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Temps & Tips

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. Poking holes in the casing of a sausage will cause them to dry out.


Sausage Cooking Tempuratures for Safely Cooking Fresh Sausage

Raw Sausage - Internal Cooked Tempurature: 160 degrees F. / 71 degrees C.

Pre-Cooked Sausage - Internal Cooked Tempurature: 140 degrees F. / 60 degrees C.

Note: August 2011, USDA Lowers Pork's Minimum Cooking Temperature To 145 °F. This does not apply to sausage but thought you would like to know.


Parboiling For Flavor: Parboiling is a technique used in cooking sausages, sometimes before grilling to ensure they are cooked through. Bratwurst are almost always parboiled before grilling or frying. More on parboiling and other techniques can be found in the "Cooking Sausage" section. Parboiling also provides an opportunity for seasoning sausages. In the case of Bratwurst it is fairly typical to boil then in a mixture of water and beer, or sometimes just beer. Heavier more robust beers impart the best flavor. Adding onions is also a great way to add flavor to sausages when parboiling. Other flavors to consider for parboiling; garlic, black pepper, dark beer, wine.

Make Patties for Pan Frying or Grilling: Typically people cook sausages they way they buy them, in casings. Casings are the skin that holds a sausage together. If you prefer but cannot acquire uncased, bulk sausage of your liking, buy the sausage you like and and remove the casing. Make patties just like a burger and cook over a low flame just as you would your burgers. Making patties from uncased sausage or bulk sausage also allows the opportunity to add ingredients that did not originally come with the sausage. Adding onion and or garlic is a nice way to enhance the flavor of most fresh sausages. Also making patties can shorten the cooking time and make it easier to check if they are done. Once patties are made they are easily grilled or pan fried.

Safe Handling and Storage

Note: All sausage — except dry sausage — is perishable and therefore must be kept refrigerated. The following storage times should be followed for maximum quality.

  • Look for a "use-by" date, follow that date so you use the sausage while still at peak quality.
  • Look for "sell-by" date, make sure this date has not passed. Store it for the times recommended below.
  • Freeze sausage if you can't use it within the times recommended for refrigerator storage. Once frozen it doesn't matter if the date expires Foods kept frozen properly and continuously are safe indefinitely.


Sausage Storage Times

Type Of Sausage Refrigerated - Unopened Refrigerated - After Opening Freezer
Fresh Sausage - Uncooked 1-2 days 1-2 days 1 to 2 months
Fresh Sausage after cooking by consumer N/A 3 to 4 days 2 to 3 months


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