Did you know, sausage is a staple in most places. In fact, do you know what goes well with sausage? Everything. From gravies to pasta and salads. Including, those campfire beans. Sausage is versatile — the perfect accompaniment for any seasonal produce. However, cooking a sausage can be tricky. Firstly, how long do I cook sausage in the oven? How hot should my oven be? And lastly, what is the healthiest way? Unfortunately, it seems like a daunting task to many. Nonetheless, it is quite easy. You’ll be a pro in no time. Follow these straightforward steps to cooking the perfect sausage in your very own kitchen.
You can cook sausage in a variety of ways. However, some methods are healthier than others. Here are a few of the most common forms:
At the bottom of our list would be deep-frying. This is by far the most unhealthy way to cook a sausage. If you are looking to avoid unnecessary fats, this is not the way to go.
On the contrary, cooking sausage in the oven is our #1 choice. You can even combine boiling with baking for the best outcome. Perfectly browned and crispy on the outside while flawlessly cooked on the inside. Cooking sausage in the oven doesn’t have to be a burden. Moreover, it is a flexible go-to meal option for the whole family.
When it comes to cooking sausage in the oven, you have two choices:
Either you boil the sausages first, then bake in the oven. Or, you forget the boiling and go straight to baking.
Either way produces a delightful finished product. However, when you boil the sausages first, you ensure the doneness. Cooking sausage to the proper temperature is crucial. For this reason, we like to use the combination method. Still, for less mess and faster meals, going straight to cooking sausage in the oven is an excellent substitute. Follow these simple steps to preparing any sausage in the oven.
Step #1: If boiling, place sausages in a large saucepan. From there, fill with just enough cold water to cover the links. On medium-high, bring your water to a simmer. Generally speaking, this should take about 6 mins. Once you get a gentle simmer, cook the sausages for 4-5 more minutes. For a total of 10 mins cooking time. Afterward, turn off the heat and remove your sausage from the water. (Skip this step if going straight to baking)
Next, place your sausages on a baking sheet. Be sure to use proper spacing. Otherwise, your sausages will steam, not bake. In other words, you should be able to see an equal space between each piece. If you’d like, brush with a touch of olive oil and place your sausage in the oven.
If you did step 1, your sausage should be at the right temperature already. That means you only need to leave in the oven to brown. For best results, turn frequently and keep a close eye. No one likes an overdone, dry sausage (5-10 mins should be plenty).
However, if you skipped the boiling, your sausage should take anywhere from 20-25 mins depending on the main ingredient.
Because of the nature of ground meat, sausages must reach a specific internal temperature. If meat registers below the safe zone, it should not be eaten. So, what is the food safe zone? And, how long will it take to get there?
First things first, let’s talk about temperature. This is not a “one size fits all” type of deal. If you are using sausage containing pork, beef, or veal, the internal temperature must reach a min of 160°. Yet, if you are dealing with a protein such as chicken or turkey, it is suggested to increase to 165°. Ultimately, you should see no pink on the inside. To make your life easier, purchase an instant-read thermometer. Take the hard work out of trying to eye it out. Simply check your meat periodically, and remove from the oven just before it reaches 160° – 165°. The meat will continue to cook from the inside as it rests. (But, only a few degrees)
In terms of how long to cook your sausage, it varies. As we mentioned, the average time will be around 20-25 mins. Nevertheless, significantly larger sausages will take longer, while smaller options may take less. Your instant-read thermometer will come into play to help you decide doneness.
People are always asking what temperature is best for cooking sausages in the oven. 375°? 400°? 425°? If you look on Google, you will find a mixture of answers. However, we think that low and slow is the answer. Therefore, we suggest setting your oven to 350°. It’s a good happy-medium. More importantly, it will keep your sausages moist while the outside gets crispy. If you try and cook the sausages too quickly, you risk breaking the casing. Then, all the juices will run out.
Take your time and roast your sausage in the oven for 20-25 mins at 350°. Although, if you have pre-cooked your sausages, you must shorten the time. (see time and temperature above)
When it comes to cooking sausage in the oven, the choice is yours. Yet, if you are looking for the healthiest options: Chicken or Turkey.
Chicken and turkey sausages boast fewer calories and fats than their counterparts. (pork/beef/lamb/veal) Plus, you don’t have to lose out on flavour. Also, many chicken sausages will come pre-cooked. For you, that means easier cooking.
At Hilltop Acres, we carry a variety of products. Every item is locally sourced, all-natural, but more importantly: delicious. If you are looking for a sausage to cook in the oven, check out our store to see what we all offer. We may even have a Weekly Special that gets your appetite flowing! We offer a selection of chicken sausages, fresh and frozen. Plus, we have salt-free options. As previously stated, it’s all about the food you choose and the way you prepare it. Come chat with us to learn about how you can add more local products to your diet this year.