How do you get sheep casings on a stuffer tube?

  • I have a 5lb manual stuffer. It has plastic tubes, but I can not get sheep casings to open up to slide on the tube. What is the trick?

  • Regular Contributors

    Gravydave: Do you soak your casings first. I soak them for about a half hour in warm water and rinse and put back in warm water. Then I give the stuffer tube a light shot of Pam cooking spray and sometimes it helps to trim off an inch or two to give you a good edge to start from. Hope this helps.

  • we soak our casings in warm water and apply a liberal amount of vegetable oil when feeding it onto the stuffer tube. Hope this helps!

  • Admin

    Like @mdseaside said, make sure you rinse, soak, and flush the casings first. Trimming off a inch or so to get a good edge could help as well.
    If just using your hands to try and get the end opened up doesn’t work, try to find something with a blunt end so you won’t tear the casing to help open up the end of the casing with. You might just need something smaller than your fingers to be able to manipulate the casing opening.

    Other than that, have you ever tried using collagen casings? I definitely prefer collagen for just about every application. You don’t get the curved appearance to the sausage, but I think collagen is a lot easier to work with, but it can depend on exactly what kind of sausage you are making and your own personal preferences.

  • @austin Thankyou…my trouble is opening up the ends. I will use your advice.

  • I use pre-tubed casings. Cost a little more but less frustrating for me.

  • Just soak the casings in warm water for at least 10 minutes and rinse each one under running warm water before using it.

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  • @KSHusker First, yes they should be safe to eat. You cooked them to 160° which will kill anything harmful. Now, obviously use common sense and your senses, if it smells bad don’t eat it!

    The first thing to know is if you used sure cure (or another version) or not? From the sounds of it, you did but I just want to make sure we are looking at all possibilities. Were the butts untrimmed? If they had a nice fat cap on them then you should have been okay, I still like to use a little more fat than that but you should have been in the realm. How did you mix it, was it by hand? If you mixed for 30 minutes in a meat mixer that is a long time to be mixing it (I don’t think this was your issue, just pointing it out). Starting at 200 is a little high but it also sounds like it came down to 180° pretty quickly but this would be my thought on why the casing stuck, cooking too high can cause this.

    For the color, the only thing I can think of (if you used a cure) is that it looks pinker around the edges because you got a nice smoke ring around it? How deep does the nice pink color go and what type of casing did you use? With wild game, I always use some sort of cure accelerator, either Encapsulated Citric Acid, Smoked Meat Stabilizer or something, it helps burn the color more and then you can skip holding it overnight and go right from stuffing to the smokehouse.

    Anyone else have thoughts?

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