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How to Cook Sausage: The 5 Best Ways

Albertina Roca
  |   May 9, 2024   |  

Sausages are a versatile and tasty meat treat, but they can also be easy to ruin. Since they’re usually quite thick, it’s easy to overcook the skin while the interior remains uncooked. The best way to cook sausage is to create a crisp and crunchy skin with juicy, flavorful (and well done!) meat on the inside. Check out our How to Cook Sausage guide, where we’ll run through several cooking methods, including pan-frying, grilling, baking, boiling and deep-frying.

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Example of serving a sandwich with fried sausages, photo by Gourmet Food Store

PLEASE NOTE: This guide applies primarily to raw, linked sausages. Precooked types such as hot dogs or bratwursts require less cooking time.

How To Pan Pan-Fry Sausage

Pan-frying is probably the most popular way to cook sausage. What makes it so effective is the fact that you can fry other ingredients alongside the sausage, which will acquire their flavors during cooking.

Premium Italian pan-fry sausage, photo by Gourmet Food Store

How to fry sausages: 

  • Set your stove to medium heat and heat your pan or skillet for a couple of minutes, until it gets hot.
  • Add about a tablespoon of oil to the pan. Since sausages are quite fatty, they'll release their own oils during cooking, so you only require a touch of cooking oil to start them off.
  • If your sausages are connected, cut them apart. Then place in the pan one after the other, spacing them apart so they're not touching, helping them cook more evenly. If you're preparing many, you may want to cook them in separate groups rather than crowd them all together in one pan, to ensure even cooking.
  • flat lay of delicious grilled suausages, photo by Gourmet Food Store

  • After a couple of minutes, turn the sausages onto a different side. Let each side cook for a few minutes before turning again, until it develops a nice brown color across its entire surface. This may take 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size. You may also wish to cut one of the sausages with a knife to check its center. You’ll know it’s ready if the center is firm and dark, with no pink meat.
  • If your sausages are large and take forever to cook, you can speed up the process by slicing them lengthwise to create a "butterfly," which will cook more quickly. Alternatively, add half a cup of water to the pan during cooking, and cover the pan with a lid, so that the trapped steam cooks everything more quickly and evenly. Be careful to avoid steam burns when removing the lid.

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How to Grill Sausages

Serving various types of grilled sausages, photo by Gourmet Food Store

Bring your grill to medium-high heat on one side, and low heat on the other side. If you're using a gas grill, simply turn down the burners on one side to low. With a charcoal grill, redistribute the coals so that one side has many hot coals, while the other side has fewer coals.

Place your sausages on the hot side of the grill, searing them a minute or two per side before turning them.

Grilling these little links is an art that requires you full attention, lest they burn! Once they’ve have acquired a brown-to-black sear on each side, it's time to transfer them to the cooler side of your grill. Here you can let them cook more slowly without the risk of burning. They should take another 5-10 minutes before they're cooked all the way through.

How to Bake Sausages

The great thing about cooking sausages in the oven is that there's less risk of burning them, and you don't need to turn them quite so frequently as you would when frying. The oven does most of the work for you.

To cook sausages in the oven, preheat your oven to around 350 F. While it's heating up, prepare a baking tray or grill, place the links, spread apart with plenty of space between them.Bake for around 20 minutes, turning them halfway so they brown evenly.

Make they’re cooked all the way through, with no pink meat inside.

How to Boil Sausage


Example of serving breakfast: boiled sausages with eggs and beans, photo by Gourmet Food Store

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Using water to cook to cook your sausage will allow it to cook more evenly, as the hot water will more thoroughly penetrate the interior.

Fill a saucepan or pot with enough water to cover your sausages, then bring it to a boil. Use tongs to carefully place each link in the water, and reduce the heat to a simmer. You can also add other ingredients such as broth, wine or beer to the water if you want to flavor the sausage, but not much more than that. You don’t need salt!

Cover the saucepan with a lid and let the sausages cook slowly for around 10 to 30 minutes depending on their size.

Remove and dry them off with a paper towel. They should be cooked all the way through. However, they won’t have a brown, crispy crust, so you may want to pop them on the grill or stove for a few minutes.

How to Batter Sausage

If you want to enjoy your brats British-style, battering is a delicious way to go. Let’s get into it, shall we?

First cook your sausages using one of the above methods, such as by frying. When they're cooked, put them to one side.

Create a batter mix of your choice. This will probably involve flour, salt and some whisked egg, though you can also add other flavorings like beer or garlic.

Now add some vegetable oil to a saucepan, enough to cover the sausages. Heat to 350F. Insert a skewer into your sausage, roll it in the batter, and place it carefully in the hot vegetable oil, submerging it completely. Fry for 2-3 minutes, or until it acquires a crisp, golden-brown exterior.

cooked Tequila Habanero breakfast sausages, photo by Gourmet Food Store

Discover great sausages for filling spreads! Tequila Habanero Breakfast Sausages.

There are many ways but no consensus on how to cook perfect sausages! All studied up? Let's go shopping for flavorful brats! Shop our selection of here >

What to serve with sausages

This succulent ingredient can be anything from a light spring lunch when paired with a salad, to a filling winter meal when cooked into a casserole or crumbled into ragout! There are so many possibilities - here are our favorites:

  • Stir-fried sweet peppers and onions on a potato bun for a classic sandwich
  • Cut open the casing and crumble over a pasta sauce, paired with spaghetti or wide tagliatelle
  • Grill, open and serve with chimichurri on crusty bread
  • Creamy mashed potatoes are a classic partner to baked brats
  • Cornbread, sweet and buttery, is a popular southern side dish
  • Mac and cheese, the ultimate comfort food, are a fantastic side dish 
  • Coleslaw! Fresh and crunchy, it’s a refreshing and flavorful partner 
  • Sauerkraut, tangy and delicious, is how the Germans love to serve their links. It cuts through the richness beautifully 
  • Potato salad and grilled corn are the perfect summer partners for grilled brats
  • Pretzels and sweet mustard are a typical Bavarian dish

top view of crispy brown sausages, photo by Gourmet Food Store

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best cooking temperature for sausages?

Sausage cooking temperature is 155–165°F (68–74°C) and should always be respected, to avoid food poisoning.

Which method is the healthiest?

There are many ways of preparing sausages, and the healthiest will depend on what method you use. Boiling and baking don’t require oil, so generally, are considered the healthiest.

How long does it take to cook sausage?

It depends on the method and the size of the links. Baking can take up to 40 minutes, while deep frying only takes about 5.

Can I cook sausage from frozen?

Yes, you can cook a sausage directly from the freezer if you’re baking in the oven or air fryer, grilling them or pan-frying.

Questions and Answers

Rate this Article

6/18/2024
nice info, Albertina thank you!
Alexey from Odessa, --
5/3/2024
Alex from georgia, GA

Author

Albertina Roca

Copywriter & Certified Cheese Addict

Meet Albertina, a seasoned food writing wordsmith and marketing creative split between the sizzling vibes of Miami and the charming streets of Buenos Aires. With a solid 20 years in the traditional and digital advertising world for the gourmet food industry, she’s mastered the art of making words as mouthwatering as the dishes they describe. She’s proudly been part of the Gourmet Food Store family (and its brands) since its very beginnings, and what a fun, flavor-packed journey it has been!

Highlights

Albertina's journey in copywriting is marked by a passion for creativity and a knack for connecting with audiences. Her expertise spans SEO-driven content that boosts visibility, engaging social media strategies that spark conversations, persuasive advertising campaigns that captivate, and heartfelt storytelling that resonates deeply.

Experience

With a diverse portfolio spanning numerous articles, blogs, and captivating content pieces, Albertina has left her mark on the industry. From informative guides to persuasive sales copy, her work not only informs but also inspires action.

Education and Background

Her journey began at Rutgers College, where she studied in History and Political Science, with a minor in English Lit. She honed her craft at The Miami Ad School in South Beach, where creativity and copy collided under the South Florida Sun. From the neon streets of South Beach to the tango beats of Buenos Aires, her pen dances with the rhythm of whatever gastronomic tales she gets to write at the time.

Currently savoring life in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she’s bilingual in English and Spanish, an avid reader, and cheese addict.

Her writing? Seasoned with creativity, spiced with experience, and garnished with a dash of wit.

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