Collagen casing not sticking



  • Question. What causes collagen casings to not stick? I have made several batches of pepper sticks and sometimes they stick to the meat great, other times not so much. Seems to always happen after freezing, thaw them out and casing just falls away from the meat. I have had them work just fine as well. Not sure of the difference as I process the same each time. Anyone else have this and found a solution? Thanks for any advise…



  • @ramt600 Not sure why the casings wouldn’t stick after thawing. I ran into this same issue with the venison summer sausage I made recently. When I take a sausage out of the freezer to thaw, the casing is all but about to fall off. Since I take the casing off anyway (since it’s not editable), I didn’t think much about it and was actually happy that the casing came off so easily.


  • Walton's Employee

    The two things I can think of would be how the casings were set after smoking, the water content of the meat block and how well it was mixed.

    Ideally, you would take them right out of the smoker and into an ice bath for about 20 minutes, then let them air dry for about an hour before moving them to a cooler overnight in an uncovered container.

    Mixed properly the fat will stay bound with meat, non mixed enough and the fat will render out of the meat and can become trapped between your meat and the casing making it harder for the casing to stick.



  • Thanks for the response. I do icewater bath summer sausage, however I have not tried to bath the snack sticks. Wouldn’t the water tend to “dissolve” the collagen? Weird that sometimes this happens and other times they come out perfect. I do know that my casings aren’t always the same manufacture. Seems the ones that work the best are more of a brown tone vs ones that seemed more reddish/maroon in color. Not sure of manufacturer on either. Bulk package that I get at a couple local shops.



  • @ramt600 you will find that mixing is the number 1 cause for casings not sticking. I have a 100lb electric meat mixer and i will mix the meat at least 8 minutes. If your hand mixing you need to go a very long time upwards of at least 10 minutes. That meat should be very sticky/tacky and will bond very well to your casings everytime. Next time just mix your meat very very well and they will turn out great!



  • I thought I was mixing well, very sticky and pulls apart not break apart. Will definitely try more mixing. I mix by hand so that’s prob the largest variable in the process, other than casing manufacture difference. Picture is before storing/freezing. They are just how I want but after freezing/refrigerating the casing literally falls off.
    0_1547698998383_6FAA1D4D-F367-45D6-AFFA-E54DD987795E.jpeg



  • @ramt600 I had the same thing happen with the reddish ones also and the brown ones worked the best so, I just stopped using the red casings.



  • Any idea of brand on the “brown” ones? I used to be able to buy them from my local butcher but he has since stopped selling them. Or where to purchase?



  • @ramt600

    Before Waltons, I would buy them off of Ebay…



  • @emoneyblue Thanks. I will order some from Walton’s and hope they are the good ones 😀 Results to follow…


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Recent Posts

  • B

    For true skinless hotdogs, I like to use 26mm cellulose casings. They are very easy to stuff and then remove them after your ice bath. They should fit on a 1/2 horn nicely.

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  • C

    @parksider thanks for the tip
    How does extra water effect final product
    I am using the 19mm casing the ones I did before I gave up turned out nice
    0_1548044409496_1E853A76-7BF0-455E-88B5-569874F15436.jpeg

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  • P

    Ironically enough it’s better to stuff the meat cold. you could always put a little bit more water in it to get it to flow a little bit better or just use bigger casing. If you’re using casings smaller than 19 mm you’re going to tear up your equipment. You could always grab some large 2” casing and hand stuff.

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  • C

    @rusty thanks for the tip I’m gonna scratch the citric acid next time and let the cure work with less tang from the citric
    I’ll have to try the texmex next time
    Are you using a binder?

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  • C

    @parksider I will try that next time I attempt thanks for the suggestion
    Does temperature of the meat make a difference at all if it’s warmed up a bit do you think it would go through easier

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  • C

    @rusty yea I did loosen that and was still getting same result

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