sausage and casing roll on wooden board

How to Prepare Casings for Sausage Making?

The sub-mucosa of the small intestine of meat animals is used to make natural sausage casings. It is a part of the intestine that is primarily composed of naturally occurring collagen. Chinese and Western European cuisines use casings. People utilize intestines from pigs, but in other regions, sheep, goats, cattle, and occasionally even horses.

How to Prepare Casings for Sausage Making

How to Make Casings for Sausage?

I’d like to share with you my video tutorial. This is about how to clean and prepare natural casings for making homemade sausage and homemade smoked kielbasa. People traditionally made casings this way.

By using the natural casings of the hog, just that one extra part of the whole beast, you’re able to stretch your investment in the animal, increase your yields that much more, not to mention respect its life just that little extra bit. And get some delicious sausage to enjoy!

Now, if you didn’t appreciate me showing you how to clean chicken feet, you probably won’t enjoy this post either.

Sausage on the table

But if you are thinking that eating your sausage encased in a pig intestine is disgusting, I see it differently. I would propose that the ones mass-produced from collagen are what is truly stomach-turning. After all, people make it from the hides, bones, and tendons of beef and pork. As for me, I’m glad just knowing how simple it is to clean and use intestines for natural casings. This gives me more homesteading and sufficiency skills under my belt. If you’re interested in sausage-making and don’t have access to materials for making your own casings, you can buy casings.

People preserve natural sausage casings in the refrigerator indefinitely. Simply pack them with a handful of sea salt and cover them with fresh water and top the container with a lid. Every couple of weeks, change out the salt water for fresh.

Final Thoughts

If you’d like to learn how to clean natural casings with me along with many other amazing prepared and cured pork recipes including prosciutto, capicola, fool-proof nitrate-free bacon, pork butter, guanciale, pate, rillettes, and more read the books below.

Last update on 2024-04-15 at 16:57 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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  1. Do you use small intestine or big intestine for the casings? Can both small and big intestines be used as casings? Thanks.

    1. Generally hog casings are used for Kielbasa and Brat type sausages and SHEEP casings are used for breakfast links although I have used sheep casing and stuffed them with Italian sausage for breakfast links—I love Italian sausage for breakfast any day.

  2. I love your site and this post. We are looking at getting a pig next spring and want to use every bit of the animal as possible. What surprised me though, and maybe it’s just my misunderstanding, is how (in this article) you seem to lump all collagen and what it is made from as nasty. Was this just because its store bought/factory produced? I’m not a fan of food items produced that way but I make my own stock out of the same things you mention and it’s amazing. I do hope it’s just my misunderstanding. Keep up the great work with the rest of it! 🙂

  3. A butcher once told us they can keep for quite some time in salt water in the fridge. Just change it out every few weeks. Since you're just getting started making your own sausages, check out my homemade kielbasa recipe (if you like kielbasa). It's very basic and tastes great!

  4. That's pretty exciting Tessa! Pigs might just be our favorite thing to raise. We don't compost it. Honestly, it never occured to me till you mention it. But I think that it would be pretty tough logistically to collect the material since they're stretched out so far across the yard while you hose it out… unless you mean the mucosal lining? Would that fall under the category of adding meat to your compost? I don't know- haven't really thought it out. I did hear the Farmstead Meatsmith say in an interview that the mucosal lining has saponifying qualities. Maybe figure out how to use it in your soap 😉

  5. This was fascintating – thank you! We have pigs for the first time this year and I've been needing to know how to do this. Do you compost the contents of the intestines or…? I'm excited to try this!

  6. Thank you so much for this video! What a great way to use another part of the animal. We are still buying shares and not able to grow our own yet, but the farmers we work with let us take whatever we want from the slaughter. I knew there had to be a way to use the intestines, just didn't know where to start! We are due to pick up a hog this week, but will be going out of town for the holidays. Are the intestines stable once your prep them and keep them in the water and salt? Or can they be frozen do you know? Thanks again, even if we can't make it work with this one, we definitely do it with the next.