Are you a fan of smoked sausages? Have you even started making your own kielbasa?
You know it takes time and care to season, grind, and stuff the sausage meat. Then comes the fun part: smoking your kielbasa. If you’re at this step, maybe you’re wondering, does smoke penetrate sausage casings?
Whether you’re relatively new or you’ve got a lot of experience smoking sausages, such information is still useful. After all, smoke gives sausage links a distinctive flavor, and you don’t want to stuff them into casings if doing so will prevent smoke from penetrating.
In this article, you’ll discover that smoke can get through sausage casings to flavor the meat. Natural casings are really popular for smoking sausage, and you can use fibrous casings too (which are much tougher but take longer to smoke). Keep reading for more details.
Can Smoke Penetrate Sausage Casing?
Luckily, no matter the casing, smoke will penetrate into the sausage. Virtually all casings act this way, whether synthetic or natural.
Therefore, there’s no need to worry about stuffing your sausage into a casing. But although all casings are penetrable, they don’t offer the same results. That’s why you should familiarize yourself with the different types of casings to determine the best one for your needs.
Types of Sausage Casings
Sausage casings should hold the stuffed meat together and let flavors and spices mix together. When smoking sausages at home, it’s vital to use a casing that can withstand various conditions. Many sausage lovers prefer to hang their sausage links in a smoker. For that, the casing has to be durable so that it doesn’t tear.
Furthermore, if you want to lay the sausages down, the type of casing can determine whether the grate will leave marks or not.
Natural casings are the most popular for smoked sausages. They’re edible and made from pig, cow, or sheep intestines. These casings aren’t thick, so smoke tends to penetrate much better. Therefore, if you enjoy the smoky flavor, these casings might be your preferred choice.
It’s worth mentioning that working with natural casings requires time; you must soak them in water for at least one hour. Doing so will clean the casings, loosen them up, and help keep them tender instead of tough. That way, shaping sausages will be much easier. After soaking the casings, wash them a couple of times to get rid of the brine and salt. With all these steps, the sausages should have a nice texture and perfect, smoky flavor.
Unlike natural casings, fibrous casings aren’t edible. These casings’ skin is tough, so it takes a longer time for the sausage to smoke. They’re not as porous as natural casings. These casings are suitable for those looking for uniformity. It’s much easier to control the sausage’s size and the meat’s weight with fibrous casings.
Now that you know that smoke can penetrate any type of casing, it’s time to determine whether you prefer natural or fibrous casings. While natural casings are more penetrable, they aren’t as durable as fibrous casings. On the other hand, fibrous casings might not give you the smoky sausage you love.
Try both options to see which type of sausage better suits your taste buds.