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How to handle natural casings

grabber

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Just change the water every so often to remove any salt that comes out.  I even run water thru them before stuffing.  Open up one end, put on faucet and rinse them out.  Hope this helps.
 

pugsbrew

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Just change the water every so often to remove any salt that comes out.  I even run water thru them before stuffing.  Open up one end, put on faucet and rinse them out.  Hope this helps.
Just curious, how many run water through the casing before using?
 

SmokinAl

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Just curious, how many run water through the casing before using?
I always run water thru the casing.

I have a small drinking water spout on my sink & it's real easy to get the casing to slide on it.

Even sheep casing will fit on it.

It also straightens the casing out if it's twisted up at all.

Al
 

grabber

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Usually it's the last thing I do before stuffing.  Change water every few hours, get rid of accumulated salt, than rinse as final stage before stuffing to give it a good rinsing out.  At that stage, most salt is out and they're softened up.  Maybe run water for 15 seconds.  Hope this helps.
 

ab canuck

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Thx A bunch Al for reviving / linking this to your post. And A many thx to BOYKJO. I do handle ours fairly well, But after going through this step by step I will add a few steps and try this. Great Thread.
 

jrp

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In the past, I've only rinsed and flushed my packed-in-salt casings for an hour or two before using. Always had a lot of blowouts when stuffing brats. It was very frustrating and stuffing took a long time.

Made brats this weekend, sfuffing them today (Saturday). I started flushing the casings Wednedsay, and ran water through them on Thursday. They were pliable and fully hydrated. Still had a few blowouts, but the whole process was so much easier. Even the appearance of the stuffed brats was more pleasing. Very glad to have found this thread.

View media item 517062View media item 517063
 

webpoppy8

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Thank you so much, @boykjo, this is a great post!

So - I have casings in salt in a quart-ziplock-like bag from DCW Casing, Mt Vernon, NY.  For my first two batches of sausage I rinsed in and out, then soaked 24-30 hours in water/vinegar.  My sausages are turning brown and the skin is brittle - just like you said...

Did you say weeks  to soak these?

They seem in pretty good shape after that soak, but...  apparently not.  Is there any sort of indication when they are "soaked enough"?
 

boykjo

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not familiar with your casings. Did they come packed in salt or a salt solution. If they were in a salt solution when purchased they would be best to use. If they were packed in salt only you will need to soak them for a few weeks changing the water frequently/daily to get decent results although I've never seen salt packed casings become as soft as casings packed in a salt solution.. don't add vinegar to the casings while you are soaking. it will make them rubbery and tough. only add a cap full to them if they get some odor over a long storage period

Boykjo
 

webpoppy8

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They came packed in essentially a ziplock, encrusted with salt.  I fed water through and rinsed them last night and have been soaking in water with 1/4 vinegar.  I'm going to change the water now.

Is there a way to tell when they are "good"?  Is there a change of appearance or texture?  And then how to preserve - a tablespoon of kosher salt in a cup of water and refrigerate?  I think I'll be using these off-and-on for the next four months or so.

Thank you so much, @boykjo  !

Andrew/WP8
 

myownidaho

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Just curious, how many run water through the casing before using?
Always. And from personal experience, a two or three day soak with multiple water changes will give you a much superior product to just doing a 20 minute warm water soak.
 

boykjo

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at this point omit the vinegar. keep soaking and changing the water frequently. after several days they dont seem to be getting any better thats about the best their going to get.  they will be at their best for use. next time I recommend getting quality casings packed in a salt solution. you'll see the difference

Boykjo
 

milkman55

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I found casings at my local butcher shop where they sell a quantity for $15 they say will stuff 100 lbs. These are packed in a salt solution in a plastic bag. It looked like a world of casings when I usually make 5 lb batches. I cut off six 18" lengths for my andouille and left the rest in the bag.

I had previously used the dry salt packed casings and found them tough even after soaking for days.

I really liked the new casings and after soaking for a couple of days they were silky smooth and white compared to the dry packed casings which were still off white.

I plan to follow your suggestion in post #1 and rinse the remains casings and then repack them in a salt solution as you directed. How long should these keep in my refrigerator packed in the salt solution?
 
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shyzabrau

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This is one week since I started soaking the casings,,I changed the water at least once a day if not more

one week ago                                                                                          Last night 

View media item 448598  View media item 448599
They are starting to soften but will take a while just like Joe said. 

Joe,, how long do you figure on these and will they finally become silky like yours??  I am thinking at least two more weeks just a guess thou.

DS
 
Sorry guys,,,been having alot of irons in the fire,,, this has been 4+  weeks since I started soaking the salt packed casings as earlier in the thread

View media item 455015  

As you can see not hardly a difference since I opened the pack.. I rinsed these every night for 3 weeks the last week or so was same water,, but you could not smell any salt in the water so I know they were rinsed well.

As far as I conclude these are going to get chucked,, I will keep them for the next couple of days if anyone has some input let me know and I will give it a try. 

Thanks, Joe you have been great in this little project guiding me along. I asked Joe about the vinegar and he advised against it,, he already tried that trick and did not work. 

A full smoker is a happy smoker 

DS
 

foamheart

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Do the insides of the casings need to be flushed?
I think so. I flush mine for 3 reasons. It expands the casing making it easier to load on the tube. I allows me to find any holes or imperfections before loading them. And of course it insures the removal of any salts although I don't normally see any.

View media item 536588
After rinsing the, I place them in a bowl of cool h2o in the reefer over night or longer to allow them to relax. Everyone is always in a hurry, but this one step makes loading the tube AND loading the casing with sausage soooooooooo much easier. I hardly ever get a blow out!  I seperate the casing by size, in the bowl and keep both ends out to make 'em easier to find. Also less knots.  Make sure you clean and hydrate more casings than you feel you'll need, cause it never fails when you just prepare what you think you'll need.

Below are Sheep (breakfast links), 46MM Hog for the best andouille ever made,  28MM Hog for Cajun smoked.

View media item 536589
I rarely have problems even with sheep casing breakfast links

View media item 536590
I always make a little breakfast sausages using Pop's recipe. But I am generally happy with my results.

View media item 536591
I highly recommend that you plan ahead. It makes sausage making much less frustrating.
 
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smokefever

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I think so. I flush mine for 3 reasons. It expands the casing making it easier to load on the tube. I allows me to find any holes or imperfections before loading them. And of course it insures the removal of any salts although I don't normally see any.


View media item 536588

After rinsing the, I place them in a bowl of cool h2o in the reefer over night or longer to allow them to relax. Everyone is always in a hurry, but this one step makes loading the tube AND loading the casing with sausage soooooooooo much easier. I hardly ever get a blow out!  I seperate the casing by size, in the bowl and keep both ends out to make 'em easier to find. Also less knots.  Make sure you clean and hydrate more casings than you feel you'll need, cause it never fails when you just prepare what you think you'll need.

Below are Sheep (breakfast links), 46MM Hog for the best andouille ever made,  28MM Hog for Cajun smoked.


View media item 536589

I rarely have problems even with sheep casing breakfast links


View media item 536590

I always make a little breakfast sausages using Pop's recipe. But I am generally happy with my results.


View media item 536591

I highly recommend that you plan ahead. It makes sausage making much less frustrating.
Wow, unbelievably good looking sausage!! I'll be delving into the art of sausage making in the very near future. I know I can rely fully on the expertise of everyone here to get me through my first batch!
 

vel2000

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Joined May 21, 2018
Three or four years ago I bought frozen and salted hog casings.
But they were too big for my taste.
So I froze them back and forgot.
A week ago I found them in the freezer, thawed them and put them in the fridge.
Water was changed regularly, however, there has been no change in consistency, see picture.
Then I took out one intestine and rinsed it four-five times, and that made the difference.
Conclusion: better rinse the salted intestines several times before storing, or just let them sit in the freezer and rinse them a few hours before using them...
schweinedarm_makro-sm.jpg
 

Gwanger

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Oh, c'mon, don't take it so seriously.
I actually avoid Chinese food products too...and lately I've been avoiding the SausageMaker altogether....they have a retail store near me but whenever I go there they don't have half the stuff I need, their prices are outrageous and I can order from elsewhere, pay the shipping, and still get it for less.


Anyway....great tutorial Joe!!!!





~Martin
I use Butcher and Packer
 

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