How to Cook Sausage Like a Pro: A Step-by-Step Guide

Who doesn’t love a good sausage? From breakfast links to bratwursts, there’s a reason why this meaty treat is a classic. However, cooking sausage can be a tricky task–overcooking it can dry it out, while undercooking it can be a health hazard. Fortunately, with a few simple tips and tricks, you can cook sausage like a pro every time. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about cooking sausage, including different methods, tips, tricks, and recipes.

1. Choosing the Right Sausage

Before we get into the cooking techniques, it’s important to choose the right sausage for your dish. There are countless different types of sausage, ranging from spicy and savory to sweet and mild. Here are a few factors to consider:

– Type of meat: Sausages can be made from various types of meat, including beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and even game meat like venison. Each type of meat has its own distinct flavor and texture, so choose accordingly.
– Flavorings: Sausages can be flavored in a variety of ways, adding herbs, spices, and even cheese to the mix. Consider what flavors will complement your dish the best.
– Fresh vs. cured: Some sausages, like breakfast links or bratwursts, come in raw, uncooked form and need to be cooked before eating. Others, like salami or pepperoni, are already cured or smoked and can be eaten as is.

2. Cooking Methods

Now that you’ve chosen your sausage, it’s time to cook it up. There are several different methods you can use, depending on the type of sausage and the dish you’re making. Here are some of the most popular:

– Grilling: Perfect for hot dogs and bratwursts, grilling gives your sausage a nice char and smoky flavor. Preheat your grill to medium heat, brush the sausages with oil, and cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 160F (71C).
– Boiling: Boiling is a classic cooking method for sausages like hot dogs and breakfast links. Simply place the sausages in a pot of boiling water and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. You can also add beer, onion, or other flavorful ingredients to the water for extra taste.
– Pan-frying: Pan-frying is a great method for sausages that are already cooked. Heat up a skillet over medium heat, add a little oil, and cook the sausages for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they’re heated through and browned.
– Baking: Baking is a good method for sausages that need to be cooked through, like Italian sausage or chorizo. Preheat your oven to 375F (190C), place the sausages on a baking sheet, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160F (71C).

3. Tips and Tricks for Sausage Success

Cooking sausage is more than just throwing it on a grill or in a pan. There are a few extra steps you can take to ensure that your sausage comes out perfectly every time:

– Pierce the skin: Before cooking, use a fork or a knife to pierce the skin of the sausage a few times. This helps the fat to escape and prevents the sausage from bursting.
– Use a meat thermometer: To make sure your sausage is cooked through but not overdone, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The ideal temperature for most sausages is 160F (71C).
– Don’t overcook: Overcooking sausage can make it dry and tough. Take it off the heat as soon as it’s cooked through and has reached the appropriate temperature.
– Let it rest: After cooking, let your sausage rest for a few minutes before slicing or serving. This helps the juices redistribute and makes for a more tender, flavorful sausage.

4. Sausage Recipes

Feeling inspired? Here are a few delicious sausage recipes to try at home:

– Sausage and Egg Breakfast Sandwiches: Cook up some breakfast sausages and serve them on English muffins with fried eggs, cheese, and avocado.
– Grilled Sausage and Pepper Skewers: Thread pieces of Italian sausage, bell peppers, and onions onto skewers and grill until charred and tender.
– Sausage and White Bean Soup: Cook up some Italian sausage, then simmer it with white beans, tomatoes, carrots, celery, and herbs for a comforting, hearty soup.


Q: Can I cook sausages in a slow cooker?

A: Yes, you can! Simply add the sausages to your slow cooker with your other ingredients and let it cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours.

Q: What kind of wine goes with sausage?

A: That depends on the type of sausage and the dish you’re serving it with. Generally speaking, red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir pair well with spicy, savory sausages, while white wines like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc pair well with milder, sweeter sausages.

Q: Can I freeze cooked sausages?

A: Yes, you can! Allow the sausages to cool fully before storing them in an airtight container or freezer bag. They’ll keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.

In conclusion, cooking sausage doesn’t have to be complicated. Whether you’re grilling up hot dogs, simmering breakfast links, or baking Italian sausage, follow these tips and you’ll be a sausage pro in no time!