How To Make Homemade Sausage

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Does cooking sausage in the oven, grill, or pan make it taste better? We were determined to lớn find out.

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Kelly Vaughan is a food and lifestyle writer who specializes in home cooking và restaurant coverage, & can speak to lớn trends in the beauty, wellness, & wedding industries. She has appeared as a guest on CT Live! and Better Connecticut, sharing her own recipes for trắng chocolate and raspberry French verrines, sage corn casserole, and pumpkin spice panna cotta. She has written for Brit + Co, Edible Nutmeg, Edible Queens, Food52, The Hartford Courant, Hartford Magazine, Martha Stewart, Real Simple, & The Kitchn. Her 2018 cover story for Hartford Magazine, "Hot Stuff: Your Guide to Everything Smoky, Saucy, và Sloppy" was awarded second place in the Leisure category at the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists awards." data-inline-tooltip="true">Kelly Vaughan
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Cara Cormack

Since my smoked sausage was fully cooked as-is in the package, the purpose of cooking it is lớn thoroughly heat it through and showroom that desirable crispiness. I didn't have high hopes for this method, as it was the most hands-off.

While some meats are best left undisturbed while cooking, sausage requires a fair amount of tossing và turning khổng lồ achieve consistent browning. Opening the oven every few minutes to check on the crispiness and sizzle would be counterproductive, as your oven loses 25 degrees of heat every time it's opened. This would mean a constantly fluctuating oven temperature & inconsistent cooking. I tried lớn let the sausage vày its thing while cooking & held my breath for good results by the end.

Method

To cook sausage in the oven, here's what I did:

I preheated a conventional oven khổng lồ 350°F và sprayed a nonstick baking sheet with canola oil. I started with five minutes on each side and checked it after a full 10 minutes of cooking.The casing wasn't nearly as crispy as I would have liked, so I put the sausage back in for another minute on each side. There was still a lacking crunch around the casing, but this seemed to be a compromise to overcooking.

Results

Perhaps a higher temperature would have created a better outer crust, but I feared that too long in the oven at a high heat would dry out the entire rope of sausage. The resulting dish was moist, but was missing a few distinct qualities of this particular smoked sausage: intense smoky flavor & a crispy casing. The only thing this method is best for is easy clean-up (i.e., no oil splatters everywhere).


Cooking Sausage on the Grill

I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was khổng lồ grill sausage. I used a Weber propane grill, which put to rest my visions of getting charcoal everywhere, waiting half an hour for the coals to heat up, and attempting to properly extinguish the flames.

Method

Here"s how I grilled a smoked sausage without the fuss of charcoal:

After heating up the grill for five minutes, I placed the rope sausage in the middle of the grill on the lowest rack. Initially, I started on a medium-high heat but after a few minutes, the flames began khổng lồ flare up momentarily, which caused the casing to break in a few small spots.I turned the heat down khổng lồ medium for more consistent cooking. I cooked the sausage for six minutes exactly on each side (set a timer!) & rotated once, mainly in hopes of getting attractive, commercial-worthy grill marks.I used 18-inch stainless steel tongs lớn flip my sausage, which looked and felt excessively large but managed khổng lồ effectively turn the sausage without breaking it in half. I took the sausage off after exactly 12 minutes.

Results

Grilling the sausage definitely brought out the woodsy, smoky flavors of the smoked sausage. It was juicy, hot, and tasted like a campfire (in the best possible way). However, grilling did present a few issues, lượt thích the occasional flame flare up that caused the casing khổng lồ split easily (and created inconsistent charring).

If you only own a tedious charcoal grill, don"t have patience or experience with flare-ups, or don"t own a grill at all, then this probably is not the right method for you. However, if you"re a grill master attending a tailgate or making some delicious appetizers, then I highly recommend this method. Flavor- và texture-wise, grilled sausage aims khổng lồ please.

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Cooking Sausage in a Pan

Cooking sausage in a pan on a stovetop seemed like the most accessible method for everyday meals. The sausage packaging recommended pan-frying it one of two ways—either by cutting the sausage into 1-inch medallions or cutting the rope in half for an even crisp.

Method

In order lớn have a fair, direct comparison to lớn the other two methods, I pan-fried the full rope. Here's how it went:

I started out by heating a 12-inch nonstick pan over medium high heat then added the sausage and cooked for five minutes.I found that the heat was a little too high & the sausage was burning quickly, so I turned it down lớn medium and added in a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil khổng lồ prevent scorching.I chose silicone-covered tongs to flip the sausage without risk of scratching the pan. Success! Using a small amount of oil not only protected the pan but also helped create a super crispy exterior crust.

However, I was curious to try the brand's recommended medallion method so I opened another package of rope smoked sausage and started cutting & frying.

I followed a similar technique as round one: a nonstick pan, medium heat, & a little vegetable oil.Since I was working with much smaller pieces of sausage, I cut down the cooking time lớn three minutes on the first side & two minutes on the second side.The immediate oil sizzle looked promising, và once I flipped them, the golden-brown crust conveyed to me that we were in business. This was the shortest total cook time of all methods và resulted in consistently crispy, tender sausage bites.

Results

Overall, pan-frying was a low-maintenance and delicious method for cooking sausage. This is perfect for when you don't want khổng lồ break out the grill but still want a moist, flavorful sausage. The smoky flavors were not as prominent as they were from the grill, however the sausage remained juicy, tender, và crispy. The mini medallions are a perfect bite-sized appetizer và would be even more delicious if served alongside a honey mustard dipping sauce.


The Final Verdict

If you own a grill & are able to lớn operate it year-round (or don't mind grilling in your parka), then this method is ideal. While the finished hàng hóa was less attractive due to lớn a split casing & some inconsistent grill marks, it was by far the most flavorful smoked sausage.

If you know the hot spots of your grill well và can execute a more consistent crispy crust than I did, you're going to be successful. Even if the casing does break a bit, high-quality smoked sausage is so juicy that it'll be hard lớn dry it out.

If grilling is outside your cooking capacity, then pan-frying your smoked sausage on the stove will still yield a moist, crispy sản phẩm in a very manageable way.