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  Homemade Sausage - Course 101

Homemade Sausage: Skinless or Casings


What about Sausage in Casings?

When making homemade sausage, unless you’re going to smoke sausage, you needn’t bother with stuffing the sausage into casings. It's easy enough to stuff them, but it does take time, the casings add to the cost, and there's very little benefit added to the homemade sausages.

The commercial link sausages shown in the photo below are “Skinless,” meaning only that they are not in casings.

Example of skinless commercial sausages and homemade sausages

Sausage casings were originally simply the cleaned intestines of lambs, hogs or cattle -- "natural casings." Lamb casings are generally used for small, fresh sausages that won’t be smoked. They’re too thin to carry the weight of the sausage in a smokehouse. Hog casings are larger; the sizes used for Kielbasa, Bratwurst or Chorizo. Hog casings are stronger, and easily support the weight of the sausage hanging in a smoke house.

Beef casings are used for large products, the size of bolognas or cotto salamis.

There aren’t enough casings from animals used for meat to make all the sausage products we use today. While natural casings are used, most of the stuffed sausage products sold today are made with non-edible synthetic casings; or with collagen casings, which are made of beef hides. The hair is removed, the hide is emulsified and rolled into very thin layers.

Collagen casings are fully edible and intended to be eaten along with the sausage.

If you smoke sausage, there’s a great deal to know. You would also need to buy casings, a sausage stuffer, hickory or alder wood chips, and a smoke house. That subject is well beyond the intention of this course. If you're interested, I can highly recommend the book, "Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing," by Rytek Kutas, and the products available at sausagemaker.com. Look for other upcoming courses!

Click on homemade sausage recipe to proceed.

Course Contents:
Introduction to Homemade Sausage
Homemade Sausage vs. Commercial Sausage
Homemade Sausage Casing
Recipe for Homemade Sausage
Homemade Sausage, Steps 1 - 5
Homemade Sausage, Steps 6 - 10
 
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