Tough casings

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by hounds51, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. Hi I was wondering if anybody might know why my sausage casing are tough? I thought I did everything right. I used the sausage maker polish sausage mix and casings. I followed all instructionsns. Cant figure it out? Oh yea they are 32 to34 mm natural hog casings
  2. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good looking sausage. I read somewhere that if you soak the casings in vinegar for a few minutes before stuffing that it keeps them from getting tough. I can't say if it works or not but it's worth a try.
  3. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sometimes I think it's just the casting and not the way you make them. I try to soak them overnight but i just use water, changing it every so often.
    What where your temps and how long did you cook them for?
    They sure look good!!
  4. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Flush out your casings and let them soak before you start any other prep with your sausage. If you use a normal cereal bowl size container about half full of water, add about ½ tsp. of vinegar to it (or in my world of wacky measurement, a drizzlebit or two.. lol!). This will soften them up but not too much (you'll get blowouts). Don't worry if you do a little too much, you can drain them, squeeze the water out and re-salt them and re-store them in the fridge again. Never freeze casings. Salted, they're good for a year or more.

    Some casings are tougher than others, esp. the imported ones from China; I've not had good luck with those. I use casings from Syracuse Casing Co. from NY; they're domestic casings and are consistent quality and diameter; they don't need turning 'inside-out' and some sizes are pre-loaded onto plastic strips so they load onto your horn quickly and easily - you soak those like you do any others too. These are what are used in most meatrooms also. Their link is:

    Their pricing is competitive and they don't charge shipping last I knew!

    Pops §§
  5. countrysmoked

    countrysmoked Smoke Blower

    I had tough casings on one batch that I recently made. The next batch (from the same package) I rinsed in warm water and they were not as tough but were still tougher than I like, I will try the vinegar like the previous post said. Keep trying, it is worth the work when the sausage comes out right.
  6. jjrokkett

    jjrokkett Meat Mopper

    Good post by Pops.
    I've had some tough casings but mostly from "Home pack" casings. I also soak my casings in water the night before I stuff if I'm using naturals - which gives it about 10-12 hours soaking.

    Pops - I'm going to add your Syracuse Casing web link to the sticky of pertinent web links.
  7. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    i dont think its anything you did or didnt do Hounds... i had same prob several years ago, thought same thing what did i do wrong, next year bought casings from same place and same thing, i switched meat markets from where i bought my casings from and problem solved. it was the brand of casing that the first vendor i was using had switched to. i wish i could remember brand but like popps says, ck into a different brand.
  8. Thanks pops I think I will try the Syracuse Casing Co. I can't help but think that the casings may be the problem. And Dan I dried at 130 deg for 1/2 hour, then slowly rose temp to 165 degrees, with heavy smoke. I also had a pan of water on the burner to reduce shrinkage. I smoked for about 12 hours, and pulled then at 152 degrees, so I did everything by the book. I didn't turn my casings inside out, but I don't think that was the problem. So far I have only microwave rfheated them, and that may also be part of the problem?
  9. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Yes Id say check a different supplier. If you have a local processor, they should have able to sell you some casing, although you may have to buy quite a bit, they are almost always cheaper than buying the ones in the store. Plus, if you make a moderate amount of sausage, you can always freeze the unused portions. Personally, the best thing I found was like the others have said, rinse them out really good and soak them overnight if you can or at least for a few hours. Hope that helps.
  10. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I think that could be your problem right there, maybe try heating them up in the oven or a fring pan with a little oil and see what ya think.
    And for what it's worth, I've never use a water pan so I cant say if that could be a problem or not.
  11. jjrokkett

    jjrokkett Meat Mopper

    I personally have good luck with the natural casings I get from the Sausage Maker - I buy the full hank bucket - Not sure what they put in their kits though. It could be the storage of them or like someone said "some casings are just tough" depending on the supplier.
  12. Looking at the picture it looks like your not stuffing them enough. That can cause tougher casings. Just a thought as it's hard to determine by a picture. They do look good though..
  13. que-ball

    que-ball Smoking Fanatic

    Cold smoke at 100* or so for a longer period with lighter smoke (and cure), and no water pan. Bloom in ice water after that if you want, to prevent shrinkage. Freeze your smoked sausage, and cook it as needed in a frying pan with oil or boil it in water. I wouldn't use a microwave, and I wouldn't cook it in the smoker and then cook it again on the stove or microwave.

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