The natural casings on my Viennas are chewy. Did Koegel change the casing?

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One of the many instances of issues with Koegel’s natural casings happened in May 2015. At that time apparently there was an issue with the casings becoming quite hard when cooked. Complaints appeared on Koegel’s Facebook page, and Mr. John Koegel himself provided the explanation by describing a few basic concepts of meatpacking. Note that the variations he describes here can also result in chewy casings:

“Thank you for your post inquiring about our casings. Please accept my apology for these incidents. Natural casings vary in tenderness based on the country of origin, age and diet of the sheep. We usually get the best selection because we are one of the largest producers of natural casing products in the midwest. We try to make sure that we stuff the casing fully without breaking them and steam them properly, steaming tenderizes a natural casing. Unfortunately, we do not know a casing is tough until it is being eaten and by that time we are into a new lot. We have not changed anything but it is a variable we cannot always control. Again, thank you for your post. Sincerely, John Koegel”

While Mr. Koegel wrote “sheep”, remember that a lamb is a young sheep. Both the Vienna and the Coney use lamb casings, vs. the sheep casing on many hot dogs used for Detroit style coney dogs, which is why those products seem to be more chewy than their Flint counterparts.

← The natural casings on my Viennas are chewy. Did Koegel change the casing?