Principles of Drying & Moisturizing - Once the product has been stuffed and moved into the smokehouse, the initial critical steps of drying and smoke application must be monitored very carefully. Before smoke is applied, the casing should be dried to the point where it is tacky:

  • If the casing is not sufficiently dried, the smoke will penetrate the casing and will be deposited on the meat surface, thereby permitting casing separation and causing a pale, dull appearance.
  • If the sausage casing is overdried, the smoke will essentially be deposited only on the outside surface with very little flavor penetration.

Tenderness of animal casings varies. Sheep Casings which are used for small diameter products are the most tender and should be handled very carefully.