collagen vs natural caings ?

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by cal1956, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. cal1956

    cal1956 Smoking Fanatic

    I'm new here so over look my stupidity ,  for smoked  country sausage  which casing would be better and why, I don't really understand the difference other than knowing the collagen is man made , is there a texture difference ?... flavor difference ?
  2. smokerjim

    smokerjim Meat Mopper

    if i have a choice i will always go with natural,i think the collagen casing come out tougher,as to flavor i don't think there is a difference,again this is my opinion. good luck
  3. Neither product really has a "flavor" so to speak. The only flavor you'll get is from the sausage you've made.

    There is a texture difference though, with the collagen having a bit more chew to it. The natural casings are more tedious to stuff because they are easier to burst if over stuffed. The natural casings are also usually much cheaper than collagen. 

    I go natural as often as I can. I usually always have part of a hank sitting in a salt solution in the back fridge so. I'll just take it out and pull of what I think I'll need to use for stuffing and put then bowl with the solution and hank back in the fridge. Then I wash what I took out.
  4. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Collagen casings were really developed for commercial and restaurant industries in the beginning and still are used in this industry.Size could easily be developed for high volume sausage making making collagen the way to go with commercial and restaurant industries.  But these are popular now with folks like us for different kinds of sausage.  For me, I use them for sticks and that's about all.  I just don't like using sheep casings anymore.  So collagen casings come in handy.  Like others, it doesn't have any taste difference that I can tell.  Does have a different texture, but in sticks it's not that apparent to me.  Collagen casings also have memory so they can untwilst if they are twisted into links [something they are not good for in general in my opinion].  I also use natural casings for almost all my sausage I except sticks and  fibrous for stuff like summer.  Reinhard
  5. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My rule of thumb is collagen for slim jims, pepperoni sticks etc and hog casing for all else. Sheep casings I've never used but have heard they are harder to work with (more delicate) and more expensive. Waltons makes a 30MM red collagen casing that is awesome to stuff, with a good snap and IMO also a good size for a Slim Jim. While ordering, due to S&H charges, I'd get some some of both since you will eventually find a need. There is a local store here, with some hunting & fishing stuff, where I get 22 MM collagen for pretty, check around, many feed stores also carry a limited supply of some items.
  6. You can make your own Red hog casings, as I did by adding a few drops of red food color to the water your soaking your casings in.

    BUT  if you have White counter tops like me you will need to bleach them when you are through. It will stain. Lesson Learned

    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
  7. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Where do you guys get your natural casings?
  8. I found a local grocery that makes their own sausage and bought a hank off of them. It was like $20 and I've been using it for a good while. Otherwise, Butcher Packer sells them as do most other online retailers and Amazon.
  9. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    I looked up Hog Home Pack Sausage Casings 32mm.  They sell for $9 and are pretty popular.  Anyone know these?
  10. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    LOL...yeah, I saw that....I'll stick to Waltons, enuf to do 40 pounds for $15.
  11. If you can stick to getting a hank. The home pack is just filled with random lengths of casings. I like that I can pull and load a full length of casings onto the horn and stuff if 1 full coil. I didn't like have them separate. That's just me though.
  12. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yeah...totally agree....home packs are random lengths and some seconds thrown never knows....invest in the good stuff...less hassle and better results....I have no connection with these folks but the service is terrific IMO and the products are top notch. If nothing else, use them to compare prices on other sites.....I found them very competitive.....Willie
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Like others have said, "home pack" are odds and ends... sometimes, casings with holes in them.. and different sizes... so you won't be able to make sausages all the same size...

    If you buy a "hank".. and store the extra in kosher or pickling salt in the refer, they will last forever... I have some that are over 10 years old... still good and I still use them... storage is the key....

    Collagen for sticks and natural hog casings for Andouille, Kielbasa etc... the "snap" you get from natural casings is worth it...

    Boykjo has a thread on how to handle casings... worth the read.....
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
  14. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I have used Collagen for sticks and I have to peel them to eat. Hog casing for my Kielbasi and Itailian sausage. Just picked up a hank of Sheep for $35.00 will make my next batch of sticks soon.
  15. Yep I won't do that again

    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
  16. cal1956

    cal1956 Smoking Fanatic

    thanks for answering a total newbees question   I was planning on buying them from sausage  and by the way whats a "hank" ? I assume its some form of measurement  as in bulk maybe ?
  17. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

  18. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Does that include shipping?
  19. cal1956

    cal1956 Smoking Fanatic

    thank you folks once again

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