Sausage Casings 103 - Preparing Your Casings


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    Sausage Casing

    Sausage Casings 103 - Preparing Your Casings

    Attend this entry level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    Beef Middles
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    Preparing Casings

    These casings are all made from different materials, are best suited for different products and have different preparation requirements.

    Edible Collagen

    Most types of collagen are edible and require no preparation or cleaning before being ready for use. All you have to do is take them out of the package, put them on the stuffing tube and stuff them, the moisture from the meat will rehydrate them during the cooking process so they will not have that tough dry texture that they do before being used.

    Inedible Collagen

    For nonedible collagen, the rule of 15s comes into play. They must be soaked for 15 minutes in a 15% salt solution that is 15° C (59° F) before they can be used for stuffing. With any type of collagen blowouts are of medium concern, you need to make sure you don’t overstuff your casings or you will have blowouts either during stuffing or when linking.

    Cellulose Casings

    Cellulose Casings are made from plant material and are ready for use right out of the package, just put them on the stuffing tube and begin stuffing. These casings are inedible and must be removed either before or after the cooking process. Luckily they have a thick black stripe down them to allow you to easily determine if the casing has been removed or not. These casings are very strong and blowouts are not a concern.

    Fibrous Casings

    Fibrous Casings are a dried paper-like casing that needs to be rehydrated before they are suitable for use. To do this fill a bowl with 80-100° and let them soak for 30-60 minutes. When they are ready for use they should be pliable but not soggy. We recommend that you only soak as many casings as you will need but if you do soak too many you can simply allow extras to dry out and then use them again in the future. Fibrous Casings are very strong and blowouts should not be a concern.

    Natural Hog or Sheep Casings

    100 Yard “Hank” - If you purchased the 100-yard hank of hog or sheep casings you only need to rinse the outside and then soak the casings in hot water for an hour, there is no need to flush them. Natural casings are a natural casing and therefore they are prone to blowouts, you need to be careful not to overstuff the casings or you can have blowouts either when stuffing or when linking.

    Home Pack - If you purchased home pack hog or sheep casings they will be in a bag and packed with salt. You will need to flush these casings by allowing water to run all the way through them, then you will need to rinse any salt off of the outside of the casing and then soak them in hot water for 1 hour prior to stuffing.

    Tubed Natural Casing - If you have the tubed sheep or hog casings they only need to be soaked as well as they have been flushed already. When loading these onto the stuffing tubes you will place the plastic sleeve over the tube and then thread the rest of the casing on. Once your casing is fully loaded you need to grab the plastic sleeve and pull it out from between the casing and the tube, it should all come out fairly easily.

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Collagen Casings

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Fibrous Casings

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Natural Casings


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  • Cured Sausage Specialty Sausage 102: Making Lebanon Bologna

    Attend this entry-level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    Cutting Meat Grinding Meat Stuffing Lebanon What Is Lebanon Bologna?

    Lebanon Bologna was originally made by the Pennsylvania Dutch in the 1800’s. Traditionally it is a dark bologna, similar to salami in appearance and texture and it has a tangy flavor. It is often eaten as cold cuts and it can be slow cured and cold smoked or smoked using more modern methods. We are going to be making a version today that will not be slow cured or cold smoked as that makes it more difficult for the average home user.

    Meat Block

    7 lb of Untrimmed Pork Butts
    3 lb of Lean Beef
    1 Bag of Lebanon Bologna Seasoning
    1 10 lb Capacity Bologna Casing
    1 Bag of Sure Gel
    Sodium Erythorbate

    Equipment

    Weston #12 Butcher Series Grinder
    Walton’s 11 lb Sausage Stuffer
    Weston 20 lb Meat Mixer

    Process

    If you can you should cut the fat off of your pork and grind your pork fat separately through a 3/16th plate twice. Then grind your beef and lean pork through a 3/8 plate and then through a 1/8 plate. Keep ground pork fat separate. Making sure EVERYTHING but especially your pork fat is cold before you grind it is very important here for particle definition.

    Meat Mixing

    Place lean meat in the mixer. While mixing add Lebanon Bologna seasoning, Sure Cure and Ice Cold Water. Mix for 5 minutes. Add ground fat trim, sodium erythorbate and mix for 3 more minutes. Lastly, if you are using Encapsulated Citric Acid add it during the last 60 seconds of mixing. If you add the Encapsulated Citric Acid too soon you could break the encapsulation and release the acid into the meat too soon.

    Sausage Stuffing

    Stuff your meat into fibrous casings that have been soaked for at least an hour in water that is 80 - 100° so the casings are pliable. These casings are tough and durable so don’t worry about blowouts just stuff them fully but make sure to leave enough room to get a hog ring on the open end. When stuffing larger diameter casings it is important to choose the largest of the stuffing tubes that your casing will fit over and make sure you are gripping it nice and tight, we want these casings packed nice and solid.

    Note

    You can also use Fibrous or Non-Edible Collagen casings, we chose this as it had the capacity we wanted and it presented the product well.

    Thermal Processing & Smoking

    To smoke start them out with 125 for 1 hour, then 140 for 1 hour then 165 for an hour and finally at 180 until the internal temperature reaches 155°.

    Cooling

    Place it in an ice bath or shower for 20 minutes to bring the temperature back down and then hold at room temperature for 2 hours and then move to a cooler or freezer before vacuum packing. I let this sit in a refrigerator overnight before slicing to make sure the temperature was brought all the way down.

    Wrap up

    All in all, this is very similar to making a salami or even a summer sausage, the main differences are separating out the pork fat from your lean and using the correct ratio, seasoning, and casings. The fried Bologna sandwiches were very good!

    Additional Tips Removing the fat cap before you break down your pork butt is easier sometimes, it all depends on how it looks before you start cutting into it. I put very little smoke on this as I didn’t want that to dominate the taste so I filled my smoke tray about 1/4 of the way full. I am glad I did it this way as it allowed for the Lebanon taste to come through more. Other Notes

    I added X-Tra Hot Red Pepper to this to help give it a nice zip and to cut some of the sweetness. I used it at a ratio of 3 oz per 100 lb of meat and since I was doing 10 lb that means I used .3 of an oz.

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  • Specialty Sausage Specialty Sausage 101: What is Specialty Sausage?

    Attend this entry level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    What is Specialty Sausage?

    As much as you might love bratwurst, summer sausages and snack sticks sometimes you want a sausage that is a bit more unique. It might be a recipe you tried once in another country, one that your grandparents used to make or something just sounds really exotic like blood sausage. Recipes and knowledge of how to make these types of sausage are often passed down from generation to generation.

    For whatever reason, these types of sausages have fallen out of favor and are sadly relegated to the specialty stores of the home processor. Maybe opinions have changed on the type of meat used, the way it is cooked or the seasoning or spices used in the original seasoning. The good thing about this is it gives you the opportunity to “rediscover” plenty of types of amazing sausages.

    Types of Meat Required

    Sourcing the meat might be a little harder for this than a normal sausage but a quality butcher should easily be able to get you pork liver, trim and even pork blood that you will need to make some of these. Others like Lebanon bologna and some landjaeger only require a mix of pork and beef and a special seasoning.

    Casings

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    Smoking

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    What Videos are being released soon?

    We just released our Pre Thanksgiving Sales that will be good through Friday so you should absolutely check that out. You will also see that we have reduced shipping on orders over $5 all week.

    ThanksBlackMonday - This is the “fun” video that we do every year! This year we split it into thirds so the first round of sales will be good from 11/19-11/26, the second round starts on Black Friday (11/22) and ends on Cyber Monday and the third round is Cyber Monday only!

    Specialty Sausage 101 & 102 - In these two videos we will be going over specialty sausage as a category and then showing you detailed steps on making Lebanon Bologna. Ours came out amazing so if you are planning on making any this year watch the video for some tips on how to make a delicious Lebanon Bologna!

    What Projects are we looking ahead at?

    Specialty Sausage 103: Landjaeger - We made Landjaeger or a version of it at least! It came out tasting excellent but the appearance wasn’t exactly what we were going for, for more details keep an eye out for this video in the next few weeks.

    Specialty Sausage 104: Blood Sausage - We haven’t made this year and it is going to have to wait until at least after Thanksgiving but hopefully we will get to it soon! We are excited about this as it’s a true odd-ball in America and we want to see if we can make some improvements to it!

    What’s on our Mind?

    It is almost Thanksgiving time and I’m going home for the first time in years! Like everyone else, I am excited to see family and friends and eat delicious food! Don’t forget to take a few minutes this Thanksgiving to really concentrate on what you are thankful for. For me, a huge thing I am thankful for is this job, I really love what I do here! I mean, who wouldn’t love talking, filming and answering questions about meat processing all day!

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  • @TinCupTom I agree with both @bobing195-7 and @ed-jordan in regards to the H Summer, great tasting Summer Sausage without being too strong or having any real heat.

    Just so you know, in case you were looking for it and couldn’t find it, the ingredients are listed on the products web page. Just scroll down and click the “Additional Info” tab and it will show up.

    The W Summer (4550300082) might be the most mild of all the ones you listed. That doesn’t make it bad at all just a very mild flavor

    Summer 107 (4550300032) Similar to H, contains mustard seed but I don’t think it is whole.

    Summer Sausage Seasoning (4550300012) Very similar to the 107 in flavor, has whole mustard seed.

    H - Summer (G4550300070) is our best selling Summer Sausage Seasoning, contains whole mustard seed. If you are looking for a peppery seasoning this is the best one to use for a base and add some black pepper. This would be the basic summer seasoning favored by most employees and customer.

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  • E

    @tincuptom i can only speak to the H summer sausage seasoning, but it has a lot better taste than the backwoods. Not a lot of pepper (you could add more I am sure) but it is a good solid flavor profile. I did not use the ECA for the tang, but plan on doing it this week in a batch. You can’t go wrong with the H seasoning!

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  • B

    I have been in search for a summer sausage seasoning with black pepper but couldn’t find one. I’m new at this so the H Summer Sausage is the only one I have used so I can’t give you any comparisons with the other 3, but you mentioned black pepper so thought I would share my first experience.
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