It might seem simple enough, but there certainly is an art to the perfect sausage! Getting a crisp, well-browned casing along with a moist, steaming-hot interior is easy if you follow a few basic principles, whether it’s a Vienna, a kassegriller, a Russian, a coil of wors, or anything in between! As the experts in all things pork, Lynca Meats has a few tips to get a perfect sausage every time, whether it’s a kassegriller or a Russian, and whether you’re cooking on the stovetop or the open coals.
Our top tip to cook frozen sausages: Don’t.
We understand, life gets in the way, and we don’t always remember to get dinner out of the freezer in time, but cooking sausage from the freezer is never going to give you perfect results. The outside of the sausage defrosts quickly in a hot pan or oven, while the inside remains an ice block for a considerable amount of time, resisting deep penetration of the heat. This means you are bound to get a sausage that is blackened and burned on the outside while the inside is uncooked pink meat – and nobody wants that.
It’s worthwhile defrosting your sausages and bringing them close to room temperature before cooking. If your sausages are sealed in plastic, you can hurry this process along by submerging them in a sink of cold water, or by using the defrost setting on your microwave. Defrosted sausages will cook faster and more evenly.
Cooking Sausages on the Stovetop
A good old heavy frying pan is a fast and easy way to cook sausages to perfection. All you need is your defrosted sausages and some form of cooking fat – usually vegetable oil like olive oil or sunflower oil. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in the pan, then add your sausages to sear and crisp the casing while keeping the juices inside.
Keep the flame on a medium heat to prevent charring. The inside will still require a few minutes to cook, so remember to turn the sausages frequently. Cooking time varies according to the thickness of the sausage and the temperature of your pan.
Cooking Sausages in the Oven
An easy and reliable way of cooking sausages that also leaves room for other roasted additions like potatoes and other vegetables in the same dish. A large baking tray is ideal, as this provides good air flow and leaves plenty of room for the sausages to spread out and get browned on all sides. Always preheat the oven first to ensure even cooking.
Simply arrange your sausages (and vegetables, if including) on a foil lined baking tray and add a splash of olive oil. Toss everything thoroughly to coat in the oil and season to taste. Roast at a medium heat for around 30 minutes, though this will of course depend on the size and type of sausages you are using. Turn the sausages occasionally to ensure even browning. Fan assisted ovens will achieve this even faster, so don’t forget to cut down on cooing time if you’re using one.
Cooking Sausages on the Grill
Whether it’s a braai, a griddle-pan, or the grill setting of your oven, grilling involves extreme heat from one direction only. From above when grilling in the oven, and from below when cooking your sausages over fire. The high heat and single-direction of cooking means you’ll need to keep an eye on the sausages to prevent burning, and turn them frequently to ensure even browning. It is a favourite way to prepare sausages thanks to the smoky flavour imparted during grilling as well as the crispy casing that can be achieved.
Cooking sausages in this way usually takes no longer than 15 minutes, depending on the sizes and types of sausages being cooked.
Your Secret Weapon: The Meat Thermometer
You may have heard that pork needs to be cooked to an extreme heat in order to be safe, but this just isn’t true. Pork crude cuts (like chops and tenderloin) are perfectly done with an internal temperature of 65°C, while processed pork products like mince and sausages need only be taken up to 72°C in order to be adequately cooked. A meat thermometer can help you stop cooking when your sausages are perfectly done, every time! Overcooking sausages can cause them to dry out, so be sure to remove the sausages from the pan, oven or grill as soon as the thermometer indicates the internal temperature is adequate.
Enjoy Sausages YOUR way!
These are just our guidelines, now it’s time for you to put your personal touch on a huge variety of sausage dishes! Economical, delicious and incredibly versatile, pork sausages lend themselves to thousands of different dishes that you can master once you know the basics of pork sausage preparation.