Today, it’s all about casing for snack sticks. To get into details, you need to understand what casings are. Well, the wrapper that encases the meat and creates sausages and snack sticks is called a casing. Casings can be of different types and sizes. You might be wondering what casings are made of and what makes them so important.
Like I said, there are different types of casings. Natural casings are made of intestines of some animals such as sheep, beef, and swine. If you’re confused about the difference between sausages and snack sticks, let me make that clear for you.
Snack sticks are one kind of sausage. But the casing is comparatively smaller in size. The size is what differentiates snack sticks from sausages.
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Now that we’ve cleared the basic idea about snack sticks let’s get into what this article is all about. Today, we’ll answer the question about what size casing for snack sticks you need.
What Size Casings For Snack Sticks
The size of casings for snack sticks can vary from 15 mm to 22 mm. You will notice that the diameter is comparatively smaller than with sausage casings. There are both upsides and downsides to this size.
The reason why snack sticks casing sizes are in a range is that different people prefer them in a different way. For instance, smaller casings are comparatively more challenging to fill.
On the contrary, some think that if the casings are too large, they don’t feel any different than usual sausages. So, the smaller the casing, the better.
So, if you want to choose a size in this range, you need to consider what you value. If you want the procedure of stuffing the meat inside the casing easier, go for casings with a larger diameter.
On the contrary, if you want the snack sticks size to be perfect, consider choosing casings with a smaller diameter. It may not be easy to stuff the meat, but you will certainly be satisfied with the end result.
What Size Casing Should I Use For Breakfast Sausage
As the name suggests, breakfast sausages are popular for serving as a breakfast food. They’re also known as fresh country sausages. These can come in various forms, even though all of them are raw and will need cooking.
For instance, fresh country sausages can come as long coils, individual links, or loose meat.
The fresh country sausage originated in rural America, and they often feature a mild flavor suitable for breakfast. Breakfast sausage casings can be anywhere between 21 mm to 32 mm. However, the ideal size is 22 mm. The ideal length is seven to eight inches.
What Is Standard Size Sausage Casing
A sausage casing size will certainly vary, depending on the sausage type and your preference. For instance, the size of a bratwurst won’t be the same as a snack stick. A snack stick casing is usually between 15 mm to 22 mm, whereas a bratwurst casing can be up to 32 mm.
Note that the diameter also depends on individual preference. Some people prefer their sausages to be thin with smaller diameter casings. In comparison, some people find it bothersome to encase meat in a smaller diameter casing and go for a larger one.
As long as the sausage you’re making has a casing of 15 to 32 mm diameter, you can go for a variety of sausage sizes. Follow your recipe and choose a casing size of your preference.
How Big Is Too Big For A Snack Stick Casing
If you’re considering a snack stick, the casing size should be somewhere between 15 mm to 22 mm. Some people say that 22 mm is too big for snack sticks. However, I don’t think so. Because when you’re dehydrating or smoking snack sticks, they’ll certainly shrink a bit, so I don’t mind the large casing size.
However, if you go larger than that, it will no longer be a snack stick. It will be more appropriate as a hot dog. So, if you’re wondering how big is too big for a snack stick casing, I won’t recommend increasing the casing diameter to any more than 22 mm.
If you’re considering casings for sausages in general, the size can get much bigger. Different sausage types are prepared using casings of different sizes.
For instance, standard sausage sizes can be up to 32 mm, whereas bolognas can feature casings that are 42 mm in diameter. So, the measurement can widely vary, depending on what you’re making.
Tips for Choosing The Right Casings for Snack Sticks
Even though there are many options when it comes to sausage casings, not all of them are equally suitable for snack sticks. You have to think about the type and size when choosing snack stick casings.
I’ve included a few tips below to help you select the perfect casings for your snack sticks.
- Edible natural sheep casings and edible collagen casings are the two best options for snack sticks.
- Keep the casing size between 15 mm to 22 mm.
- Note that collagen casings can be both edible and non-edible.
- You don’t need to soak snack stick casings. They can be used right out of the box.
- Snack stick casings can be either clear or mahogany-colored. Note that the taste remains the same, regardless of the color.
- Snack stick casings are strong enough to be smoked and cooked in the oven most of the time. However, you need to make sure that the casings are thin enough if you want to smoke them yourself.
What Kind of Casings For Snack Sticks Do You Need
As I have mentioned before, the best casings you can use for snack sticks are either natural sheep casings or collagen casings. Note that collagen casings are made from natural components, beef protein to be precise.
As for natural casings, they are made from the intestines of cows or sheep. Natural casings come in salted brine, unlike collagen casings that you can use right out of the box. You need to keep them soaked in warm and clear water. Remember that you’ll have to change the water regularly.
You can store natural casings in the refrigerator. It also helps reduce the bad odor that comes from these casings. You can grill, fry, or broil when using natural casings because they’re entirely edible. You can store natural casings in the refrigerator for up to one year.
What Are Snack Stick Casings Made Of
Snack stick casings can be either natural or collagen. Natural casings are made of beef or sheep intestine. On the other hand, Collagen casings are made from beef protein and formed into the structure of casings.
There are a few fundamental differences between these two casings. For instance, collagen casings can be used directly. In comparison, natural casings require some preparations before they can be used for snack sticks.
Sheep casings are more tender and smaller in diameter, which makes them perfect for snack sticks. If you’re considering natural casings, sheep is the best option to go for.
On the other hand, Collagen casings are comparatively inexpensive and less troublesome. These casings go through a smoking process to make meat protein into the end product.
There are, of course, other types of casing that feature different raw materials. However, they’re not usually used for making snack sticks, so I haven’t discussed them in this section.
Do Snack Sticks Need Casing
Even though snack sticks are only best with casings, you can cook them without casings too. However, the cooking process will be different. Instead of using the usual way, you’ll have to follow the steps you use to make beef jerky.
If you’re making snack sticks without casings, make sure to avoid fat trimming or keep it to the minimum. The process will render out most of the fat.
So, the answer to your question is no. You don’t ‘need’ casings for making snack sticks. However, if you wish to smoke them the usual way and retain their original taste, you’ll need casings for the process. Smoking snack sticks require encasing them in wrappers.
So, I would recommend getting the proper casings for making the perfect type of snack sticks. If you get the type and size right, there’s nothing stopping you from smoking snack sticks exactly as you want.
Hopefully, I’ve answered all your questions regarding what size casings for snack sticks you need. Remember that cooking requires a lot of changes, so there can’t be a fixed answer to anything. Everyone cooks and creates recipes in their own way. So, understanding the snack stick casing sizes is also something you need to figure out based on your preference. All I can do is provide you with a reference or range to get your desired outcome. As long as you stick to the range of 15 mm to 22 mm, your snack sticks will turn out as beautiful as you want them to be.