high caliber blog handling procedure natural sausage casing

Natural Sausage Casing Safe Handling Procedures

Natural Sausage Casing by High Caliber Products

High Caliber provides high-quality, traditional natural sausage casing that non-manufactured. The sausage stays tender, juicy and fresh.

blog handling procedure natural sausage casing photoThere are many benefits to Natural Casing:

  • Variable permeability allows the product to “breathe”
  • Experience a distinctive “snap” that only natural casing can provide
  • Help protect and retain the fine flavor in your sausage
  • Sausage maintains a fresher appearance and has an extended shelf life
  • “Natural” product influences consumers,  non-manufactured

What natural casing should I use for my sausage?


Lamb casing is perfect for smaller fresh breakfast sausage or smoked pepperoni sticks. Even though they are a bit more delicate, these casings are high quality and translucent and white in color to provide a glossy, professional look.


Hog casings are ideal for fresh, smoked and dry sausages. Uniform in size and shape allow for consistency and minimal waste.  They have a tender and firm bite, providing just the right resistance. Nice transparent in color.  Perfect for any type of sausage including larger Bratwurst links, Italian, Chorizo, Garlic or Smokies.


Beef casing is used in traditional ring-shaped or large diameter sausages.  This high-quality casing has a firm bite and uniform in shape and size.  Suitable for both dry and cooked applications.

blog handling procedure natural sausage casing photo

Here is a link to a chart showing Natural Sausage Casing sizes that we carry.

Pro tip: The casing should be about double the size of the diameter of your sausage stuffer tube.

What is the proper way to handle natural sausage casing?

After selecting the right size of natural sausage casing for the task at hand, keep in mind that a bit of preparation is required.

  1. Place the natural casing on a counter and take out enough strands for the batch of sausage that you are about to process.
  2. Rinse the selected casing well to get rid of as much salt as you can.
  3. Place the rinsed casing in a “soaking bath”. The temperature of the water should be no higher than 90º F (32° C) and should ideally soak for at least one hour. This procedure hydrates the casing and makes it easier to work with.

The natural casing is now ready to use. Place the casing on the stuffer tube and proceed with stuffing your sausage casing.

Can I keep my leftover casing?

blog handling procedure natural sausage casing photo

If you have casings leftover, you can preserve them for use at a later date but you have to store them properly.

  1. Allow the liquid to drain all liquid from the leftover casings, getting rid of as much water as possible.
  2. Add salt to cover and place in a clean, air-tight container.
  3. Store in the refrigerator.

With this method, hog and sheep casing in their original pack should last for 6 – 18 months. Beef casing should last for 4 – 8 months.

Note: It is NOT RECOMMENDED to keep your natural sausage casing in the freezer. This may damage the casing and make it harder to work with, even if thawing were to occur slowly.

As always, we are here to help! Please call one of our locations and a friendly, knowledgeable staff member will be happy to assist you with your sausage-making needs.

If you are new to sausage-making, click here for a great article How to Make Sausage at Home, A Step-by-Step Guide.

Want more pro tips for your home processing endeavours? Click here to sign up for our newsletter and be the first to know when new products, events and tips are released.

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