Sausage casings can last for a very long time when they are stored using proper precautionary measures. Luckily storing the sausage casings is quite straightforward. But there are certain nuances between the types of sausages to understand first about how to store hog casings.
I have elaborated all those points in an easy-to-follow that guide on covering and storing sausage casings.
Table of Contents
Storing Sausage Casings:
How to store hog casings? Natural casings like hog, sheep, or cow give the best taste. On freezing the sausages, the quality of casings will degrade over time.
Freezing is still better than leaving the casings on a counter or shelf. Due to your negligence, any sunlight, humidity, or temperature changes will ruin your entire casing.
Natural casings are extracted from animal intestines called collagen fiber.
Natural casings are the most perishable casings. There is not any synthetic material involved in their production.
The artificial casings don’t go bad under any conditions because they are made from artificial ingredients.
How Do You Store Natural Sausage Casings Such as Hog?
How to store hog casings? Natural sausage casings are stored in a refrigerator or freezer.
You should always keep natural casings sealed and in a wet brine solution or a dry salt and you should also make sure that you properly preserve them.
You should effectively preserve natural casings because they are so perishable. A preservative is used in the storage of natural casings to ensure their long-term storage.
The best preservative is salt which you can use to preserve the casings for a longer period.
what are the types of salt preservation solutions?
How to store hog casings using artificial ways? There are two types of salt preservation solutions available that help in the preservation of casings for a longer time. The preservation chemicals are either Granulated or present in a salt solution called brine.
It is also referred to by sausage makers as a wet solution or dry brine.
Brine is a wet salt, with extra liquid as opposed to granulated salt packing-which is present in its original solid form.
The prime purpose of the brine solution is to prevent casings from freezer burn. The saltwater doesn’t freeze even at the lowest temperature. It prevents the casings from freezing which resultantly prevents it from tearing.
Wet brine proves beneficial in storing a larger batch of casings.
Dry brine is best for a smaller amount of casings.
Brine gives the best result for freezing the sausages. Dry salt works better for long-term storage of casing when you are preserving them outside of a freezer.
You should also keep in mind one thing that, you should keep on changing your brine solution regularly when you are storing the casings for a longer period.
While using granulated salt you should avoid extra mineral or sea salts. Sea salt with extra minerals can change the flavor and color of the natural casings like a hog.
Non-iodized, pure salt or kosher works best for longer storage of casings. Don’t use regular table salt in the preservation process.
What is the best way to preserve natural casings or How to store hog casings??
How to store hog casings? The best way to preserve natural casings includes storing them in an airtight or vacuum-sealed bag or container where the casings will be completely covered in salt. Make sure that your temperature doesn’t exceed 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Refrigeration is the best way of storing natural sausage casings. You should keep in mind while placing them is, place them in the back of a refrigerator so that their temperature could remain consistent.
The natural sausage casings aren’t shipped in refrigerated form but are they are preserved in salt. You shouldn’t refrigerate them until you have opened the package at least once. Box package sausage will remain good in quality even at normal room temperature.
Your storage period is important. Keep in mind, while storing for the Long-period then use dry salt, and for a shorter period use a brine solution.
How to Store Synthetic/Artificial Sausage Casings?
Artificial casings are animal hide or bone that is collagen fiber.
Collagen fiber is edible.
Cellulose fiber is non-edible fibrous casings made from wood pulp and fibers.
How to store hog casings & artificial casings? Storing artificial casings required a proper environment. You should keep them out of direct sunlight, intense heat/temperature, and moisture/humidity. You should always store them in a cool and dry place in a sealed package or container.
The fibrous casings come dehydrated.
So you should try to keep them dry until and unless you are not yet ready to use them in a portion of food. Most of the dry sausages contain fibrous casings which are self-shelf able.
You don’t have to salt out the collagen casings but you should keep them in a refrigerator. The refrigerator will prevent casings from further drying out. Drying causes the casing to crack, also makes them less expansive and prone to splitting when stuffing them inside severe conditions.
You should try to use the original packaging at the time of preservation if it could possible.
Proper storage leads these casings to last up to two years.
Collagen casings are comparatively easier to store and to stuff.
These fibers are usually less fragile and are easier to prepare.
Can You Freeze Sausage Casings?
Every sausage casings can be stored for a longer period.
Sausage casings will be fine when they will be stored properly.
How to store hog casings? Natural sausage casings should be first preserved in a brine solution. A brine solution will help to prevent the casings from freezer burn and crystallization on the sausage casings surfaces. You should keep on checking regularly that they do not tear while freezing. You can freeze them by the adoption of this way for a minimum of up to 2 years.
An important point of consideration here is, you shouldn’t freeze sausage casings if you are going to use them again in a week or two. If you have to make quick use of them then instead of freezing them, throw them in a fridge for shorter periods.
How Can You Tell If A Natural Casing Is Bad?
Natural casings even when they are fresh have a strong distinct odor that doesn’t smell pleasant at all. Sheep casings also smell differently than hog and others. Casings having such a kind of odor does not mean that they are spoiled.
Sheep casings also have a stronger smell than the other animal’s casings.
One of the quickest ways to tell about the casings is the smell. Even the fresh one casings stink smell. You should have the ability to notice the smell that whether it has changed or not. Spoiled casings will have a rancid and sour smell which could easily be guessed by a nose.
How the soaking eradicates the smell?
How to store hog casings & how to eradicate the smell? If you are sure that the casings are still good but their smell is strong or strange. In that case, expose your casings to the air for a few minutes. After their exposition to the air, you should rinse them off in fresh water and then use new brine to soak them again for 30 mins for the best result.
You can soak your sausage casings in a water and vinegar solution as well. You should make the solution in a way that, you use one part of vinegar and two parts of water. Always soak the casings in cold water. You can soak the casings for up to two days in cold water.
This process will eradicate enough smell making them capable enough so you may work with them more efficiently.
The stronger smell of casings sometimes becomes the reason for sausage casings bad.
One way to check is, again rinse the casings and notice whether the smell has diminished or not.
The smell of bad casings will be far worse than the natural smell of any casings. It would be obvious that something isn’t right in the sausage casings.
It is hard to notice at first sight that whether the smell is off or the casings are fine. In the case of uncertainty, I would suggest you move on to inspecting the appearance.
Any kind of spotted discoloration on the casing surface is a sign of bad casings. Mold can be spotted on the casing’s surface.
How to Prepare & store hog Casings?
How to prepare and store hog casings? Preparing your actual sausages after storing them in the freezer involves washing off the excess salt. It is important to re-hydrate the casings.
There is also quite possible that soaking of casings required both of the jobs. First of all, Washing off enough salt and then properly hydrating them before the actual use of preparing food.
The quality of the washing process depends on the preservation. For instance, if you have used dry salt then you would be in need to soak them for a while in freshwater. Soaking for an excessive period will drain out the salts and minerals from the sausages casings.
If you had used a wet brine solution then you can simply rinse them off under the sink of your kitchen. Just make sure that you are able enough to drain out any excess salt that might affect the taste of the sausage in the food.
The salt takes on some flavor from the raw castings. So, it’s best to drain out all the salt completely.
Certain types of sausage casings required soaking. Those casings are natural, fibrous casings, and certain collagen casings. Cellulose casings don’t need soaked.
How Long To Soak Sausage Casings?
How long to store hog casings? The time required to soak the casings depends on the type of sausage casings. Natural casings take a longer period like 60 minutes. Fibrous casings required about 30 minutes.
This time period is the quickest time for any type of casing. In General, the fresh casing required less soaking period.
Some other factors determine how long a casing should be soaked in water. The older the casing, the longer period it would require to be soaked. It will also be examined through the structure of the casing like how strong the casing is and how dry the casing is.
In the case of older and dry casings like natural or synthetic, soaking them overnight would be enough. Always try to start soaking with warm water. Then store them in the soaked form in your fridge.
casings should be exposed to warm water again before stuffing them.
This process will stretch to prevent them from breaking.
You can ensure your best sausages taste by using a sausage seasoning formula. It is helpful for the time when you are just starting or you don’t have the time to mix all your casings on your own.
In this article, we have told you about how you can preserve your sausage casings for a longer period and how you can retain their taste as well without harming your health.
In the end, we have covered the two types of salt preservation techniques through which you can pack or re-pack your natural casings. The types of preservations include wet and dry salt.
We also went into detail in the article about the different types of sausage casings and the shelf life of each type of preservation technique. Lastly, we focused on how to prepare your sausages after refrigeration or freezing while making food.