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Sausage Casing Sausage Casings 103 - Preparing Your Casings
Attend this entry level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!Beef Middles Preparing Casings
These casings are all made from different materials, are best suited for different products and have different preparation requirements.Edible Collagen
Most types of collagen are edible and require no preparation or cleaning before being ready for use. All you have to do is take them out of the package, put them on the stuffing tube and stuff them, the moisture from the meat will rehydrate them during the cooking process so they will not have that tough dry texture that they do before being used.Inedible Collagen
For nonedible collagen, the rule of 15s comes into play. They must be soaked for 15 minutes in a 15% salt solution that is 15° C (59° F) before they can be used for stuffing. With any type of collagen blowouts are of medium concern, you need to make sure you don’t overstuff your casings or you will have blowouts either during stuffing or when linking.Cellulose Casings
Cellulose Casings are made from plant material and are ready for use right out of the package, just put them on the stuffing tube and begin stuffing. These casings are inedible and must be removed either before or after the cooking process. Luckily they have a thick black stripe down them to allow you to easily determine if the casing has been removed or not. These casings are very strong and blowouts are not a concern.Fibrous Casings
Fibrous Casings are a dried paper-like casing that needs to be rehydrated before they are suitable for use. To do this fill a bowl with 80-100° and let them soak for 30-60 minutes. When they are ready for use they should be pliable but not soggy. We recommend that you only soak as many casings as you will need but if you do soak too many you can simply allow extras to dry out and then use them again in the future. Fibrous Casings are very strong and blowouts should not be a concern.Natural Hog or Sheep Casings
100 Yard “Hank” - If you purchased the 100-yard hank of hog or sheep casings you only need to rinse the outside and then soak the casings in hot water for an hour, there is no need to flush them. Natural casings are a natural casing and therefore they are prone to blowouts, you need to be careful not to overstuff the casings or you can have blowouts either when stuffing or when linking.
Home Pack - If you purchased home pack hog or sheep casings they will be in a bag and packed with salt. You will need to flush these casings by allowing water to run all the way through them, then you will need to rinse any salt off of the outside of the casing and then soak them in hot water for 1 hour prior to stuffing.
Tubed Natural Casing - If you have the tubed sheep or hog casings they only need to be soaked as well as they have been flushed already. When loading these onto the stuffing tubes you will place the plastic sleeve over the tube and then thread the rest of the casing on. Once your casing is fully loaded you need to grab the plastic sleeve and pull it out from between the casing and the tube, it should all come out fairly easily.Shop waltonsinc.com for Collagen Casings Shop waltonsinc.com for Fibrous Casings Shop waltonsinc.com for Natural Casings
Sausage Casing Sausage Casings 101 - Sausage Casings Basics
Attend this entry level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!Sausage Casings Why Use A Sausage Casing?
Any casing, whether it is a natural, collagen or fibrous is going to offer some uniformity to the diameter of your product. This is important because it will allow the product to cook evenly. If you had a product that was half-again as thick in some areas than others then the thinner parts would be overcooked before the thicker parts were safe to eat. In commercial processing, uniformity is even more important for appearance and to be able to consistently track the amount of sausage being produced.Appearance
Casings also give sausage a certain look, it is generally easy to determine what casing was used to make a sausage vs when it has been extruded. Natural casings will often have a curve in them that can be anywhere from slight to fairly extreme while collagen casings will be more uniform and straight.Mouth Feel
Mouth Feel is a term that refers to the sensations associated with eating certain types of foods. For casings, this will be determined by a few factors, some of which will depend on cook cycle but to keep things simple Collagen will have less of a snap than natural casings will. In surveys, it was found that the reduced snap of collagen was generally preferred to natural casings. Different types or variants of collagen casings will also have a different mouthfeel as they have different levels of toughness.Inedible Casings
Some types of sausage casings, such as cellulose, are inedible and are made to be peeled off after thermal processing but before consumption. These cellulose casings have a stripe down the middle to let you easily identify if the casing has been peeled or not yet. However, these ring bologna casings are also an inedible collagen but that do not have any markings on them so you have to be careful when using these. Trying to consume inedible collagen isn’t going to be harmful but it will give you a very tough and chewy bite.Shop waltonsinc.com for Collagen Casings Shop waltonsinc.com for Fibrous Casings Shop waltonsinc.com for Natural Casings
Sausage Casing Sausage Casings: 203 Tips for Stuffing Fibrous Casings
Attend this Intermediate level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!Stuffing Summer Sausage Pre-Stuck Casings Prep-Work
Fibrous casings are the most popular choice for making summer sausages and some other larger diameter sausage-like products. It is made from a paper product and is generally easy to work with but here are a few tips to make sure you are making the best product possible.
First, make sure your fibrous casings are soft and pliable before you attempt to stuff them, they need to be soaked for 30 minutes in 90-100°F to soften them up. Choose the largest stuffing tube or horn that you have that your casings will fit over, with larger fibrous casing this is generally your largest stuffing tube. Doing this will allow your casing to stuff evenly and prevent swirling inside the casing which can cause an odd appearance odd when you slice your summer sausage.What to Expect
Since Fibrous casings are so strong blowouts really are not a major concern here so feel free to stuff the casing until the casing is smooth and full while minimizing backflow. Backflow is when sausage comes back up around the tube before going into the casing. So make sure you are holding the casing on tightly and near the end of the tube.
As you are stuffing your fibrous casing make sure that you leave at least a few inches at the end of the casing so you can clip it closed with hog ring pliers, a bag and casing clipper or a max pac stapler. Twist the end of the casing as tightly as possible and place your hog ring or staple as close to the meat as possible to keep the meat tightly in the casing.Extra Information
Now, most of the fibrous casings that we sell are prestuck, which means that small holes are already present along the casing. This allows for the pressure to bleed out during the cooking process and for the casing to form down tightly to the meat. If you purchased one of the few fibrous casings that are not prestuck you will need to get something like a sausage pricker and make some holes up and down the summer sausage.
The casings already have a loop of string on the opposite end to hang it in a smoker so your hog ring will be responsible for keeping the casing closed while the weight of the meat is pushing down on it, so make sure it is as tight as you can make it.
One other thing to make note of here even though it is not technically part of the stuffing process if you do not run a shower cycle or an ice bath to cool your sausage down the casing is going to stick to the meat when you try to peel it. If you have run an ice bath and it is still sticking when peeling try putting it in the fridge overnight, that will often allow the casing to peel away cleanly.Shop waltonsinc.com for Fibrous Casings Shop waltonsinc.com for 11 lb Sausage Stuffer
Sausage Casing Sausage Casings: 201 Tips for Stuffing Collagen Casings
Attend this Intermediate level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!Casing over horn Adding Correct Pressure The Basics
Learning how to stuff collagen casing can be as much of an art as it is a science. The first thing you can do to make this easy on yourself is to use the correct stuffing tube, you should use the largest stuffing tube that your casing will fit over in its shirred form. For example, a 23 MM casing will fit over both a 10 MM and 12 MM tube but you want to choose the 12 MM tube as this will allow the casing to come off the tube more naturally. Also, you should note that collagen does have a direction, one end of the strand will be fully open and the other will have some of the casing folded slightly over the center hole. The open side is what should be loaded onto the stuffing tube if you lose track of which side was the correct one look at how the collagen is stacked, it looks like bowls stacked in a cupboard, you want the bottom of the bowl to be facing towards the stuffer so the casing comes off as if you are un-stacking the bowls.Right Amount of Pressure
Making sure that you are using the right amount of pressure to hold your casing on the stuffing tube is very important and takes some practice. Too little pressure and the casing will come off too easily and you will end up with an under stuffed casing which can create a wrinkled, unappealing product and will not hold its form through the cooking process. The other side of that is that if you use too much pressure you can end up with blow outs or backflow. A blow out is when your casing splits from internal pressure, it forces you to stop stuffing, fix your casing and put your meat back into the stuffing cannister. Backflow is when your product comes back around the stuffing horn instead of going into the casing and creates a host of problems including possible contamination and defects in the texture of the sausage. Also, an overstuffed casing has a tendency to burst during the cooking process
You want the casing to feel firm but not so firm that when you try to twist it the casing splits, it is going to take a little bit of practice to master this but once you do it is like riding a bike, you will never forget how. A good way to judge if you are stuffing to the proper amount is if you can just faintly see the swirl line along the casing, you want to be able to just faintly see it. If it is obvious then you are under stuffing, if you can’t see it as all then you have overstuffed. As you are stuffing try to get your sausage into a coil to make it easier to handle.Up to You!
Now that you have the sausage stuffed into the collagen you can either hang them in the smoker, cut them into sausage sized sections or twist them into links and then hang them for smoking or vacuum seal them for future use.
Now you can smoke, grill or pan fry them. If you made a fresh product and want to vac seal them for future use make sure you freeze them first for at least an hour. If you try to vacuum seal a fresh sausage the vacuum that your machine pulls will crush your product flat.Shop waltonsinc.com for Collagen Casings Shop waltonsinc.com for 11 lb Sausage Stuffer
Sausage Casing Sausage Casings 102 - Choosing The Right Casing
Attend this entry level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!Natural Hog Casings Cellulose Casings Fibrous Casings
Fibrous Casings are an inedible casing that is made from a paper-like product. These types of casings must be soaked before use to allow them to rehydrate and form the classic log like shape once stuffed. They are smoke permeable and heavy duty, making them a good choice for Summer Sausages, Pepperonis, and Salamis.
Most will come pre-tied on one end, so once you stuff them you need to clip the other end with something to keep all the meat inside the casing. The pre-tied end will be the side it is hung from in a smoker so you need to make sure the end you are clipping is tightly secured. Hog Rings secured with hog ring pliers are the most cost-efficient way of doing this.Natural Casings
Natural Casings are generally Hog or Sheep intestines that have been cleaned and processed, making them edible. They will be kept fresh through storing and shipping by being either packed in salt or kept in a salt solution, this means that they must be rinsed, soaked and if they are from a home pack have the insides flushed with clean running water before being stuffed. Sheep casings are available in sizes 22-28mm making them good choices for everything from Breakfast Sausages to Hot Dogs.
Hog Casings are available in 32-42mm and are commonly used for Bratwurst and larger sized sausages such as Kielbasa and Boudin. The casing is naturally smoke permeable, accepts a twist and can be hung in a smokehouse. When stuffing Natural Casings you need to be careful to prevent blowouts.Collagen Casings
Edible Collagen Casings come in three varieties. Fresh, which should only be used for products like Bratwurst or Breakfast sausage that are not going to be hung in a smoker. Clear, which is strong enough to be hung in a smoker and gives you a clear casing after cooking. Finally, smoked, which is strong enough to be hung in a smokehouse and gives a reddish mahogany finished color. Edible collagen casings do not require any processing and are ready to be used as soon as they are taken out of the package, which is a large advantage over either Fibrous or Cellulose casings.Inedible Casings Non-Edible Collagen* casings are a form of collagen that must be processed before they are used for stuffing. The rule of 15s can be applied to these types of casings and that is they must be soaked for 15 minutes in a 15% salt solution that is 15° C (59° F). Once they have been stuffed and the sausage has been cooked they must be peeled before eating. These can be used for products like Summer Sausages and Ring Bologna.
Cellulose - Cellulose casings are made from plant material, are smoke permeable and are inedible. Some kinds, like these, have a stripe down one side to make it easy to determine if they have been removed from a product or not. They have a very strong structure so blowouts are not an issue when using these casings. They are good for use in any application where a skinless product is desired. They do not accept a twist and must be tied or stapled to keep the meat in a link, or they can be cooked in a rope and cut the casing into the desired lengths later. Removing them from the sausage, after cooking is simple, just press on one end and they will pop right out.Shop waltonsinc.com for Collagen Casings Shop waltonsinc.com for Fibrous Casings Shop waltonsinc.com for Natural Casings
Sausage Casing Sausage Casings 104 - Shelf Life & Storage
Shelf-Life - If they are unopened and stored in a refrigerator or cooler you can expect to get 12 months from these casings but remember, these are a natural product, not a manufactured one so times can vary. The casings might have an unpleasant smell to them but that is to be expected if however the smell is truly rancid then the casings have gone bad and should be disposed of. The difference in smell between the slightly unpleasant normal smell of these casings and spoiled casings is unmistakable.
How To Store - These will be sent to you either packed in salt, if you purchased the home pack, or kept in a salt solution if you purchased the 100-yard hank. The salt will keep the casings fresh throughout the shipping process but they should be stored in a cooler or refrigerator when you receive them until they are ready for use. Once you have taken them out of the package and rinsed and cleaned them they can be put back into the salt or salt solution and vacuum packed again at which point they will have the original shelf life.Collagen Casings
Shelf-Life - Collagen casings should have a shelf life of between 12-24 months depending on how they are stored. If the casing feels excessively brittle when you are putting it on the stuffing tube or you are experiencing an unusual number of blowouts your casings might have gone bad and should be disposed of. You can slightly rehydrate older collagen casings by taking them out of there package and storing them in the refrigerator the night before they are going to be used. Once you have used how much you need you can reseal them in a bag. Do not vacuum pack them though as this will crush the casings
How To Store - They should be kept in a dry place that is between 40-60° F and left in the original packaging until they are ready for use. Once they have been opened you should reseal the casings and always store them in an airtight container. The older the casing is the more brittle and prone to blowouts it will become.Fibrous Casings
Shelf-Life - These casings do not really go bad, you should get at least a few years out of them if stored correctly.
How To Store - They should be kept in a cool dry environment and out of direct sunlight.Cellulose Casings
Shelf-Life - These casings do not really go bad, you should get at least a few years out of them if stored correctly.
How To Store - They should be kept in a cool dry environment and out of direct sunlight.Shop waltonsinc.com for Collagen Casings Shop waltonsinc.com for Fibrous Casings Shop waltonsinc.com for Natural Casings