Almost all homemade sausage recipes call for your sausage to be stuffed into a sausage casing. If you’re not sure as to what kind of sausage casing to use for your homemade sausage you can to the right place. There are different types of sausage casings you can use and the type of homemade sausage you are making will help to determine what kind of sausage casing you are going to need to use for it.
Natural Sausage Casings
Natural casings are by far the most popular choice when it comes to casings for the home sausage maker. They are referred to as natural because they are derived from the intestines of hogs, sheep, and cattle.
Natural casings come in different sizes. The most common being hog casings. These are the casing that you would use for homemade Italian sausage, kielbasa, bratwurst, or any other homemade sausage that you would like to be that size around in diameter. If your looking for a smaller size sausage casing you would choose sheep casings. These casings are smaller in diameter than that of hog casings and are commonly used for making breakfast links and snack sticks. The largest of all of the natural sausage casings are beef casings. You would use beef casings if you are making summer sausage or ring bologna.
Most of the time you will need to order your natural casings online. They are sold in packs for making a certain amount of sausage in pounds. Make sure you order enough so you have plenty to finish your homemade sausage. Any extra can be stored for future use in the fridge.
Collagen Sausage Casings
Collagen casings are an edible casing made from cattle by products. The advantage to using collagen casings is the consistent size, unlike that of the natural casings.
The most popular application for collagen casings is for making smoked snack sticks, they are perfect for that. You can also find collagen casings in larger sizes for making sausages with a larger diameter.
One thing to keep in mind when using collagen casings is they are not as strong as natural casings. With the collagen casings being more tender they tend to break if hung in the smoker. If you plan on smoking your homemade sausage look for extra thick collagen casings that are designed for smoking. Just ask your supplier, most will carry the thicker collagen casings.
Fibrous Sausage Casings
Fibrous casings are made from paper and have a protein coating on the inside. As the case with all synthetic casings, fibrous casings are not edible.
Fibrous casings come in many different sizes and colors. Because they are so tough fibrous casings are very easy to stuff. The most common sausages made with fibrous casings are summer sausage and salami.
The most important thing to remember when using fibrous casings is that they are not edible. Any homemade sausage that you make with fibrous casings most have the paper peeled off before you eat them.
As you can see there are many different types of sausage casings for one to choose from. Although natural casings are the most popular choice, don’t be afraid to give some of the other casings a try.
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