A sausage casing is basically the sausage skin that encloses the sausage or sausage fillings. Not only this, but these casings also maintain the sausages in a proper shape and also renders it an amazing aroma and taste. These casings are available in a huge variety depending upon the cooking style and where they are attained from. This article gives you ultimate guidance about these sausage casings, including how they are made, and if they are edible, their types, etc. First of all, let's discuss the three main types of these casings that also clear how they are attained and made.
Natural casings are the most preferred type of sausage casings as they are obtained from natural sources. These casings are mainly obtained from the intestines of animals, including cows, pigs, sheep, etc. The salted sheep natural casing can render supreme flavor and appearance to the final cooked sausage product. Moreover, it also improves and balances the original juices, taste, and quality of the spices and meat. The smoke penetration with the natural casings becomes so perfect if you want to give your sausages a Smokey flavor.
The natural casings can be used to cover food items, including fresh sausages, frankfurters, wieners, dried fermented sausages, such as pepperoni, Italian sausages, bratwurst, breakfast links, s well as snack sticks, etc. They have the following features.
1. They can be made from different parts of the animal digestive system, like the small intestine, stomach, and large intestine.
2. The natural casings can even be made from the esophagus, bladder, and caecum.
3. The natural casings are expensive as compared to their alternatives in the market.
4. As compared to the other sausage casings, the natural sausage casings are also less resistant to breakage.
5. They shape the sausage very well.
6. The natural casings have the least uniformity.
7. These are edible as well as permeable to smoke.
8. They are known to yield the lowest amount of sausage.
9. The natural casings also have the least uniformity.
The hog, sheep, pig, and cow casings are generally made from the submucosa, which is the largest collagen layer of the intestine, which is a coat of loose connective tissue underneath a mucous membrane. These natural casings are usually provided in a sealed sack covered with a moist salt solution. They can be utilized, and then the remaining can be resealed again in the same resealable sack for storage. This way, the sheep, cow, or hog casings can be stored for months now.
The state of the natural casings can be comprehended from the shape of the sausage. They are usually sporadically shaped as the intestines of the animals, including sheep, cows, hogs, pigs, etc., are scraped on the inside and out. When these casings are moist, they tend to be more porous and fragile. As soon as they are dried out, they become much more robust. This is why you would find these casings are dried when stored and traded at the store.
Out of all other natural casings, which include delicate sheep casings, the hog sheep casing is considered the easiest to work with. They can make any sausage a good, big, and thick one. Before one gets their hand on these natural casings, they must be soaked in water from half an hour to almost one hour. In contrast to these thick sausage casings, the sheep casings are known to make a very delicate thin sausage. One should make sure not to overstuff in the sheep casing. The right stuffing would make your sausage more delicious and tempting Like the other casings, you would also soak the sheep sausage casings in water for at least half an hour before use.
The casings of cow, sheep, hog intestines come in a salted brine. The steps for making of the natural casings are discussed below.
1. First, they must be soaked for at least an hour in clear and Luke warm water.
2. Make sure the user changes the water regularly to make these natural casings more pliable.
3. Next, flush casings to completely get rid of all the salt.
4. As soon as you eliminate all the salt from it, freeze it after opening.
5. This cool preservation would help to remove the unpleasant odors that naturally occur with fresh, natural casings.
6. These fresh casings will remain fresh on the shelf and in the freezer for at least 1 year or longer, but only if they are stored well in brine or in an airtight sack or container.
7. They can also be salted and then sealed in the sack.
8. The natural casings are usually fresh and edible and can be smoked, broiled, fried, or grilled.
Collagen casings are another popular artificial casing for your sausages that are found from connective tissues, cartilages, and bones of these animals. Basically, they are made from the gelatinous substance of all mammals. A famous dessert, known as the gelatin dessert, is generally made of collagen casings. The collagen casings are the most purchased sausage casings in the USA.
The collagen casings are mainly used to case the dry sausages and can be recognized from its following features.
1. The collagen casings are generally obtained from the bovine hides.
2. Collagen casings are mostly edible but can also be non-edible.
3. Like the natural casings, the collagen casings are also permeable to smoke.
4. The collagen casings have this amazing ability to mold or shrink with the product.
5. The collagen casings can be purchased in an extensive variety of sizes and forms.
6. We can also say that the collagen casings are fragile and have poor abuse resistance.
7. The collagen casings have all the best characteristics of both natural and synthetic sausage casings.
The collagen casings are well-suited for different applications, and that can include grilling, freezing, deep fat frying, as well as oven cooking. These artificial casings are provided on a shirred stick. As it is mostly used for dry sausages, it is preferred to use vegetable oil in a minor quantity to help with the process. This extra addition of oil would leave a lasting sheen on the sausage, helps you with cooking, and would make the sausage look more tempting. There is no need to refrigerate the collagen sausage casings.
Fibrous casings are another popular kind of casings for sausages. These are made from wood cellulose (usually paper). They are also known to permeate the protein. Fibrous casings are the hardest casings known. Moreover, they are also inedible. The fibrous casings are used where whether sausage or smoked meat is desired or a maximum uniformity is needed for the resultant product diameter. The uniformity of sausage stuffed in the sausage casings makes them perfect for slicing for pre-packaging. The fibrous casings do not need any refrigeration.
The fibrous casings mainly used for the Frankfurt sausages have the following incredible features.
1. The fibrous sausage casings are basically made from artificial materials or the cellulose of these mammals.
2. These are known to be inedible.
3. Before packaging and retail, these casings are removed.
4. These are way easier to deal with as well as permeable to gases and smoke.
5. The fibrous casings are permeable in size and resistant to breakage.