loose casings

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
Jan 2, 2008
Magnolia, TX
Well attempt at venison summer sausage round number 2 is in the books.  followed the high mountain summer sausage directions for making 9 pounds but added some garlic powder and cayanne pepper to spice things up a bit.  Used my new northen tool vertical stuffer and stuffed up some of the casings supplied with the kit last night.  Put them in the smoker this morning at 8am about 110 till they where dry, about an hour and half.  added wood and took temps to 140 for about 2 hours, then 150 for about and hour, then 160 for an hour then to 170 for several hours then at about 4pm i bumped it to 180 to get them to temp around 6:30pm.  pulled them and right to the ice water they went till after dinner.  Pulled them out dried them off and noticed that the sausage seems firm but it's not tight in the casings.  I used about 2 1/4 lbs pork and 6 3/4 lbs venison.  they are now in the fridge till tomorrow for taste testing, if I can wait that long.  Any ideas of where I messed up???  I stuffed them as tight as i could, maybe I need to try and stuff them tighter and had almosrt no air pockets in them.
 I made a batch one time and used to different casings,  they were both the same size casings fibrous casings both stuffed and smoked the same, but one had a deer head symbol ont them and the others were plain,  but the ones with the deer head symbol on them stayed tight and the plain fibrous casings were a bit loose
I think you left it in the ice water bath too long. The ice water bath is just to stop the cooking process - no more than five minutes. After the ice water bath let them hang at room temp for an hour or so then in the fridge overnight. This is what i do with summer sausage and never had a problem with loose casing.

Now most of the sausage that I hav done I have always taking them to maybe 152°-156° intrenal temp. Then do the ice bath and drying thing. It sounds to me that you melted alot of the fat out of the sausages. Double heck those temps but that could be your problem or I could be wrong too.
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Some of the HM mixes are very lean on binders in the mix. Loss of this can cause shrinkage which will pull away from the casings. Also you did soak the casings prior to stuffing?

Added ingredients as you put in will not have the affect on the casings.

Like Bob said, Ice bath is just to stop any further natural heating of the meat after it has been taken from the smoker. Normally just a few mins.


He has you pretty close on a fat-out.

Fat pockets will cause fat cavitation between the meat and casing which will leave sorta like pockets, Upon blooming these pockets will have nothing there and the casing is just there. Wont affect the sausage taste much but will make in a drier product.

Bottom line is if you like the look, taste and have no complaints then....Its all good.
soaked the casing.

fat is still in there when you cut into it, and didn't have much dripping in th smoker, and very moist too

taste is GREAT and they are nice and tight.

so guess if anyone complains I'll just take it back
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