or Connect
SmokingMeatForums.com › Forums › Smoking Meat (and other things) › Sausage › Some Casing Questions
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Some Casing Questions

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

A year and half ago when I first started making my own sausage, I tried natural casings. Had numerous problems in regards to blowouts and appearance and smell. Tried collagen and very much liked the ease of it, but did dislike the tying of the links. I swore I would never go back to natural as I didn't taste much difference, but after reading a lot, I decided to give it another try last month. I purchased another home pack and the 1st batch was similar to my 1st attempt. Not as many blowouts as I was more experienced, but the looks with all the veins and stuff was very unappealing. After cooking, the appearance was fine and I do admit, the mouth feel is a lot different, something I never noticed before. I wonder how the commercial sausage makers who use collagen can get the texture darn close and not use strings to link and we home folks can't. Anyway, I did some research and read that by inverting the casing, the appearance is much more appetizing. Not hard to invert the casing either, so that's what I did and really liked it. Now my actual question. I ordered Pre-flushed casings from Syracuse Casings. I wanted them in the brine and not tubed as I was going to turn them inside out. What I got was tubed in a salt pack with directions saying if I don't want the tube, just remove it. I called them and asked why it wasn't sent in the brine and he said the US Postal service won't let them and they only shipped in the salt pack now. He was the casing guy and said they are waiting to get the web site updated. Not a big deal I guess, but do I soak these the night before like I did with the shriveled home pack or just 30 minutes like on the directions? Being that these are tubed, would inverting the casing make much difference? Reading on line, some casings look better than others and maybe I had cheap ones. What procedure do you folks that used tubed, salted casings follow? Do you still add vinegar to the soaking? Sorry for the long post, just not sure. Thanks!!

post #2 of 13

I have never used pre tubed casings before, or pre flushed. Probably a great item, but i have never experienced the problems that you describe and have never inverted casings.  I basicly flush and soak overnight. As far as blowouts, i have one link now and then but rarely. If you have the proper size casing with the right size stuffing tube things should go well most of the time.  Also the sausage mix should have the right amount of moisture as well.  I have never used collegen casing but dont have anything against them for it's personal preference for all of us.  I've been making sausage for over 40 years now and i wish i could help with the pre tubed casings so i hope someone will help in that area.  I guess the "inverting" of the casings got me curious. Reinhard

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

What I found was that inverting the casings hid all the veins and any other discolorations of the casing. The ones I had not only had very large visable veins, but white opaqueness in uneven patterns. It is hard to describe. Inverting them made the sausage have a much more uniform appearance. These were probably cheap or castoff casings. That's why they were in the "Home Pack". I am hoping that by buying a full hank, I won't have to go to do this.
 

post #4 of 13

I get hog casings that at times have what you describe but very seldom. Most of my experience in the past years working as a butcher i dealt with only hanks of hog,beef, and sheep. After i retired i only used for example hog casings that i get at the store i shop at.  Enough for 25 pounds and the casings come in about 3 foot strips average.  The ones you describe that have more veins i guess dont bother me and like i said there are not that many i run accross and the main thing i care about is the flavor of the sausage.  You may also run into some of what you describe in hanks as well, but not very often. If the appearance of some of the casings bother you maby going to pre-flushed or pre-tubed would be the route to take, but like i said i have never tried them so cant say much about the consistancy of the appearance of the casings. Reinhard

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post

. If the appearance of some of the casings bother you maby going to pre-flushed or pre-tubed would be the route to take, but like i said i have never tried them so cant say much about the consistancy of the appearance of the casings. Reinhard

That's what I'm hoping. I know others here use the tubed. I am still curious about soak time before stuffing on these.

post #6 of 13

It is only my opinion but I think the better quality casings are set aside to be tubed or sold in a whole hank. I think when they grade the casings the weak casings and cut off ends get sold in the home packs to be used for smaller sausage batches vs a butcher shop trying to make large batches and having blow outs every other foot.

 

I've been buying tubed casings this winter from 2 different local butcher shops. They will sell hanks and 1/2 hanks. When I buy them they are bagged in a  heavy gallon zip lock bags in salt water. Both places have told me to keep them in the bags and salt water for long term storage and refrigerate.

 

I also purchased some tubed sheep casings in a salt pack from a third butcher shop and they pulled the 25lb pack out of the refrigerator. I don't buy those packs from a shelf in the store anymore. I rinsed and put in the casings in salt water as soon as I bought them and refrigerated. You can't over soak them so putting them in salt water ahead of time makes sense.

 

There usually is an odor to them and giving them them a short bath with water/vinegar in a bowl then rinsing with water helps.

 

I am guessing about some of this but it is where I have ended up after swearing not to get crappy casings anymore

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
To make the saline solution, whst is your salt to water ratio? As I said, I wanted the saline but they don't ship thst way anymore.
post #8 of 13

1/4 cup of salt in 2 cups of water.

post #9 of 13

IMHO .....Casings vary on who they come from, how they are processed and handled.... I buy hogs casings locally at the farmers market (Wolfsons brand)  and sheep's from B&P and they are of the highest quality compared to other casings I have bought. My casings are softer and whiter than other casings and become silky smooth when soaked. There are no tabs or veins and they are very consistent in shape but they do vary very little in size by about 2mm as all naturals vary in size....... I received a hank from a friend a few months ago and have been doing some breakfast sausage testing and the casings are yellower and do not hold on to the water and dry out faster on the stuffing tube and start to stick to the tube and cause blow outs...... I compensate by pushing the casings to the end of the tube and fill........I only like to use casings that are in a salt solution. City water has a hardness of 3, well water 15 and softened water has a hardness of 0 so to reverse and harden water you add salt so casings packed in pure salt are packed in salt where the moisture is at its highest level of hardness which causes the casings to loose their softness and take much longer soaking times to soften up and remove the salt...Kind of like trying to reduce the conductivity in water, also reduce the conductivity in the casings........ I don't know if this is making any sense to you. I have had a lot of experience with natural casing and this is what I believe through my experiences........
 

wolfsons hog naturals I use

 

 

 

see how white and soft the casings look

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hope this helps

 

Joe

post #10 of 13

When I first started my sausage making adventures, we bought some Dewied Home Pack casings from a local meat shop. The casings were horrible as far as blowouts, holes, uneven lengths etc. I got to looking at the packaging and found the source their casings from all over the world. Unhappy with those, I looked at LEM hog casings at a local sporting goods store - Product of China! I only purchase hanks of hog casings from a small local market now. 

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Ok, You guys have prompted me to remove the casings from the salt, and put them in a saline solution which I will do today. Is a Tupperware container ok? Thought it would be easier than a gallon palstic bag. How much water do I need for 1 tubed hank? Then when I do go to use them, how long in fresh water before stuffing?
 

post #12 of 13

As a newbie to sausage I am watching this thread. popcorn.gif

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrandt View Post

Ok, You guys have prompted me to remove the casings from the salt, and put them in a saline solution which I will do today. Is a Tupperware container ok? Thought it would be easier than a gallon palstic bag. How much water do I need for 1 tubed hank? Then when I do go to use them, how long in fresh water before stuffing?
 


what I would do is remove the hank from the salt pack and place it in a bowl of water. Placing the casings in water makes them more managable. Remove what your going to use and place the unused casings back into a container of salt solution... I use 1/2 cup non iodized salt and 1 cup distilled water and place in a mason jar. If you are going to store for a long period of time I would use a plastic container as the lid to the mason jar will rust over time. Place the casings being used In a bowl of fresh water and rinse out the casings by running water through them and let set for an hr... come back to them every hr or so and replace the water and move them around till they soften up..... I would do this for a day or two for casings packed in salt. With casings that are shipped in a salt solution, less soaking time is needed

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sausage
SmokingMeatForums.com › Forums › Smoking Meat (and other things) › Sausage › Some Casing Questions