Is it me or the casings

Discussion in 'Beef' started by fire in the hole, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. I just got done stuffing 6#'s of beef sticks. I have both the mahogany casing and the white ones. I have no problems stuffing the mahogany casings..........but it was blow out after blow out with the white casings. Do I have a bad batch or do they not accept the pressure while stuffing that the mahogany's



  2. smokerjim

    smokerjim Meat Mopper

    I've never used the mahogany's, but i do find if i soak the reg. casings in warm water for a while they are easier to use, also before i slide them onto the tube i open one end of casing up and try to get a little water inside this helps them slide easier,if your still busting them you might be trying to fill them to much.
  3. The white casings I'm referring to look just like the mahogany casing. They are also in a collapsed form like an accordion and need to be expanded to slide unto the tube. I did not soak them as I was told that is not necessary. The white ones just pop with very little pressure applied.
  4. The only experience I have had with these kinds of casings were bad. I only use real hog casings. I had same problem and got tired of wasting my money when hog casings worked better. Good luck
  5. smokerjim

    smokerjim Meat Mopper

    I'm with poppa j. i thought you were talking about hog casings when you said the white ones, I think you would be better off with lamb casings for slim jims, these might be a little hard to find at local stores but you can get them on line.again i would soak them before using them it makes them a little softer and also they are usually packed in salt.
  6. lancer

    lancer Smoking Fanatic

    I have only used collegen casings one time and need to try them a few more times before I start rendering opinions.  I too had blow-out problems and had not soaked them. They were pretty btittle and did not want to be stuffed beyon filling out the form of the casing.  Any more pressure and they were very prone to splitting. I tried to cut some to lenght right away and had several tears and a few blow-outs. I did find that if I let them sit in the frige for a few hours after filling to hydrate the casings they were a lot easier to handle and cut to length.

    I keep 20-22mm sheep casings on hand for snack sticks.  With a bit of practice and not filling them too full they handle quite easily and they have the advantage of being able to twist off into links easily.  They also take smoke a lot better than some other casings and retain a tender bite even after drying the sausage.

  7. I have some hog casings but have a bearcat of a time loading the stuffing tube with them. I guess I will call it impossible for me, and yes, I soaked them in warm water for a half hour prior. 

    I have resorted to collagen casings and this time the white ones.

    I'm going to look for some lamb and see it they are better for me.

    Thanks guys.

  8. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Your right about the small clear casings. You have to try and not stuff them as tight. The collagen will shrink and conform to the meat. That being said I agree with the other guys about liking natural sheep  casings better for sticks. Those you do want to soak overnight. 
  9. lancer

    lancer Smoking Fanatic

    Syracuse Casings is local to me and I have had good results with their casings.  The sheep casings they sell are the common dry pack salted or you can get pre-flushed casings on a plastic tube for the same price. Some casing sizes come common dry pack, pre-flushed tubed or dry pack salted pre-tubed.  I've been told the pre-flushed casings have a shorter storage life but haven't noticed a differnce myself.

    For thier pre-tubed casings you just soak them, slide the tubed casings onto the stuffing tube and draw the plastic tube out from between the casing and the stuffing tube.  It works great for me and if I'm only going to need half a tube of casing I just cut the casing, plastic tube and all, in whatever size I need before soaking.

    When I have had trouble threading casings on to a stuffing tube I've been able to make it easier by running a bit of water through the casing as I thread it on.  You don't have to have the stuffing tube on the stuffer or grinder to do that.  Having the tube off makes it easier when the casing is fighting back. Growing a third hand makes it easier still... 

    I like 20-22mm sheep casings for snack sticks as they still make a good sized stick after smoking and drying.

    The LEM casings seem to be very erratic in sizes within the same bag with a lot of short pieces.  I'd avoid them if at all possible. 

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  10. smokerjim

    smokerjim Meat Mopper

    I don't want to sound stupid but is the tube to big for casings, you might need a smaller tube,I've never really had a problem sliding them on once in awhile i will bust one but it is usually my fault for trying to over stuff.
  11. Smokerjim......ya got me...sorta. I'm sure I have the small tube because I ordered it separately for my stuffer. The collagen casings slide on easily if I stretch them out prior to sliding onto the tube.

    I can't give you a size, (maybe like 19mm)  but the sheep casings I tried some time back just would not fit unto the tube.........that's why I went to collagen.......but the white ones had several blow outs compared to the mahogany collagens.

    I hope I said all this clearly.

  12. smokerjim

    smokerjim Meat Mopper

    the only other thing i can suggest is to soak the real casings for a day or two before using them, then soon before you intend to use them put them in warm water for a while,they usually will stretch a little better, if they still don't work you should look for a smaller tube. 
  13. I think I have a lot to learn about beef sticks!!!! As I have stated, I had trouble with blowouts on the white callogen casings. Now it must be my storage because both the mahogany and the white casings DO NOT bite off when eating these things. I'm thinking that refrigerating them stored in zip locks has let the meat moisture soften the casings and like I said.........can't bite thru them.

    I will order sheep casings the next time.
  14. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yea, plastic bags will do that to sausage. Paper bags work nice for keeping the casings dry. Paper bags will even dry the sausages out a little. Plastic is the best way for the freezer.
  15. smokerjim

    smokerjim Meat Mopper

    as woodcutter said plastic is not the best especially if you seal it tight, the moisture can't escape, good luck

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