Casing shelf life

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by centex99, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. centex99

    centex99 Fire Starter

    So, I have a package of LEM natural casings... still sealed and salted... never been refridgerated/opened/etc... what's the shelf life on them?  I couldn't find an expiration, but they're likely at least 2 years old.  I'm planning to make some kielbasa this weekend and wondering if I should use them or go buy some newer (though hard to tell the age w/o dates on packages)...
  2. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hmmmm, I would get another bag, if possible, then open the older one and check out the quality. I'm thinking OK, but, one never knows......Willie
  3. centex99

    centex99 Fire Starter

    Well, if I'm going to let them soak overnight I could possible check the quality after opening and if ok, soak, and if not, go grab another package...

    What exactly should I look for in quality?  I've made sausage 3-4 other times using natural casings, but not 100% sure what to look for in regards to being good vs bad...
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I keep my salted casing in the refer.... have 1 pack that has been there for at least 15 years and is still like new... between the salt and refrigeration they will last forever....
  5. mickey jay

    mickey jay Meat Mopper

    I just dug into a heavily salted hog pack from Butcher Packer that's almost 3 years old, and it feels/smells like the day I got them. I think if they're properly salted, with the right amount of moisture, you're likely fine, although best practices will tell you to get new. Tough with the costs these days to just throw them out. I suspect our great grand parents wouldn't have given them a second thought.
  6. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    DITTO on what Dave says !
  7. centex99

    centex99 Fire Starter

    Well, I thought the LEM pack smelled funny, though having smelled the new pack they both smell similiar... but the LEM back was also a bit tan/brownish and the new pack I got for < $5 Home Pack brand from HEB... it was actually in the refridgerated section, though not sure it needed to be as they were just salted.  I pulled out a bunch though didn't find the actual end on either side so just cut it off and put the rest back in the fridge.  These were nice and white/clear... ran water threw them a couple times trying to keep them from going down the sink lol... got them rinced and soaking now for the next few hours until I get to making the sausage later this afternoon...
  8. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Have fun !!!!

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