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…


  • Walton's Employee

    @ramt600 I am assuming when we say the Brown ones we are talking about Smoked Collagen, these, and all the other collagen we have, are from Devro.



  • @jonathon I am not sure. I have had some (not Walton’s) that were more brown and some that were more reddish in color. No idea of manufacturer. The brown ones never seemed to give me this loose condition. I will try the smoked that you mention.hopefully they are the same ones I used to get from my local meat shop.



  • I wonder if sometimes you might have smear going on those ones?


  • Walton's Employee

    @demmerich When you say smear, I think of fat smear when grinding which usually means a dull plate and knife or warm meat. From context it doesnt seem like that is what you are meaning. Can you explain what you are thinking a little more?



  • @ramt600
    I mix by hand and I set a timer for 20 minutes. Anything less and it doesn’t turn out nearly as good.


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    Looking for a little help. Just made my firs batch of snack sticks and the texture was chalky. I made a 10 lb batch using 6 lbs of untrimmed tri tip beef and 4 pounds of pork shoulder. I ran it through the 3/8 grinder first and then added all my seasoning and cheese. I then mixed all ingredients including 45 grams of carrot fiber and then ran through the 1/8 grinding plate. I then hand mixed for 8 minutes and added my water and 45 grams of citric acid and mixed for an additional 12 minutes. I noticed that as soon as i mixed the citric acid in, the texture changed from sticky to chalky. I then stuffed into a 19mm collagen casings and hun in the smoker for 1 hr at 125, 1hr at 140, 2 hours at 155, then turned it up to 175, added smoke and cooked until internal temperature of 160. I then removed and placed in an ice bath for 10 minutes. Let them come to room temperature for 1 hour. The flavor was good but the texture was chalky. I know that I messed up and should have only mixed the citric acid in the ladd minute but was that my only mistake. Did i use tooo much citric acid or carrot fiber?

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