Holiday: 5 Complete Guide to Cooking Sausage
It’s made from ground meat like beef, pork, or poultry, in combination with salt, spices, and other flavorings. It may also contain fillers, such as breadcrumbs or grains.
These ingredients are packed into a casing, or skin, that’s made from intestine or other materials like collagen and cellulose.
Interestingly, the way that you cook sausages changes their nutritional composition, which means that some cooking techniques are better for your health than others. Other methods may even increase your exposure to toxic compounds.
Thus, you may wonder about the best ways to prepare this scrumptious dish.
How to cook sausages
Sausages are a versatile food that can be cooked in many ways. Here’s an overview of some of the most popular methods.
Boiling is one of the easiest ways to make sausage links at home.
To boil sausages, simply place them one by one into a pot of boiling water and let them simmer. Pre-cooked sausages take around 10 minutes, whereas raw ones may take up to 30 minutes.
Keep in mind that boiled sausages won’t be brown and crispy on the outside. However, you can brown them afterward in a frying pan with a little bit of oil.
Remember that only sausage links not patties can be boiled. Patties are better prepared using some of the other methods below.
Grilling and broiling
Grilling and broiling are both high-temperature cooking methods that use dry heat. Their key difference is that the heat source is below the food for grilling but above for broiling.
To grill sausages, simply place them onto a grill and cook them for 8–12 minutes, turning them every few minutes until they’re evenly colored.
For broiling, place them on a broiler pan in the oven and set its function to broil. Cook them for 5 minutes before turning and cooking them for another 5 minutes.
It’s worth noting that the high temperatures involved in both grilling and broiling can cause the formation of potentially harmful compounds, such as heterocyclic amines (HAs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and advanced glycation end products (AGEs).
HAs and PAHs have been linked to a higher risk of several cancers, while AGEs are associated with a higher risk of conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and skin disorders.
Pan-frying and stir-frying
Pan- and stir-frying involve high-temperature cooking in a skillet, wok, or pot. While stir-frying entails continuously flipping or stirring sausages as they cook, pan-frying typically doesn’t.
To pan- or stir-fry sausages, simply cook them on the stovetop with a little oil until they’re brown on both sides. Depending on their size, this takes 10–15 minutes.
Healthy oil options include coconut, olive, and avocado oils, as well as butter, as they hold up well at moderate to high temperatures and are rich in micronutrients.
You can check whether your sausages are done by cutting into one at the center. If the meat is firm, it’s ready, but if it’s pink and runny, it needs more time. Slicing or butterflying the sausages can reduce cooking time.
Like grilling and broiling, pan- or stir-frying sausages for too long can increase the risk of HA, PAH, and AGE formation.
Deep frying involves completely immersing a food in fat during cooking. In most cases, sausages are breaded beforehand.
To deep-fry sausages, dip them in an egg wash a combination of beaten eggs and either water, cream, or milk then coat them in a breadcrumb mixture or batter.
Pour a healthy oil like coconut, olive, or avocado oil into a deep fryer and heat to 375°F (190°C). Fry the sausages for 5 minutes or until cooked through.
The above oils are ideal for deep frying because they tend to have a moderate to high smoke point and are less processed than other options.
Although deep-fried sausages are scrumptious, this method significantly increases their total amount of fat and calories. Moreover, deep frying may increase the risk of HAs, PAHs, and AGEs.
As such, if you’re watching your weight, calorie intake, or general health, you may want to avoid deep-fried sausages.
Baking is a great way to make crispy sausages, especially in larger quantities.
First, preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C) and place the sausages on a pan. Bake them for 15–20 minutes for smaller sausages or 30–40 minutes for larger ones, turning them halfway through to help them brown evenly and cook thoroughly.
If you find that your sausages dry out too easily in the oven, try boiling them beforehand. This can help them stay juicy on the inside after cooking.