Collagen casing shrinkage


  • I really like how convenient collagen casings are vs natural, but I’ve been struggling with what appears to be casing shrinkage while pan frying (no water) breakfast sausage in 21mm collagen. I’ll admit, I don’t bother trying to twist the collagen because I know that’s a losing battle. I could leave some extra casing on each end, but with how the results look, I’m not sure that would do much. The casings also end up a bit rubbery. This is a 50/50 mix of deer and untrimmed pork shoulder with Holly Regular.

    Tips on what I could do differently? Or should I just head back to sheep casings? It seems like with these being toted as “breakfast sausage casings” that there would be a way to make them work.

    Before cooking:
    links_raw.jpg

    After cooking:
    links_cooked.jpg

  • Team Orange Power User Masterbuilt

    gChart
    Strictly sheep casings for me.


  • I have given up in collagen. Natural casings all the way. I know not everyone agrees, and that is ok. But I nearly always was less than satisfied with collagen


  • ok… I hereby formally place a request that Jonathon show us if it’s possible for a home processor to get good results using these casings 😉

  • Regular Contributors

    Natural is snappier I like… Don’t want to fight my breakfast …

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Big Green Egg Dry Cured Sausage Regular Contributors Sous Vide Canning Power User

    Collagen are the way many commercial processor’s go. I use natural casings for most because I like them better. Take a walk through any large grocery store and you will be hard pressed to find anything in natural casings. Go to an ethnic shop and it is a different story.


  • Yeah, that’s kinda why I feel like there ought to be a way to make these work. If what you find in a grocery store is using collagen for breakfast links, then they should work right? Perhaps it’s just a slightly different casing. Dunno.


  • Agree natural casings are the way to go. I got tired of picking bits of collagen casing out of my teeth years ago. My only regret is that sheep casings are the biggest monetary expenditure for any of my sausage projects. But the quality of the finished product makes it definitely worth it.


  • gChart said in Collagen casing shrinkage:

    Yeah, that’s kinda why I feel like there ought to be a way to make these work. If what you find in a grocery store is using collagen for breakfast links, then they should work right? Perhaps it’s just a slightly different casing. Dunno.

    A lot of the breakfast links I see in the stores are extruded without any casing.


  • Update… As much as it goes against my sense of what is “right”, I baked my sausage links this morning at 350° for around 12 minutes. Wasn’t the same as pan frying but shockingly, the casings held up just fine and made a pretty decent end product. Would still be nice to figure out if there’s a way to pan fry with the collagen though.
    PXL_20210109_143145355_copy_800x600.jpg

  • Team Blue Dry Cured Sausage Admin Walton's Employee Canning

    gChart Most of what you in the store nowadays is a co-extrusion casing. It goes on as a liquid at the time of stuffing. For collagen and pan frying I see that happening alot too, it can be mitigated by starting it lower but I never manage to totally prevent casing shrinkage with breakfast sausage.


  • Jonathon thanks for the info! I’ll play around with starting at a lower heat. I may just head back to natural for the next batch, we’ll see.

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