Discussion in 'Sausage' started by marcopolo, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. marcopolo

    marcopolo Newbie

    I am wondering about sausage casings because I have been experiencing some "toughness" with natural casings after smoking the homemade sausages.  Are there any generally accepted rules or practices to reduce toughness in the casings ?  

    I normally store my (natural) casings in the freezer because I have so much.

    Thank You in advance for your help.
  2. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    One cause of tough casings is freezing them.  Never freeze casings.  Casings should be kept stored in the fridge with a plastic container with a lid.  I know it's hard sometime to judge how much sausage you are going to make.  I have some casings right now stored in salt. Another reason for tough casings is that the soaking time is too short.  Make sure you rinse the salt from the casings.  Rinse the casings from the inside as well by putting them under the faucet and let a foot or so of water in the casing and then work it through to the other end to flush the casing.  Then store the casings in cold water in the fridge overnight for stuffing the next day.  You can also add some vinegar to the water but not too much.  Maybe  a Tablespoon or so to a couple of cups of water.  Make sure you rinse the casings again if using vinegar.  I sometimes add pineapple or orange juice to the casing water to soften  them up instead of vinegar. Using plain water is fine also.  Personal preference in using vinegar or water.  Try it and see how it works for you.  Plan ahead so your casings have soften'd up well so your stuffing will be an easy process.  Reinhard
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014
  3. marcopolo

    marcopolo Newbie


  4. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    reinhard got you covered....... Under stuffing will also make for tough casings
  5. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'll buy that, but do casing get old? I have casings from last year still stored in the reefer in salt water, they don't smell, but even toward the end of last years sausage making I started to notice I had more breaks/blow outs and they didn't slide as easily off the tube. Could this be caused by the age of the intestines?
  6. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    IMO they should be used up to 2 yrs in the fridge. After that they should be tossed
  7. jnorth

    jnorth Fire Starter

    I've also noticed a big difference in the quality of casing.  When I first started I just used the salt-packed dried casings that have to be soaked for hours and hours.  The sausage usually turned out fine but I had lots of blowout when stuffing and twisting.  They tended to be irregularly sized as well, some short, some long.  Now I've been getting my casings from Syracuse Casings and I've been much happier.  The only blow outs I've had are when I over stuff the casings (I'm still bad about that).

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