What Are the Sausage Casing Alternatives?

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The inner layer of the farm animals like cows, sheep, or pigs’ intestines are typically used to make sausage casing. You might have an allergy to these animals, or this might seem unclean and unsafe to eat. Because germs and bacteria can be left if it is not properly cleaned.

In that case, one should look for a substitute. So what are sausage casing alternatives?

There are alternatives that you can try out as sausage casing. Such as collagen, plastic, and even some casings can be made of vegetables. You can also make sausages without casing by smoking them or using a binding agent. You can use muslin strips as a casing too. 

There might be a lot of things you need to know about sausage casings before reaching a decision. We are here for you. Follow this article to know it all.

Sausage Casing AlternativesFeatures
Collagen Sausage Casingsmade of pig or cow tendons, bones, and hidesAffordableEdible
Plastic CasingsUnedibleUnsuitable for smoked sausageUsed for bologna or luncheon meat
Vegetable CasingsLong-lastingPlant-basedBest for vegan-diet
Muslin StripsYou need to cut, fold, and stitch the strips according to your sausage
No CasingsGood for fresh sausage

Sausage Casing Alternatives: A Suitable Solution

Sausage Casing Alternatives

If you are thinking about what you can use instead of sausage casing, then there are different ways you can try. You can make sausage without casing because this is not essential. These types of sausages are called skinless sausages. 

There are some techniques to make skinless ones. However, the sausage meat-making process remains the same. The shape matters a lot in this case, and the meat isn’t used as a stuffing.

Some of the methods are discussed below. 

Way 1: Use Your Hands To Make A Rolled Shape

Shape the marinated meat into a long rolled sausage-looking form. It might not look perfect as the one with the casing as it will be handmade. 

You should cook the sausage in a pan for the utmost taste. You won’t get the nice brown texture if you bake it. So, to get nice and perfectly cooked sausages, don’t bake in this case.

Way 2: Use Parchment Paper Or Aluminium Foil

To use parchment paper, you should follow these steps-

  • You can even use sandwich bags for this process. You may cut a piece of parchment paper or slice it on the edges, so it sits evenly inside one layer.
  • After laying the paper, put a chunk of meat at the center and fold it on the upper side. Press the meat against it to give it a sausage-like shape. You can use a scale for this.
  • Put it in the fridge along with the paper wrapped around it. Remove the paper before using; you will get the perfect sausage shape even after cooking. Use a frying pan for cooking the sausages.
  • Use a binding agent while making the sausage meat. 

Way 3: Use Muslin Strips

To create casings with a 1 1⁄2 inch circle, cut 6 inches broad and 16 inches in length strips. Divide the paper in half lengthwise, then sew the corners with each other to form tubes.

How Do You Make Homemade Sausage Casing?

There are recipes you can try to make sausage skins on your own. The process is given below.

  • Animal intestines are used to make homemade casings. For this, you will need pig or bovine intestines. Intestines are lined with mucous membranes that help fecal matter slide through. This membrane must be removed by scraping. You can do it outside your home.
  • Scrape it with a kitchen knife and slide the mucous lining out of the intestine
  • Cut off three feet long with a sharp knife. Take a spoon, slide it inside, and pull the end upside down over the thumb. Then again, pull the spoon off and slide it up under the thumb, thus creating a cuff.
  • Then pour water through the open hole, which will have the shape of sausage once it is filled.
  • Grab the cuff and let the water out. 
  • Scrape and rinse at least twice once the casing is inside out. 
  • Put in a cup of salted water. Drain the cup of casings into a wire mesh strainer, tossing them in coarse salt and letting the strainer drip away from the excess water. 
  • After this, pack them in a jar with coarse pickling salt and put them in the fridge.

How Do You Roll Sausage Without Casing?

There is a certain procedure to roll the sausage with no casing. It is given below.

  • Cover the sausages with saran wrap or aluminum foil and let them sit for half an hour. 
  • Shape the portions into a cylindrical sausage shape
  • Put the sausage meat in one corner and roll gently but make it tight
  • Put it in hot water for 30 seconds to give the shape permanence. 
  • Rinse it, take the paper off, and let it cool in the fridge. Cook them for 10 minutes until it gets brown.

What Do Vegans Use For Sausage Casing?

There are vegan or vegetarian sausage casings. These are made of starch, vegetable glycerin, water, and carrageenan. It is edible so you don’t have to rip it off before cooking. 

The vegan sausage casing is completely allergen or gluten-free. It is diet-friendly and a much healthier option than other casings. 

What Are The Types Of Sausage Casing?

What Are The Types Of Sausage Casing

There are two types of sausage casings commonly known. These are artificial and natural. Both of them are discussed below. 

1. Natural casings

Natural casings are edible sausage casings that are made out of the small or large intestine or sometimes bladder, caecum, oesophagus, or stomach of an animal.

These are the most expensive casings. It allows the meat to smoke. The sausages have more tender bites than any other ones. But it does not have a strong resistance to breakage. These are the least consistent and lowest-yielding products.

2. Cellulose casings

Cellulose casings are artificial and are made of synthetic material. These are inedible and should be removed before packing. 

The sausages can be smoked or cooked on a stove. The size and shape of these casings are measured and it is easy to handle. The resistance to breakage is very strong.

3. Collagen casings

It is made from the fibre tissue of the corium layer of meat, mostly beef. It is a dry and edible casing. It shrinks with the meat. It can also be smoked. There are various shapes and sizes of collagen casings.

It is fragile and the sausage might break while cooking. But it is a healthy option. 

How to Prep Sausage Casings

How to Prep Sausage Casings

Each type of casing has its properties. It needs to be handled and prepared differently so we’re going to go over how to handle and prepare each different type of sausage casing. We’re going to start with the easiest one, collagen casing.  

Most types of collagen casings are edible and require no preparation, no cleaning, and no soaking. You just take them out of their package, put them on a stuffing tube, and start going. The moisture from the meat is going to rehydrate them during the cooking process. So it is quite an easy process.

Now there are some collagen casings that you need to do a little bit of preparation. To do this-

  • These must be soaked in 15% salt solution and 15 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes before being used to stuff. That’s going to do the same thing for a fibrous casing. It will make it pliable and give you an excellent full, even-looking product. 
  • These are extremely strong, so you don’t need to worry about blowouts when you’re stuffing them; just go as hard as you want. 

Cellulose casings are made from the plant material and ready to use right out of the package. Just put them on the stuffing tube and go ahead and start stuffing. 

These casings are unsafe to eat and must be removed before cooking. But after the cooking process, they have a nice black stripe right down the side, so it’s easy to tell me whether it’s on there. These casings are really strong, so blowouts are not a concern.

Fibrous casings are dried paper-like casings that need to be hydrated before being used again. To do this, fill a bowl with water between 80 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit and let them soak for 30 to 60 minutes. It is recommended that you only dry as many casings as you need to use. But if you do soak too much, just leave them out. Let them dry, and you can soak them again for future use.

You might be interested to read also our another comprehensive article of: How to Store Sausage Casings – Easy Guide


  • Are casings edible?

The casings of all sausages are edible. Another question is whether all of them are tasty to consume.

You may consume natural and certain cellulose casings without any problems. Store-bought sausages have casing on them and it’s edible.

But, some of them are just too thick or unpleasant to eat to be suitable for consumption. For the intention of making salami casings and bigger sausages, certain collagen casings are made. They are constantly removed.

The cellulose shell that surrounds skinless sausage is discarded after cooking. All beef casings, used to casing foods like huge sausages and salamis, are unsafe to eat.

  • How to remove a sausage casing?

Before preparing homemade sausage, you’ll need to peel the skins from some of your products. For instance, Italian sausage casings are frequently omitted.

It’s not always simple to take the case out. If you’re skinning a lot of them, it tends to cling to the flesh, split into bits, and give you a lot of problems.

One should remove the skin when it is frozen. Just keep it in warm water before peeling. Use a cutting board and cut the sausages lengthwise with a very serrated knife. Remove the casing, and then add the sausage to your meal.

Final Words

As you know, there are plenty of ways to use sausage casing as well as not use it at all. However, you can also use the sausage casing alternatives as well.

There are collagen, plastic and even vegetables sausage casings that you can opt for. You also have the muslin strips to use. You can stick to one or try all the varieties for an adventure ride.

However, remember, choose the way you want to take it so it can be a therapeutic cooking process for you.

Have fun making delicious sausages!