Hog casings for natural sausage skins are mostly made from the main intestine which measures approx. 20 yards in length.
The total length of this intestine is referred to as either the 'runner' or a 'set'.
The calibre (diameter) of natural hog casings can range from 28 mm up to 44 mm and when calibrated are offered in sizes of 2 mm
increments e.g. 28/30 mm, 30/32 mm etc.
In contrast to sheep casings the narrower sizes in hog casings are the most valuable with the wider sizes being of less value.
Hog casings are not generally graded as A, A/B or C but emphasis is placed upon removal of holes and 'whiskers' (small capillaries which
disappear during cooking) to improve the quality.
Chitterlings, hog bungs and hog fat ends are also used in the production of some types of sausages.
Hog casings are used to make the following types of sausage:
Pork or beef sausages, Butcher's thick sausages, Cumberland sausage,
Boerwors, Frankfurters, Smoked sausage, Liver sausage, Pepperoni and
Again thick sausages described as 'traditional', 'premium' or 'finest' are most
likely to be made with natural hog casings.
On packaged thick sausages, made with natural casings, the ingredients are likely to "Filled into natural pork casings".
Hog casings have the same characteristics as sheep casings with the traditional curved shape.
Again it is not necessary to prick sausages made with natural hog casings during cooking.
RACKET / MUSIC STRINGS
Hog intestine is more robust and as such has less elasticity than sheep intestine or beef serosa.
Hog intestines were found not to be suitable for surgical suture manufacture but had some limited use for racket strings particularly
for lacrosse and real tennis rackets also for some heavier gauge musical strings.
Generally, however, hog intestine would not be used if sheep intestine or beef serosa was more readily available.