When it comes to Italian cuisine, sausage plays a major role. Italian sausages are considered to be the king of sausages, since they are delicious and versatile. Although there are different methods of cooking Italian sausage, only a few are considered good enough to draw out the flavor from the meat. There are two types of sausages namely; bulk and link. Both can be prepared by using different methods. Also, while cooking sausage, certain safe handling tips should be taken care of. Sausage should not be left outside and should be stored in the refrigerator immediately after the preparation time. In case you have brought a pack from the market, it is advisable to use the prepared sausage within two days. Read on to know about the different methods you can employ while cooking Italian sausages.
Italian Sausage Cooking Methods
The most common way to prepare Italian sausage is to fry it. The method is applicable for both the link form as well as the bulk form. While making bulk sausage, place it in a large nonstick skillet and brown it. If required add a little vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Use this sausage in sauces and other preparations. For cooking sausage links, place them in a saucepan and add a little water. Cover and cook them on medium-high heat. Turn over the sausages using tongs every couple of minutes, till they are completely browned. To check whether the links are done, cut the sausage and check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer. The temperature should be 165 °F.
Though baking can dry out the sausage, it is a popular method for cooking Italian sausages. You can either baste them while cooking or use a marinade to bake them. Preheat oven to 200 °F. Place the sausage links in a baking pan and bake till the internal temperature of the sausage reaches 165°F. To reach to this temperature, the baking time can take 30 to 45 minutes.
People often confuse poaching with boiling. Much like their names, the methods involved in the two are also different. Place the sausage links in a deep-sided frying pan and add enough water to just cover the links. Boil the water and reduce it to simmer. Allow the sausages to cook for 30 minutes and test with a meat thermometer thereafter. In case you are planning to grill or fry the sausage links, poach them for about 10 minutes, before switching over to the other methods. Instead of poaching the sausage in water, you can also try beer or stock to enhance the dish and add flavor to it.
Grilling turns out to be a favorite cooking method in summers, as it not only adds flavor to sausages but is also light on the stomach. When planning to grill sausage, it is best to grill on low heat to prevent the meat from drying out. Place the sausage links on the grill and cover the lid. Cook on indirect heat and turn the links occasionally, using tongs. After cooking for about 10 to 15 minutes, place the links on direct heat and allow the skin to turn a little crisp. Check the temperature of the meat. It should be 165°F, before removing them from the grill.