In 2020, $13.65 million Americans ate over five pounds of sausage each. That is more than $68.25 total pounds and that doesn’t even count the $149.46 people that consumed less than five pounds each. With sausage being a staple of the American diet, the culture has shifted from strictly focusing on taste to also finding healthier ways to prepare it.
Many of us remember the smell of savory sausage grilling on the stovetop during our childhoods. We knew it was ready when it had been browned to perfection. But how do we know sausage has been fully cooked when using the oven?
The answer is not as simple as you would expect. Many things should be considered to make sure your sausage comes out exactly how you like it:
· What kind of pans, utensils, and tools do I need?
· What temperature setting should I use?
· How long should I cook the sausage?
· Can I cook frozen sausage?
· Is it healthier to cook sausage in the oven?
· Can I cook other foods alongside my sausage?
All these questions need to be considered when preparing your sausage. Now let’s dive into each one for more guidance.
What kind of pans, utensils, and tools do I need?
The cooking utensils you select are a matter of personal preference. Using any oven-safe pan will work but the best results can be achieved by using a baking sheet with ¼ inch sides. Deeper pans can obstruct the distribution of the heat, causing your sausage to cook unevenly and leave you dissatisfied with the results. Using parchment paper or foil is optional. Lining the pan with either will make the cleanup process a breeze and ensure your sausage does not stick to the pan.
Credits: Markus SpiskeHire
What temperature setting should I use?
The cooking temperature varies depending on the type of meat used and the size of the sausages. Food safety guidelines have been established to provide minimum internal temperatures when cooking meat. Following these suggestions can help to ensure that your sausage is safe to eat. Beef and pork should be cooked until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit while chicken should reach 165 degrees. Most recipes recommend a temperature between 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature if you are unsure.
How long should I cook the sausage?
30 minutes should be sufficient time to cook your sausage at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Higher or lower temperatures will result in adjusted cooking time. Some indicators that your meat is fully cooked and safe to consume are:
- Your sausage is brown on all sides.
- The internal temperature has been confirmed by a food thermometer.
- Juices that have collected in the pan are brown in color.
Can I cook frozen sausage?
It is best to defrost your sausage before cooking it, but that is not always possible in a time crunch. Frozen sausage can be cooked in the same way. However, you will need to add 15-20 minutes to the cooking time to allow it to thaw in the oven. It is especially important to check the internal temperature prior to serving as the outside of the sausage will thaw faster than the middle. It is vital to follow all of the preparation guidelines laid out above.
Credits: Jonathan TaylorHire
Is it healthier to cook sausage in the oven?
Over the past couple of decades, many people have become focused on living a healthier lifestyle. As part of that, they have opted to cut out fried foods, and rightfully so. Frying sausage requires oil that contains additional saturated fat. Baking your sausage in the oven is a dry cooking method that allows the natural moisture of the food to be used in the cooking process. The American Heart Association has linked pan-frying to chronic illness. Baking is a healthy alternative.
Can I cook other foods alongside my sausage?
Sausage is usually served with other foods. Some prefer to cook the sausage first, then add potatoes, carrots, or other vegetables. In the interest of saving time, it is safe to combine your side dishes with your sausage when cooking. Make sure everything in the pan is fully cooked before eating.
Can I use silicone mats to cook my sausage?
Silicone mats can be used to cook sausages. Follow the same guidelines detailed above.
What are the repercussions of undercooking sausage?
Although eating raw meat is the norm in various cuisines, there are some risks you should be aware of. Foodborne illnesses such as Salmonella, E-Coli, and Listeria are just a few of the pathogens found in raw meat. These illnesses can cause vomiting, diarrhea, fever, headache, and in some cases, death. Properly cooking destroys these pathogens.
Is cooking sausage in the oven the healthiest method?
There are many ways you can cook your sausage. Baking is healthier than pan-frying. However, there are a couple of ways to cook them that are healthier than baking in the oven. Grilling is another dry cooking method that limits the oil and fat in your sausage while boosting the flavor. Air frying does the same while cooking evenly and thoroughly.
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