December 5th, 2010, 01:55 PM
Hog casing shelf life
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.
December 5th, 2010, 05:30 PM
I have been told as long as they are packed in salt and refridgerated they will keep a long time. I have some that are about two years old and hope to use them in about a month. If you don't have an answer by then maybe I can be the test for you.
December 6th, 2010, 07:29 PM
Plotman i have no idea about the self life of the natural casings. I have always used the ones i bought. With that said the natural casings are what i like to use. I have read you can restore them by re-paking them with salt but i have not tried it yet.
When i use mine i wash them in the sink really good. I let them soak for a bit them drain the water. I then turn on the faucet and flush each casing by running water through it. After i have them flushed i putting them in a bowl of clean water and get my meat ready to stuff. Once i'm ready to feed the casing onto the stuffing horn i start by adding just a little water in the casing before i put it on the horn. By adding just a little water inside the casing it helps the casing to slide on the horn better with out getting knotted up or tearing.
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December 7th, 2010, 01:40 AM
yes, you can repack them with salt.
But it is better not to wash the whole hank if you don't intend on using it all.
Each time it is rinsed and warmed it looses storage time and strength.
Better to wash less than too much at a time.
I've repacked with salt and froze partials and used them the following year w/o problems.
When they get old, they get weak.
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