Tough natural hog casings
I just finished up a batch of sausage yesterday and the casings were tough… My first thought was that the small batch I had oven baked were overcooked, but I baked some more this morning with the same result… I also smoked some… same result.
I had soaked the casings for over a week, changed the water 3 times, flushed the insides and soaked in warm water for about 30+ minutes before stuffing… same as I have many times in the past…
These were purchased from Waltons about 3-4 months ago, have been kept refrigerated, packed in the salt they arrived with… I had used casings from this batch 2x before (prepping them just about exactly the same way) with no problem…
What am I missing here?
@raider2119 There could be a few things that might have happened here. First, leaving them in water for that long might not be the best idea. I generally take out what I need and leave the rest in the salt solution, soak what I need in warm water for 30 minutes and then flush the inside. I have never tested taking them out and putting them in water for a week so I can’t say for sure that is the issue but it is the first thing that jumped out at me.
The most common reason for a tough hog casing (or really any casing) is cook schedule, if you start it out too high it can create case hardening. The fact that this happened across multiple batches that were cooked in different ways leads me back to the soaking them for a week as being the issue here.
Can you provide me with your cook schedule and what product you were making with what meat block? Also was it a 100 yard hank of the casings or the smaller homepack? I’ll see if we can’t get a better answer on why these were so tough when other casings from the same bag that were treated the same way did not give you a tough casing.
This was the smaller home pack of casings…
Boston Butt to make breakfast sausage (spice blend from Waltons)… BTW, it’s REALLY good!!!
+/- 45 minutes in convection oven at 350 degrees (these were slightly overcooked)
1 hr in smoker @ 150 degrees, 1 hr @ 225 degrees, removed at IT of 170 (they look beautiful!!!)
+/- 30 minutes in convection oven @ 350 degrees
@raider2119 Your cooking processes look good other than I wouldn’t cook to an internal temp of 170, there is no need to go above 160° with pork so that may play a part but since you followed the same process with your other batches I think we can say that isn’t the main factor.
So, I am back to thinking it had something to do with soaking them for a week, maybe the water had some hard minerals in it and it transferred to the casing? That’s the only thing I can come up with other than of course maybe the casings were just tougher than normal from the processor? I will keep looking to see if I can come up with any other information.
Was there anything at all that was different between these batches and others?
You may have hit the problem, very possibly a water quality issue… That actually is a difference from last time I used these casings… I will look into this (process another batch) later this week… Thanks! R…
I have the a Himalayan Salt Slab, but really didn’t know how to prep before cooking or clean it, so I have only used it once.
Thanks for the education on how to use my salt block, great video.
I picked up brisket at the Kroger Chain grocery already for $1.99 a lb. on sale. Walmart has some very nice full brisket with the round for $3.94 a lb. I have checked several butcher shops and they normally stock packer 6 full briskets with the round on it to a box @ $4.99 to $5.99 per pound or most butcher shops would sell you a individual brisket. You did not have to buy a whole case.
It’s a vinegar, oil, and spice marinade, very popular in upstate NY. Usually chicken cubed in 1"ish pieces and marinaded for a few days, grilled on kabob skewers, and served on a sausage roll. We do halves of game birds, marinade in 2gallon zip locks then indirect grill. Keep some of the marinade to baste with since wild birds are very lean.
Meat Hacks: Cooking on a Himalayan Salt Slab
Learn about cooking steak on a Himalayan Salt Slab with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.Meat Hacks
Cooking on a Himalayan Salt Slab
Salt is a key ingredient in almost any meat recipe. It improves the general flavor of almost any meat and has many other benefits as well. What happens when instead of putting salt on your steak you put steak on your salt? Himalayan Salt Blocks Like this one from Cameron’s have been increasing in popularity as a cooking and grilling surface. The Camerons Himalayan Salt slab is 8" x 8" and is 1.5 inches thick.
It appears to offer a few advantages over traditional methods like cooking on grill grates or cast iron. Since it is a solid slab of natural Himalayan salt it will season your meat as you cook it, so you don’t need to add any rubs or seasonings to your steak, if you don’t want to. This can help cut down on your sodium intake as even though you are cooking on a salt slab and will get some salt into your food the transfer will be less than a fully seasoned steak. Himalayan Salt also has a stronger flavor than regular salt so you don’t need as much to get the same flavor. Aside from the flavor Himalayan salt also contains micro nutrients that are not present in regular table salt.
These Salt Slabs are very good at heat retention, once you get them up to heat they will maintain a nice even heat and are suitable for cooking at extreme temperatures. These Himalayan Salt Slabs have a melting point of over 1,400 degrees so they can be used for almost any application. The surface is not very porous and the salt helps dry out and kill bacteria so it is a very hygenic cooking surface.
To get this ready to cook on we need to heat it in stages. Camerons recommends to preheat this slowly, so we will do 15 minutes on low, 15 on medium and 15 on high. This will work well because I like to give my steaks 45 minutes to come to room temperature before cooking them.
We are cooking a ribeye today, so we want to get this salt block up to around 500°, we are going to check that with the Laser Infrared Thermometer but if you want to know when you Slab is properly pre heated you can sprinkle some water on it and it should immediately sizzle. I am going to cook the steak for 3-4 minutes a side, as I want to get this steak to around 130°. When using a Himalayan Salt Slab it is recommended that you use a metal spatula or tongs, no plastic.
You could also cook vegetables or seafood directly on this but steak was the first thing I wanted to try.
So we have a Medium Rare Ribeye with a beautiful crust on it, that is partly because the salt from the block helped draw out the moisture from the outside of the meat and it crisped up beautifully.
To clean this you will need to let it cool first, so turn off your grill and leave it in there for about an hour or until it is cool to the touch. Then wipe it down with a moist towel or sponge until all the food particles are gone. Do not use soap on this or place it directly under running water or soak it.
All in all the Camerons Himalayan Salt Grilling Slab is a great tool to use in your kitchen or grill for when you want to try something different or impress your dinner guests. It cooked a very tasty steak and was a lot easier to use than I initially thought it would be. As a bonus it can be used as a serving dish and it looks great when left out on a counter or on a shelf.Subscribe to WaltonsTV
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Easily subscribe to any category or topic on the Meatgistics community site by clicking the green “Subscribe” button to get an email each time a new post is made!Shop waltonsinc.com for Himalayan Salt Slab Shop waltonsinc.com for Himalayan Salt Slab Holder and Brush Subscribe to WaltonsTV on YouTube Broil King Signet 320 Broil King Baron 420
I often thought about both, grinding and making my own burgers from brisket and sou vide, now for sure I going for it and with the brisket burgers I will add the bone morrow, man that has to be so good!
Hi I’m looking for a meat department manager with experience at a chain retail supermarket near NYC area. I work for my family’s butcher shop with multiple locations. I’m looking to change up our operations and potentially even pay consulting fees too.