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Cooking Sausage

Sausage is used in many ways, from being cooking and eaten to being used as an ingredient in recipes. This section outlines some popular ways to cook sausages and keep them flavorful and delicious.

Buy A Thermometer: Having a good thermometer is essential when cooking any type of meat. Quick read thermometers are very popular and effective to make sure sausages are cooked properly. Only use a thermometer once you think they are done to avoid poking holes in the sausage prior to finishing.

Cooking Techniques for Sausage

Grilling, Old School: Possibly the original way to cook a sausage, grilling. The biggest problem with cooking sausages this way is cooking over heat that is to hot. High heat burns the skin causing them to burst and the fats and natural moisture (and flavor) to leak out. Cooking sausages to fast and causing the natural fats to leak out also causes the grill to flare up adding to the problem of burning the outside of the sausage, it is a vicious cycle. Also a grill that it really hot will cook the outside before the inside is cooked through. Considerations need to be made in order to properly cook sausages on a grill. Make sure the fire is low. If you have a grill cover use indirect heat. Indirect grilling is accomplished by pushing all the coals to one side and cooking over the other side while covered. You will need to increase the cooking time a bit. Cooking the sausage gently, without bursting the casing holds in the natural flavors and produces a more delicious cooked sausage. Never puncture the casing as this allows the natural juices to leak out. In a nutshell: keep the heat low and the casing in tact. It may take some practice but worth learning to do it correctly if you enjoy grilling sausages.

Boil then Grill: Boiling or parboiling (short for partially boiling) sausages first allows you to retain their juiciness and pretty much be cooked when they hit the grill or pan. The water you boil them in can also flavor the sausages as in the case of bratwurst where you use half beer, half water and a chopped onion. Adding flavors to the water to enhance the sausages natural flavor is a great way to season them and since they are already partially cooked, reduces your grilling time. In order to retain the flavor of the sausage and not boil it away, place the sausages in the boiling liquid long enough to tighten the skin. When you pull the sausages out the fat inside should be just starting to liquefy. Take them directly from the water and place the sausages on a hot grill over a medium low fire and finish cooking. This is a preferred method when cooking for company as it takes the guess work out of cooking the sausages and they retain the most flavor.

Split Grilled Sausage (Butterfly): This method is especially nice if you are preparing to make sandwiches. Cut the sausage lengthwise about 80% of the way through. Fold it out and lay it flat. Cook it skin side up. This allows the sausage to cook from the inside fairly quickly without drying out the casing. Do not over cook sausages prepared this way as they have a tendency to dry out since the casing is cut open.

Pan-Frying: Pan frying sausage is convenient when cooking only a couple sausages or it is to cold to fire up the grill.  Place the sausage links in a heavy skillet. Add water to cover sausage half way, add 2 tablespoons of oil in the water. Adding the oil is the secret ingredient to make it possible to parboil and then pan fry al in the same pan. Parboil sausages, the water should evaporate in about 10 to 15 minutes leaving the oil. Once this happens gently turn sausages until nicely brown.  

Baking Large Link Sausage: Large link sausage, such as Italian sausage is a versatile type of sausage because it cooks well with just about any method you choose. Whether baked, boiled, pan fried or grilled, large link sausages makes a hearty and delicious meal. The key to baking sausage is either cooking it for a long time at a low temperature, or if you have less time, cover it in foil to retain steam and heat evenly and reducing the cooking time. Cover for a portion of the cooking time also prevents the sausage from drying out. Baking sausage also allows you to cook other ingredients with it such as vegetables or more sausages.

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • With a napkin oil a baking dish with olive oil. Lay the sausages in the dish, making sure they aren't touching. This ensures they cook as evenly as possible. 
  • Cover the dish with foil.
  • Bake the sausages for 45 minutes flipping at halfway mark.
  • Remove the foil and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the sausages are brown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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