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  • Sausage Casing Sausage Casings 104 - Shelf Life & Storage

    Attend this entry level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    Natural Hog and Sheep Casings

    Shelf-Life - If they are unopened and stored in a refrigerator or cooler you can expect to get 12 months from these casings but remember, these are a natural product, not a manufactured one so times can vary. The casings might have an unpleasant smell to them but that is to be expected if however the smell is truly rancid then the casings have gone bad and should be disposed of. The difference in smell between the slightly unpleasant normal smell of these casings and spoiled casings is unmistakable.

    How To Store - These will be sent to you either packed in salt, if you purchased the home pack, or kept in a salt solution if you purchased the 100-yard hank. The salt will keep the casings fresh throughout the shipping process but they should be stored in a cooler or refrigerator when you receive them until they are ready for use. Once you have taken them out of the package and rinsed and cleaned them they can be put back into the salt or salt solution and vacuum packed again at which point they will have the original shelf life.

    Collagen Casings

    Shelf-Life - Collagen casings should have a shelf life of between 12-24 months depending on how they are stored. If the casing feels excessively brittle when you are putting it on the stuffing tube or you are experiencing an unusual number of blowouts your casings might have gone bad and should be disposed of. You can slightly rehydrate older collagen casings by taking them out of there package and storing them in the refrigerator the night before they are going to be used. Once you have used how much you need you can reseal them in a bag. Do not vacuum pack them though as this will crush the casings

    How To Store - They should be kept in a dry place that is between 40-60° F and left in the original packaging until they are ready for use. Once they have been opened you should reseal the casings and always store them in an airtight container. The older the casing is the more brittle and prone to blowouts it will become.

    Fibrous Casings

    Shelf-Life - These casings do not really go bad, you should get at least a few years out of them if stored correctly.

    How To Store - They should be kept in a cool dry environment and out of direct sunlight.

    Cellulose Casings

    Shelf-Life - These casings do not really go bad, you should get at least a few years out of them if stored correctly.

    How To Store - They should be kept in a cool dry environment and out of direct sunlight.

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Collagen Casings Shop waltonsinc.com for Fibrous Casings Shop waltonsinc.com for Natural Casings

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  • Sausage Casing Sausage Casings 101 - Sausage Casings Basics

    Attend this entry level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    Sausage Casings Why Use A Sausage Casing?

    Any casing, whether it is a natural, collagen or fibrous is going to offer some uniformity to the diameter of your product. This is important because it will allow the product to cook evenly. If you had a product that was half-again as thick in some areas than others then the thinner parts would be overcooked before the thicker parts were safe to eat. In commercial processing, uniformity is even more important for appearance and to be able to consistently track the amount of sausage being produced.

    Appearance

    Casings also give sausage a certain look, it is generally easy to determine what casing was used to make a sausage vs when it has been extruded. Natural casings will often have a curve in them that can be anywhere from slight to fairly extreme while collagen casings will be more uniform and straight.

    Mouth Feel

    Mouth Feel is a term that refers to the sensations associated with eating certain types of foods. For casings, this will be determined by a few factors, some of which will depend on cook cycle but to keep things simple Collagen will have less of a snap than natural casings will. In surveys, it was found that the reduced snap of collagen was generally preferred to natural casings. Different types or variants of collagen casings will also have a different mouthfeel as they have different levels of toughness.

    Inedible Casings

    Some types of sausage casings, such as cellulose, are inedible and are made to be peeled off after thermal processing but before consumption. These cellulose casings have a stripe down the middle to let you easily identify if the casing has been peeled or not yet. However, these ring bologna casings are also an inedible collagen but that do not have any markings on them so you have to be careful when using these. Trying to consume inedible collagen isn’t going to be harmful but it will give you a very tough and chewy bite.

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Collagen Casings Shop waltonsinc.com for Fibrous Casings Shop waltonsinc.com for Natural Casings

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  • Sausage Casing Sausage Casings 102 - Choosing The Right Casing

    Attend this entry level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    Natural Hog Casings Cellulose Casings Fibrous Casings

    Fibrous Casings are an inedible casing that is made from a paper-like product. These types of casings must be soaked before use to allow them to rehydrate and form the classic log like shape once stuffed. They are smoke permeable and heavy duty, making them a good choice for Summer Sausages, Pepperonis, and Salamis.

    Most will come pre-tied on one end, so once you stuff them you need to clip the other end with something to keep all the meat inside the casing. The pre-tied end will be the side it is hung from in a smoker so you need to make sure the end you are clipping is tightly secured. Hog Rings secured with hog ring pliers are the most cost-efficient way of doing this.

    Natural Casings

    Natural Casings are generally Hog or Sheep intestines that have been cleaned and processed, making them edible. They will be kept fresh through storing and shipping by being either packed in salt or kept in a salt solution, this means that they must be rinsed, soaked and if they are from a home pack have the insides flushed with clean running water before being stuffed. Sheep casings are available in sizes 22-28mm making them good choices for everything from Breakfast Sausages to Hot Dogs.

    Hog Casings are available in 32-42mm and are commonly used for Bratwurst and larger sized sausages such as Kielbasa and Boudin. The casing is naturally smoke permeable, accepts a twist and can be hung in a smokehouse. When stuffing Natural Casings you need to be careful to prevent blowouts.

    Collagen Casings

    Edible Collagen Casings come in three varieties. Fresh, which should only be used for products like Bratwurst or Breakfast sausage that are not going to be hung in a smoker. Clear, which is strong enough to be hung in a smoker and gives you a clear casing after cooking. Finally, smoked, which is strong enough to be hung in a smokehouse and gives a reddish mahogany finished color. Edible collagen casings do not require any processing and are ready to be used as soon as they are taken out of the package, which is a large advantage over either Fibrous or Cellulose casings.

    Inedible Casings Non-Edible Collagen* casings are a form of collagen that must be processed before they are used for stuffing. The rule of 15s can be applied to these types of casings and that is they must be soaked for 15 minutes in a 15% salt solution that is 15° C (59° F). Once they have been stuffed and the sausage has been cooked they must be peeled before eating. These can be used for products like Summer Sausages and Ring Bologna.

    Cellulose - Cellulose casings are made from plant material, are smoke permeable and are inedible. Some kinds, like these, have a stripe down one side to make it easy to determine if they have been removed from a product or not. They have a very strong structure so blowouts are not an issue when using these casings. They are good for use in any application where a skinless product is desired. They do not accept a twist and must be tied or stapled to keep the meat in a link, or they can be cooked in a rope and cut the casing into the desired lengths later. Removing them from the sausage, after cooking is simple, just press on one end and they will pop right out.

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Collagen Casings Shop waltonsinc.com for Fibrous Casings Shop waltonsinc.com for Natural Casings

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  • Sausage Casing Sausage Casings 103 - Preparing Your Casings

    Attend this entry level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    Beef Middles xxxxx Preparing Casings

    These casings are all made from different materials, are best suited for different products and have different preparation requirements.

    Edible Collagen

    Most types of collagen are edible and require no preparation or cleaning before being ready for use. All you have to do is take them out of the package, put them on the stuffing tube and stuff them, the moisture from the meat will rehydrate them during the cooking process so they will not have that tough dry texture that they do before being used.

    Inedible Collagen

    For nonedible collagen, the rule of 15s comes into play. They must be soaked for 15 minutes in a 15% salt solution that is 15° C (59° F) before they can be used for stuffing. With any type of collagen blowouts are of medium concern, you need to make sure you don’t overstuff your casings or you will have blowouts either during stuffing or when linking.

    Cellulose Casings

    Cellulose Casings are made from plant material and are ready for use right out of the package, just put them on the stuffing tube and begin stuffing. These casings are inedible and must be removed either before or after the cooking process. Luckily they have a thick black stripe down them to allow you to easily determine if the casing has been removed or not. These casings are very strong and blowouts are not a concern.

    Fibrous Casings

    Fibrous Casings are a dried paper-like casing that needs to be rehydrated before they are suitable for use. To do this fill a bowl with 80-100° and let them soak for 30-60 minutes. When they are ready for use they should be pliable but not soggy. We recommend that you only soak as many casings as you will need but if you do soak too many you can simply allow extras to dry out and then use them again in the future. Fibrous Casings are very strong and blowouts should not be a concern.

    Natural Hog or Sheep Casings

    100 Yard “Hank” - If you purchased the 100-yard hank of hog or sheep casings you only need to rinse the outside and then soak the casings in hot water for an hour, there is no need to flush them. Natural casings are a natural casing and therefore they are prone to blowouts, you need to be careful not to overstuff the casings or you can have blowouts either when stuffing or when linking.

    Home Pack - If you purchased home pack hog or sheep casings they will be in a bag and packed with salt. You will need to flush these casings by allowing water to run all the way through them, then you will need to rinse any salt off of the outside of the casing and then soak them in hot water for 1 hour prior to stuffing.

    Tubed Natural Casing - If you have the tubed sheep or hog casings they only need to be soaked as well as they have been flushed already. When loading these onto the stuffing tubes you will place the plastic sleeve over the tube and then thread the rest of the casing on. Once your casing is fully loaded you need to grab the plastic sleeve and pull it out from between the casing and the tube, it should all come out fairly easily.

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Collagen Casings Shop waltonsinc.com for Fibrous Casings Shop waltonsinc.com for Natural Casings

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