I have never used collagen casings before. Do I need to soak them prior to stuffing? What is the generally accepted procedure for using them.
I never soak them. I've never really gotten them wet, once stuffed I know they pickup a bit of moisture from the meat but I'd be curious as to how they hold up when immersed in warm water for a while. I have a couple of short pieces left over I might give it try.
Okay another question since the OP is new to them it could help him also.
I have used them many times from different suppliers even, for snack stick I use 19mm I think, and then there are the 30something ones I have used for sausage. I have used them in my cookshack which is a humid smoker, in my gasser, and even in my dehydrator, when doing sticks.
They always turn rubbery, and peel off the product inside, The only time I have ever gotten a good snap to them was right out of the dehydrator, but they soon turned rubbery once vac sealed and refridgerated or frozen.
Anyone have any suggestions for me, I have spoke to the guys at the butcher supply place I buy from and he told me the meat is good who needs a casing but had no advice for me.
I also have used them for snack stix on a regular basis with no problem. I tried once with the 32mm for regular sausage with a few problems. The only way to separate links was to tie butcher string between links. I will now only use gut casing for regular size sausage. With the gut casing it only takes a few twists to separate links.
Collagen casing are to be used dry. I think if you look at the package it will even state that they are to be stuffed dry. I've only used the non edible type in the 18 mm size. Idon't know what is recomended for the edible variety
Smokeamotive, since I only purchased a few, they came individually wrapped from the supplier with only the size on the bag. I looked around for info on them and didn't find anything about whether to use dry or to soak them first. I got the edible ones. You good folks here steered me in the right direction, though. I stuffed them dry with only some Pam sprayed on the tube. They worked very well.
I recenly bought a box of 19 mm colagen casing, it is enough to stuff 400 pounds of meat, with the box, I recieved instructions to DO NOT SOAK or GET WET PRIOR TO STUFFING..
I have stuffed approx. 50 pounds od snack stix and never soaked any of the casings and they all came out just right. For me, I say do not soak.