I love sausages. I mean you probably could have guessed that. But I have a long history with sausages. In high school, I played guitar for a punk rock band called Abe Frohman and the Sausage Kings. Yeah…. it was a nod to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
You may not think that there is much technique required to cooking the perfect sausage, but it is a little bit more complicated than simply tossing on a hot grill and giving it 5 minutes on each side. Don’t get me wrong, I love burning hot dogs on the grill and then smothering it with mustard in a bun. But I also like a well cooked sausage that is intact and not nuked. I’ve spent a lot of time cooking sausages trying to find the perfect technique and… well…. I found two methods. Here they are!
Technique 1: The Oven
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Place your sausages into a lubricated pan (a little oil wiped over the surface will work nicely). Make sure there is air space between the sausages, ie. they shouldn’t be touching. Place the pan with sausages into the oven and let them get nice for 10 minutes. Then flip the sausages to their other sides and leave in the oven for another 5 minutes. Using hot mitts, remove the pan from the oven and let the sausages rest for 5 minutes, then dig in!
Bonus Option: If you want some extra brown on the cases, warm up a pan on the stove top and gently brown up the sausage. Be careful that you don’t get the pan too hot, this will split your case.
Technique 2: Sous Vide
Call me a purist but sometimes I think too much technology can kill the art. But hey, if you like your Sous Vide device, then this is for you! Get your sausages and put them into a vac-bag. Make sure they are not touching. Place your vac-bag of sausage into your water bath and cook at 140 degrees fahrenheit for 45 minutes. Remove from the bag and then you have to brown these up otherwise they will be juice and underwhelming. Warm a pan with a little oil on the stove and gently brown both sides of the sausage and then eat those bad boys!!
OK, so you’re probably wondering at this point “uh…. no grill?” The short answer is yes. Listen, I love grilling brats and when the weather is nice, I will almost always go out back and fire up my rusty tetanus shot and get to it. But it takes some serious work to not split your sausage or burn it on a grill. Success requires you to be sure to have low heat, and cook your sausages on the top rack so that there isn’t direct heat just crushing your dog. As soon as your case splits, the rendered fat will pour out and turn your grill into the 7 the layer of hell. Don’t even get me started on burning off all the cheese in a cheddar brat. You might as well just throw a regular brat in the fire and take a pound of cheese and throw it in the neighbors yard.