How to handle natural casings

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fajitapot

Fire Starter
Jan 3, 2019
66
21
I just created an account to simply add a piece of professional advice - after completing the rinsing process on day three or four, wrap each casing around your hand and the end of the casing around the middle of the loop a few times (like an extension cord). No need to tie it or anything. Then place each looped casing in the bottom of the container and add 1/2 cup salt as normal. When you need a casing, just grab a single casing (or two) and only rinse what you need. No need to rinse the whole hank over and over again.
 

BenCarlson

Fire Starter
Jan 27, 2019
72
95
This thread is absolutely priceless. I had done only loose sausage before getting a stuffer this Christmas. The first time doing it, while only following the directions on package, was making me insane. Constant blowouts in the casings. I had to know why so I did a Google search and was brought here. Soaked my casings per Joe's method, and it was night and day. I made 20lbs of a few different sausages this weekend and had maybe 3 total blowouts and that was purely from overstuffing/inexperience. Really appreciate that he took the time to share this because it was invaluable to me.
 

boykjo

Renowned Sausage Maker
Original poster
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Apr 28, 2010
7,602
1,127
Raleigh,NC
This thread is absolutely priceless. I had done only loose sausage before getting a stuffer this Christmas. The first time doing it, while only following the directions on package, was making me insane. Constant blowouts in the casings. I had to know why so I did a Google search and was brought here. Soaked my casings per Joe's method, and it was night and day. I made 20lbs of a few different sausages this weekend and had maybe 3 total blowouts and that was purely from overstuffing/inexperience. Really appreciate that he took the time to share this because it was invaluable to me.

Awesome... glad to help...

Joe
 

Texan4ut

Fire Starter
Feb 16, 2019
45
13
Thanks for the info just ordered some along with some of their seasonings. Had a good deer season so I will be making some sausage.
 

Sue zomar

Newbie
Apr 17, 2019
14
2
Thought I would post up what I do with natural casings. I use naturals 99.9% of the time when making sausages be it sheep or hog casings. I get compliments about how the casing are very delicate and have a perfect snap when you bite into the sausage. I believe the quality of the casings is part of it but how you handle the casings is another step towards a tender bite. Natural casings usually come packed in salt, wet salt or a salt solution. Casings in a salt solution require short soaking periods changing the water frequently where as casings packed in salt take lengthy times from days to weeks. My 36-38mm casings from Wolfson's come in this solution and I normally soak for a few days before using them. If I don't soak them for a few days and use them the same day (not removing the salt saturated in them) they tend to dry out quickly, not be as elastic, turn a darker color on the stuffing tube and sometimes stick to the tube and cause blow outs..... I have had great success when casings become fully washed and pliable. The casings need to be able to stretch without breaking making them thinner when the sausage is stuffed into them. I usually stuff sausage at the brink of it tearing.

Here I am trying (first time) new casing out I bought from the sausage maker. They are 38-42mm and came in a wet salt brine. not a salt solution brine.



not much liquid but they are wet


Place them in the container and add some fresh water. Change the water frequently during the course of the day and return them back to the fridge.


After soaking them for a few days in the fridge they are softening up


Once they are clean and looking silky soft I remove them from the container, discard the excess water and place the casings back into the container and add 1/2 cup of non iodized salt to the casings, mix and store in the fridge for future use. The casing will have become so saturated with water you will not need to add any.


When ready to use the casings remove the whole hank from the container and place into a large bowl of cold water and wash the casings like you were scratching your head changing the water several times removing the salt from the casings. You will see the casings have become saturated and are looking silky smooth and pliable..... Here you will be able to grab a piece of casing and pull it out of the hank in one whole section without tangling. Place it into another container of water and take what your going to use removing what you'll need. I usually pull 18 inches per lb depending on the size.


Here's how they look on the tube. Wet,soft, and pliable. They will be easy to stretch without breaking and wont blow out.



Take your unused casing, drain them, place them into the container for storage and add the 1/2 cup of non iodized salt and put back into the fridge. You can add 1 cap full of vinegar if desired. I usually do



Back into the container with a good shake and back into the fridge for next time


Over all the casings from the sausage maker were very nice. Good quality but a little pricey. I will use them again...


I stretched these to the max. Fat boys..lol

Thanks for looking
Thank you so much. I will use this like a bible.
 

Sue zomar

Newbie
Apr 17, 2019
14
2
I hear you. I've completely derailed with this new hobby. Im so addicted. I cant stop reading and researching. Its actually crazy. Been a while since Ive been so into something like this. Check my posts. I joined at the end of April. 1k+ posts in 2 months. Like 17 posts a day. I've lost my mind. Staring at my LEM as we speak. Going on vacation tomorrow so I have some time to buy a grinder on the road and 2 day ship it to my door. It will be here when I get back :). Cant wait.
I feel the same way, lol something I live for and it's only been a couple months. I started out making proccutto. Happy smoking
 

coolkayaker

Newbie
Jan 9, 2017
24
35
New Berlin, WI
This is great! I love that you took the time to go through this casing tutorial. I've always used casings from the butcher shop packed in a wet brine solutions (fresh casings). I bought some dry packed casings from the sausage maker web site and they were dry and hard. I almost thought I had a bad package of casings. Come to think of it, I also had a lot of blow outs. I had no idea I needed to soak them this long. It makes sense to soak them and change out the water over a few days to get that silky smooth texture and pliability. Now I know for next time! Thanks boykjo!
 
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NOLAGT

Newbie
Sep 8, 2021
1
0
First post, and ill use it to say thank you for the tips! I have just gotten into making some sausage and don't it a couple of times so far. I'm sure there is room for improvement and this will be one area. I just normally soaked in warm water and rinse a few times over an hour or two. I hate trying to fish out one casing out of the tangled hank mess so I'm looking forward to all of this.
 

007

Newbie
Feb 19, 2022
5
1
FYI. Casings from the SM are from China. I don't buy anything from China, if possible.
Thanks for the heads up on the origin of the SM casings. I won't be buying anymore of them because of the filthy conditions in China, also like many folks I try to buy USA products when I can.
How did you find out SM casings are from China?
 

007

Newbie
Feb 19, 2022
5
1
Thought I would post up what I do with natural casings. I use naturals 99.9% of the time when making sausages be it sheep or hog casings. I get compliments about how the casing are very delicate and have a perfect snap when you bite into the sausage. I believe the quality of the casings is part of it but how you handle the casings is another step towards a tender bite. Natural casings usually come packed in salt, wet salt or a salt solution. Casings in a salt solution require short soaking periods changing the water frequently where as casings packed in salt take lengthy times from days to weeks. My 36-38mm casings from Wolfson's come in this solution and I normally soak for a few days before using them. If I don't soak them for a few days and use them the same day (not removing the salt saturated in them) they tend to dry out quickly, not be as elastic, turn a darker color on the stuffing tube and sometimes stick to the tube and cause blow outs..... I have had great success when casings become fully washed and pliable. The casings need to be able to stretch without breaking making them thinner when the sausage is stuffed into them. I usually stuff sausage at the brink of it tearing.

Here I am trying (first time) new casing out I bought from the sausage maker. They are 38-42mm and came in a wet salt brine. not a salt solution brine.



not much liquid but they are wet


Place them in the container and add some fresh water. Change the water frequently during the course of the day and return them back to the fridge.


After soaking them for a few days in the fridge they are softening up


Once they are clean and looking silky soft I remove them from the container, discard the excess water and place the casings back into the container and add 1/2 cup of non iodized salt to the casings, mix and store in the fridge for future use. The casing will have become so saturated with water you will not need to add any.


When ready to use the casings remove the whole hank from the container and place into a large bowl of cold water and wash the casings like you were scratching your head changing the water several times removing the salt from the casings. You will see the casings have become saturated and are looking silky smooth and pliable..... Here you will be able to grab a piece of casing and pull it out of the hank in one whole section without tangling. Place it into another container of water and take what your going to use removing what you'll need. I usually pull 18 inches per lb depending on the size.


Here's how they look on the tube. Wet,soft, and pliable. They will be easy to stretch without breaking and wont blow out.



Take your unused casing, drain them, place them into the container for storage and add the 1/2 cup of non iodized salt and put back into the fridge. You can add 1 cap full of vinegar if desired. I usually do



Back into the container with a good shake and back into the fridge for next time


Over all the casings from the sausage maker were very nice. Good quality but a little pricey. I will use them again...


I stretched these to the max. Fat boys..lol

Thanks for looking
Thanks for the great information!!
 

grabber

Meat Mopper
★ Lifetime Premier ★
May 3, 2009
187
23
Buffalo, NY
Thanks for the heads up on the origin of the SM casings. I won't be buying anymore of them because of the filthy conditions in China, also like many folks I try to buy USA products when I can.
How did you find out SM casings are from China?
I live about 10 mins. away. I called them years ago. The customer service verified that they are from China. You need to read the labels. I bought dried mushrooms for soup. The label said, packaged in Italy but upon checking further, I found out, they were grown in china, than packaged in Italy. Reason I checked, the price was WAY to cheap for them. Good luck.
 
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SmokinAl

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
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Jun 22, 2009
50,855
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Central Florida (Sebring)
Been using Joe’s method for years. You can really stretch the casings, and still no blowouts! BTW, the last batch of casings I got from SM, were the best I have ever bought. Maybe the Chinese casings are better than what they were getting, Don’t know!
Al
 

jimpomonis

Newbie
Nov 28, 2022
6
3
Thanks Joe - this is fantastic. Have been buying smaller batches packed in salt and have always been leery of keeping them after soaking.
 

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