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Casings are generally sold based on their diameter (often referred to as ‘calibre’). Natural sheep casings generally range from 20-30mm, sold as either 20/22 (as in 20-22mm), 22/24, 24/26 or 26/28. Hog casings generally fall between 30-45mm (32/35, 35/38 or 38/42). The sheep sausage casings in our online products are 24-26mm (or 24/26). This means they range from 24mm diameter to 26mm diameter, and that your sausage will therefore end up between 24-26mm. This is about the same size as a NZ $2 coin. The Hog casings we sell are 32/35.
Our motto is that it’s not the size of your sausage that counts. What’s important is the quality of the finished product.
Store your sausage casings in a cool, temperature-controlled environment of between 5°C and 10°C – ideally in the fridge. Store casings away from direct sunlight and heat at all times.
Before stuffing your sausages, it is essential to rinse all salt off the casings by soaking them thoroughly in fresh water. The ideal bathing temperature is between 20°C and 30°C. Avoid water any hotter than 30°C as it may promote bacterial growth and damage the strength and integrity of the casings.
Sheep casings need to be soaked for at least 45 minutes.
Hog casings need to be soaked for at least two hours, or better still overnight.
It's better to very slightly over-stuff than under-stuff your sausages, since fat and moisture will escape during cooking, making the meat shrink. Just be careful that it’s not too much or the skin will snap open when you cook it.