What Is Beef Bung? What You Need To Know

If you’re a fan of sausages, you may have heard of beef bung.

But what exactly is it?

Is it safe to eat?

And why is it used in certain types of sausages?

In this article, we’ll answer all your questions about beef bung and explore its role in the world of sausage-making.

So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn about this unique ingredient that’s been used for centuries to create some of the most delicious sausages around.

What Is Beef Bung?

Beef bung is the appendix of a cow. It is a natural sausage casing that is used in the production of large caliber sausages such as mortadella, bologna, salami, and coppas. The beef bung is the end of the cow’s large intestine and is sold in caps that are approximately 4.5″ to 5″ in diameter and 18″ long.

Beef bung is a non-edible casing that is packed in salt for preservation. It is important to note that due to refrigeration requirements, natural casings like beef bung cannot be shipped outside of the U.S. When properly refrigerated and packed in purified salt, beef bung has an indefinite shelf life.

The History Of Beef Bung In Sausage-making

Casings have been utilized in the production of sausage and processed meat products for centuries. Beef bung, in particular, has a long history in sausage-making. In the past, sausage production was limited to the amount of available animal intestines. Beef bung, being one of the largest and most accessible parts of a cow’s intestine, was an ideal casing for large caliber sausages.

The use of beef bung in sausage-making dates back to ancient times. The Greeks and Chinese are known to have made sausages using animal intestines as casings. During the Middle Ages, the use of beef bung became more widespread in Europe as the demand for sausages increased.

In the early 20th century, artificial casings made of collagen and cellulose were introduced, which reduced the reliance on natural casings like beef bung. However, beef bung remains a popular choice for large-diameter sausages due to its distinct traditional look and texture.

Today, beef bung is still used in sausage-making, especially for traditional sausages like mortadella, bologna, salami, and coppas. It is an essential part of the process that determines the final size and shape of the sausage product.

Why Is Beef Bung Used In Sausages?

Beef bung is used in sausages because of its large size and unique properties. Its wide diameter allows for the production of large caliber sausages, making it ideal for products like mortadella and coppas. Additionally, the beef bung casing has a traditional look and texture that is highly desirable in many types of sausages.

When preparing the beef bung casing for use, it is important to thoroughly rinse it to remove any salt and other impurities. The casing can then be stuffed with the desired meat mixture and hung to dry and cure. During this process, the casing will continue to shrink and form a tight skin across the meat, creating a distinctive appearance and texture.

Another benefit of using beef bung in sausage production is its ability to help block out bad bacteria. When soaked in warm water that has been inoculated with a mold culture like Penicillium nalgiovense, the casing can create a gas seal that allows moisture to leave the salami while keeping bad bacteria from entering. This helps to ensure a safe and high-quality end product.

Is It Safe To Eat Beef Bung?

Beef bung is not intended for consumption and is only used as a natural sausage casing. However, it is important to note that the beef bung, like any other part of the cow, is processed carefully before being sold. The mucous membranes are removed, and the section is washed and cleaned thoroughly before being salted and graded. This ensures that there is no slimy texture and that it is indistinguishable from any other part of the cow.

While some people believe that pig rectum is used as a substitute for calamari due to its similar texture when deep-fried, there isn’t any proof that this substitution is happening. It is also important to note that pig rectum and intestine are processed carefully before being sold, just like beef bung.

It is crucial to purchase beef bung sausage casings from reputable retailers, as cleaning and preservation of these casings are essential for food safety. Before using these casings, they should be flushed, and it is important to note that they are not edible.

How Is Beef Bung Prepared For Sausage-making?

Before using beef bung for sausage-making, it is important to properly clean and prepare it. The beef bung cap is the cecum, which is the start of the large intestine. Into it, but not at the end, enters the small intestine or rounds, hence the hole. So if your bungcap is long enough, it will have the hole. Short ones would have been cut beneath it.

To prepare beef bung for sausage-making, first remove it from the salt and rinse it thoroughly under cool, running water. Soak it in cool water for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days to remove any excess salt and odor. After soaking, rinse and flush the casing in clear running water to remove any residual salt.

Once cleaned and prepared, beef bung can be used for large-diameter sausages like capicola, veal sausage, large bologna, and cooked salami. It has a distinctly traditional look and texture that is perfect for traditional sausage-making methods.

It is important to note that beef bung casings should be flushed before using and are not edible. Trust only beef bung sausage casings for sale from reputable retailers, as cleaning and preservation of these casings is crucial for food safety. Additionally, beef bung casings are incredibly durable and never edible.

Other Uses For Beef Bung In The Food Industry

Aside from its use as a natural sausage casing, beef bung has other applications in the food industry. One such use is as a casing for traditional Scottish haggis. Haggis is a savory pudding made from sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs, mixed with oats and spices, and encased in a sheep’s stomach. However, due to regulations in the United States and Canada that prohibit the use of sheep’s lung in food products, beef bung has become a common substitute for the traditional casing.

Beef bung can also be used as a casing for other specialty meats such as blood sausage and head cheese. These meats are typically made by cooking various parts of an animal and then mixing them with spices and other ingredients before being encased in a natural casing. Beef bung is a popular choice for these types of meats because of its large diameter and durability.

In addition to its use as a casing, beef bung can also be used in the production of gelatin. Gelatin is a protein substance derived from collagen that is commonly used as a gelling agent in food products such as jellies, marshmallows, and gummy candies. Beef bung contains high levels of collagen, making it a valuable source of gelatin.