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Caring for casings


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Dec 29, 2007
Caring for Casings

As you all know, there are hundreds of ways to do the same thing. With that said, this is how I care for my pig casings.

Depending on where and how much casing I purchase, will depict how the casings are packaged. This means, some places will have them in a plastic container and some will come in a bag. This really means nothing. They will all come salted. This is to preserve the casing. Always store casings in a cold place, (more on this to follow).

Once I get the casings home I place them into the fridge until I am ready to use them. When ready, remove from packaging, and rinse off all the salt that you can in cold water. Carefully try to separate one strand of casing. Around here, I am lucky because my supplier actually has them separated and wrapped once around a plastic ring. He puts 10 strands per ring. This makes it easy to separate. These strands could vary in length. I will then cut it into 6 to 10 foot long pieces. This will make them easy enough to turn them inside out (see my post to see how it is done). Completely wash each strand, then turn inside out. Now clean again. I will clean and turn all of the casings at this time, even if it is more than I need at this time. Once each strand is completed, place into a large mixing bowl with at least one inch of water on the bottom and leaving one end of each piece of casing hanging over the side. This way, when ready to stuff, just grab the end of a strand and pull it out of the bowl carefully. Now ready for stuffing.

If you are stuffing a lot of sausage, meaning stuffing for a few hours, it is a good idea that you rotate the casings in the bowl. What I mean is, the ends that are hanging over the side of the bowl may get too dry. This is a simple step. Pull each casing out of the bowl (one at time) and place the opposite end over the edge. Before you slide the casing onto the stuffing tube, you have to open up one end. This is a good time to pour a little water inside the casing. This will help lubricate it making it easier to slide on and off of the tube.

Once you are done stuffing your sausage, and you have extra casings, it’s time to prepare them for storage. If the casings came in a container, reuse it. If it came in a bag, grab a Ziploc bag. Drain all of the water from casings (you can also give the casings another cleaning at this time if anything had got into the water. Sometimes some spices will fall from my hands into the bowl) then place into the bag/container. Completely cover the casings in salt. Carefully give the bag/container a shake to mix the salt around. (make sure the bag/container is sealed). Place in the fridge overnight. You will see that more water has separated from the casings. Drain all water and completely cover in salt again. Give it a shake. Now place into the freezer for future use. I have had casings in the freezer for no more than 8 months. But that is only because I make so much. With the casings in the freezer completely cover in salt I would imagine that it would be ok for more than a year.


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Joined Mar 22, 2008
Andy very good information thank you for sharing it!!


Master of the Pit
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Joined Dec 15, 2007
Thanks for posting that Andy. I have re-salted casings and kept in the freezer for several years with no adverse effects.


Joined Nov 25, 2012
This is probably going off in a different direction but it sounds like you guys know sausage so maybe ya'll can help me out.  I made and cased some Boudain not too long ago and had a little problem with the casings.  After I filled about 5 to 6 inches I would twist them off but, when I went to cook the sausage my twists would immediately start untwisting.  Can anyone give me information to keep this from happening?  I am planning to make some more and then try my hand at other sausages soon but I don't want them coming apart on me.


Smoking Guru
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Joined Feb 3, 2009
after you stuff them let them rest in the frig to bind up some...then you should be good to go.


Joined Nov 25, 2012
Just wondering is there a certain length of twist that is recommended or that some of you use? 


Smoking Fanatic
Joined May 23, 2013
Just wondering is there a certain length of twist that is recommended or that some of you use? 
Are you giving every other link an opposite twist when twisting the sausages?  By that I mean 1st one twist over, next one twist under, repeat,



Meat Mopper
Joined Aug 9, 2011
I thought you weren't supposed to freeze natural casings? Everything I've read says not to because it can weaken them


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Feb 6, 2013
I have never frozen natural casings.  While i think freezing them in salt for a short period of time may be ok, why do so when they last better in a heavy salted plastic container or plastic bag .  I have done research on this and from everything i have seen i have noted that freezing casings will weaken casings over time.  They also can get brittle, dry and at times useless [now this may be from feezing longer periods of time]. I have had salted casings in the fridge [bottom meat area] for over a year and they were fine[dont store them this long anymore because i have been making more sausage over the years, but that was my longest time that i can recall].  I have read that packed in salt natural casings can last up to 4 years. If freezing works for some, well i say great.  I just feel that the quality of the casings will ultimatly be better with the salting/refrigerating method and has been so.  Reinhard
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Smoking Fanatic
Joined Oct 31, 2009
Picked up what I consider a very good tip on storing casings from an old boy named Joe Ames. He say to put the washed and squeezed out guts in a mason jar and fill with white vinegar and store in the ice box or cool and dry. They will last indefintitely and takes the pig smell out of em. Also makes them slicker than snot. Double tie those knots. You got leftover guts..toss them in the jar. Kept some handy for years like that.

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