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To Vinegar or Not to Vinegar?


Fire Starter
Joined Jul 30, 2013
I am trying my second batch of Polish Sausage. I have heard that adding a little vinegar to the water while soaking natural hog casings can help make them a little more tender. I have read many different recommendations for how long the casings should be allowed to sit in the vinegar water (ranging from overnight to NO more than 15 min. I want to have a cleaner bite through my sausage this time, but I would still like to have "snap" left when they are finished and don't want them to burst while stuffing. Just wondering what others have/have not had success with in soaking your casings??


Sausage maker
Staff member
OTBS Member
Group Lead
Joined Apr 28, 2010
I never noticed vinegar make a difference in softening casings but it will remove odors if their present.. For casings packed in salt I recommend you soak the casings for a day or two changing the water frequently and washing them out squeezing water through the casings. They need to look white and feel silky smooth to the touch....... you need less soaking time if the casings are packed in a salt water solution..................



Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Aug 1, 2008
I get and keep my casings in a liquid salt brine.  They need less soaking, but a really thorough rinse and couple hour soak with some vinegar seems to help.

Good luck and good smoking.
Last edited:


Fire Starter
Joined Jul 30, 2013
We soaked them in water for 3 hours. Then added some vinegar for 30 minutes. Smoked them @ 160-170 for 2.5 hours and pulled the links @ 155. After an ice bath and a short bloomwe grilled one up to taste. We found the casings were perfect. Not too tough but still had a good snap to them. Looks like vinegar does the trick. ..thanks everyone

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