Does Smoke Penetrate Sausage Casings?

Are you a fan of sausages that have been smoked? Have you ever begun making your kielbasa?

Yes, smoke penetrates sausage casings. This is why sausages are generally cooked on the outside, rather than inside. 

To achieve this effect, steam must be injected into the casing from outside the sausage so that it seeps through the casing.

It takes a lot of time and care to pick the perfect cut of meat, grind it well, season your sausages to spice them up and (unless you are making skinless sausages,) stuff the sausage meat.

Smoking kielbasa is a fun part of the game. It’s no surprise, then, that most sausage lovers rank it among the best sausages to smoke, and the best part is…it can be easily made at home.

If you are at this point, you might be wondering if smoke can penetrate the sausage casings.

Information like this is still useful, even if you are relatively new or have a lot of experience smoking sausages.

Smoke gives sausage links a distinctive flavor, and you don’t want to stuff them into casings if you want to prevent smoke from penetrating.

In this article, you will discover that smoke can get through sausages to flavor the meat.

If you want to smoke sausage, you can use natural or fibrous casings, these are much tougher and resilient to conditions. If you will be storing some of your sausage casings for use later on, this type is your best pick.

However, do note that natural casings take quite longer to smoke. 

Can Smoke Penetrate Sausage Casing?

Smoke will penetrate the sausage even if it is not in the shell. Most of the time, the casings act this way, whether synthetic or natural.

It is not necessary to worry about stuffing your sausage into a casing. Even though all of them are penetrable, they don’t offer the same results.

To determine the best one for your needs, you should familiarize yourself with the different sausage casing alternatives out there.

Types of Sausage Casings

Sausages should hold the stuffed meat together and let the flavors and spices mix

If you’re making your own sausages, it is important to use a casing that can hold up in different conditions, more so when it comes to smoking them. But if you will be smoking store-bought sausages, then the best you can do is to make sure you pick ones with the right kind of casing.

Sausage lovers prefer to hang their sausage links in a smoker, for those wondering whether you can smoke uncured sausages, sadly, the answer is no. Or at least this isn’t recommended due to several reasons.

That said, if you are going to be hanging your sausages in a smoker, make sure the casing is durable enough so that it doesn’t tear.

If you want to lay the sausages down, the type of casing you use can determine whether the grate will leave marks or not.

Natural Casings

Natural casings are more popular than smoked sausages. They are made out of pig, cow, or sheep intestines.

The smoke tends to penetrate better because they aren’t as thick. If you like the smoky flavor, you might want to choose these casings.

If you want to work with natural casings, you need to soak them in water for at least an hour. It will help to loosen them up, and yes, this further helps make your sausage casings tender, by cleaning them.

Sausages will be easier to shape if that is how it is done. After soaking the casings, wash them a couple of times to get rid of salt and brine.

The sausages should have a nice texture and smokey flavor with all these steps.

Fibrous Casings

In contrast to natural casings, the fibrous ones aren’t good for you. It takes a longer time for the sausage to be smoked because of the tough skin of the casings.

They aren’t as porous as their natural counterparts. Those who are looking for uniformity should use these casings.

It is simpler to control the sausage’s size and the meat’s weight with the help of the fibrous casings. Besides, if you are new to stuffing and closing sausage casings, these should make things a tad easier for you.


Now that you know that smoke can penetrate any type of casing, it is time to decide on whether you prefer natural or fibrous.

Natural casings can be more penetrable, but they aren’t as durable as fibrous ones. It’s possible that the smoky sausage you love won’t be available from the fibrous casings.

However, do note that there are different kinds of wood used for smoking sausages, and picking the right one could make a world of a difference, so keep that in mind too.

All said and done, if you want to find out which type of sausage suits your taste buds, try both natural and fibrous casings.

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