How to Make Sausage Casing Tender?

After a long time, you decided to stuff your first sausages and smoke or grilled them.

When you took a bite of the sausage, it was a bit tough, but everything went smoothly. What happened that went wrong?

There are several ways to make sausage casing tender, depending on your preference. 

If you prefer a firmer sausage, add extra salt during the brining process. However, if you like your sausages soft and moist, add additional sugar.

It is most likely that you did not clean or flush the shell enough, but don’t worry at all.

Continue reading if you want to learn how to make sausages casings tender and what makes them tough in the first place.

What Causes Tough Sausage Casings?

These treats need to be handled with care, and you need to take the right precautions when working with them. This starts right from picking the right cut of meat to use, then grinding the meat for just long enough, seasoning your sausages for long enough, and most importantly, deciding just how much water to add to your sausage mix.

Otherwise, you might end up fixing dry sausages, dealing with tough casings as is your case right now, or banging your head against the wall in frustration if things don’t go to plan.

Now, back to our topic…

There are several reasons why this could have happened if you have sausages that aren’t tender.

You Haven’t Washed the Casings Properly

When you get the first ones, they are usually tough. If you haven’t washed and flushed them, that could be the reason the casing is squishy after smoking or grilling.

Casings are Old

There are different ways to store sausage casings, but they might not be good for stuffing if they have been in the fridge for more than six months. If you want to get new ones, it is best to throw away the old ones.

You Smoked the Sausage Straight From the Fridge

While some people prefer instant treats (like making skinless sausages and getting it over with) others prefer fresh sausages to cured ones. Whichever way you like your snack, that’s fine. If you are all for the latter, however, here’s what you need to be keen on…

Sausages shouldn’t be smoked immediately after you get them out of the fridge. If you love cured sausages, before smoking them, let them sit on the counter and get to room temperature.

The initial temperature should be no higher than 180F, or it will be difficult to build the shell.

You Didn’t Pierce the Casing

Before smoking the sausage, pierce the casings to prevent them from becoming gummy. The casing will be much more tender because of that.

It allows a little bit of air and fat to get out of the shell, which makes it more tender after being pricked. This also makes it easier for smoke to penetrate your sausage casings better, nudging the flavor up a notch.

If you don’t pierce the casing, fat heats up and air pressure builds inside of it while you smoke, which can cause it to crack and lose more fat and moisture than it otherwise would have.

Remember, the fat to meat ratio in a sausage does matter, big time! And the same holds true for casings too. The less fat there is, the harder it is to make a case. It is possible that piercing may loosen some of the fibers in the casing.

You Cooled the Sausage With Cold Water

Sausage lovers like to wet their sausages with water after smoking them. It is important to use water that is not too cold. Coldwater may make the casing tough.

How to Make Sausage Casing Tender?

The best way to make a sausage tender is to wash and flush it. Once you know how much you will use, rinse the casings with water.

Excess salt will be removed if you do that. And since we’re here, it’s worth mentioning that you should choose wisely the kind of salt that goes in your sausages for the best taste. The water should be flushed through the case to clean it thoroughly.

It is necessary to wash the outside as well. After that, you should put the casings in the fresh water and let them soak in it.

It will tenderize the casings and make them more transparent, and it might sound strange. Wait from 30 minutes to an hour and then flush and soak the casings again. It’s better to do this before you close your sausage casings to make it easier to clean them all through.

How Long Can You Soak Sausage Casings?

Information about soaking on the label should be included in the package from the manufacturer.

Some say it’s best to do it for thirty minutes; others say it’s best to do it for a few hours. Even if they are soaked for a few hours, they won’t become too squishy or prone to cracking.

How to Make Sausage Casing Tender When Cooking?

If you prefer smoking sausages, you might still get some of the same texture as cooking them. Sausages should not be placed in boiling water to prevent this.

They should be put in a pan of cold water and brought to a boil. If you have to increase the temperature gradually, do it.


When it comes to sausage-making, it’s important to learn what makes a sausage tough and how you can prevent this from happening.

They don’t want to bite into a sausage expecting juiciness and texture, only to find their teeth grinding through the shell.

If you follow my tips, you will get professional butcher-level results for your next batches of sausages.

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