Can you eat collagen casing?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question, “Can you eat collagen casing?” with an in-depth analysis of collagen casing, how to store collagen casing, how to prepare sausage casings, the types of collagen casings and some advantages of collagen casings. 

Can you eat collagen casing?

Yes, you can eat collagen casings. Collagen casings are edible except for a few thick collagen casings commonly used for summer sausage or salami, as these are difficult to chew.  

What is collagen casing?

Collagen casing is an artificial type of sausage casing that is mostly used for dry sausages, however, it can also be used for other sausage types, for instance, breakfast sausage, snack sticks, smoked sausage, bratwurst and summer sausage.

It is formed from the animal skin, hide, bones, tendons and even from fish or poultry and is pretty delicate, so it must be handled with care. Smoke can penetrate it. It shrinks when filled with meat. 

Though collagen casings also come from natural products, they are mainly processed using an extensive procedure. It is formed by extrusion through a die to the required diameter, dried and shirred into small sticks up to 41 cm in length that consists of as much as 50 m of the casing. 

In another process, a form of dough is co-extruded with the meat mixture, and a coating is formed by treating the exterior with a calcium solution to fix the coating.

Types of collagen casings

Collagen casings come in a variety of ranges: some common examples include fresh, processed, rounds and middles.

  • Fresh casings: These are safe to consume and do not require soaking. Fresh casings are clear and are ideal for fresh and breakfast sausages.
  • Processed casings: These are also safe to consume and make an ideal companion for hot dogs, smoked and preserved sausage.
  • Round casings: These are not safe for consumption and are mainly used for sausages, for instance, bologna and summer sausage.
  • Middle casings: These are also not safe for consumption and are mainly used for bologna and salami.

Why should collagen casings be preferred?

Following are the reasons why collagen casing should be preferred over others:

  • Safety: Collagen casing is made up of a safe material that is free from any health risks. 
  • Ease of use: It is ready to use straight out of the box, with no need of soaking and untangling bundles
  • Speed of use: Easy and quick to stuff and load on the tube 
  • Consistent size: Reliable diameter and sausage length
  • Appearance and taste: Great-looking, healthy and delicate with a good bite 

Tips to store collagen casing

For proper storage of the collagen casings, follow the tips below:

  • Do not over twist the collagen casing, you only need one and a half to two twists.
  • Rehydrate old casings in a cooler overnight.
  • Do not overstuff collagen casings exceeding their recommended range, otherwise, it will create a mess.
  • Be careful of the humidity in the oven. Low humidity causes the casings to be tough.
  • You do not need to soak edible casings. Stuff such casings dry. 
  • You have to soak casings that are not edible for three to five minutes in a non-iodized salt in one cup per gallon of water.
  • Keep the bag. Place remaining casings in a sealed bag.
  • Keep the bag sealed as the casings must not dry out or lose moisture. Put the bad in a refrigerator or a cooler so the casings hold moisture.
  • Do not leave the casings unsealed. Once, the casing dries out, you will not be able to use them.

How to prepare sausage casings?

It is very essential to prepare sausage casings before stuffing them at home. They come covered in salt so you will first need to wash all of the salt out of them.

  • Place the casings in a container and allow the water to flow over them. Do this gently, so they do not get tangled.
  • Soak the casings in cool water for about thirty minutes before rinsing them with fresh water one more time.
  • By taking one casing at a time, rinse cold water within the interior of the casing to get rid of any salt. Repeat the process for all the casings.
  • Once you have completed washing all casings, place them in a container of water with one end suspended over the side of the container. This way you will not spend time seeking to locate the opening to each casing.


In this short article, we have provided an answer to the question, “Can you eat collagen casing?” with an in-depth analysis of collagen casing, how to store collagen casing, how to prepare sausage casings, the types of collagen casings along with some advantages of collagen casings.