Sheep casing smell

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by kingtygr, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. Hi all, new guy here. Just started smoking my own meat in a Masterbuilt Electric 30 that I got for a steal from Walmart at the end of the season, and just tonight am doing a second try at making my own sausage.

    Unfortunately while I finally managed to find a decent breakfast sausage recipe and got the pork all ground and mixed, when I opened up the package of sheep casings I bought at Cabela's last Thursday the smell was horrendous to me. I know casings are going to have a strong smell, but these smelled putrid to me, and I saw some green spots in one area. I tried rinsing them and soaking them for a couple hours at least, changing the water several times, but while the smell isn't as overpowering, they still distinctly smell putrid to me. Like I want to vomit from smelling them (and I don't have a weak stomach).

    All I can find in searching for over an hour is that sheep casings tend to smell "stronger" than hog casings, but I haven't managed to find any description of what the smell is supposed to smell like. Can anyone give me some ideas as to what they should smell like? I don't want to use them if they're not safe, but I don't want to pansy out if they all smell like that. I'd much rather use natural casings. I've made sausage once before using hog casings, but it was years ago so I don't really remember what they smelled like.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    KTG, IMHO I would use my breakfast sausage as patties and discard the casings.I have never had any real terrible smelling casings of any kind and certainly never saw any green spots! Soaking in baking soda or refrigeration could cut the smell but you will have that smell on your mind when you try to eat the sausage.
  3. motocrash

    motocrash Smoking Fanatic

    Yup,the nose knows...
  4. stayhot

    stayhot Smoking Fanatic

    Thats nothing out of the ordinary at all. Soak in water and vinegar for a few days. Search on here and youll find all the info you need
  5. nepas

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

    Yes sheep casings smell.
    Like stated soak in water and vinegar. Careful of how long soaking. They are natural and will absorb liquid and you can get blow-outs more than normal.
  6. So I've got two people saying to not use them and two people saying to use them. o_O
    If they didn't have those green flecks on them I'd lean towards using them, but those have me worried, even if it was a small number of them. The smell was definitely stronger at the spot with the green flecks when I was first inspecting them.

    I ended up just getting some collagen casings tonight and got the sausage stuffed. I'm going to decide if I want to bother driving back down to Cabela's to deal with them or not.
  7. stayhot

    stayhot Smoking Fanatic

    Sheep casings will produce a much more favorable product over the collagen casings. I've bought and used those "home-pack" casings like your describing a bunch of times and yes they smell just soak them a bit. Now all I buy are a hanks worth, fresh sheep casings. Try Sausage maker, Eldons, Lem or a local supply house.
  8. nepas

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

    I get my hog and sheep from Syracuse casings, very good.
    My collagen i get by the caddy from Dupey Equip in Clive Iowa.
  9. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

  10. Joe Knows !!

  11. Thanks everyone. I did buy some hog casings from a local butcher here to use for the rest of the meat I have (going to make some type of jalapeno sausage tonight). I had put the sheep casings into a high concentration brine and threw them in the fridge. I might try taking them back Thursday or something along with the hog casings I bought (I just don't even want to mess with that right now).

    I really need to get a proper sausage stuffer, the Kitchenaid was fine with my wife's help for only a couple pounds, and doing the brat's tonight shouldn't be much of a problem since that's about 5 pounds, but man will it be better with a proper stuffer. I have the old metal meat grinder attachment for my Kitchenaid and if I keep the meat nice and firm it does just great. Eventually though I'm going to pick up a #12 or #22 grinder. We'll be moving next year to a place with more land and I'd love to raise my own hogs. Maybe not beef, but I'll at least end up buying a half or something.
  12. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    Word to the wise, if you are going to be regularly doing 20 pounds of sausage or more get a 10L stuffer. They big and a little heavy but a 5 pound stuffer really only stuffs about 4 pounds and refilling over and over is such a waste of time.

    Best of luck with it all :)
    stayhot likes this.
  13. Yeah, I'm actually looking at getting this one:

    15LB with stainless nozzles and they have pretty good reviews. A 5LB stuffer isn't very much less.
    stayhot likes this.
  14. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Results found on using the 15lb'r for snack sticks aren't favorable... just something to think about if making snack sticks by the bulk ...
  15. Is that more from people trying to do 15 lb's at a time in it? Or just the design? I was thinking about that today and figured it'd be easier to just do smaller batches in it at a time. It's not like you HAVE to put 15lbs of meat in it.

    I'm completely new to all this. Previously I've made sausage once before and that was just 5lb's bratwurst in hog casings. I'd love to start making my own everything. Snack sticks, fresh sausage, smoked sausage, cured meats, etc. I've been reading more and more about it and researching all the equipment I'm going to want to get eventually. But I'd rather buy everything once instead of having to replace too small of pieces of equipment later when I need something bigger. It's cheaper in the long run that way.
  16. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    The problem reported mostly was the plunger being of such big diameter that when trying to push meat through a 3/8"-1/2" tube.. (especially if your mix is a little too dry) ... it puts so much pressure on the outer edges of the plunger, that it breaks the plunger into pieces... wouldn't matter if you only put 5 lbs of meat in the 15.. it's still gonna be the same amount of pressure on the plunger... Of coarse this only comes into play when using the small tubes for snack sticks.... 15 is GREAT with bigger tubes ...
    kingtygr likes this.
  17. Ok, thanks! I'll search around and see what is recommended. I think I looked at a few threads earlier about that.
  18. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    The 5 lb'r is recommended for anything that needs to be stuffed with a small tube ... 15 will work for all others...
  19. I could be wrong, but I thought the 5lb (think LEM and similar) and 15 lb like the one I linked on Amazon, and every other one like it, have the same diameter drum/plunger. It's the wider ones (the LEM 15lb and if you look at the 22+ lb models from Hakka) that had the issue? Is the 5LB LEM smaller in diameter than these other small diameter large capacity stuffers?
  20. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    I have a 10L stuffer and have used the smallest tube plenty of times. The force it takes to push the meat through the small tube and that much meat through the small tube is not trivial. This makes it a 2 man job. One to crank and lean and such and the other to feed the casing and manage the sausage ring/rope.

    I can say from experience that it is better to have the larger size for doing large batches of meat rather than the convenience of an easier cranking 5 pound stuffer ( I have both sizes).
    In all of my experiences stuffing sausage over the past 6 years I have found that sausage making has always been a 2 man job. As long as one person isn't physically hindered from cranking and weighs more than 150 pounds, you shouldn't have too many issues applying the necessary pressure to make snack sticks in a larger stuffer. It's just some effort :)
    kingtygr likes this.

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