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I bought some pork sausage and baked them in my oven. The taste was good but the sausage casing were a bit hard to chew.

Should I remove casings before I bake sausages?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I also find them hard to chew when baked, but they are edible. To make them easier to eat, you want to finish them up using a different method to get a crunch on the outside. I find you can either:

  • turn the heat up in your oven at the end, or broil them
  • briefly pan-fry them after they're done cooking in a little bit of oil on a skillet (cast iron preferred)
  • grill them after baking

I usually boil or bake them first, or simmer them in some water in a pan on the stove (not enough to cover them, just enough to kind of steam them) and then finish them on the grill for best flavor and texture. I'd recommend finishing on the grill over any other method.

You can also completely cook them on the grill if preferred, but that can be a bit tricky if they're raw sausage and not pre-cooked, so keep an eye on them and make sure they're done completely throughout.

You can definitely remove the casings, and depending on what dish you're making that may be preferred. However I have had success making an appetizing whole sausage using the above methods.

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It also very much depends on the type of sausage you are using. Some (usually cheap) sausages use an artificial casing which I find makes the sausage at worst leathery and at best a bit chewy.

Assuming you have good quality sausages, the best way to cook them (I find) is to fry them on a cast iron grill pan at a low temperature for a long time, 20-30 minutes usually (maybe less if they are thin) they are done when they start to get sticky and start to "sing".

Casing removal should only really be necessary when you just want the sausage meat itself.

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+1 for cast iron –  Chris Sep 4 '10 at 18:56
    
Typically sausage that's made with artificial casing isn't sold with the casing still there; it's used for things like hot dogs, where the casings are stripped off before they're packaged and sold. (although, some brands of hot dogs use a natural casing). There are processed 'natural' casings that are made from collagen, rather than a direct item taken from an animal, but they don't tend to be any tougher than the old-fashioned casings. –  Joe Sep 5 '10 at 4:05
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+1 for the frying technique. I go for an hour on the very lowest flame I can get. –  slim Jan 14 '11 at 11:50
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The casings are perfectly edible.

If you're finding them chewy, I'd suggest roasting them, you that they fry a little in the fat that renders out, which should crisp them up nicely. It may be the case that you're not cooking them long enough, and giving them a chance to brown sufficiently.

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Pork casings are edible but even though its edible, I wouldn't eat any beef bung casings. I peel it back and slice e.g. sopressata

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