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Some tips for the new sausage maker - CASINGS

Posted By: Joe Ames
Date: Wednesday, May 2, 2001 at 7:56 a.m.

Altho’ there are a variety of casings available, the home sausage maker will likely use only a few. Mostly, natural hog casings, collagen casing and fibrous.

The below site has brief descriptions on various types.


Using our salted “Home Pack” of natural hog casings -


Will suffice for most fresh and smoked sausages. Collagen casings are normally used in fresh sausages only and Fibrous casings are used to make luncheon meat type sausages.

Salted hog casings store very well, for long periods of time, under refrigeration. Our “Home Pack” comes in a handy, re-closeable, zip lock, durable bag.

To use these casings, take what you need from the bag, usually, one strand will be enough for approximately two pounds of sausage meat mix, more or less.

Then rinse them under warm water to remove external salt and to soften them up a bit.
Next, find an end and open it up enough to slip over the mouth of your spigot and flush the inside of the casing with warm water. This begins the re-hydration process of the casing and removes any residual salt from the inside.

We find that this next step makes the casing more pliable and tender as well as improving the appearance of the stuffed casing.
We simply place the rinsed casings in a suitable storage container, and cover them with white vinegar and store them in the refrigerator until needed (At least overnight before using.). Because of the low ph, they will store like this for a long time.

Collagen casings need no special preparation, simply place the dry casing on your stuffing tube and stuff. We use scissors to cut the stuffed casing to the desired length. Store collagen dry casings in a cool area and they will be okay for about a year, after that they begin to become a little brittle.

Fibrous casings should be allowed to soak in water, best overnight, to get soft and flexible prior to stuffing. Storage of the un-used casings is not normally a problem.

Stuffing the casings with the proper amount of meat mixture so the sausage doesn’t burst, varies somewhat, the hog casings should not exceed about 80%, Collagen has a little less strength so fill them about 75% full. The fibrous casings are extremely strong, so fill them as tight as you can.

After stuffing all of the sausages, poke them every inch or so with a needle, push pin, etc., to allow any air pockets to deflate and to allow steam to escape while cooking.

Now you are ready to smoke, cook or freeze your sausages.

There are many “tricks” involving the above, most you will learn from trial and error. What ever works for you is the “best” way to do it.

Only the very basics were covered here, if anyone would like to add their experiences, please do.
This was just to get the new sausage maker going. Any other help would be appreciated.



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