Need some info regarding sausage casing......

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by smokinvegasbaby, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. Hey SMF buddies,

    I have a question.  I made my first batch of breakfast sausage a few days ago.  Today I'm smoking and decided to smoke a few of my sausages.  Didn't really like the flavor of the collagen casing smoked.  Plus it was tough and had a tug to it I didn't like.  Need some recommendations on a better tasting casing please.  I put my smoked links in a pan with a little oil and cooked it for a few minutes - and it was good.  Here's pics - I made breakfast for Thursday night it's time for some Thursday night football!  Josie

  2. sheep casings
  3. sheep casings hmmmmmm ok thanks voodoochile

  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Josie, evening..... It may be that Hi-Mountain carries "third string" casings in their kits... I made some sticks and use 21MM edible mahogany casings from butcher and packer.... when eating the sticks, you can't tell there is a casing..... Here's a picture... I'm wondering if the casings are of the "edible" variety.... Here's what my casings looked like when finished.....
    Seems to me, the casings were about as thick as a cigarette paper....
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
  5. those are beautiful DaveOmak.  I will definitely checkout butcher-packer.  I was not real happy with the flavor of those collagen casings after I smoked them.  The funny thing about those casings is when I cooked them on the stove they tasted wonderful with a nice bite.  However, when I smoked them they took on a whole different flavor and they were tuff and hard to eat.  Thanks for the helpful info DaveOmak. What about the "natural casings"?  Have you used those before?  If so, did you like them and would you recommend them?? Why do you tie the ends of your sausage with butcher's twine?  Is that better than twisting the ends? 

    Be Blessed,

  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I hung the sticks in the smoker so I used the twine to hang them.... collagen doesn't twist very well.... I find it tears easily....
    nepas uses a trick to get them to seal.... he squeezes a bit of meat to where you would normally twist the casing.... then he pinches the casing flat, with the meat in the pinch zone, folds the links to make a zig-zag, I guess you would call it and refers the sticks.... the meat sort of glues the casings closed... (or so it says in fine print)...
    I have used pig casings and like them... haven't used sheep... too pricey for what I'm doing...
    I have made nekid links too, no casing, and they work very well... squeeze them out of the stuffer and stick in the freezer or smoker...
    I mostly make sausage patties now.... fast, easy and the taste is the same.... place 1# of sausage meat in a 1 quart vac-bag, flatten so they stack easily and freeze... makes 4 square 4 ounce patties... we usually fry it up whole then cut into portions...
    I think, Disco, did a thread on a meatloaf/sausage slices that is unique and a very interesting way to present breakfast sausage.....

    Of course you know I meant to ramble on and on..... Sorry about the casings not performing well... I think those guys buy the rejects to put in their "BUY ME" packages.... makes no sense why, when you want repeat business..... but "profit" is king I guess...
  7. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I make breakfast links using sheep casings, and I have found if I don't tie the ends the sheep casing shrinks and comes off the sausage. Last years I tied all those knots, this year I figure they can slide off cause I ain't doing all those knots! LOL

    See I thought with all the different types of collegen, which I assume don't shrink there would be one that was right, you have edible, non edible, clear, mohgany, I wonder since they offer colored if they allow permibility to the meat. I just don't know collegen.

    But the fresh sausage cooked in natural casing, the casing will pull away and shrink if not smoked first. I am guessing the slow smoke must in some way set the casing which then becomes like a paper sleeve which has a snap.

    Do you even soak collegen?

    BTW seems to me that Boyko posted a casing tutorial somewhere in the sausage section last year maybe. I found it!
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
  8. Good Morning DaveOmak - using the twine to hang your sticks makes sense.  Yeah I noticed how easy the collagen casing tears.  I found that out at the beginning of my sausage making marathon. I tried twisting the first roll of sausage.  By the time I got to the end of the roll the other end had come undone.......geez!  I finished stuffing ALL the sausage and put them in the fridge overnight - I sliced them the next morning and pinched the ends. The next batch of sausage I make, I will definitely make some using Disco's method with no casing and I will use your method and make some patties.  Thanks for Bear's link and no worries about rambling on.  I love all of your HELPFUL information and tips - thanks for sharing.

    No worries about my casing problem I know what NOT to use for my next sausage project.

    Be Blessed, 

  9. butcherfamily

    butcherfamily Fire Starter

    I use natural casing whenever possible. The only time I don't is when I need something too small that there is no natural casing available.

    If you are having an issue with natural casing coming apart. Make sure you are not putting too much water in your sausage mix. If you heat it too high and there is a large amount of water content, the steam is what is trying to escape and causing the casing to shrink up at the ends.  If the meat is very cold, it will enhance this effect.

    Also make sure you are linking the sausage properly and then cutting it. You can also leave a lot of it linked in the pan then cut the links after.
  10. ok thanks for this helpful info butcherFamily. I'm going to try the natural casing next time. Where do you buy your natural casing?

    Josie aka SmokinVegasBaby
  11. thanks for this link and helpful info.
  12. butcherfamily

    butcherfamily Fire Starter

    I get all of my casing from either the local hungarian sausage place or  The only one I don't buy from sausagemaker is the smallest sheep casing. I have found it to be poor quality and blow apart when stuffing. I called them once and they agreed that the quality is not very good.
  13. I have bought sheep casings from LEM and was happy with the quality
  14. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Butchers and Packers, no problemos!

    I want to try where I think Pop's talked about, they have pre-loaded casing. That sounded kind of interesting. Especially with those sheep casing.....LOL
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  15. ok thanks again.
  16. red dog

    red dog Smoking Fanatic

    My last kielbasa I made with 33mm collagen casings from Weston. They are edible and made for smoking. They turned out great and were not tough at all. I purchased mine through Amazon.
  17. ok thanks Red Dog.  Why is the kielbasa casing 33mm?  I don't know enough about the different mm's YET ;o)

  18. red dog

    red dog Smoking Fanatic

    It doesn't have to be 33mm but that is about average for that type of sausage. That's about the size of a Johnsonville Brat. Weston makes casings in many different sizes. Normal breakfast sausage links you buy at the store would be smaller (24-26mm) like a hotdog and about the size of a sheep casing. Note that I am talking about casings that will be smoked. I have not used collagen casings for fresh sausage. I would defer to those with more experience on what to use for fresh un-smoked sausage. Like Dave said, the collagen casings you get in a pre packaged kit may not be the best for smoking although fine for fresh.   
  19. ok got it.  thanks again for the info Red Dog.
  20. mr b

    mr b Fire Starter

    Hog casings....35-38mm....smoke sausage on low high will cause it to lose fat and juices....

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