How to Remove Sausage Casings
What gives your favorite Premio mouthwatering sausage links their familiar, distinctive shape? You can thank the humble, yet essential, sausage casing. Each casing keeps a pre-measured amount of perfectly seasoned meat from losing its tube-like form, allowing you to whip up your favorite sausage recipes like a pro.
However, you may sometimes want to remove the sausage casing and use the ground meat for a dish. In that case, taking sausage meat out of the casing is relatively simple.
What Is a Sausage Casing?
Sausage casings are basically thin wrappers. At Premio, the majority of our casings feature all-natural, edible ingredients. That way, you can enjoy the casing if you choose not to remove it.
During cooking, edible casings such as ours support the meat without adding flavor. Nevertheless, casings may add a layer of crispness, depending on the heating method you prefer. For instance, pan-fried sausage links may wind up slightly crisp on the outside and more soft in the middle.
Edible sausage casings can also add to the overall enjoyment and visual appeal of a sausage recipe. However, you can also remove them in a couple of different ways if you want to reshape the loose meat or turn it into crumbles.
Successfully Remove Sausage Casings by Freezing and Slicing
The first method to remove sausage casings begins with putting your sausage links on a baking sheet in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Freezing the links helps firm the meat, making it less likely to stick to the casing.
After 20 minutes, place two or three of the semi-frozen sausage links on a cutting board. With a sharp knife, carefully cut a slit lengthwise along the link. Try not to pierce or disturb the meat.
Starting at the end of your sausage link, roll back the casing gently but firmly using your thumbs. After the casing comes away from the meat, it will rapidly roll off. Continue the process with all of your links. If the meat sticks to the casing, return the links to the freezer for an additional 10 minutes.
Get Sausage Out of the Casing by Parboiling and Slitting
Another way to remove sausage casings involves parboiling your links. Place a medium-sized pot with about two-thirds tap water on the stove. Turn the heat to high, and when the water boils, toss in your sausage links. Only allow them to cook for about two to three minutes. By then, the outside of the links will look grey or light brown.
Remove the parboiled links with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a bowl. Rinse the links immediately with cold water to stop the meat from cooking. Then, pat each link dry with a paper towel.
One by one, place your dry, parboiled sausage links on the cutting board. Pierce the casing at the end of a link with a sharp knife, held blade-side up. Try to get under the casing to avoid making marks in the meat. You may need a bit of patience to get the first slit started. Once you break through it, the casing should roll or fall away with minimal effort.
Helpful Tips to Use Casing-Free Sausage
Now that you know how to remove sausage from the casing, you can buy and use links in completely new ways. Keep in mind that you need to keep raw meat, poultry and casings separate from all other food. Wash your working surfaces, including cutting boards and utensils, after they come in contact with raw meat, poultry and casings. You should also wash your hands with soap for about 20 seconds after handling raw foods.
Below are some extra tips to help you work with casing-free sausage meat:
- Remember that when you remove a sausage casing, your sausage may not keep its shape while cooking. If you want to prepare a sausage link without the casing, you will need to gently handle it until the meat has fully cooked.
- Always discard your sausage link casings immediately after removal. They are no longer needed, and you cannot reuse them.
- If you plan to use your loose sausage in a recipe such as meatloaf, you can squeeze or scoop out any meat that remains in or sticks to the casing after making your cuts.
Are you excited about the endless possibilities you have when working with sausage links? Find top-notch Premio products nearby by using our store locator and start making incredible sausage breakfasts, lunches, entrees and snacks for the whole crew.