Cured Sausage 103 - Casings For Snack Sticks
Cured Sausage 103 - Casings For Snack Sticks
Attend this entry-level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!
What Are Common Styles Of Casings?
For Snack Sticks the most common types of casings used are Smoked Collagen, known as the Processed Stix Variant. These casings are tough enough to stand up to being hung in a smokehouse without spilling the meat or breaking under their own weight, they have a mahogany color that will impart a reddish color after being cooked and they still have a tender bite.
Clear Collagen casings, also known as Processed Fine-T variant, are also sometimes used for snack sticks. These casings have an opaque appearance when they are fresh but as they are cooked they will become clear. This gives you a casing that will look similar to fresh collagen, or natural casings when finished.
A few people still use natural casings to make snack sticks, because of the small diameter desired with snack sticks sheep or lamb casings would be the only ones used.
What Are The Most Sizes Of Casings?
Snack Sticks can range from 15mm in diameter up to 21mm when using collagen and as large as 22mm if using sheep casings. In recent years home processors have been trying to make smaller and smaller snack sticks, with 16 and 17mm a desirable size. However, it is more difficult to stuff these size casings as you need to use a considerably smaller stuffing tube and therefore it will require more force to push the piston down through the cannister. The best and most common sized casing for the home user is the 19mm smoked collagen.
For sheep casings, the only ones that should be used are the smallest size of sheep casings (22-24mm) or lamb casings, which can be difficult to find.
Advantages and Disadvantages To Collagen and Natural.
Smoked Collagen Casings are the most popular casings for a snack stick for good reason. They are easy to use, simply take them out of the package and put them on to the tube. The Processed Stix (Smoked Collagen) is a strong casing so when you are stuffing them blowouts are not a major concern, stuff until the casing looks full and smooth as it comes off of the stuffing tube. Walton’s also makes many sizes of collagen casings so you do not need to purchase an entire “caddy” which would process multiple hundreds of pounds of meat. The major disadvantage to collagen, that it will not hold a twist, does not apply to snack sticks as you don’t twist snack sticks, you just cut them into the desired lengths.
The major advantage to Natural Casings is that some people prefer the “snap” of these casings. The major disadvantages are that they need to be rinsed, soaked and sometimes flushed before using them costing you valuable time. They are also more prone to blowouts than Collagen Casings are.
Collagen casings do have a correct way to be loaded onto the stuffing tube. If you look closely at the casings when they are compressed into a single solid piece you will see that they look almost like bowls stacked inside of each other. You want the casing to come off of the stuffing tube as if you were taking one bowl out from another.
Cooked a batch of summmer in PK 100 casings are 1 7/8 by 12 cooked at 120 for one hour then 140 two hours then 180 tell internal of 152 but when I went to pull them the fat had liquefied any ideas
Tom T from Boise, ID
Oh… I ground the pork fat and the venison at the same time. 2 chunks of venison, 1 chunk of pork, back and forth…
Yes… sure cure and sure gel binder. The venison and pork fat were both still partially frozen when I ground them. First through the large course plate, then again through the small plate. (Not sure of sizes, but these are the plates i normally use for summer sausage). I probably should have put the meat back in the freezer before seasoning but i was pressed for time. I mixed by hand for 14 or 15 minutes. I also think I might have added to much water. The video said 2 quarts for wild game 2 pints for fatty pork. I put in 1 quart and about another cup. I mixed until it got tacky and then mixed some more. The meat seemed soupy to me but the video said that would be ok.
The shriveling occurred before I bumped the temp up. I was using a digital thermometer with a probe, when the temp stalled for a couple hours, I suspected the temp might be reading inaccurately so I opened the door to confirm with a dial thermometer. The digital was accurate but the sausage was already shriveling.
Another thing that bothered me was the casings… these had perforations for some reason. I e never used perforated casings before and seemed like I was losing a pot of moisture through them. Did I have the wrong casings? The other fibrous casings in the catalog said you were supposed to poke them anyway.