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Jun 22, 2012 09:25 PM

Sausage Casings Toronto

I have been making my own Chorizo skinless sausages using a Moulinex meat grinder model 133. I have long wanted to step up to casings and sausages such as bratwurst but I was in a quandry about what type casings to use and especially where to buy smaller quantities.

I have seen comments in Chowhound suggesting that one should ask the local butcher but the butchers in Bloor West Village, where I live, were more encouraging for me to buy their sausages than for me to be making my own.

Almost by fluke, I came across a company in Toronto that deals with meat processing supplies called the "Yes Group Inc.." and they retail as well as wholesale. They are located in the east end (404 & Woodbine, north of Steeles) and I live in the west end but the trip proved to be well worth the effort.

Yes Group has a neat little casing package, which I bought today, called a "BRAT PACK." This is 60 feet of natural pork casings, which should produce about 50 pounds of size 32-35 sausage and can be refigerated for up to one year---in the tiniest compact package imaginable. The price was under $15.00.

But in addition to the price, size, and quantity, the staff are extremely knowledgeable about every aspect of 'sausage making'. I spoke with Mario Henry but it is very likely that any of the staff will be equally good. Mario gave me a ton of tips and hints about how to handle to casings and convinced me that my current grinder was more than adequate even though Yes Group does not carry Moulinex.

I see from their website that they also carry beef, lamb, and collagen casings. In retrospect I regret not looking at their spices but maybe another time. I'll post again later to let you know how my bratwurst turns out.

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  1. Oh please. If you go to your butcher and ask for a special order, including pounds of meat and a few hog casings, they should be only too pleased to get a couple on your behalf. They cost nothing and it's good for business. On that basis alone you should get your casings "fresh" or on an as-needed basis. But even more than that, you need to remember that casings are raw intestines and raw intestines STINK like you wouldn't believe. Even in an air-tight package, I wouldn't want them in my fridge for any length of time.

    Also, in my experience, 60' of hog casings (assuming all the casings are whole and fine- not a given), will produce 30 lbs of sausage (about 5 lbs per 10' length). Good luck!

    1. Do you know whether Yes Group carries pink salt or cure? I have been looking for this for several weeks now, without success.

      7 Replies
      1. re: LJS2

        They don't.

        Canada Compounds in Vaughan, however, does carry a heck of a lot of supplies, including Prague Powder and their own version of Bactoferm LHP (pediococcus acidilactici & pediococcus pentosaceus), and as it happens, I'm making a run up this Wednesday to get myself kitted out.

        It's not that far from Nella Cutlery and Ontario Gas & BBQ, which might make for a fun (if expensive) trip north.

        1. re: biggreenmatt

          I noticed Canada Compound also sells casings. Sheep casings are harder to find and usually expensive, i might check the place out.

          Also close to Bass Pro Shops, Sail...if you're into that sort of thing (which I am).

          1. re: grandgourmand

            Huh. I just special order them from my butcher- Cheryl at the Meat Department on Danforth, east of Broadview.

            Out of curiosity, what do casings usually cost? I'd be shocked that a throw-away product like intestines would run any significant $.

            1. re: biggreenmatt

              I might have to check them out.

              Pork casings, I don't know the per lb. price. They are cheap. Sheep casings, though are harder to find than pork. I've bought them a couple times from Jerry's Supermarket on Danforth between greenwood and coxwell. They come in a coil that does around 3lbs of sausage and it cost around $10 per coil. I'm saying "expensive" and "harder to find" in relation to pork casings. The collagen casings that are same diameter as sheep are cheap, but I don't like using them.

              How long does a special order take to fill? I'm talking about the ability to walk in and buy.

              1. re: grandgourmand

                Dunno, really.

                When I make sausage, I tend to invite people over to share in the work and the spoils and to get a good feed in. This means that I'm clearing schedules and putting in my order a good week or so in advance.

                Call up Cheryl @ Meat Department (or whoever your local butcher happens to be) and ask how long they need to fill a different, but not strange or obscure, special order.

                From my experience, pro butchers love odd requests for things that aren't common. How much more interesting sourcing and ordering stuff like casings, pounds of pork fat, offal (etc.) for someone who knows what to do with it than filling another order for steak and chicken and burgers.

                1. re: biggreenmatt

                  I'll give them a making some sausage on Sunday. 5lbs of pork (haven't decided flavouring yet) and 3lbs of breakfast for which I'll need the sheep casing. I called them and they wouldn't give me a price, only that it's cheap. Is this in the old Blackstone location? I guess the new place is more accomodating.

                  I tend to focus on the old-school butchers because they are almost always willing to sell casing. And if you go to an italian place that sells Barese sausage, odds are they'll have the sheep casing on hand. My experience with newer, higher end places, not so much. They want you to buy their ready-made products. I usually don't buy from these places.

                  1. re: grandgourmand

                    They're the new incarnation of the Friendly Butcher. Awesome people and from what I understand, their "pedigree" is from Cumbrae's. Little more expensive than an old-school butcher's, but their product is excellent and reliable.

                    Oh, and if you speak to Cheryl, let her know that Matt sent ya their way!

      2. I just buy them at Highland Farms.


        2 Replies
        1. re: Davwud

          I get them at Highland farms as well.

          1. re: AMarshall

            I had some bad experiences with Highland Farms casing. Too many short links, a pain in the ass to work with. Had some breakage issues as well.

        2. I usually just go to the Healthy Butcher. I've bought both pork and sheep casing with no advance notice.


          1 Reply
          1. re: wontonfm

            I've bought them at both Cumbrae's and Gasparro's without any advance notice.