Understanding Collagen Casings
So, what exactly are collagen casings? The short answer is that they're great ways to package your sausage, and that they come in both edible and
non-edible versions. You can learn all about them below, or go straight to our Sausage Casings page and begin your shopping journey.
Sausages were originally made by stuffing a meat mixture into the intestines of a pig, sheep or other animal. When sausage manufacturers wanted a faster, more reliable way of making a high quantity of sausage - and when the material became widely available a half century ago - they switched to collagen.
A natural protein product, collagen comes from a layer of beef hide, removed and refined. The more refined the processing, the more tender the casing.
Collagen casing sausages are easy to cook, a good value and look great. Most important, they provide a tender bite and a fine "knack" - that familiar snap sound you expect when you bite into the perfect sausage.
Tips & Tricks for Collagen Casings
- Don't over twist - you only want 1 1/2 - 2 twists.
- Rehydrate old casings overnight in a cooler.
- Never overstuff collagen casings beyond recommended capacity, or be ready to clean up a mess.
- Be mindful of the humidity in your smoker or oven. Low humidity translates to tough casings.
Take Care of Your Collagen Casings
- Do not soak edible casings! Stuff edible casings dry. Soak non-edible casings 3-5 minutes in non-iodized salted (1 cup per gallon) water.
- Save the bag. Return unused casings to the zip-lock bag.
- Seal or tape the bag, as the casings must not dry or lose moisture. Refrigerate bag or place in a cooler so the casings retain moisture.
- Do not store your casings unsealed. You won't be able to use the casings once they dry out.