Cooking kielbasa or Polish sausage is a quick and straightforward process that allows you to get a tasty meal on the table in under 30 minutes. A kielbasa sausage is a combination of pork and beef mixed with garlic and marjoram spice that's generally served on a bun or with a side of sauerkraut.
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Tips for Cooking Kielbasa
The simplest way to cook kielbasa, Rob Levitt, head butcher and chef at Publican Quality Meats, tells LIVESTRONG.com, is to char it on a hot grill or broil kielbasa under a broiler until hot and crispy. You can also boil and bake kielbasa sausage.
But whether you boil or bake kielbasa or char it on the grill, to prevent foodborne illness, uncooked sausages that contain ground beef, pork, lamb or veal needs to be cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.
To boil kielbasa, simply place the sausage in a saucepan and cover it with water. Place the pan on a burner and turn to medium heat. Allow the water to come to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover the pan. Leave the pan on the stove for 25 minutes. Drain and serve.
If you want to grill the sausage, place it on a hot grill for four to six minutes. Flip to the other side and grill for another four to six minutes. Check the temperature before serving.
Read more: How to Cook a Sausage Patty in a Pan
Once the kielbasa sausage is done, Levitt recommends putting it on a bun with some mustard and sautéed onions. Another way to prepare this Polish cuisine, says Levitt, it to brown it quickly and then put it in a pot with onions, sauerkraut and a splash of beer, and let it simmer together until everything is hot and delicious. Serve it with some good rye bread or a soft pretzel and plenty of mustard.
While a juicy kielbasa may taste delicious, it's a good idea to consume this fatty meat in moderation. A 3-ounce serving of kielbasa, grilled has 286 calories, 10.6 grams of protein, 25.2 grams of fat and 4.28 grams of carbohydrates, according to the USDA. If you're looking for a sausage with less fat, consider a lean chicken or turkey sausage.
Read more: Healthy Breakfast Sausage
Safety of Serving Kielbasa
Once your meal is complete, any leftover kielbasa sausage needs to be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. The key to keeping the meat free of bacteria, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in a container with a lid and store in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking kielbasa.
The clock starts ticking as soon as you put the sausage in the refrigerator. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says perishable food can stay in the refrigerator for three to four days before you need to eat the leftovers or toss them out. To make it last longer, you can also store cooked sausage in the freezer for two to three months. But if you're not going to cook it, make sure it only stays in the freezer for one to two months.
If you plan on eating leftovers, the American Academy of Dietetics says to reheat leftovers to 165 F to ensure proper food safety. Using a microwave or reheating in the oven are both common ways to reheat leftovers. Before serving, use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature.
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: "Sausages and Food Safety"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Kielbasa, Fully Cooked, Grilled"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Game Day Food Safety Tips"
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: "Tips for Reheating Leftovers"
- Publican Quality Meats: "Rob Levitt, Head Butcher and Chef: Personal Interview"
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: "Are You Storing Food Safely?"