At The New Zealand Casings Co, we believe that Mother Nature does it best. So why mess with it. That’s why our sausages have only 2 ingredients – natural sheep casings and salt. In fact, natural sheep casings are so good just as they are that water is the only thing we use during processing.
Our casings are only sourced from New Zealand farms, where the animals are free range, grass-fed and fully traceable from farm gate to plate. All our casings are processed in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand by our team of passionate sausage casing guru’s.
Casings are the forgotten super-hero of the humble sausage. That’s because without a good sausage casing, you can’t have a good sausage. Your sausage casing is what keeps all your carefully chosen ingredients, flavours and juices in and it also dictates the texture and eating experience of your final sausage. Sausage making aficionados are obsessed with having the right sausage ‘snap’ or ‘pop’ when you bite into a sausage, which all comes down to the casing you use. Natural casings give the best sausage snap. So don’t ruin your wieners, choose a natural casing.
Sausage casings generally fall into two camps – natural casings or collagen casings. Natural casings are made from the intestine of an animal – usually hog or sheep. The craft and use of natural casings dates back to Ancient Greece and Rome, when the philosophy was about honoring the animal and not wasting anything that can be turned into a tasty and nutritious meal.
Science Experiment or Mother Nature?
At The New Zealand Casings Co we always say ‘never trust a straight sausage’. That’s because if your sausage doesn’t smile, its made from a collagen casing. Collagen Casings were developed in a science lab and are made from the highly processed hides of cattle or hogs. They are typically processed using a number of nasty chemicals – sodium carboxymethylcellulose, ammonium sulfate, mineral oil (otherwise known as liquid paraffin, a highly refined by-product of petroleum distillation) and ammonium hydroxide to name a few common ones. The result is a sausage casing with a wall like soft plastic which means they can’t be twisted into sausage ‘links’, don’t breathe in any of those beautiful BBQ flavours and aromoa’s and are prone to splitting on your barbie (say goodbye to all those flavorsome sausage juices and hello to a dry, tasteless meat stick). Despite all the hocus-pocus, still to this day a collagen casing can not match the tenderness, texture and the all important sausage ‘snap’ of a natural casing.
Sheep casings are not as wide as hog casings (aka they have a smaller diameter). As such, a sausage made with a hog casing will be a lot fatter/wider than a sausage made with a sheep casing.
We believe sheep casings are the best casings you can buy. They have an unrivalled sausage texture, bite and snap and delivery. Sheep casings have the thinnest wall of any natural sausage casing (even thinner than hog) so are less prone to chewyness/being rubbery and have an amazing ‘semipermeable’ wall which breathes, meaning none of your special sausage juices escape but all of the beautiful BBQ/cooking/smoking flavours can permeate the casing and infuse your sausage meat. The end result is a sausage with great flavour, texture and the much prized sausage “snap” that you can only get from a natural sausage casing.
At NZCC we supply some of the best butchers and sausage makers around the globe. Whether you need a container load of salted hanks in barrels or a couple of tubes in a bucket we can tailor a specification to meet your requirements so get in touch with us.
For those of you looking to make your own sossies at home, we wanted you to have the same sausage making experience as the best in the business, so we’ve developed some home user packs you can buy right here from our online shop. Try our 20m/65ft ‘The Craftsman’ pack, which will make appx 6kg/13lb or 100 of your favourite bangers or our 40m/131ft ‘Home Pack Hero’ pack which will yield about 12kg/27lb or 200 wieners. Both of these packs have the casings threaded onto a hard tubes to make it super easy for you to transfer them onto your sausage maker nozzle. For the serious sossie makers out there, our 90m/98yd ‘Butchers Best Friend’ Pack makes 28kg/60lb of sausages or about 460 sausages and is threaded onto soft tubes – so no annoying tangles for you.
Our home user packs are made with ‘A Grade’, Uniform 24/26mm so your sausage will be 24-26mm (1″-1 1/16″) diameter (about the size of a New Zealand $2 coin or a US quarter) and we are proud to have a no ‘shorts’ guarantee for these products. ‘Shorts’ are any short off-cuts of sausage casings that could vary from 1-6 metres (3.3-20ft) in length. There are a number of manufacturers out there who cheekily package and sell these to unsuspecting sossie makers. What they mean for you is more time, more waste, more mess and poor value for money. So send us an order then dust off your sausage maker, find a great recipe and get ready to make all your sausage dreams come true.
When it comes to sausages, history and tradition guides which sausage casings to use for each type of sausage. However, there really is no technical reason that sausages have to be certain sizes, and therefore use certain casings. So we decided to respectfully ignore tradition and just focus on making the best sausage casings in the world. That’s why we make only natural sheep casings.
Our advice is, don’t get too caught up on the size of your sausage, but if you really want to know, our sausage casings are size 24-26mm (1″-1 1/16″) and are great for breakfast sausages, frankfurters (hot dogs), landjaegar, makanek, chipolatas, cabanossi (kabana), bockwurst, nurnberger, chicken, pork, venison or halal sausages, bangers, snags, wieners, sossies, sausage rockets weenies, franks…yep, pretty much anything that you want to look and taste like a sausage. So go ahead, get stuck in and have some fun.