Sausage Casings

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Home sausage makers often inquire about where they can buy sausage casings. Usually a small supply of natural and synthetic casings can be purchased from local meat processors, who use these casings in the manufacture of their own line of sausages. If local processors do not have extra casings to sell, they could direct you to their casing suppliers. Most casings used in sausage making are either natural, collagen or synthetic. Natural casings are from the G.I. tract of animals. Most fresh bratwurst are in pork casings. Natural casing wieners and some breakfast sausages are in lamb casings. Ring bolognas are typically in beef casings. Natural casings always have a natural "curve" to them.

Collagen is an animal protein, often extracted from beef hides, and manufactured into an edible casing (collagen is also the main protein present in natural casings). Collagen casings are used on some breakfast links, bratwurst (especially pre-cooked bratwurst and other types of linked sausages. Collagen casings provide straight sausage links (no curve).

Synthetic casings come in a variety of forms. "Skinless" hot dogs are manufactured in cellulose casings (made from cottin linters), which allow smoke to penetrate and moisture to escape during cooking. After skinless franks are cooked and cooled, the cellulose casings are peeled off and discarded, producing "skinless" products. Larger size cellulose casings have paper fibers added for strength, and are termed "fibrous" casings. They are used for summer sausage and larger diameter slicing products.

Using Muslin for Casing

Type Diameter Usual Use

Length Needed

Hog Casings




Extra Wide
32 mms or 1.25 ins
32-38 mms or 1.25-1.5 ins
38-42 mms or 1.5-1.75 ins
42+ mms or 1.75+ ins

pork, beef and cumberland, bratwurst, boerewors, kielbasa, kiska, savaloys, bierschinken, etc

23 metres or 25 yards

Hog Fat Ends or Hog Bungs in USA 50 approx mms or 2 approx ins

liver sausage, hard cervelat, braunschweiger

Sold in full lengths in GB but 24" (60cm lengths in USA)

Used as ingredient

andouilles, andouillettes


Beef or Ox Casings



35-48mms or 1 3/8-1 7/8 ins
45-55 mms or 1.75-2 1/8 ins 75-150mms or 3-6ins

black pudding, white pudding, bologna, etc.
cornish hog's pudding, salami, knackwurst, cervelat
haggis, copocolla, large bologna, etc

17.5 metres or 20 yards
17.5 metres or 20 yards

Cut to size, full length 1-2 m

Sheep Casings

Number of Links




Extra Wide
16-18mms or 5/8ins
18-20mms or 3/4ins
20-22mms or 7/8ins
22-24mms or 1ins

chipolatas, bockwurst, frankfurters, bavarian bratwurst, etc





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