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Old 06-02-2013, 11:07 AM   #1
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Collagen vs. Natural Hog casings for sausage

my meat grinder arrived yesterday, the lem #8 model, and it's a stainless steel thing of beauty.

i'll be making chicken or turkey burgers this week for dw, as well as beef burgers for my boy and i.

but then the fun's gonna start. along with the grinder, i bought some 32mm collagan sausage casings to try my hand at making italian style chicken sausage, as well as pork chorizo.

i've read a lot about different kinds of casings, and the reviews seem to be split over the thinner and relatively flavourless collagen casings, and the thicker, salted, natural hog casings.

does anyone have any experience using either of these for making sausage, and what are your preferences for different types of sausage?

tia.

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Old 06-02-2013, 11:12 AM   #2
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BT, if you are going to smoke the sausage, go with the collagan, if fresh, go with the natural.
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Old 06-02-2013, 11:23 AM   #3
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thanks, s&p.

i'm probably going to smoke the pork chorizo, but make the italian chicken sausage in sauce, or grilled with peppers and onions.

have you used both? anything i should do in particular or watch out for with either?

i've read about having to wash the salt out of the hog casings, and then you have to store the unused ones in salt or brine in the fridge. also, collagen can split easily, but requires less prep and post work to use.
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Old 06-02-2013, 12:03 PM   #4
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The hotdogs that I buy are made with lamb or sheep casings similar to these.

#22100 22-24mm (7/8"-1") Natural Sheep Casings
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Old 06-02-2013, 12:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom View Post
thanks, s&p.

I'm probably going to smoke the pork chorizo, but make the italian chicken sausage in sauce, or grilled with peppers and onions.

have you used both? anything i should do in particular or watch out for with either?

i've read about having to wash the salt out of the hog casings, and then you have to store the unused ones in salt or brine in the fridge. also, collagen can split easily, but requires less prep and post work to use.
I would use the natural for both. When collagen is used, I smoke wild game sausage which is finished off in boiling water. The heaver casing soaks up the smoke better, then is pealed off went eating the sausage just like a bologna skin.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salt and pepper View Post
BT, if you are going to smoke the sausage, go with the collagan, if fresh, go with the natural.
Hi salt and pepper, I can see on LEM website that they sell already "smoke flavored casings". Have you never tried anything like this?
I'm just curious, I'm not gonna make my own sausages for the moment...
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:29 AM   #7
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I've always used natural casings. Guess I'm just old school.
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:12 AM   #8
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The natural ones are a bit more work but I like the idea of making my sausage authentic. We use the natural ones at work. You come across the odd imperfection with natural ones and they can break a bit easier, but it's not a biggy. Just start up again.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:16 AM   #9
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The Pirate's FIL is from Italy and has always made his own sausages. All kinds. He has always used the natural hog casings. I guess it all depends on what you saw your father use as in his case.
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:29 PM   #10
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I have used both types of casings. I will only use the natural for any type of sausage unless there is truly no alternative. The flavor and the bite of a sausage with the collagen casing is completely wrong. My feeling is why would I use a casing if yI have to remove it to eat the sausage?

Just my personal feeling. Everyone's opinion is their own.

Have a ton of fun with the grinder. It's amazing how many types of sausage you can make!
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