How to Cook Sausages – Types & Tips
Some people are sausage purists, preferring sausages alone with simple sides such as mashed potatoes. The Brits are famous for their “bangers and mash.” Others are more open to embracing the versatility of sausages in tray-bakes, casseroles, pastry, and more.
Most commonly, you’ll find that sausages are made of pork mince, but it’s not hard to find lamb, chicken or beef sausages either. Sometimes, a combination of two might be used. The meat is usually preserved with salt, which also enhances the flavor.
Sausages need a binding ingredient like rusk – fine breadcrumbs – that will not only act as a binder, but also provide a way to absorb the meat fat as the sausages cook to avoid them drying out.
In addition, sausages are often flavored with a cocktail of spices, herbs, and seasonings. Favored sausage flavor combinations include sage, thyme, and nutmeg. The minced meat, binding ingredients, and flavorings are stuffed into a thin, edible casing traditionally made from animal intestine or a synthetic material.
Types of Sausages
- Merguez: a spicy Middle Eastern and North African/ Maghrebi sausage made with lamb or beef and a whole host of spices including harissa, cumin, coriander, and fennel. It’s traditionally cooked on the grill to emphasize the smoky flavor. Redefine Meat has been offering a New-Meat™* version of Merguez since 2021: Redefine Sausage.
- Bratwurst: a German pork sausage, sometimes made with beef, that is mixed with a range of spices and herbs and commonly served sauteed or broiled. Redefine Meat recently launched a New-Meat™ Bratwurst which is every bit as good as the traditional sausage – but with no animal ingredients.
- Cumberland: a pork sausage from what is now Cumbria, England, that is usually very long and sold in a circular coil without links. Its seasonings include white and black pepper, thyme, sage, and nutmeg.
- Chipolatas: a type of pork sausage thought to originate from France. Typically, chipolatas are short and thin and seasoned with sage, thyme, and pimento. They’re particularly popular in the UK where they are often served on Christmas Day as Pigs in Blankets.
- Kielbasa: a Polish sausage that’s a staple in Polish cuisine. It can be made with pork or beef, is lightly smoked and has an unmistakable garlic flavor.
- Italian: an Italian sausage, as it’s known in the United States, is commonly made with pork, fennel seeds, and anise. It’s a heavily herbed sausage that is used across Italian American cuisine.
- Lincolnshire: a pork sausage hailing from the county of Lincolnshire, England, made from a mix of ground pork, sage, breadcrumbs, and spices such as nutmeg.
- Lap Cheong: a dried Chinese sausage typically made from pork, smoked, and seasoned with a sweet and salty mix of soy sauce, rice wine, and rose water.
Best Way to Cook Sausages
The best way to cook sausages depends on multiple factors, such as the type of sausage, the cuisine it’s being featured in, its authentic roots, and more. We’ve covered some of the best ways to cook sausages below.
Pan Fry Sausage
Pan frying sausages is one of the most popular ways to cook sausages. It’s easy to do and draws out the delicious fat encased within the sausage to coat the outside with. Cooking sausages in a pan requires regular turning to ensure they cook evenly. You can use a non-stick pan or a cast iron pan to do the job. Pan frying sausages increases their umami flavor.
Remember, keep the man on a medium heat so that the sausages don’t burn on the outside before they are fully cooked inside. It also helps to add a little fat to the pan before adding the sausages.
It should be noted that this is the best method to cook Redefine Sausage and Redefine Bratwurst.
Cooking Sausages in Air Fryer
Air fryers seem to be all the rage currently. Often touted as a more energy efficient way to cook in the current energy crisis, cooking with an air fryer is a great way to save money on your bills each month. It’s also considered to be healthier than actual frying, but without compromising on the flavor of the end result.
This is a new method of cooking sausages, certainly not traditional, but maintains all of the delicious sausage flavors – and what more could you want?
Although a little less popular than pan or air frying, boiled sausage is a way to avoid them drying out (which is sometimes a risk with frying or grilling). A creative way to cook sausages is to boil them in liquids such as cider or beer to make a change from water and bring some extra flavor dimensions. Keep in mind that not all sausages are suited for this method, and it’s not recommended for Redefine Sausage or Redefine Bratwurst.
Cooking Sausages in the Oven
This is a particularly low-maintenance way to cook sausages. When learning how to cook sausages in the oven, you need to know the cooking times. Some sausages you buy will come with cooking instructions, however for those that don’t, remember that fresh sausages usually take around 25 minutes to cook in the oven, and frozen sausages around 45 minutes.
Cooking sausages requires less fat than frying them, so is often considered a healthier method with a similar outcome. It’s also a lot less messy!
Best Way to Cook a Bratwurst
Many recipes suggest first parboiling Bratwurst and then grilling them. This is a more foolproof way to ensure they still offer the chargrilled flavor in the end without risking an uncooked middle. However, if you want to grill them from the get go, it’s recommended to cook on a low-medium heat with regular turning every minute. This will maintain even cooking throughout the sausages and avoid one side burning. You can broil Bratwurst in your oven if you don’t have access to an outdoor grill.
Get your hands on New-Meat™ Bratwurst – Redefine Bratwurst. It’s plump and delicious and follows in the tradition of the classic pork-flavored delicacy.
Sausage Cooking Time: How Long to Cook Sausages?
Since sausages contain a high fat content, they’re easy to burn before they’re fully cooked through. This is because the fat seeps out and accelerates the cooking of the outside before the middle has cooked. That’s why we recommend cooking sausages on a medium heat, never high, and turning them regularly throughout the cooking process for the best results.
Top Sausage Recipes
We’ve got a round-up of some of our favorite sausage recipes for you. Check them out…
This sausage shakshuka recipe uses Redefine Sausage, a New-Meat™ sausage with just the right spiciness. Combining a homemade hot sauce, a creamy spinach and basil sauce, eggs and Mediterranean-style sausages – this recipe has it all. Scoop it all up with some delicious bread and you’ve got yourself a perfectly balanced and delicious sausage-based meal.
Pigs in Blankets
It’s no secret that the Brits love their Pigs in Blankets. For those unfamiliar with this comically named dish, it’s the affectionate name given to sausages wrapped in bacon. However, we’ve got a creative twist for you here in this recipe, and it requires New-Meat™ instead. Redefine Bratwurst are wrapped in puff pastry, brushed with a black garlic glaze, and served with Egyptian Dukkah. Succulent, moreish, and totally addictive.
This isn’t just any old sandwich filled with sausage, this is a sausage sandwich recipe with a creative flair. All of the ingredients – including Redefine Bratwurst (or Redefine Sausage if you want to add a spicy kick), smoked apricot ketchup, pickled red cabbage, and potatoes – are stuffed inside an indulgent croissant to take the sandwich to the next level. It goes against the grain of a traditional sandwich and it couldn’t be more delicious. If you’re after a sausage recipe that feels decadent and interesting, look no further.
Sausages are popular around the world. The Germans are famous for their Bratwurst, the Brits for their Pigs in Blankets, Merguez can be found across the Middle East and North Africa, and Lap Cheong is favored in China. We hope to have shed some light on the different types of sausages enjoyed across the globe, how to cook them, and some top sausage recipes.
Even better, you can enjoy almost any sausage dish with Redefine Sausage and Redefine Bratwurst for a New-Meat™ touch.
Are sausages pre-cooked?
No, not all sausages are pre-cooked, although some are. Generally speaking, most fresh sausages are sold raw and must be refrigerated until cooked at home, whereas dried and cured sausages are sold ready to eat. Redefine Sausage and Redefine Bratwurst require cooking before eating.
How long does sausage take to cook?
This depends on the cooking method and whether the sausages are being cooked from room temperature or not. It is always recommended to start cooking sausages only once they are at room temperature. If pan frying sausages, cook them for 15-20 minutes. If cooking sausages in the oven, cook them for 25 minutes.
Can you boil sausage?
It depends on the type of sausage. Often, boiling sausages is a great way of cooking them without the added fat, but it’s not recommended for all types.
Do you need oil to cook sausage?
Not much is required, but it encourages more even cooking across the sausages’ exterior and contributes to the crispiness, or “snap” that makes sausages so popular around the world.
*Does not contain animal-based ingredients.