Italian sausage is a juicy, flavorful sausage that can be added to rice and bean dishes as well as served up on its own as part of a robust breakfast.
I like mine dry fried on the stove in a skillet, but there are lots of ways to use this meat, and I want to look at some of those and show you how to cook Italian sausage.
What Is Italian Sausage?
Are you wondering what is Italian sausage made of? Seasoned pork is ground up and stuffed into casing shell to make Italian sausage links, and these tend to be about 6 inches long and have a strong flavor.
They are often seasoned with red pepper flakes, thyme, black pepper, parsley, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, basil, onion powder and fennel seeds, but the seasonings can vary from one brand to another.
How to Make Italian Sausage
If you want to make your own, you will need to buy all the base ingredients, and that includes the casings to stuff the meat into.
You will need to run the ground, seasoned pork through a sausage stuffer machine, and that will encase the pork for you and make it ready to cook or store.
You can freeze your sausage at that point or refrigerate it for several days before you cook it up according to one of the methods listed below.
How to Cook Italian Sausage on the Stove
It’s quick and simple to make these in a skillet on the stove. Dry frying is probably the simplest method, and you can use a nonstick skillet and heat your sausages on all sides until they are browned.
To cook Italian sausage on the stove, place the sausages into a large skillet and add enough water to cover them by about half an inch. Heat on high until the water starts to simmer, and then cover them.
Cook them on a low simmer for about 1 minutes and then take off the lid. Keep on cooking until the water evaporates out and the sausages turn brown.
How long to boil Italian sausages? The method I gave you above doesn’t boil them but rather simmers them. You can boil them, however and it usually takes about 30 minutes to boil raw ones and 10 minutes to boil precooked ones.
How to Bake Italian Sausage
A meat like this that is so easy to cook can be prepared in a number of ways. Baking smoked sausage is simple enough, but it takes longer than some of the other methods.
One thing to keep in mind when baking or cooking smoked sausage in any way is that you don’t need to pierce it. If you poke into the sausage, you will release the juices when it starts cooking, and it will lose some of its flavor.
How to cook Italian sausage in the oven? Just preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
Put the sausages onto the baking sheet, along with any seasonings or veggies you want to cook with them.
Make sure the sausages are not touching each other and bake them in the center rack inside the oven.
How long to cook Italian sausage in oven? That will depend on what temperature you have set the oven to. I think 400 degrees works best, and there isn’t any real benefit to slow cooking the sausage.
How long to cook Italian sausage in oven at 400? They should bake for 20-25 minutes, and the sausages should reach an internal temperature of about 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to Grill Italian Sausage
Grilling Italian sausage is just as easy any of the other cooking methods.
Start by preheating the grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and then place the sausages onto the grill spaced apart enough so that they are not touching.
Close the grill cover and allow the sausages to cook for 4-6 minutes. Then open the lid, turn the sausages over, and cook them for another 4-6 minutes. Flip them over once more and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
How long to grill Italian sausage? It takes around 20 minutes altogether for them to cook, and when they are done cooking on the grill, they should be browned or slightly blackened all over and have an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
How Long to Cook Italian Sausage?
How long you cook the sausage for will depend on what method you are using to cook it. When the sausage is done cooking, it should have a browned look and it should be cooked all the way through.
You can check its doneness by sticking an instant read thermometer into the center of the sausage and see if it has reached 165 degrees. That’s the sweet spot that tells you when the sausage is done cooking.
What to Make with Italian Sausage?
Italian sausage is a great addition to most types of pasta dishes, and you can add it into spaghetti to replace meatballs. I have already given you some ideas for how to cook Italian sausage for spaghetti.
Italian sausage can be combined with scrambled eggs and cheese in a tortilla shell for a breakfast burrito.
What to make with ground Italian sausage that isn’t in sausage links? You can make a breakfast scramble, mixing it up with scrambled eggs and cheese or add potatoes in there for some starch.
It can be added to most rice dishes and even soups.
How Long Does Italian Sausage Last in the Fridge?
Once you’ve cooked up Italian sausage, it won’t last for very long in the fridge. If you’re storing it in an airtight container or bag, it should last for three to four days in there.
If you freeze it, it can last much longer, and when Italian sausage is stored properly, it can stay in the freezer for three to four months.
This versatile meat is very easy to cook with, as it cooks quickly, and it’s already seasoned, making for a simple addition to your meal.