Natural Sheep Casings are the thinnest and most delicate of all the Natural Casings and range in size from 16 mm up to 28 mm. Sometimes referred to as Sheep Runners they are the most commonly used natural casings after Hog Casings. They are cleaned, graded and cured in salt.
There is also approximately 25 yards of casing before processing begins. Once the runners have been cleaned they are all flushed and graded with water and cut according to their width before being measured up into bundles and cured in salt. The casings are normally graded by width 16/18 mm, 18/20 mm, 20/22 mm, 22/24 mm and either 24/+mm or 24/26 and 26/+ mm. On the continent they are also graded by strength into ‘A’ grade, ‘A/B’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ grades.
In U.K. the most commonly used sizes are the 22/24 mm, and the 24/+ mm in ‘A/B’ grade which U.K. butchers use for their premium thin sausage. At Christmas huge quantities of 18/20 and 20/22 Sheep Casings are used for chipolatas. They are more delicate to handle than Hog Casings but this also means that when the final customer bites into the cooked sausage you are not even aware there is a skin on them.
They are used for most premium thin fresh sausages, but also for Frankfurters, Hot Dogs, thin Bratwursts such as Nurembergers and for Pepperoni style dried sausages. They are used in simply vast quantities in Germany who import Sheep Casings from all over the world and in particular New Zealand and Australia. Filled nicely they will give a sausage a lovely curve, a good ‘bloom’, and being a natural product they expand and contract with the meat. A typical 24/+ mm Sheep Casing will fill approximately 1.5 lbs of sausage for every 2 yards of runner. Sheep Casings are sold in bundles either dry salted or in brine and are now available ready spooled. All our Sheep Casings are of British origin and are available either in small packs of 40 meters or butcher packs of 80 meters.