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Old 02-28-2009, 04:18 PM
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Default Caring For Sausage Casings

Caring for Casings

As you all know, there are hundreds of ways to do the same thing. With that said, this is how I care for my pig casings.

Depending on where and how much casing I purchase, will depict how the casings are packaged. This means, some places will have them in a plastic container and some will come in a bag- this really means nothing, as they will all come salted. This is to preserve the casing. Always store casings in a cold place, (more on this to follow).

Once I get the casings home I place them into the fridge until I am ready to use them. When ready, remove from packaging, and rinse off all the salt that you can in cold water. Carefully try to separate one strand of casing. Around here, I am lucky because my supplier actually has them separated and wrapped once around a plastic ring. He puts 10 strands per ring. This makes it easy to separate. These strands could vary in length. I will then cut it into 6 to 10 foot long pieces. This will make them easy enough to turn them inside out (see my post to see how it is done). Completely wash each strand, then turn inside out. Now clean again. I will clean and turn all of the casings at this time, even if it is more than I need at this time. Once each strand is completed, place into a large mixing bowl with at least one inch of water on the bottom and leaving one end of each piece of casing hanging over the side. This way, when ready to stuff, just grab the end of a strand and pull it out of the bowl carefully. Now ready for stuffing.

If you are stuffing a lot of sausage, meaning stuffing for a few hours, it is a good idea that you rotate the casings in the bowl. What I mean is, the ends that are hanging over the side of the bowl may get too dry. This is a simple step. Pull each casing out of the bowl (one at time) and place the opposite end over the edge.

Before you slide the casing onto the stuffing tube, you have to open up one end. This is a good time to pour a little water inside the casing. This will help lubricate it making it easier to slide on and off of the tube.

Once you are done stuffing your sausage, if you have extra casings, itís time to prepare them for storage. If the casings came in a container, reuse it. If it came in a bag, grab a Ziploc bag. Drain all of the water from casings (you can also give the casings another cleaning at this time if anything had got into the water. Sometimes some spices will fall from my hands into the bowl) then place into the bag/container. Completely cover the casings in salt. Carefully give the bag/container a shake to mix the salt around. (make sure the bag/container is sealed). Place in the fridge overnight. You will see that more water has separated from the casings. Drain all water and completely cover in salt again. Give it a shake. Now place into the freezer for future use. I have had casings in the freezer for no more than 8 months, but that is only because I make so much. With the casings in the freezer completely covered in salt I would imagine that it would be ok for more than a year.
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