Sausage Cooking Tips

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We’ve all experienced the sausage blow out. The moment when the sausages you are cooking explode at one or both ends. Not only does this make for an ugly sausage, it also means that all of the juices have escaped. This leaves you with a dry sausage…and a sad face.

Here are a few sausage cooking tips that will keep your links juicy and intact:

  • Raw unsmoked sausages are the types most likely to explode at the ends–bratwurst, Italian, chorizo, merguez. Cooking sausages gently is vital to keeping them whole. Simmer them first in broth, beer, water, or tomato sauce (depending on the type of sausage) before searing on a grill or in a pan.
  • When simmering sausages, place them in the liquid BEFORE it is heated so that they warm up gently. Avoid placing sausages in already simmering liquid.
  • Make sure the liquid is simmering, not boiling. This means small bubbles gently rising to the surface over medium heat. Use a lid to maintain even heat.
  • After 10-12 minutes in liquid, they are ready to be seared in a pan or on a grill.
  • Another option is to place sausages in a dry pan. Place a lid over the pan. Turn on the heat to medium and let the sausages begin to sizzle. Turn the sausages to brown evenly for about 7 minutes. Then add ⅓ cup of water or stock to the pan and replace the lid. Let sausages gently simmer and steam in the liquid for another 7-10 minutes.
  • To grill sausages, use indirect medium heat. Smoked sausages can be placed on the grill from the package. Raw sausages should be simmered first to prevent end explosion.
  • Whether you saute or grill sausages, be sure to turn them regularly for even heating and to avoid bursting on the side.
  • You can roast sausages in an oven, too. The best temperature to use is 300-350℉. Place sausages in the oven as it is heating to prevent bursting and roast for 20-25 minutes.
  • Use tongs, not a fork, to move sausages while cooking. This will keep the juices inside and also allow for even cooking.