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Old 02-25-2008, 09:41 PM   #1
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How to properly cook sausages

Cooking meats is something I still haven't caught on since I started cooking, and sausages are usually a hit or miss. I'm aware that pork has to be cooked thoroughly so I do cook them for some time, and end up coming out dry or tough.

What I usually do is cook up a couple of links of sausage in a pan with olive oil, just to get a little browned. Then I put them on a plate and slice them into pepperoni-like pieces and return them to the pan to cook them until all the red or raw meat is gone.

At what point should I stop? Is a little redness OK?

Are there other, more efficient methods such as cooking sausages in the oven?

Thanks for your help.


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Old 02-25-2008, 09:48 PM   #2
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The usual method for cooking sausages on the stove top is this:

Place 1/4" of water into a covered pan with the sausages and heat to get the water simmering. As the water cooks off, the sausages will brown and continue to cook through.

Cook them slowly so the interior will cook. Slicing them and cooking is what causes the problem of dryness.

Another option is to steam them in the mirowave then brown them in a pan.

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Old 02-25-2008, 10:34 PM   #3
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A little blush of red isn't a bad thing.

160 degrees on a calibrated meat therometer will let you know when they are done without cutting them open.

I perfer on a baking sheet in the oven or on my grill outside over stove top cooking methods.
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Old 02-26-2008, 12:20 AM   #4
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thanks for the tip Andy; I'm sure that will help me..
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Old 02-26-2008, 12:28 AM   #5
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I either put a splash (and I really mean a splash) of olive oil in a fry pan or sometimes a splash of water. This is only to stop the sausages sticking to the pan, not to really cook them in. Medium heat, turning sausages frequently, usually just by shaking pan. When they are looking like they are beginning to colour evenly, I turn pan down to low, leaving to cook for several minutes, shaking the pan every so often. I usually tell by smell and feel, and I guess experience. As I always cook more than I need for the meal, I sacrifice one sausage and cut it in half to check that it is well cooked. I never leave any pink in a sausage. Usually I am pretty close to the right time. Some of the additions they put into sausages these days can make the guessing time a bit out as the colour varies with the ingredients. Sausages are never dried out.

I also usually choose lean beef sausages so they don't ooze a lot of fat into the pan. The pan is pretty dry at the end of the cooking process.
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Old 02-26-2008, 11:44 AM   #6
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I guess my problem is that I Cant get them to cook evenly I am always trying to turn them and they wont stay in one place to get the even color. I am thinking the use of the water and a cover will help to cook evenly. Thoughts??
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Old 02-26-2008, 12:02 PM   #7
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Sub the Water for Beer and I`m with the other posters here :)
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Old 02-26-2008, 12:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by YT2095 View Post
Sub the Water for Beer and I`m with the other posters here :)
If I recall (uh-oh).... you never need to cut yours into slices to get the "insides" to cook either.
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Old 02-26-2008, 12:27 PM   #9
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This is an excellent question, and a great thread!

Sausage is a category at many New England grilling competitions, and since I've judged one or two of those contests every year, I've had a LOT of poorly grilled sausages!

Too many people cook sausages way too long, no matter what the heat source is. And they PRICK them! Sheesh! Dry, tough, tasteless.

Cookly sausages slowly over medium heat, until just cooked through, is the way to cook the inside to 160 while getting a nice brown on the outside. And the sausages will not split.

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Old 02-26-2008, 12:35 PM   #10
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steaming or boiling sausages? that is exactly what will toughen them, unless you then cook them forever.

slicing and re-cooking???? another no-no. never pierce the skin, if at all possible.

medium to low heat, timing it so the skin is brown as they're cooked through.

i was taught that you should never cover the pan as the sausages are browning because that creates steam, which will cause the casing to initially get tough. if you must, you can cover the pan with a splatter screen. and the amount of fat and juices let out from cutting or piercing is equivalent to the amount of flavor and juiciness lost.

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