Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about shipping
What are your normal delivery times?
The couriers we use are DHL and Royal Mail. Shipping options can be chosen at checkout and are also calculated by Postcode and Weight. Standard UK Delivery is £3.95 and is delivered within 2-4 days and Next Day Delivery is available for Mainland UK orders, as long as they are placed before 1pm. This excludes Northern Ireland, Highlands and Islands. More delivery options can be seen on our Returns & Delivery page.
Do You Deliver outside the UK?
Yes, we do. If you live in Europe we will be able to deliver to you. All taxes and duties are calculated at checkout so you know exactly how much your order will cost without any surprises. If you live outside of Europe and would like a shipping quote please contact us at [email protected] with your order and shipping address.
UPS is our courier for all international shipments and a tracking number will be sent to your email once despatched.
All delivery information can be found here.
Will I be notified when my order is ready for despatch?
Yes, you will receive an e-mail confirmation that your order has been processed and will be despatched that day.
Will I be sent a tracking Number?
Yes, all our orders are sent with a tracking number. Once the order has been dispatched you will be sent a tracking number. Your tracking number will be with DHL or Royal Mail unless a specific courier has been selected.
What if I haven't received an order confirmation?
We would ask you to wait a few hours for the confirmation to be delivered before contacting the office during working hours. Additionally, please check you have entered your email address correctly, or check your SPAM folder, as it may have been automatically stopped and moved into your SPAM or junk mail folder instead of being sent to your inbox.
How quickly should I expect a response to my order online?
You will receive an e-mail confirmation of your order. Most e-mail receipts will be received within fifteen minutes.
Why don't you ship casings outside the UK?
Unfortunately due to Brexit rules, shipping animal products is very difficult and the costs incurred on this make it unaffordable.
Questions about Checkout/Ordering Process
I am having a problem with the checkout page, what should I do?
If you are having problems getting an order through for whatever reason, please do just make a note of the items you want and call us on 01642 241395 and if we can not solve the problem, we will take the order over the phone. We are open 8am - 4.30 pm Monday - Friday.
I need some advice on your products are you able to help?
Here at Weschenfelder, we endeavour to help our customers as much as possible. Therefore if you have any questions, need any advice or if you are just stuck and in need of a little help, please feel free to contact us and we will strive to help you.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 01642 241395
Socials: Our Instagram and Facebook pages are best.
I need some advice on your products are you able to help?
A lot of websites and books say that Hog Casings are the easiest to use for beginners. They are certainly more robust and easier to thread over the nozzle of your stuffer, but we feel with just a little more patience the Sheep Casings are not that much harder. We would advise to make the size of sausage you really prefer and choose the casings accordingly. Hog Casings will make a thicker Cumberland or BBQ type of sausage while Sheep Casings make a thinner 'butcher' or breakfast style sausage. For ease of use, the pre-spooled casings are a great option for beginners.
Check out our video on Using Sausage Skins here.
I am looking for a butchery product that is not on your website, might you stock it still?
The selection of products on our website is indicative of the extensive range of products that we stock, however, if you do not see exactly what you want please do phone us. We aim to supply everything in the Butchery apart from the meat!
What if an item is out of stock?
Out-of-stock items are clearly marked beside the product on the website. On the rare occasion that an item is out of stock and has not been flagged, we will let you know that the item is to follow or if you would prefer a substitute or refund. There will not be any additional charge made for the delivery of an item to follow and the item will be sent as soon as it becomes available.
Questions about our Products
What is the shelf life for Natural Casings?
All the Natural Casings are cured in salt and then vacuum-packed before despatch. They all have a six-month shelf life and we recommend they are kept in a Tupperware container at the bottom of a fridge. You can freeze the Beef Casings and the Hog Casings but the Sheep Casings are a little more delicate and can lose some of their quality when frozen.
When you receive them keep them in the vacuum-packed bag until you are ready to use them. Store them in the fridge or a cupboard out of the way of direct sunlight.
Is curing salt safe for me to use?
The word ‘salt’ is a scientific description that we need not go into for the purposes of curing. However, what we know as common salt, Sodium chloride, has long been used to preserve fish and meat. It works because water is powerfully attracted to the constituents of salt, and will dilute it. If there is enough salt, the water inside poisonous bacteria will burst out, killing the microbe outright.
Moreover, it takes a lot to make what water is left available for microbes to grow in the salty environment, and so the food is preserved. This, and the actual poisonous nature of salt to most bacteria and fungi make for a very effective preservative. However, some pathogenic microbes can survive a salty environment, notably Clostridium botulinum, which causes botulism, which is translated as sausage disease and can be quite deadly. To counter this other salts are used.
Saltpetre A descriptive title for a couple of salts, the first being Potassium nitrate. The nitrate part of the salt is so crowded that it readily ‘explodes’ on a microscopic scale to give lots of compounds and disrupt any microbes it is near. It specifically works best on Clostridium botulinum spores, stopping them from germinating and consequently keeping the food safe. If air-dried sausages are to be made, nitrites are used as well to inhibit the growth of Clostridium botulinum. Saltpetre is sold as two products, Prague Powder No 1 has nitrates in it and Prague powder No 2 has nitrates and nitrites. They are dyed pink and should be used with careful attention to the amounts used because the concentration of saltpetre is strictly controlled by law. They are mixed with ordinary salt.
On our website we sell 2 types of salt ordinary salts and curing salts: Kosher salt, Sea salt are ordinary salts. They is simply Sodium chloride, common salt without any of the additives used to make salt flow in the kitchen.
The 2nd type of salt we sell is Curing salts which are made up of the right amount of nitrites and nitrates to make the curing process really simple and convenient depending on the product you are trying to make i.e. bacon or salt beef.
Do your Curing Salts come with a recipe?
Absolutely. It is important you stick to the recommended amount of salt when making your cured meats. As you get more confident you can then add flavours to your curing salt.
We had our first pig slaughtered and would like to make our version of a Parma Ham. What’s the best way to do this?
Curing and air-drying a whole leg of pork is a complex procure which is fraught with possible pitfalls. The chances of success in creating an acceptable and safe product in a domestic situation when you neither have the experience of curing nor the sure ability to control the environment of the meat for up to a year are slim. It is much better to create smaller pieces of meat and cure them. Learn what salt does to meat first-hand and how curing changes it, how salt equalises in the muscle and most importantly how to recognise when things are going wrong. There are myriad lessons to be learned only by experience because how the curing process works for you can be subtly but significantly different for you compared to someone else. Getting the blood out of a large piece of meat, curing it in a large volume of salt, underweight, washing, drying and hanging it in a room where the temperature, the humidity, the background aromas, the invading insects and checking for what is and isn’t a natural bloom of fungi on the meat is not the realm for the first time curer. Make bacon, ham hocks, small hams for boiling and roasting and dare I say it, freeze some of your precious meat for a Sunday roast. Learn how to make sausages if you haven’t done it before, and thence air dry sausage using cultured stuffings, and not only will you have great food, you will have learned a lot with a whole load of fun thrown in.
When do you add the water to the rusk?
We would always advocate adding the rusk dry to the mix. First, mince the meat, then add the seasonings and mix in half of the water, continue to mix while gradually adding the rest of the water. Finally, once the mix is ready add the dry rusk or bread crumbs. Any remaining moisture will then be absorbed by the rusk. Doing it this way allows the action of the salt and water to change the structure of the meat and for the meat to retain some of the water.
The rusk absorbs the remaining water and you end up with a much more succulent sausage that retains the moisture and doesn't leak the water either in the bag or in the frying pan. One reason why sausages might burst in the pan is that the water has not been mixed properly, hence it turns to steam and bursts the skin as it escapes. Hence the term 'banger'.
Are there different grades of Rusk?
Yes. There are several grades depending on how fine the unleavened bread has been ground. There is Coarse, Medium, Pin-Head, and Super-Fine. The Rusk we sell is the most commonly used for sausage production, that is Pin-Head, which means literally that the crumb is the size of a pin-head! We stock all the grades of Rusk and these can be obtained by phoning the office.
We also sell orange crumb 19 and crumb 72 which are great for coating meat for deep frying. We stock all the grades of Rusk and these can be obtained by phoning the office.
Why is rusk Yeastless?
Yeastless Rusk is simply unleavened bread that has been baked and dried before being ground into a fine crumb. You can also use regular breadcrumbs but using Rusk gives a good and consistent texture to the sausage. It also retains the moisture within the sausage better than breadcrumbs giving you a more succulent sausage. Also, because it is yeastless it gives the sausage a longer shelf-life.
Are Collagen Casings suitable for Vegetarians?
No. They are made from Beef Collagen which is collected from beneath the hide, it is then reconstituted to form a dry concertinaed collagen 'tube' or casing. We do however sell Vegetarian casings which can be found here.