Sausage Casing Questions...

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by pistolpete, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. pistolpete

    pistolpete Newbie

    Hi all,

    I just got a hank of natural casings (don't know what kind), and am planning on doing my first summer sausage this weekend (elk meat). The casings are in what looks like a salt solution - I assume I need to rinse and soak them prior to stuffing? Also, how do I (long term) store the remaining casings - I was thinking pack them on salt and vacuum seal, and maybe freeze? Any other ideas? Thanks very much for the help,

  2. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yeah, rinse and soak.

    The other casings (as long as you did not rinse and soak them), can be kept in the fridge. Vacuum seal helps everything stay fresh longer, but is not needed for the casings as long as they have been properly handled.
  3. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Carefully, unless you LIKE Gordian Knots.. remove them from the hank. Set aside the amount you will be using on a clean surface. Drop the others into a baggie and cover with dry kosher salt. They will keep months this way in a colder spot of your fridge.

    Start cool running water, place a clean bowl or pot under the tap and rinse off outside of casing, then with one end of the casing floating in the pot, run a "slug" of water thru the other end, lifting the casing out as you go. The water "slug" will travel the length of the casing, rinsing out the inside. I do this twice for each length of casing.

    Hope this helps ya!

    An addendum: Rinsing the inside will also facilitate stuffing... kinda like a little lube.
  4. pistolpete

    pistolpete Newbie

    Awesome, thanks so much guys...

  5. pistolpete

    pistolpete Newbie

    Another question - how do I seal the ends? Can I just twist them, or do I need to tie them off or something else?


  6. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yer welcome, Pete. Happy Stuffing! [​IMG]
  7. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The first end, I tie in a knot... to make links I twist and tie with butcher <cotton> string, about 1/4 inch apart and cut between.
  8. goat

    goat Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    What Richtee said, except I have never added any salt, I just figured there was plenty in the package. Pistol Pete, are you going to stuff Summer sausage into casings, or something larger?
  9. pistolpete

    pistolpete Newbie

    Thanks all. Goat, I am stuffing them into the only thing I could find, which was these casings; so we will see how that turns out. I'm not even sure how big they are, but I guess it will be a cross between a Slim Jim and a real summer...

  10. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    For tying the ends off on summer sausage we use plastic cable strips; easy to use, inexpensive and they hold up to the heat of the smoker.
  11. goat

    goat Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    My guess is that they will be somewhere in the neighborhood of the diameter of a ping pong ball.
  12. seaham358

    seaham358 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Natural casings I tie in a knot the first one and then alternate twists on the rest until the other end I tie in a knot.
    I do the same with the collogen sp) casings they sell at Gander Mnt.
    The larger casing 2-3" that some with some kits I use the butcher string to tie them and last year we used the hog rings on some and they worked well also.
  13. goat

    goat Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I also use hog rings on the larger collagen casings. I use the smallest I can get and I do not have that number with me. They will not come off.
  14. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    I do mine like Seaham. I only tie the ends and then twist everything in the middles. I tend to stick pretty much with colegen casings though they never seem to go bad unless they get wet. I have them from 18mm all the way up to 6" diameter and love using them.

    Enjoy the sausage making Pete it's very addictive!

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