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
meaning only that they are not in casings.
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
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
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.