Did you know that the size (width) of your sausage is dictated by the size of the sausage casing that you use?
If you use a 24-26mm / 1" casing, your sausage will be about 1" wide.
Casings are generally sold based on their diameter (often referred to as ‘calibre’).
Natural sheep casings generally range from 20-30mm, sold as either 20-22mm (sometimes stated as 20/22), 22-24mm, 24-26mm or 26-28mm.
Hog casings generally fall between 30-45mm, sold as either 32-35mm, 35-38mm or 38-42mm.
Sheep casings will make a slim, narrow sausage. Hog casings will make a fat, chunky sausage.
The sausage casings in our online sheep casing products are 24-26mm. This means they fall within the natural variation of size range between 24mm diameter to 26mm diameter, and that your sausage will therefore end up between 24-26mm wide (about 1"). This is about the same size as a US Quarter.
Our 24-26mm edible sheep casings would traditionally be used for hot dogs, franks, wieners, breakfast, fresh or cured chorizo, chipolata, merguez, chicken, pork, venison, lamb, beef or halal sausages. They are suitable for fresh or cured sausages and smoking.
The sausage casings in our online hog casing products are 32-35mm. This means they fall within the natural variation of size range between 32mm diameter to 35mm diameter, and that your sausage will therefore end up between 32-35mm wide (about 1 1/4"-1 3/8"). This is about the same size as a US Half Dollar coin.
Our 32-35 mm edible hog casings would typically be used for Italian sausages, bratwurst, knockwurst, kielbasa, fresh or cured chorizo, andouille, chicken, pork, venison, lamb or beef. They are suitable for fresh or cured sausages and smoking.
When it comes to sausages, history and tradition usually guides which sausage casings to use for each type of sausage. A hot dog is traditionally always in a natural sheep casing 24-26mm. A Bratwurst would traditionally always be in a Hog Casing.
However, there really is no technical reason that sausages have to be certain sizes, and therefore use certain casings. An English Pork Sausage will effectively taste the same whether it is in a 32-35mm hog casing or a 24-26mm sheep casing – or in our opinion, even better. So our advice is, don’t get too caught up on the size of your sausage – just get stuck in and have some fun.
It can be really confusing trying to work out how many sausages you can make with your sausage casings. Or how many ft of casings you need to buy for the amount of meat that you have bought/shot so we’ve put together this very handy guide. Print it out and keep it somewhere handy.
As an approximate guide...
For our sheep casings (24-26mm):
- 1m/3.3ft of casings makes 0.7lb of sausages.
- Or if you have 1lb of sausage mixture you will need 4.7ft of casings.
For our hog casings (32-35mm):
- 1m/3.3ft of casings makes 1.2lb of sausages.
- Or if you have 1lb of sausage mixture you will need 2.7ft of casings.