
pnwchef
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/24 21:03:05
Great report John, thanks
Gilberts Sausages
Junior Burger
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/25 09:07:44
Hey gang,
 
Just to clear up any confusion, if you're within 2-day shipping from Wisconsin, you can order them direct on gilbertssausages.com.  Click on Buy Gilbert's, there's a map right there.  It includes New Jersey too.  Only reason for the 2-day limit is we use ice packs and obviously want your dogs to arrive still cold.
 
If you're outside the 2-day zone, you can order from entreestoexcellence.com.  They can ship anywhere since they use dry ice, but charge a premium for the sausages.  They display shipping charge info too...hover over Customer Service and click "shipping info".  Sorry, Roadfood is blocking my direct links for some reason.    
 
Hope this helps,
Eric
post edited by Gilberts Sausages - 2011/04/25 09:13:37
ScreamingChicken
Filet Mignon
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/25 09:35:25
Eric,
 
Do you have any plans to sell a raw version of your Shebeergan brat and/or other sausages?
 
Brad
pnwchef
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/25 10:06:21
Eric, John did the taste test against some pretty stiff competition. I would say his evaluation of your product is some thing you should be very proud of..................pnwc
Gilberts Sausages
Junior Burger
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/25 10:16:15
Brad-
 
Great question, but no we don't plan to offer a raw version.  Our cooked-in-package process that we use allows us to make a sausage without all the artificial additives usually used to treat things like listeria...we don't need them and would rather not have to add any!.  The result is an even fresher tasting sausage than a raw version, not to mention a cleaner looking ingredients list, and an extraordinarily safe product.
 
Eric
 
 
Gilberts Sausages
Junior Burger
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/25 10:22:24
PNWCHEF

Eric, John did the taste test against some pretty stiff competition. I would say his evaluation of your product is some thing you should be very proud of..................pnwc

 
Believe me, I know.  We were blown away by John's evaluation, especially since it's coming from a guy who clearly knows his stuff.  It's like having Elvis tell you you make an amazing peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwich...
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/25 11:50:25
Gilberts Sausages

PNWCHEF

Eric, John did the taste test against some pretty stiff competition. I would say his evaluation of your product is some thing you should be very proud of..................pnwc


Believe me, I know.  We were blown away by John's evaluation, especially since it's coming from a guy who clearly knows his stuff.  It's like having Elvis tell you you make an amazing peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwich...

In the Hot Dog Kingdom, John is BIGGER than Elvis!!
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/25 11:55:15
Gilberts Sausages

Hey gang,

Just to clear up any confusion, if you're within 2-day shipping from Wisconsin, you can order them direct on gilbertssausages.com.  Click on Buy Gilbert's, there's a map right there.  It includes New Jersey too.  Only reason for the 2-day limit is we use ice packs and obviously want your dogs to arrive still cold.

If you're outside the 2-day zone, you can order from entreestoexcellence.com.  They can ship anywhere since they use dry ice, but charge a premium for the sausages.  They display shipping charge info too...hover over Customer Service and click "shipping info".  Sorry, Roadfood is blocking my direct links for some reason.    

Hope this helps,
Eric

The reason it block your links is because you're a Newbee and you need to be here 30 days or post 30 times or something like that. Done to avoid spammers. I printed your email to me above with the link to www.entreestoexcellence.com 
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/26 20:07:28
http://www.jsonline.com/features/food/118808559.html
 
An article I found about Gilbert's. I like the craft beer comparison. I often say a well crafted frank is similar to a well crafted beer. Like Chris, I was a homebrewer for about 5 years. I appreciate good beer and good hot dogs though I wouldn't attempt to make a hot dog. Much more complicated than making beer.
Benzee
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/26 20:59:18
Hello all ,
Welcome aboard there Gilberts !!
Many of us would consider John the foremost authority on NJ Hot Dogs and others as well . I rely on his opinions   and he has a wealth of info regarding everything hot Dogs  .
Benzee
 
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/26 21:01:50
John Fox

http://www.jsonline.com/features/food/118808559.html

An article I found about Gilbert's. I like the craft beer comparison. I often say a well crafted frank is similar to a well crafted beer. Like Chris, I was a homebrewer for about 5 years. I appreciate good beer and good hot dogs though I wouldn't attempt to make a hot dog. Much more complicated than making beer.

C'mon John,
Cowboy Up!!
If you can make Beer, you can make Hot Dogs. Especially with your intimate knowledge of all things Dog.  It's a No Brainer! The first thing you do is make the beer so you have something to drink while you're making the hot dogs. Dog making is a thirsty process. This may be a whole new career for you! I looked up a recipe for you.
DIY HOT DOGS
Hot dogs or frankfurters are nothing more than ground meat with seasonings. (See, I Told You!)
They are easy to make at home with about an hour of time invested. You can make these all beef or all pork, if you wish. Feel free to adjust the seasonings to suit your own personal tastes. Plan ahead to find the casings, usually available at your local butcher shop. Prep Time: 1 hour Cook Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Ingredients:
  • 3 feet sheep or small (1-1/2-inch diameter) hog casings (First you need to catch a Sheep!)
  • 1 pound lean pork, cubed
  • 3/4 pound lean beef, cubed
  • 1/4 pound pork fat, cubed
  • 1/4 cup very finely minced onion
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly fine ground white pepper
  • 1 egg white
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup milk
Preparation:
Prepare the casings (see instructions below). In a blender or food processor, make a puree of the onion, garlic, coriander, marjoram, mace, mustard seed, and paprika. Add the pepper, egg white, sugar, salt, and milk and mix thoroughly.

Grind the pork, beef, and fat cubes through the fine blade separately. Mix together and grind again. Mix the seasonings into the meat mixture with your hands. This tends to be a sticky procedure, so wet your hands with cold water first.

Chill the mixture for half an hour then put the mixture thorough the fine blade of the grinder once more. Stuff the casings and twist them off into six-inch links. Parboil the links (without separating them) in gently simmering water for 20 minutes. Place the franks in a bowl of ice water and chill thoroughly. Remove, pat dry, and refrigerate. Because they are precooked, they can be refrigerated for up to a week or they can be frozen.

Preparing the Casing
Snip off about four feet of casing. (Better too much than too little because any extra can be repacked in salt and used later.) Rinse the casing under cool running water to remove any salt clinging to it. Place it in a bowl of cool water and let it soak for about half an hour. While you're waiting for the casing to soak, you can begin preparing the meat as detailed above.

After soaking, rinse the casing under cool running water. Slip one end of the casing over the faucet nozzle. Hold the casing firmly on the nozzle, and then turn on the cold water, gently at first, and then more forcefully. This procedure will flush out any salt in the casing and pinpoint any breaks. Should you find a break, simply snip out a small section of the casing.
Place the casing in a bowl of water and add a splash of white vinegar. A tablespoon of vinegar per cup of water is sufficient. The vinegar softens the casing a bit more and makes it more transparent, which in turn makes your sausage more pleasing to the eye. Leave the casing in the water/vinegar solution until you are ready to use it. Rinse it well and drain before stuffing.

Source: Home Sausage Making by Charles G. Reavis (Storey Books)
Reprinted with permission.
Source for Sheep Casings -  http://www.sausagesource.com/catalog/cas-s2022hnk.html
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/26 21:17:41
Yes, you can make dogs, but are they good?
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/26 23:19:00
annpeeples

Yes, you can make dogs, but are they good?

Who knows until you make them and taste them?
JRPfeff
Filet Mignon
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/26 23:42:47
Foodbme, the sausages have landed.
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/27 02:58:08
JRPfeff

Foodbme, the sausages have landed.

Bless your Heart!
I feared the TSA people would sequester them as contraband!
They're a little touchy & frown on smuggling stuff into AZ!
Please send me a PM and let me know when it would be convenient for me to come over and pick them up. Any time except Thursday evening works for me. I have your S & H Fee on Ice!
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/27 06:17:02
Foodbme,
 
Have you made this recipe yet? As I've gotten older, I've gotten lazy and no longer even make beer. I'm not much of a cook either. Last time I tried to make dinner I burned the salad!
pnwchef
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/27 10:00:29
John, your a good eater, you can't be expected to do both.
 
John, when I lived in Ct, there was no shortage of good quality Italian sausage in the markets, is that still the case ???? I don't remember a lot of smoked sausage, we used a lot of fresh. The only thing I remember is Kielbasa being smoked, and it was to die for.............
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/27 10:15:14
All I was indicating, Foodbme, is that sausage making is a dedicated craft that takes alot of time and the end result may not be worth all of that. Gilbert sausages and others have taken all the hard work out of it for us!
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/27 11:05:46
John Fox
Foodbme,
Have you made this recipe yet? As I've gotten older, I've gotten lazy and no longer even make beer. I'm not much of a cook either. Last time I tried to make dinner I burned the salad!

No, I've not made it. I'm like you, easy is better. I even buy wines with the Easy Screw Off Cap so I don't have to  mess with a cork screw!
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/27 11:13:21
annpeeples

All I was indicating, Foodbme, is that sausage making is a dedicated craft that takes alot of time and the end result may not be worth all of that. Gilbert sausages and others have taken all the hard work out of it for us!

You're right; it's a craft and hard work. Back in the mid 80's, I bought and operated a smoked meat company. We smoked hams, bacon and made sausage. The company was called Pitts Home-made Country Smoked Meats. Our slogan was, "If it's the Pitts, It's the Best!" Ran it for a couple years and sold it. Lousy cash flow businss.
Gilberts Sausages
Junior Burger
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/27 15:41:47
It just so happens that Chris and I are still avid homebrewers....although the Wisconsin winter that goes until June has slowed us down as of late.  It's actually more or less how we got started.  Initially had a dream to open a brewery, but then realized that there were about 20 millions other guys with the same dream, and half of them beat us to the punch.  So we turned our craft brewing hobby and passion into sausage instead.
 
The long-term goal is to actually have a storefront where we're selling a whole variety of craft sausage, and brewing up some of our craft beers on a small scale.  John, maybe some day you'll have to take your hot dog tour through Chicago or Milwaukee (or wherever we end up) and make Gilbert's the anchor leg!
Benzee
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/27 16:03:21
Hey Gilbert ,
Now that would be a long road trip for sure !!
Benzee
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/04/27 16:27:59
Gilberts Sausages

It just so happens that Chris and I are still avid homebrewers....although the Wisconsin winter that goes until June has slowed us down as of late.  It's actually more or less how we got started.  Initially had a dream to open a brewery, but then realized that there were about 20 millions other guys with the same dream, and half of them beat us to the punch.  So we turned our craft brewing hobby and passion into sausage instead.

The long-term goal is to actually have a storefront where we're selling a whole variety of craft sausage, and brewing up some of our craft beers on a small scale.  John, maybe some day you'll have to take your hot dog tour through Chicago or Milwaukee (or wherever we end up) and make Gilbert's the anchor leg!

Why not bring your Sausage Stuffers out here to Gilbert AZ? That way you can be Gilbert's Sausage of Gilbert AZ!!. There's a void of anything that resembles good European Ethnic Foods out here. Over 3 million people in Metro Phoenix, the 5th largest metro area in the nation, and only 2 Crafted Sausage Makers that I'm aware of. They are:
http://www.stanleys-sausage.com/
http://www.schreinerssausage.com/
And three meat markets that make sausage but their not their major products:
http://www.midwesternmeats.com/
http://www.vonhansons.com/locationsHours.html
http://theporkshopaz.com/
There's a good number of Upper Midwesterners, MN, WI, SD, ND, IL, MI, WY, MT, IA, NB and 2 Canadians out here and in the Winter the snowbirds arrive in large flocks! There's a market for your products out here-- C'mon Down!
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Gilbert's Craft Sausages 2011/06/13 13:18:18
http://triblocal.com/st-charles/2011/06/13/pair-bring-gourmet-franks-to-the-midwest/
 
Nice article about Gilbert's Craft Sausages. I'll say to Mr. Underwood that the Froman isn't only as good as Best Kosher (not to be confused with Best's from Newark, N.J.) but it far surpasses it in terms of taste and quality.