We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Different Types of Sausage Casing?

By Eugene P.
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

There are two broad categories of sausage casing: natural and artificial. Natural sausage casing is made from the intestines or stomachs of various animals and is permeable to air and outside flavorings while also being very strong and edible. An artificial sausage casing can be made from collagen, cellulose, cotton or plastic and is generally not edible or as flexible as a natural casing, but is much more cost effective and consistent in size and quality. The type of sausage casing used is usually determined by the type of sausage being made, with artificial casings used for larger or mass-produced sausages, and natural casings being a more popular choice for home sausage making and links that will be processed with smoke.

There are actually several varieties of natural sausage casing based on the type of animal from which it is made. Hog casings, made from the intestines of pigs, provide a very meaty flavor to sausages and are often used to make breakfast links. Sheep casings tend to be smaller than the other types of natural casings and are used for small or thin sausages.

Beef casings are very durable, can be very large and can be used for a variety of large sausages or salamis. One benefit of using a beef casing is that it can be stripped of a large amount of fat, leaving a very lean container for the sausage meat. Some beef casings are actually made from the lining of the stomach of the cow and can be used to wrap larger sausage products.

Artificial sausage casings come in a variety of forms and have been designed to function in some specific ways. Plastic casings are thick and prevent moisture and bacteria from reaching the meat inside while also helping to hold the shape of tough sausages. Fibrous casings can be made from different types of fibers and are very strong; a lining of proteins inside the casing also gives them the ability to shrink as a sausage dries. Neither type of casing is usually edible.

Another type of artificial sausage casing is made from cellulose and is formed from materials that are meant eventually to dissolve in moisture or over time, meaning a sausage can be wrapped and protected during production or aging and then be free of any casing when delivered to the consumer. The final type of artificial sausage casing is made from collagen that is derived from the cartilage and animal bones. This is one of the most widely used casings, closely matching many properties of the natural variety. Collagen casings can be edible or, like other artificial casings, might be intended to be removed before the sausage is eaten.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon1004752 — On Apr 14, 2021

You may not wish to consume pork so you buy turkey products. Does anyone know a manufacturer of turkey products that doesn't use pork casings in sausage production?

By Chmander — On Jul 10, 2014

Overall, when it comes to sausages and their casings, I feel that it all comes down to personal preference. At the store, I have actually bought sausages without their casings, and it worked rather well, just as much as if they did have their casings.

By RoyalSpyder — On Jul 10, 2014

Whether we realize it or not, sausage casings are always important. After all, they're what keeps the sausages together. For example, a few years back, when I was cooking Italian sausages, I ran into an issue where I happened to break the casing by accident. The other sausages came out fine, but the one with the broken casing near fell apart, and was very hard to eat, especially when you tried putting it in a hot dog bun.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.