Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600627


Pork casings, pickled or preserved in dry salt, are
available at many locker plants. Beef casings, sheep
casings and artificial casings are also available from some
locker plants or places where sausage is made. The use of
casings can be avoided if fresh game sausage is made into
patties and cooked sausage such as salami is made in loaf

All casings preserved in dry salt must first be soaked
in lukewarm water before use. Flush each casing by putting
the end of the casing over the cold water tap and running
cold water through the casing. Unused casings can be
drained, covered again with fine salt and frozen. Casings
which come in a brine should also be soaked in cold water
before use.

Some artificial casings should be soaked in hot tap
water (100 degrees Fahrenheit) at least 30 minutes but not
over 4 hours before use. They should be punctured with
a knife point before sausage is stuffed unless the casings
are prestuck. The purpose of puncturing the casing is to
eliminate air and fat pockets in the finished sausage.

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