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Nightmare with Sheep Casings

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Finally got a little time to spare so I thought I would try some sausages and pepperettes (slim jims)

All I had was hog casings and 19-21 collagen so I took a trip into the city to buy some sheep casings. Man they are expensive here. (canada) 18.99 for a bag of lems that does 15 lbs.

Got my meat all ground half pork half beef and picked up a lem original cause it was there. Had my casings soaking for an hour. Now this is where I ran into problems.

How the heck do you get those things open to rinse them out. They are the size of spaghetti. Spent well over an hour trying to rinse half a bag. Now time to stuff.

I have a Kitchener 5lb stuffer, same as lem with plastic gears. Thought I had a tough time getting them open at the sink. This took me half an hour to open the first one at the stuffer.

Then to top things off once I did find the opening I couldn't get it on the tube. I used water, I used oil and still couldn't get it. Half hour in I finally get it started and it rips, so I cut it off and back to square one. Finally manage to get one on, or so I think. Start stuffing and it starts coming out fine, for about 3 inches, blowout another 3 blowout. Well that was enough for this day of using sheep casings. Ripped that one off and went with the 21 collagen. Going to be thick slim jims, more pepperoni size. Now its getting late and I still have 10 more lbs of pork ground up. Guess what I am doing tomorrow. Doing damn brats or polish and staying away from sheep casings.

Any advice on what I did wrong or an easy way to open.

I am under the impression that the tube that comes with this stuffer is just too big for sheep and slim jim casings. Will have to pay through the nose to get a 3/8 shipped up from Lems, unless I find someone else to mail it snail mail from the states.

 

On a good note I started smoking my bacon last night at about 1am. Used pops brine this time, last was a dry cure. Smoked for a good 6 hours from both ends of the amps. Also using Bears method of 120 heat and bumping to 130 the last couple hours. Bacon has a gorgeous colour and the smell is amazing. Good thing about Canada I get to use my shed for a fridge in the winter. Theres where the bacon is at right now. Sitting for a day and will slice tomorrow. Will try to get picks prior and after. Made one big mistake on this batch. I didn't taste test until after the smoke and of course this one would turn out to be salty only because I missed the earlier step of tasting prior.

If they say you learn from your mistakes I'm going to be one smart Canadian smoker...lol

 

In closing shoot me some opinions and advice and if anyone has a good polish recipe that I can smoke send that way, My intention is to try to end with a hillshire/johnsenville type smoked sausage with cheddar only better. I raided the bulk store and got almost every spice that I saw mentioned in threads. Wife got me a big toolbox and a whole whack of little jar type canisters to store the spices. She also snagged me a pack of assorted cleaning brushes. Does that ever make cleaning meat grinder plates easier.

 

Thanks

Brian

post #2 of 2

I had trouble with LEM's sheep and hog casings. After similar problems that you had I soaked them over night and ran water through them. It helped a little but they kept breaking and it took a long time to stuff everything. Now I purchase them at the butcher shop and it is a whole different experience.

 

Give your bacon a couple days to rest then see what you think.

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