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 a 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.
PLEASE NOTE: This guide applies primarily to raw, linked sausages. Precooked sausages such as hot dogs or bratwursts require less cooking time.
How to 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.
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 the sausages in the pan one after the other. Try to space them apart so they're not touching, helping them cook more evenly. If you're preparing many sausages, you may want to cook them in separate groups rather than crowd them all together in one pan.
After a couple of minutes, turn the sausages onto a different side. Let each side cook for a few minutes before turning again, until each sausage has a nice brown color across its entire surface. This may take 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of your sausages. You may also wish to cut one of the sausage with a knife to check its center, which should be 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 the sausages more quickly and evenly. Be careful to avoid steam burns when removing the lid.
How to Grill Sausage
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.
Once the sausages 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 Sausage
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.
Preheat your oven to around 350 F. While it's heating up, prepare a baking tray or grill, and place the sausages on it, spread apart with plenty of space between them.
Cook the sausages in the oven for around 20 minutes, turning them halfway so they brown evenly.
Make sure your sausages are cooked all the way through, with no pink meat inside.
How to Boil Sausage
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 of
Fill a saucepan with enough water to cover your sausages, then bring it to a boil. Use tongs to carefully place your sausages 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.
Cover the saucepan with a lid and let the sausages cook slowly for around 10 to 30 minutes depending on their size.
Remove your sausages 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 sausage British-style, battering is a delicious way to cook your sausage.
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.