Hog Casing question....
I have always used the little home packs of hog casings that come in kits with different seasoning brands. While I really have no problems using them I’m just wondering if whole hank purchases would be better.
Also, how long can they be stored? I’m afraid I won’t use them all up before they go bad.
@knifemaker3 A couple of things on the difference between “home packs” and “hanks”
The Hanks are designed for use in commercial plants so they are going to be the pick of the litter, so to speak. You will generally have more long runs of the casings, fewer whiskers, and less pinpricks as well. Now, this isn’t really to say that the home packs are just the left overs that aren’t good enough for the hanks but they do include shorter runs, casings with more whiskers and casings that are more prone to blow outs.
For storing, these are from Meatgistics U 104 - Shelf Life & Storage:
NATURAL HOG AND SHEEP CASINGS
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.
One other notes you can freeze these for even longer term storage BUT they are natural so freezing them swells and shrinks the cells in the wall of the casing making them a little more prone to blowouts.
Thanks. Don’t think I can make enough sausages to justify buying a hank. Looking at the tubed ones instead. Thanks
@Jonathon I instantly noticed an improvement in consistency with the hank vs. home pack. The lengths are also impressively long! They barely fit on the tube in some cases. I will never go back to home pack. I am ordering some of the tubed ones next time to see how they compare.
@knifemaker3 i just double checked and tubed are only available in 100 yard hanks…if someone proves me wrong that would be pretty embarrassing!
@Jonathon yeah I noticed that too. Guess I’ll just have to make more sausage!
@knifemaker3 @Joe-Hell I’ll admit my crew tends to bang out some large quantities and I’m exclusively using tubed. At this point I don’t care what they cost, the length and quality is so much better and no messing around untangling… I’ll never go back. I salt them down with non-iodized salt when I’m done. Just dump a bunch of salt in a gallon zip lock and shake-and-bake then refrigerate. I know we had some that were well over 6 months old and they were fine. I use hog for sausage and brats, sheep for breakfast and hot dogs. You just need to find more friends to share with!
@Parksider The untangling of the Hanks has been frustrating me lately!
@everyone Taco Snack Stick Seasoning is on order! I’ll send out a few things when it comes in!
@Parksider Right, but what if you didn’t get enough protein extraction, would the water have a reaction to the loose fat that would be greater than air?
Only thing I will add to this is to make sure you are checking your manufacturers directions. If you try to use pellets in a smoker that is designed specifically for chips/dust it could cause major issues depending on you have the vents positioned.