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 from the freezer to the pan. Cooking times for sausage links or patties vary depending on the cooking method, but the basic point is to ensure that uncooked sausages reach a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit and that you heat precooked sausages completely through.

A plate of breakfast foods with eggs and sausages on it. (Image: DAJ/amana images/Getty Images)

Frozen and Uncooked

Step 1

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

Step 2

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

Step 3

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

Step 4

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

Step 5

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

Frozen and Pre-Cooked

Step 1

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

Step 2

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

Step 3

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

Step 4

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

Thawed and Uncooked

Step 1

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

Step 2

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

Step 3

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

Step 4

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

Step 5

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

Step 6

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

Thawed and Pre-Cooked

Step 1

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

Step 2

Preheat a skillet on medium heat.

Step 3

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

Step 4

Cook the sausages in the covered skillet for at least 8 minutes, removing the lid once or twice to turn the sausages.

Step 5

Remove the pan from the heat when a test sausage feels heated through at the center.

Things You'll Need

  • Skillet or baking pan

  • Spatula

  • Tongs

  • Meat thermometer

Tip

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

The safe minimum internal temperature for sausage is either 160 or 165 F, 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.

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.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
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