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Hog bladder | for sausage meat and charcuterie


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A pig bladder is a classic ingredient that is not often used nowadays. It is used for the ‘en vessie’ technique or as a casing for sausage meat.

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Our Hog bladder, or pig bladder, for charcuterie

What is a hog bladder?

A pig’s bladder is, unsurprisingly, a cleaned and dried pig’s bladder.

What do you use a hog bladder for?

A pig bladder is a classic ingredient that is not often used nowadays. You can fill it with minced meat to make a sausage or use it for the ‘en vessie’ technique: cooking a flavored product in the bladder. This is often a chicken or poussin. This technique is known from Paul Bocuse and Anthony Bourdin.

From the dutch ‘Slaughter visit’ by Gerhard Kwak

 ‘The pig bladder was a common by-product of the house slaughter. For example, along the eastern border with Germany it was regularly used as a “barrel” to smuggle spirits with. Furthermore, you could make a beautiful natural lid by stretching the moist bladder over a Cologne pot, which was then closed nicely. Once dried it was the perfect lid. When this was not necessary, the bladder was inflated, buttoned and dried. Then the kids had a football to play with. The bladder was also filled with dried peas to form a kind of rattle. Children often used the bladder for the so-called “bladder steps”. The bladder was then tied with a rope to a child’s leg and the other children tried to break it. If it succeeded with a big bang, the child who had smashed the bladder was the champion. “


  • one dried hog bladder
  • content: around 1,2 liters

Note: a dried bladder stretches less than a fresh bladder. A full chicken will not fit in this bladder, rather go for a smaller poussin. If you want to be able to stuff a full chicken in it or are looking to make a culatello, check out our sow’s bladder or the huge beef bladders!


  1. Soak the bladder in water overnight in the refrigerator
  2. If necessary, make the opening wider with a knife
  3. Repeatedly fill the bladder with lukewarm water to stretch it further and further

For the advanced chef: we also have the beef bladder!

Buying a hog bladder?

Order your pig’s bladder at startercultures.eu, the European webshop for all your fermentation, sausage and charcuterie needs. By Meneer Wateetons, renowned Dutch fermentation and meat expert and author. Order on weekdays before  3 pm and we’ll ship the same day.  Questions on the usage? Ask them in our chat, we’ll here to help!

Online English spoken sausage making workshoplearn how to make dry cured sausages at home

In this English spoken online workshop you will learn the theory and practice of making fresh sausages. What types of meat work best, where can you find your ingredients, what are the main pitfalls and what funny things can you do with casings. Foodwriter ‘Meneer Wateetons’, author of several books on fermentation and alternative food preparation techniques,  will teach you all about fermentation, curing salts, food safety, pH, starter cultures, molds and drying conditions. Click here for more info.


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