Time for some casing questions.

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by makeme, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. makeme

    makeme Fire Starter

    Ok my meat is seasoned, ground and chilled, along with my grinder. So I broke out the hog casings to soak and rinse out.

    This actually went better than I thought it would except for the fact that the casings were in much shorter lengths than I thought they would be, the longest being about 3 foot and shortest being about 1 1/2 foot. Is this normal, I just assumed it would be in more or less one long section. The brand is Home Pack Brand from Dewied. Is there a better brand that would eliminate this or is this just what I can expect no matter which brand I use?

    Next do you wait for them to finish soaking before rinsing out? Also I read about turning them inside out so the hairs don't show, do any of you do this? That would seem nearly imposable but in photos I see I don't notice the hairs. If so is there a method that would help do that. Thanks for any help, you have all been great.
  2. oneshot

    oneshot Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Great thread Makeme. Being I'm just getting started in making sausage I'll be watching for all the different answers you'll be getting. [​IMG]
  3. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    no that aint normal. sounds like you got ends and pieces, usually sold in grocery stores. they are just that, trimmings from casings whith the good sections separated for sale to commercial processors.

    if you just making a small amount they will get you by. if you making a big batch then you prolly want to find a butcher to buy your casings from. they are sold in a quantity called a "hank". have had them so long couldnt fit one entire casing on the stuffer tube. also seem to have less blowouts with the butcher purcased casings as they are the highest quality sections. generally for pork casings, making a polish kielbasa style sausage a hank will hold about 50-60 lbs of sausage.
  4. txbigred

    txbigred Meat Mopper

    Those "Home packs" are usually small pieces. A hank will run about $40, but will last in the fridge for several years if you keep in salted. ( non iodized salt )

  5. makeme

    makeme Fire Starter

    Well that seems to be the norm for my situation, its been an up hill struggle up to this point but the casings are on the tube, which by the way did not fit my head so I had to take a drimal and sand it down until it did. Thankfully my 1/2 gear head runs very slow so I should be able to keep up. I will take some pic and try to post later but I already know thats going to be a pita as well.
  6. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I buy all my casings from Syracuse Casing on the net:


    They're about the highest quality casings I can find. They're reasonable and there's no shipping, either [​IMG]!

    I've tried turning them inside out but with a good quality casing you don't need to, and if they are 'hairy' then it impedes them from sliding off easily; cheap Chinese casings are typical of this but American casings aren't.

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  7. oneshot

    oneshot Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Boy, that sure is a nice "Round Rump"......LAMO [​IMG]
  8. que-ball

    que-ball Smoking Fanatic

    I don't turn my casings, and I also buy them by the hank from the local butcher. I have used the Home Pack casings that are sold packed in dry salt, but I haven't experienced the very short lengths you're talking about.

    Definitely do soak your casings well before trying to rinse the insides, otherwise they will not be very elastic and you will be more apt to have blowouts.
  9. pantherfan83

    pantherfan83 Smoking Fanatic

    I get my casing from Butcher-Packer where I get all the rest of my supplies (saves on shipping charges). I don't turn the casings inside out. I don't think 'hairs' is the correct term. They're more like fibers, but I know what you're talking about. Those things don't bother me. I'm not sure they are visible once the sausage is cooked or smoked, only when they are raw.

    Before I start grinding the meat for my sausage, I untangle the amount I think I need. For 33/35mm casings, that's about 10 ft. per 5 lbs. I soak the casing until I'm finished grinding. Then, I fill my stuffer and crank it until the meat just starts to come out the end of the tube. Then I rinse the inside of the casing once or twice and put the casing on the tube. Having 1/4-inch of meat sticking out past the end of the tube helps the casings slide on the tube without hanging up.
  10. makeme

    makeme Fire Starter

    Ok mission accomplishment well sort of. I learned a lot today and the next time it should go much smoother and should not take almost 4 days to achieve. I know now I can eliminate several steps.

    I only had 4 or 5 blowouts while stuffing however grilling was one big blowout, all but one exploded. I tried not to over stuff but just could not stop myself, lesson learned. I think I will cut one end, squeeze some out so I can twist them into links and make them looser and yes I did ***** them.

    After all was said and done, I did make many mistakes but I feel like I really learned a good deal and am looking forward to giving it another try very soon.

    I wanted to take some pics but it was a real mess so I will try after I loosen them a bit. The taste was very good but next time I will make my own mix. it looks very simple from the recipes I have been looking at. I made 10 lbs sweet Italian stuffed, 8 lbs sweet hot Italian stuffed, 5lbs bulk sweet Italian and 5 lbs bulk breakfast sausage. If I can't loosen them up without much difficulty then I will just add it back into the bulk and try some other time.

    The casing I used were broke into 14 or 15 sections so I will either order some or get some from my butcher. I used my #32 with a stuffing tube I had to retrofit to make work. As I have said before, my motor is very slow so I really had no problem keeping up with it and can see a day when its just going to be to slow but I did not find it difficult to stuff just using the stuffing tube and grinder like a lot have mentioned. A dedicated stuffer may be in my future if and when the times comes to speed things up.

    Again thanks to everyone for helping me a long way the last few days and pic will be coming soon.

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