How to Cook Frozen Sausages

If you've forgotten to thaw frozen sausage in time for the breakfast rush or to cook a hearty dinner, your options depend primarily on the brand of sausage you're cooking. Some manufacturers specify that the sausage must be thawed before cooking, while other brands can go straight to the pan.

There are many options for good frozen sausages. Credit: Willie B. Thomas/DigitalVision/GettyImages

Cooking times for sausage links or patties vary depending on the cooking method. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, safe minimum internal temperature for sausage is either 160 or 165 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on whether it's pork, beef or poultry; poultry needs the higher internal temperature.

When in doubt — as with mixed patties or links — wait until the sausage reaches 165 F.

Read more: Can You Eat Sausages on a Low-Carb Diet?

Know the Nutrients

Specific nutritional information varies based on the ingredients in your sausage. For example, according to the USDA, two pan-fried links of pork sausage provide:

  • 180 calories
  • 12 grams of protein
  • 14 grams of total fat
  • 5 grams of saturated fat
  • 2 grams of sugars

For a leaner option, try a turkey sausage patty:

  • 80 calories
  • 10 grams of protein
  • 4 grams of total fat
  • 1.5 grams of saturated fat
  • 0 grams of sugar

Cooking Frozen and Uncooked Sausage

Step 1: Remove From Freezer

Remove the sausage from the freezer. Read the label to confirm that the product can be cooked without thawing.

Step 2: Heat Your Pan

Preheat a skillet on the stove set to medium heat or preheat the oven to 325 F.

Step 3: Place in Oven

Set frozen sausages in the skillet or in a shallow baking pan, which you put into the oven.

Step 4: Turn to Cook Evenly

Turn sausages at least once while in the skillet or baking pan so they are evenly cooked.

Step 5: Check the Temperature

Pierce a sausage with a meat thermometer when the sausages have been cooking for the minimal recommended amount of time.

Frozen sausages take at least 12 minutes when sauteed in a medium skillet or at least 10 minutes when cooked in the oven.

Step 6: Remove Cooked Sausage

Remove the sausage from the heat source once it registers an internal temperature of 165 F and is no longer pink at the center.

Making Frozen and Precooked Sausage

Step 1: Remove From Freezer

Remove the sausage from the freezer. Read the label to confirm the product can be cooked without thawing.

Step 2: Place in Skillet

Set frozen sausages in a nonstick skillet with the burner turned to medium.

Step 3: Cook and Turn

Cook the sausages about 10 minutes, turning them in the skillet to ensure even browning and heating.

Step 4: Remove and Serve

Remove the sausages from the heat after 10 minutes or when a test sausage feels hot in the center.

Preparing Thawed and Uncooked Sausage

Step 1: Thaw in Fridge

Set the sausage package on a dish and thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.

Step 2: Preheat Oven or Skillet

Preheat a skillet on medium heat or preheat the oven to 350 F.

Step 3: Set in Pan

Set thawed sausages in the skillet or in a shallow baking pan; put the pan in the oven.

Step 4: Cook Frozen Sausage

Cook the sausages in the pan or in the oven for at least 12 minutes.

Step 5: Pierce With Thermometer

Pierce a sausage with a meat thermometer when the sausages have been cooking for the minimal recommended amount of time.

Step 6: Remove From Heat

Remove the sausage from the heat source if it registers an internal temperature of 165 F and is no longer pink at the center.

Try Thawed and Precooked Sausage

Step 1: Thaw Frozen Sausage

Set the sausage package on a dish and thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, thawed meats can remain in the fridge for one to two days before cooking.

Step 2: Preheat the Skillet

Preheat a skillet on medium heat.

Step 3: Place in Pan

Set the sausages in the pan and cover with the skillet lid to preserve moisture.

Step 4: Cook Your Meat

Cook the sausages in the covered skillet for at least eight minutes, removing the lid once or twice to turn the sausages.

Step 5: Check the Temperature

Remove the pan from the heat when a test sausage feels heated through at the center. Test the temperature with an internal thermometer before consuming.

Read more: Is Pork Better Than Beef?

Things You'll Need

  • Skillet or baking pan

  • Spatula

  • Tongs

  • Meat thermometer

Tips

Additional cooking options for still-frozen or thawed sausages include microwaving and broiling. Check the package instructions for recommendations.

Once frozen sausage has been properly cooked, eat them as they are or use them in casseroles and other dishes. Uncooked patties can be crumbled in the frying pan when loose sausage meat is called for, but you should first remove the casings from links before cooking them for the same effect.

Warning

Sausage fat will spatter freely. Use great care when pan-cooking sausages or turning sausages in the oven.

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