Collagen Casing Near Disaster

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by mulepackin, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I did a couple batches of venison sausage for my neighbor this weekend. One was a 25# batch of snack sticks. I bought my 21 mm smoked snack stick collagen casings from my usual supplier, a local specialty butcher. Have had great success with them in the past. The casings seems different from the moment I saw them. Lighter color, generally lighter, thinner feel. I went ahead with them anyway, started stuffing and just as quick started blowing casing within the first 6 inches. Very dry and brittle texture, collagen are usually dry, but these were onion skin. I put em on the double boiler to get a little moisture into them, and this helped enough to get the job done, but I couldn't stuff them too tight or they would blow again. They stix are very loose and wrinkly, not what I usually end up with. Not sure what the main problem was, the brand, my storage or use, just not sure. Not a fun session.
  2. desertlites

    desertlites Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Has happened to me when I have stored unused collagen's in the freezer-but thats where they keep them also-not sure maybe old and went dry?
  3. scpatterson

    scpatterson Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I thought you had to soak them prior to use. I soaked mine and saw a picture that looked like they were dry that someone else posted. Maybe Im misunderstanding............Mine worked fine soaked and was kindof like using real casings....
  4. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ha I never have had a bad batch but maybe cause I still on my first batch of casings.
  5. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The big non-edible collagen's you soak Chis, the little edible ones you use dry.
    That sucks Mulepackin, they must have gotten dehydrated somehow, maybe frozen?
    For the newbies, they should be kept at room temperature and you can rehydrate them if they are to dry by putting them in a baggy and adding a little water, then let them set overnight.
    If you do figure it out, I'd be interested it knowing what happened.

    Now I got to go check my collagen's
  6. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I used my first collagen casing for pork sausage I did on new years. Love em, no problems, took the smoke well, no prep time (just fed them onto the stuffing tube) and where a lot more edible than the natural casings. I guess I'll keep the natural casings for sausages I intend to slow smoke and cure, boil or stuff with a real wet filling (boudin).

  7. brohnson

    brohnson Smoking Fanatic

    Right on, I always soak mine when I take them from the freezer and I've never had a problem like that.
  8. rambler

    rambler Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    I have read where people have problems with collagen casings having blow outs due to scratching them when they are placed on the stuffer tubes. When I place mine on the tube I rub the tube with vegetable oil first. I noticed you said you used 21 MM casings but what size is the tube you are using? As for soaking, it is my understanding the reason for soaking is to remove salts from natural casings and you never soak collagen casings. Originally I was soaking collagen casings and having lots of problems with blow outs. After talking with my supplier and on their advise I have not soaked them since and have not had any blow out.
  9. piker

    piker Fire Starter

    I have used them for yrs. and store them in the fridge. I just let them warm up before I use them. I also do not soak them and I use a little veg. oil on my hands and stuffer tube. Makes them soft and pliable and strong. Never had a problem as I did with naturals. Piker
  10. As others have said I store in the fridge and oil the tube. Never soaked them.
  11. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    These were wrapped in butcher paper, stored in the fridge. I don't, nor should they be soaked. I use the smallest (3/8") tube made for my stuffer, it is plastic. I coat my tube with Pam spray before loading each sleeve onto the horn. These were specifically a smoked sausage casing not for fresh. I think they were either a bad batch, or just cheaper brand, they seemed that way from the start, and I had them stored about a month which may be pushing it, but who knows how long they were stored before I got them. This is the first time in about 5 years of using collagen I've had this much trouble. Anyway there are in the smoke now and look pathetic. Thanks for all the replies.
  12. oneshot

    oneshot Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I think you answered the question. "Wrapped in butcher paper, stored in the fridge". The butcher paper does not protect them from drying out in the fridge so they dehydrated. That would be my thought...
  13. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thats a good possibility. I would think plastic coated butcher paper, properly wrapped would protect collagen just like meat, but still a good chance they dried out that way.
  14. pantherfan83

    pantherfan83 Smoking Fanatic

    Did you call your supplier and let them know the problems you were having?
  15. I've been using the 19mm collagen casing that Cabelas has discounted in thier bargin cave. I have no problems with them. I just ordered 5 more packs, and will double vac seal them. They should keep for at least 1 year in the fridge. Here is the web site in case any one is interested.
  16. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That sounds like a good deal. I think it was likely my storage that led to my problems. In the future I will vac-pak any collagen casings I get right away, unless I'm going to use them in the next day or so. That was the original plan, then the neighbor and I didn't get to it for about a month.
  17. The Cabela Collagen casings are already vac packed when you get them, I just like to make sure there good and sealed. I also do that with my Leggs seasonings. I figure better be safe than sorry

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