SAUSAGES are enjoying great popularity in the United States these days as new flavors, convenient products and many great-tasting old standards are tastefully meeting Americans’ breakfast, lunch and dinner needs.
Before you get to sausage sizzling, however, remember: Different types of sausage require different preparation techniques. Here’s a look at a few favorites:
• Fresh linked sausage, including fresh bratwurst, fresh Italian sausage and fresh kielbasa, must be cooked thoroughly to 160° F for meat-based sausages and to 165° F for poultry sausages. They can be parboiled and then fried or grilled, or cooked in a frying pan or grill.
To parboil, place sausage links in a heavy skillet. Add water to cover and parboil until the sausage is gray throughout (about 10 to 15 minutes). The sausage can then be fried until nicely browned. Parboiled sausage may also be grilled slowly over coals, turning frequently until gray-brown throughout.
• For a special taste treat, parboil sausage in beer instead of water prior to grilling. Stronger-flavored beers tend to impart more flavor to sausage. Beers heavy on malt will impart a sweeter flavor, suitable for strong sausages. Lagers tend to be more bitter and complement a sweeter sausage.
• Sausages may also be grilled slowly, thoroughly and evenly over mature coals or gas flames.
• Cooked sausage such as wieners, knockwurst, cooked bratwurst and smoked sausage need only be heated until hot, which can be done in a variety of ways. To steam precooked sausage, bring a pan of water or beer to a boil. Remove the pan from heat and add sausage. Cover the pan and let it stand seven to 10 minutes. Adding sausages to vigorously boiling water may cause the casings to split.
• Cooked sausage can be baked in a casserole dish, microwaved, grilled or panfried.
• All sausages in casings should be turned with tongs during cooking—not with a fork, which can puncture the casing and permit flavorful juices to escape.
You can find further facts in a colorful brochure: “A Guide To Sausage Varieties, Culture and Cooking,” online at http://hot-dog.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/94387. Free copies are also available for a self-addressed 6×9” envelope with 66 cents postage sent to NHDSC, 1150 Connecticut Avenue, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20036. North American Precis Syndicate