How to tell if sausage casing is edible? Can you Eat?

Sausages are usually sold in a casing. There are sausages casings that are edible and some are not. Most people prefer sausage casings that are edible and choosing the sausage casing that is edible can be a great challenge. The sausage casings should be studied clearly in order to know the difference between the edible sausage casing and the inedible one.

So how can one tell if sausage casing is edible?

Some casings are made up of cellulose or synthetic casing, these should be removed. The casing that is very thick or plastic-like should not be eaten. The edible casing is mostly made up of beef collagen and is fragile. It is mostly permeable to smoke and shrinks when it is filled with meat.

Sausage casing can be artificial or natural. This article will explain the casing, criteria used when casing, factors to consider when buying the best sausage casing, and many others. It acts as a guide to a user providing general information about cases. It will also explain why cases should be eaten together with the casing.

Sausage casing

Sausage casing

There are different types of sausage casing such as artificial (cellulose or Collagen) and natural. Collagen is mostly used for dry sausages and is an artificial type of casing. It is mostly made of beef and is fragile. It is permeable to smoke and when filled with smoke, it shrinks. Cellulose casing is mostly composed of synthetic materials. It is not prone to breakage and is easy to handle.

The natural casing is useful for many sausages such as pepperoni, wieners, fresh sausages, and many more. They are mostly made from animal intestines or esophagus and bladder. They adapt quickly to the shape and size of the sausage and are soft.

Eating sausage casing

Cellulose or synthetic casing should not be consumed. If the casing is thick then it means that it should not be eaten. Salami types of casing are very hard to chew. Collagen casing is mostly edible.

The plastic casing has no taste at all and chewing them is very difficult. It is very easy to recognize since it is very smooth and uniform. Most of the sausages with edible casing are curved and mostly made of cellulose which gives the sausage a uniform shape.

Removing sausage casing

All sausage casings that are not edible should be removed and this should be done before the sausage is cooked or fried.

Tips to remove the casing include:

  • For Frankfurter sausages, it is advisable to remove the casing after cooking because removing it before cooking can be very hard.
  • A plastic casing should be peeled off slowly and carefully to avoid the meat from sticking to the casing which can make some part of the sausage go into waste.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut the sausage casing lengthwise. Peel the casing slowly to ensure that it does not fall apart.

Types of sausage casings

Types of sausage casings

Sausage casings are of two types, natural and artificial. They are used depending on the type of sausage and the source of sausage. The casing helps in cooking the meat and the edible casing gives a different feel when eaten.

These casings are of five kinds. They include;

a) Natural casing

b) Artificial cellulose type

c) Artificial made of collagen

d) Plastic

e) Vegetarian

1)    Natural casing

These casing are made of animal intestines.


  • Casing is permeable to the air outside
  • It is strong
  • It is edible
  • Its thickness depends on the type of animal source.
  • Has a cylindrical curved structure

2) Artificial cellulose casing.

This type of casing is mostly composed of cellulose. When exposed to conditions that are moist, they dissolve with time. These cellulose casings are mostly made from wood pulp/linter.


  • I) The casing is very strong
  • II) It has good sheer
  • III)It is previous to smoke
  • IV)Can be peeled off after the cooking period is complete.
  • V It is not edible
  • Vi The casing is clear.

3) Artificial made of collagen

It is made from the bones of animals and cartilages. It is artificially made from natural edible materials.


  • I) The casing is edible
  • II) The casing takes different shapes and sizes
  • III) Made from bone, tendons, hide, and cartilage
  • IV) The casing is popularly used when making Snack sticks, sausages for breakfast, summer sausages, and smoked sausages.

4) Plastic casing

This kind of casing is made from linking polymers /monomers by chemical bonding. This casing is usually thick and does not give room for bacteria and moisture to enter the meat. It keeps the sausage in a good and uniform shape.


  • i) The casing is not edible
  • ii) It is made of plastic materials that are artificially made
  • iii) Mostly preferred for cooked sausage
  • iv) Are usually Round, straight/curved

5) Vegetarian casing

It is made from glycerin of vegetables, water, and starch/sugars. The casing contains carbohydrates that are molded as a rode. It is the most delicate kind of casing.


  • I) The casing is edible
  • II) It is plant-based and contains sugars, carbohydrates, and glycerin.
  • III) It is very delicate

Factors to consider when choosing sausage casing

a. Flexibility

The casing should be flexible to ensure that it does not break easily.

b. Availability

The casing to be used should be readily available. One should not use a sausage casing that is not easy to get.

c. Edibility

The sausage casing to be used should be edible as many people prefer the sausages with edible casings. For people that do not eat the casing then it is advisable to buy sausages with inedible casing.

Frequently asked questions

Question 1: How do I store my sausage casing?


The casing that has not been used can be stored properly by covering it with salt or a solution of brine and stored in a fridge.

Question 2: Is it necessary to soak your sausage casing?


Soaking the casing in lukewarm water is very important as it makes the casing more flexible and easy to use.


Many people prefer sausages for preparing quick lunches or brunches. Sausages are prepared using different kinds of casings. The information about the specific type of casing used is stored in the label for the sausage.

Some of the artificial casing like the plastic one may give the consumer a difficult time when peeling them off. The natural casings are the best as they are edible and one can peel them off with ease therefore highly recommended than the artificial ones.

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