Summer Sausage casing hard to remove

  • 1.5in X 12in Mahogany Pre-Stuck Fibrous Casing is what I used ground pork shoulder for meat , smoked and cooked to 165 in cabinet with water pan for moisture. Water bath until cooled down, left out for hour at room temp, then to fridge. Casing is rather smooth coming out of smoker cabinet then thru cooling take a wrinkled set. We slice it and then slit it and the casing rarely strips away clean it pulls a small bit of meat usually. FYI mixed meat in Weston 44lb power mixer, did add some super gel to the mix, good tight stuff and hog ringed. Followed your recommended thermal processing schedule. Have I missed something??

  • Tagging along, as I had the same issue yesterday

  • I am curious to see the answer to this as well. One thing I might may do differently is to do away with the water pan should help speed up the time it takes to cook and ultimately you want to end up drying it out some in the end. I could be wrong.

  • Matt Mihalakis As I understand it the humid environment helps with the stall you usually get at around 150 temp range. When I smoke these and cook to done internal of 165 it takes close to 12 hours. Most of the stuff I have read has processing times way less than that. My temp schedule is fully automated and controlled very closely top to bottom in my cabinet along with air circulation top to bottom passing that air over the water pan before going back to box.

  • Regular Contributors

    Following my temperature schedule it also takes up to 12 hours with the 73mm diameter casing so I did the same sausage in 43mm casing and it was done under 6 hours and that was without trying to increase the humidity to 50 percent. My next step is going to be getting some of the absorbent towels and a pan of water and see if I can cut the time in my smoker with humidity.


  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Midgetracer31 Tough question because on the face of it you did everything correctly. How sticky was the meat when you went and stuffed it? Our application specialist says that if you over mix the batch you can force the proteins to bond to the casing, you said you used the Weston 44, how long and how much meat did you have in there?

    Beyond that you said water bath, did you mean ice bath or did you just put the meat in cold water with no ice? That was the only thing that stuck out to me as a possible culprit.

    If you didnt mix it too much then the pH of the meat must have been off. You don’t say if you added Encapsulated Citric Acid or not but even if you did, I am assuming you would have added it during the last 60 seconds and that should keep the coating unruptured and would prevent the citric acid from denaturing the meat too early.

    So, let us know how long it was mixed and if it is possible that there was too much protein extraction. In a non-edible casing this is something we will have to start pointing out to prevent!

  • Jonathon 32 lbs of ground pork shoulder, mixed for 7 minutes, last minute added encapsulated citric acid per instructions. It was sticky I dont think I over mixed it, didnt realize that you could over mix. Not ice water bath, it was cold tap water bath and I kept changing the water as it warmed up from the cooling process.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Midgetracer31 7 minutes doesnt sound like it was overmixed either. I was expecting you to say more than 10. You don’t happen to have a pH meter or access to one do you?

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Midgetracer31 How much water did you add?

  • Midgetracer31 Never even thought that the humidity could help with the stall this is very useful information. Thank you for replying!

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    akdave I’m pretty sure you have seen it but we tested ways to increase the relative humidity in a smokehouse and laying out a towel with one end in a water pan was the best but it took up too much room. Automotive sponges were the best mix of size and rise in RH.

  • Team Blue PK100 Power User

    Midgetracer31 After the cook did you water bath them? My brother makes the larger ring bologna and he ice baths them, he says we were told that it bring a thin layer of fat to the surface and make the casing separate easier.

  • Jonathon Cant quote the exact amount off the top of my head , but I followed the Sure Gel instructions to the “T”

  • Parksider Yes I mention that in the thread and Jonathan questioned and I clarified it was cold water bath, changing when warmed up.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Midgetracer31 The only thing I can think of is an ice bath vs water bath then. I am going to be doing some Summer Sausage out of wild game tomorrow, I will try putting one in just cold water and switching that out a time or two versus an ice bath. Maybe that will give us some insight but other than that I can’t come up with anything. Unless we want to start talking about the pH at different stages of the cook cycle and even for that I would need our application specialist to analyze the information, which would have to be live.

    Hopefully, doing the water bath vs ice bath shows us something. I am doing those tomorrow, so by Thursday, or Friday at the latest, I will hopefully have an answer.

  • Team Blue PK100 Power User

    Midgetracer31 Sorry, i see that now, I’d try an ice bath not just cold water and fully submerse them. He uses a ton of ice in a 5 gallon bucket, the rings fit perfect in them.

  • Jonathon I will say this the time before this which was my first run at summer sausage the result was the same. That time I use the Sodium Erythorbate additive no sure gel was added, it used a not pre stuck casing from LEM I think 2" or 2-1/4" size. I didnt have my powered mixer so that was done in my 22lb Weston manual mixer, so it defiantly was not over mixed. We did a 80% pork/ 20% chicken breast mix and a reverse of that 80% chicken breast/20%pork. Both was close in flavor tough casing removal was equal.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Midgetracer31 Did you do the water bath on both batches? Sorry to keep harping on that but it keeps sticking out in my mind. Like I said, I am doing some tomorrow and smoking it on Thursday so I will test it out.

  • Team Orange Power User Masterbuilt

    Very strange. Used the exact same casings this past weekend and hit 165 in 6.5 hrs.

  • Regular Contributors

    I would say two things i would do different. I would mix it longer. With a hand mixer i would go honestly about 14 minutes. If its not mixed good enough it will attach itself to the casing as well. But as others have said your problem is cooling it down. 165 degrees is pretty hot. Id go 160 degrees. But at 165 when you pull them they are real hot and want to keep climbing very fast. They will start to wrinkle and attach to the casings within a few minutes if you dont start cooling immediently. Grab a garden hose and pull them out and hang them and start spraying the second they come out and dont quit spraying for about 30 minutes. Then let hang for an hour. If you do this stuff they will be perfect for you.

Suggested Topics

  • 7
  • 10
  • 21
  • 3
  • 1

Community Statistics





About Meatgistics

Meatgistics is brought to you by Walton's ( Meatgistics is a community site, knowledgebase, forum, blog, learning center, and a sharing site. You can find help and ask questions about anything related to meat processing, smoking and grilling meats, plus a whole lot more. Join Austin & Jon from Walton's and sign up for our Meatgistics community today.