Cured Sausage Casing Diameter - Cured Sausage 204
Cured Sausage Casing Diameter
For Fibrous Casings, you are ranging from 1.5" all the way up to 2.9", and you can even use some specialty sausage casings up to 4.6". These can change the taste of your finished product in a few ways. First, if you get 2.5 lb of cheese per 25 lb batch and you have a smaller casing, then your slice is going to be smaller, and any cheese in there will be more dominant as it has less meat to contend with. So, if you really like the taste of cheese in your summer sausage or whatever you are making, a smaller casing might be better for you. Conversely, if you want the cheese to be an accent, you can use a larger casing or less cheese, or people can always slice a piece of cheese and add it to a cracker with the summer sausage.
The size of your casing is also going to affect the amount of smoke flavor there is in each slice or bite. It doesn’t really matter how long you smoke a cured sausage; the smoke is only going to penetrate so far. So on a 2.9" casing, the smoke ring around it will take up much less of the overall product than it will with the 1.5", so the smaller one will have a stronger smoke flavor, as again, it has less unsmoked meat to contend with.
Problems With Snack Sticks?
For Snack Sticks, you are almost certainly going to go with Smoke Collagen, and if you are planning on something else, I would recommend that you rethink that decision. Smoked collagen is tough enough to stand up to being hung in a smokehouse and gives you the best-finished appearance with a snack stick. For some reason, it seems like more and more people are trying to go to the smallest diameter snack stick that they can.
The smallest collagen casing that we sell is a 15mm Smoke; these are really for commercial processors only. You need a very powerful stuffer to use a casing this small, and even a hydraulic stuffer might struggle with this size. A 16mm casing is also, in my mind, too small for a retail customer. The pressure it is going to put on your stuffer and how hard it is going to be to stuff just isn’t worth it.
19mm and 21mm are the sizes you should be using when making it at home. The difference between 16 and 19 mm is 1/10th of an inch. That is not enough to make any type of difference in the taste; if you add cheese, then you MIGHT be able to notice a slight difference between a 16 and a 21mm as you might get more cheese in an individual bite, but it would be a very small difference. The real difference here is in appearance and ease of processing. You might want the pencil-thin snack sticks because that is what you saw at the gas station, but at home, you will be happier with the results if you use a slightly larger casing.