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Fire Starter
Original poster
Feb 10, 2010
Winter Springs, Florida
I am going to go through and read all the posts on casings but still have questions.  What size and type casings are best for brats and sweet Italian sausage?  How does it come and where do you buy it.  How long do you soak it before stuffing?  I bought some from a meat market that was packed in salt.  I read on here that these are probably seconds and could cause some of the problems I had with stuffing.  I also read that some are soaked in a brine.  Is it better to buy a hank?

I use natral hog casings for brats. Here i can get them cheaper from a meat market than else where.If you are going to use a bunch then yes buy by the hank. Fallow instructions on package for soaking. What problems did you have. Most stuffing problems are to dry of a mix.

Happy smoken.


I use 32mm to 35mm hog casings for brats, italian, or polish.   Soaking in my opinion should be overnight for best results.  I buy mine from local meat shops and sometimes at stores.  Hanks are best if you make a bunch, or the smaller cryovac packaged one's for the 25 pound batches are good as well. I dont soak them in any brine but it may work for some.  I agree that most sausage stuffing problems come from to dry a meat mix.  Your meat mix should have a sticky texture when done and ready to smoke. Also use the correct size tube to the casing. Keep your stuffing tube wet when putting the casing on. I should mention also that casings should be rinsed through the faucet of your sink and then soaked.

These are smoked polish i made with the 32mm hog casings.  Reinhard

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I use natural hog casings which I can buy at my local supermarket (Market Basket) in Massachusetts.  Mine come salted. I soak what I am going to use in the sink for about 15 minutes before I start with them and then I rinse the insides out by putting my sink sprayer inside one open end of the casing and running water through it.  That generally "inflates" the casing and rinses it out pretty well.
Sounds like what you got was what's called a "home pack", they are usually pieces of casings without a lot of uniformity. A "hank" of casings will have a lot more uniformity to them. I have read where people have had problems from the "home packs".
Some come packed in salt and some in a brine, I don't think it really matters but keep the unused casings in whatever they were packed in and in the refrigerator.
Like everyone else said rinse them very well inside and out and I soak them overnight in the fridge until they have a very silky feel to them. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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