Are You Supposed To Remove Sausage Casing? What You Need To Know

07 Jan.,2023


can you eat sausage casings

Sausage casings are usually made out of animal intestines, usually from either sheep or hogs. People often wonder if you need to remove sausage casing before cooking or eating sausage.

So do you?

If the sausage casing is edible, you do not have to remove the sausage casing before cooking or eating the sausage. Many sausage casings are edible, but some of them will not taste as good as others.

Can You Eat Sausage Casing?

You can eat edible sausage casings. If you’ve already cooked the sausage with edible casings, the casings are cooked as well, which means they’re safe to eat. That being said, there are thick casings and there are thin casings, and you may find that the thicker casings are a little difficult to chew and are not very tasty. If your sausage casing is too thick or has a ‘plastic’ feel, it’s best to remove it before eating the sausage meat.

Types of Sausage Casings

There are many different types of casings of sausages. Here are three typical sausage casings:

  • Natural casing. Most sausages have natural casings that are made out of some part of an animal’s digestive system, such as the large intestine, small intestine, or even the stomach. They are sometimes made from the esophagus or even the bladder of the animal. These casings usually have to be soaked before they can be stuffed properly. While a natural sausage casing can be a bit expensive, it is the least likely to break, and it is tender to eat. They have to be stored properly so they don’t go bad.
  • Collagen casings. These casings come from collagen that is derived from the corium layer of beef hides, and they are often used to cover dry sausages. They shrink with the product and aren’t very strong, and they come in a variety of forms and sizes. They are considered an artificial sausage casing.
  • Cellulose casings. These are another type of artificial casings, and they are made out of synthetic materials such as collagen or others. They are uniform in shape and size and don’t break very easily, but they are generally removed before the product is sold to the public, so you rarely, if ever, see these casings on your foods. One example of cellulose casings is a fibrous casing made for lunch meat.

How To Know if Sausage Casing Is Edible

It is okay to eat natural casings, but you should not eat artificial casings, which include both collagen and cellulose casings. If the casing is thin, this usually means that it is made out of body parts of animals. If the casing is plastic-looking or overly thick, you should probably remove it from the sausage.

If you’re not sure if the casings are edible, check the label on the sausage packaging or check with the butcher who sold you the sausage.

How To Remove Sausage Casing

If your sausages are already cooked, you’ll want to simmer them in some hot water for two to three minutes, then immediately rinse them under cool water so they stop cooking. Pat the sausages dry with a paper towel, then take a knife and cut each sausage from end to end, trying not to cut too deeply. Turn the sausage over so the cut side is facing down, then grab the ends of the casing with your thumb and forefinger. Squeeze it to allow the meat on the inside to fall out.

If you’re doing this with uncooked sausage, you can start with cutting the sausage because there is no need to cook it beforehand.

How To Cook Sausage Without Casing

After you remove the casing from the sausage, you can cook the meat as you normally would. Simply follow the instructions above for cutting the sausage and removing the insides.

Can You Remove Sausage Casing After Cooking?

You certainly can, but it’s a lot easier if the sausage is still warm. If you just took them out of the refrigerator and you wish to remove the casing, make sure you simmer them for two to three minutes first, and follow the instructions mentioned earlier.