Collagen casings for Smoking

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by mabrandt, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. mabrandt

    mabrandt Fire Starter

    I am going to try some smoked sausage. I have been making fresh for a while, but thought I would try smoked. For many reasons, I like collagen casings. I understand there are some made especially for smoking. From what I have read, it is because the fresh collagen casings won't hold up to hanging. I have an old GOSM smoker that I have had for years and the sausage will be on shelves. Can I still use the fresh collagen or do I need to get the thicker smoke collagen?

    Thanks
     
  2. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    There are edible Collagen casings you can use for your sausage. Usually the edibles are used for sausages and snack sticks like slim jims There are non edible collagen casings used for salami's, bologna, summer sausages. You can use fresh casings and they will hang  and smoke with no problem. I  perffer using natural hog casings if you like that snap when you bit into them.... I would give both a try if you have some  of the naturals left..

    Here's some fresh natural casings hung in my smoker

    [​IMG]

    Joe
     
     
  3. grabber

    grabber Smoke Blower

    A lot of guys don't like the collagen, as the sausage casing is much tougher than the fresh.  I prefer the fresh personally.
     
  4. mabrandt

    mabrandt Fire Starter

    Thanks for the responses, but I think I was misunderstood. There are 2 types of collagen casings, fresh and smoked. They say you can't use the fresh collagen casings if your going to hang them as they are too  thin. I was wondering if I can use the fresh collagen casings if they are on a shelf, instead of hanging. I realize natural casings are better tasting, but the collagen are a lot easier for me and I don't notice any flavor differences, just texture.
     
     
  5. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
  6. mabrandt

    mabrandt Fire Starter

    According to this site where I buy my casings:

    http://www.waltonsinc.com/c-65-collagen-sausage-casings.aspx

    They have 3 types of collagen casings. Smoke, Clear and Fresh. They claim, Smoke and clear casings can be used for smoking while Fresh should not be used for smoking. They say it is because they are thinner and won't survive hanging. I wasn't going to hang them. Maybe I should try a few and see. I am not sure I can keep my GOSM temperature down to where it's supposed to be anyway. It would be a good test.
     
     
  7. Thanks for the link. Never saw fresh collagen casings before. Only edible and non edible.
     
  8. Same here. I like their prices on the 21 mm smoke (mahogany). Gotta do an inventory now and place an order.

    Thinking about trying some fresh too. Maybe smoke and then dehydrator to finish.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
  9. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Just gave them a call and asked whats the difference between their fresh collagen and the other two. Their fresh collagen is an edible non smoke penetrating collagen that is more durable for hanging. I guess that's why they are calling it fresh because the smoke wont penetrate into the meat.........How ever you still can make cured sausage with them without the smoke flavor so fresh has nothing to do with the casing itself

    If you favor the collagen I still would give what you have a try. People hang collagen all the time. The more durable casings sounds like they would be real chewy.... I only use fresh natural casings...

    Joe
     
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
  10. Thanks for the info Joe. I guess I'll scratch fresh from my list.

    I was getting ready to call them too, but ya beat me to it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
  11. Thanks for the info Joe. I use Natural as well for sausage
     
  12. nepas

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

    Just get grade A collagen and you wont have any problems hanging in a smoke.
     
  13. mabrandt

    mabrandt Fire Starter


    No, their clear and smoke are for smoking. The fresh is thinner and they say will not tolarate hanging. I have used the fresh a lot. I just nver tried smoking my own. This company just either were bought out or changed their name. They were Midwest Research or something like that . I did send an email. I'll let everyone know what thet tell me. Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
  14. grabber

    grabber Smoke Blower

    By fresh I think of salted pork intestines.  Collagen is made from beef hide, which makes it tougher and stronger, but also adds a different texture to your sausage. 
     
  15. genek

    genek Smoke Blower

    I made some sausage and stuffed it into the non smoked 22 mm collagen from Sausage Maker. They say it is not for hanging and smoking. But I had problems with the horn type stuffer and finished off the rest in larger fiber casings. The picture shows the result, some hanging and others on the racks. I'm sure if the loops were longer I would have had trouble with the casings.

    GeneK

    [​IMG]
     
  16. mabrandt

    mabrandt Fire Starter

    Just a note. I heard back from the collagen rep on this issue and they said while you can smoke the "fresh" collagen cased sausage, due to the thinness of the casing, it might not turn out correctly whether it is hung or not. The clear and smoke colored are thicker and hold up better to the rigors of smoking. Thanks for the input on this.
     
     
  17. rexlan

    rexlan Meat Mopper

    Sounds like the "rep" didn't have a clue.  What did he have to say about the non-smoke penetrating issue/myth/fact?

    Smoking is NOT a rigorous task at all. 
     
  18. mabrandt

    mabrandt Fire Starter

    Probably not. Never mentioned the penetrating issue. I realize I am in the minority here, but I like the collagen casings. I don't have to worry about the smell, storing them, and the washing and rinsing. I keep them in a plastic bag in the fridge. When I need some I just slide it on to the stuffing tube and that's it. There is no prep, no fuss. Sure, I have to tie the links, but I only make it in 5lb batches and it's not a big deal. Wife says it makes them look old fashioned. For a year now I have been making fresh Italian, Polish, Brats and Hot Links. I love them. The convienence far outweighs the "pop" you get from a natural casing. I make a batch and freeze them. The spice mixture in the grind is much more important than the pop. Like I said, I know I'm in the minority, but from my understanding, most commercial sausage uses collagen. Just call me a regular Joe I guess. I thought I'd try smoking as I do love my GOSM, but I don't think I can get the temp low enough so I'll probably just stick with the fresh sausage and use the GOSM for pulled pork and brisket. Again, I appreciate the input.
     
  19. rexlan

    rexlan Meat Mopper

    Actually I too am a pretty big fan of the collagen for the reasons you correctly point out.
     

    I was interested in the smoke aspect because I'd like to try these myself, but not if the smoke won't penetrate.  Seems it should if it does on the regular ones.
     
  20. johnnie walker

    johnnie walker Smoking Fanatic

    Hey guys, I use collagen casings myself. I just get them a BassPro. I stuff them and hang them in the smoker all the time. My advice would be to try them and see if they hold up and take smoke, then you'll know for yourself. Good luck and let use know what you find out.
     

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