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Sausage Casings

I got a stand mixer for Chanukah (yay!) and with that came with one of my most desired attachments, a meat grinder and sausage stuffer. I love making my own sausages but am tired of free form sausage and want to make tube sausage. Does anyone know where I can by natural casings in the Portland area? Please help I'm in a need of a good sausage and pepper sandwich.

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  1. Pastaworks has them for sure, and I'd bet you ought to be able to get them from places like Laurelhurst Market's meat counter, Chop, and Olympic Provisions.

    7 Replies
    1. re: jeff_pdx

      A follow-up: I made my first batch of homemade sausages this weekend using casings from Pastaworks on Hawthorne. I asked for 10 feet but probably got 20, which at $35/lb cost $8.75. I happened to be at New Seasons the same day, and they sell them for $15/lb. I'll be buying my next batch at New Seasons...

      Also, to correct my earlier suggestion: Olympic Provisions does not sell them retail.

      1. re: jeff_pdx

        Thanks Jeff! I still haven't tried making the sausages yet, a little intimidated, however its getting close to grilling season, so I am going to have to soon, thanks for the New Seasons tip!

        1. re: Rachael5000

          Try these guys, they won't bone you like the New Seasons or Olympic people.

          http://www.sausagemaker.com/naturalca...

          Whatever you buy, be sure to rinse and run water through the casings.
          You also have the choice of natural or collagen casings. Also bacterial cultures to take that next step.
          My last post was 4 months ago. You need to get off you ass and just grind some meat. It really is fun and tasty.

          Good luck.

          1. re: jmikey

            How do the bacterial cultures take sausage to 'that next step'?

            1. re: pdxgastro

              The cultures produce acids that cure items like salami or lanjaeger.

              1. re: jmikey

                Thanks for the 411. I am used to seeing things like Prosciutto and sausages hanging in a cantina to cure, and I always thought the good air circulation caused it.

      2. There's the Sausage Kitchen, small place
        18893 Southeast McLoughlin Boulevard, Oak Grove, OR 97267

        1. I've actually had good luck asking for them at the meat counter at New Seasons.

            1. re: TraderJoe

              Not to be a schill for them search Amazon for Sausage casings. Both Natural and collagen.
              have fun

            2. You can purchase hog casings (bratwurst sized) from a lot of different places, a "hank" is around 100 feet of casing and is salt packed. As long as you keep them thoroughly salted, they'll last in your fridge for about a year and buying in bulk is definitely the way to go I think a hank cost me something like $20 last time I bought one. Give Gartner's Meat Market a shot for the casings.

              1. Thanks ALL!!! now I just need to get off my butt and make these damn sausages. And I know this may be sac-religious, but anyone have a good recipe for some low-fat healthy-er sausages? Any meat variety would do :)

                6 Replies
                1. re: Rachael5000

                  If you are going to make your own sausage, don't waste your time doing a "low fat" variety. it will only dry out when cooked. You want your fat percentage to be in the 25 percent range. If you use pork shoulder (pretty common), you'll be in that range. Also, unless you plan on making massive amounts of sausage, getting casings at New Seasons is pretty inexpensive. For a 5 lb. batch, 10 feet usually does the trick, though a bit more might be wise if you're just getting started.

                  1. re: Rachael5000

                    If any meat variety will do you can certainly make a healthier sausage with poultry or venison. With most venison you will still want some pork or beef fat but that can be reduced up to 80% over traditional recipes. While it might seem like sacrilege to some you can add Tofu to increase your moisture content and reduce fat as well.

                    1. re: TraderJoe

                      Thanks TraderJoe I am going to try going the lower-fat route, so those tips help alot, how about bison or elk? would those do well?

                      1. re: Rachael5000

                        I love Bison and Elk so IMO you can't go wrong with those products. While they all have less fat than beef Elk has a lower fat content than Bison as well as most deer. IIR Moose is the leanest of venison according to the FDA database.
                        You may want to get a copy of "The Venison Sausage Cook book" by Webster. :)
                        Ruhlman's follow up to Carcuterire called "Salumi" is supposed to be out this summer as well.

                    2. re: Rachael5000

                      I know everyone else is saying it too, but rather than reducing the fat content, since you are making it yourself you can totally control the link size and diameter (use sheep casings for the smallest ones). I think that would be far more satisfying than a low-fat sausage.

                      Also, my math says the following: the 20 ft of casings I got at Pastaworks for their ridiculous price works out to $0.44/ft. New Seasons' quote would be more like $0.19/ft. Sasquatch350's claim of the price and quantity for salt-packed works out to $0.20/ft.

                      And if you don't have it already, pick up "Charcuterie" by Ruhlmann and Polcyn. I also took a sausage making class from Portland Meat Collective which (if they still offer it) will give you hands-on experience with stuffing and you'll walk away with 5 to 10 lbs of sausage to boot. The basic recipes they use in the class were all quite good.

                      1. re: jeff_pdx

                        I agree with Jeff, Charcuterie is the gold standard of sausage making.
                        Polish Sausages, Authentic Recipes And Instructions by Marianski is good for techniques and also if you like polish and european sausage.
                        www.stuffers.com has a 138 page PDF full of great recipes.
                        Have fun and good luck.
                        With luck you'll soon be asking about Prague Powders.

                    3. I did it! I made the sausages!!! woohoo!!!
                      I ended up making a Pork/Chicken Polish sausage.
                      I used the Pork Tip Roast from costco that is very lean and skin on chicken thighs with paprika, sage, marjoram, thyme, allspice and some garlic.
                      Got my casings from pastaworks, even though they are more expensive, I had never been there so I wanted to check it out, next time I will go to New Seasons.

                      It all went really well, except for one little issue. Once I had ground the meat and was trying to put it back through the machine and into the casing the meat was pretty sticky and kept getting stuck in the machine so it would take forever to push the meat through. Is there an easier way to do this? Maybe freeze the ground meat slightly? or Oil the attachment? Help please:)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Rachael5000

                        Congratulations! The colder the meat is the better the grind and the stuffing. You don't want to let the fat liquify. I keep my grinder and metal bowls I'll be using in the freezer before I do anything. As I prep the meat I put it in the freezer too. Unless you're actively working on product. Chill, chill chill
                        Again, congratulations..

                        1. re: jmikey

                          Thanks that helps.
                          I am really excited about this new sausage making adventure.

                      2. To follow up: I recently made my second batch following the bratwurst recipe from Charcuterie, first using hog casings from New Seasons. While I believe I was definitely at fault for overstuffing the sausages, I think the New Seasons casings were significantly thinner and weaker than what I'd used from Pastaworks -- I had one blowout while stuffing, and I basically burst almost every link when forming links. I salvaged the mixture and tried again the next day using casings from Laurelhurst Market, paying attention to not overstuff, with much better results. I'll give the New Seasons casings one more try in the future and be a little more careful, because they are the most convenient option.

                        The bratwurst recipe in Charcuterie is phenomenal, by the way.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jeff_pdx

                          I used casings from pasta works and they worked well, but i didn't do an awesome job stuffing them so I can't put my full opinion in but i would like to try new season's casings because they are cheaper. So let me know how the second try goes

                        2. Good Evening! I just moved here from Southern California and have had house made merguez on the brain lately. I went over to pastaworks and they no longer carry them. I went over to Market Supply (503.239.4990) and found a plethora of casings. As a former professional Chef I have always had trouble finding lamb casings and was stoked to them there. Not one, but two diameters. AWESOME! Love being in PDX!