Which sausage casings or skins should I use?

Sausage Casings or Skins

Sausage Casings or Skins

The choice ranges between collagen, which is a form of dried skin made from the hide of bovine, and the fresh casings from sheep, hog or ox. They range in size from 19mm to about 36mm. The most popular sizes are 22/23 for chipolata type sausages, and 28- 35 for the breakfast and bbq type sausage.

Fresh hog, sheep and ox casings which are made from the intestines of the animal are cleaned, bleached and preserved in salt and these must be soaked in cold water for at least two hours before use (preferably overnight). Fresh casings have a shelf life of about two months if kept in salt and kept refrigerated. The sheep casings are very delicate and require more skill. Nowadays the fresh casings come on tapes or tubes so that they are easier to thread onto the filling nozzle and avoid the arduous task of unravelling a large knotted mass.

Sausage Casings or Skins

Sausage Casings or Skins

The collagen casings do not need any preparation. They are ready to use and are not salted. They have a shelf life of about two years if kept in a cool, clean and dry environment. They do not need to be refrigerated. Once these casings have been filled, it is important that the sausages are left in the refrigerator overnight to rest. The herbs and spices marinate with the meat and the skins rehydrate. These skins look and feel just like normal skins and are often less “chewy” than fresh casings.  You may read in places that people mention how tough these casings are.  This is NOT true – actually they are very tender indeed!  It is the Hog skins (good for bbq’s) that are tougher when eating.

There are other casings on the market however these are not edible. They are used to fill and cook sausages and then need to be peeled. These are known as synthetic or artificial casings and are made from fibre or plastic.

Click here for casing supplies


1 thought on “Which sausage casings or skins should I use?”

44ip.net · 28th February 2018 at 4:16 pm

The latest generation of collagen casings are usually more tender than natural casings but do not exhibit the “snap” or “bite” of natural casing sausages.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

How To Make Sausages

How do I link sausages?

How do I link sausages? Whilst there is a great urge to achieve a “butchers link” when we start on our sausage making hobby, it is not entirely necessary.  There really is no point in Read more…

Sausage Making Ingredients

What spices and herbs can I use for sausage making?

What spices and herbs can I use for sausage making? Fresh or dried herbs can be used in sausage making.  We do find that using fresh herbs and spices is not as successful as using Read more…

Frequently Asked Questions

What meat can I use for making sausages?

What meat can I use for making sausages?   This has to be my favourite subject! We tend to only think of sausages only using Pork.  You will of course have come across Venison and Read more…