Making sausages at home is an exciting hobby for sausage lovers. You learn which meat combinations suit your taste, how spices enhance the flavor, and the types of casings that are best for your needs. On top of all of that, you need to master how to close sausage casings.
Sealing sausages will give you a link to smoke or grill. While it isn’t that difficult to do so, the steps may vary depending on the casing you’ve chosen. Natural casings are easier to work with, while fibrous casings are tougher. Read on to learn more.
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How to Seal Sausage Casings
Sausages can be stuffed into natural or fibrous casings. Natural casings are thin, so you’ve got to be careful with them. In contrast, fibrous casings are much more durable and tougher. How you’ll close the sausage casing depends on the type of casing.
For natural casings, you don’t need any other materials besides the sausage link. Fibrous casings require twine, or string, and a pair of scissors.
Sealing Natural Casings
Closing natural casings is relatively simple, but you need some practice. Once you have one long sausage, set it down on a surface. Make sure other objects aren’t in your way so that you can work unimpeded.
- Fold the sausage into two identical halves and hold the ends in one hand. Find the middle of the sausage with the other hand and pinch it. Then, twist it. The direction doesn’t matter.
- Grab the sausage by that seal and determine the size – typically, four to six inches. Since the sausage now has two parallel strings, go down to the desired size, and squeeze both ends with the other hand. The sausage will stay like that. At this point, you aren’t going to twist the individual sausage. Instead, you’ll twist both ends.
- Take one link and simply run it through the loop you’ve made. Repeat the second step. You’ve already got the size you need. Pinch both strings of the sausage, twist them, and pull one string through the second loop. Repeat the steps until you get to the end of the sausage.
Check out this video for a great tutorial:
Sealing Fibrous Casings
Fibrous casings are tougher, so you can’t just pinch and twist them – you need some twine or string. Most of these casings come with one end already sealed, so you’ll have to close the other end. Here’s how to do it.
- Before filling, take a small pin and poke a hole at the sealed end of the casing. This helps to let the air out as the casings are stuffed.
- Once you’ve filled the casing, leave a few inches empty so that you can seal that end. Turn the sausage upside-down so that the unfolded end is at the top. Fold it in and then fan-fold it.
- Press the bottom of the fold to squeeze the air out. Grab a pair of scissors in one hand and hold the top of the fold. Make two small cuts at both ends of the fold. Doing so ensures that the twine or the string stays in place.
- Grab a piece of twine or string and fold it in half. Wrap it once around the cuts and tie it together. Ideally, you’ll make a square knot twice. Move the loop to one side and make the square knot with the hanging twine.
- This step is optional if the casing is longer. Pinch the sausage link to the desired size. Grab a piece of twine and wrap it tightly around it.
Here’s a great tutorial video to follow:
Hopefully you now understand how to close sausage casings and feel like you can seal sausages like a butcher!
Be sure to follow the steps and watch the videos for your next batch, and you’ll have some nice, professional-looking sausages.