I have been stuffing collagen casings to make sausage for years and would like to try the natural hog casings to get that "tender pop" when you bite into it. I have had a pack of the LEM hog casings that are still sealed in the packing salt in the frig for about 2 years and dont know how long they last. LEM says storage like that is indefinate yet, elsewhere I have read they can stink even when fresh. How in the world do I know if they are good or not? I realize I need to flush them well and keep them wet however, any other tips from those experienced in using them? I am hoping to duplicate the flavor of the smoked sausage that Hillshire farms sells vacuum packed in a ring. I bought the LEM "smoked sausage seasoning" is that gonna be close? Thanks for the input. Goitta keep myself busy during the gun season here in Iowa as you cannot bowhunt at the same time.