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Can You Microwave Sausage?

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Sausages are some of the most flavorful meaty ingredients that exist to date. There are loads of different types and flavors to choose from that can be prepared, cooked, and used in completely different ways.

So, can you microwave sausage? Yes, you can microwave sausages. You can microwave raw, fresh sausages to cook them completely. You can also heat pre-cooked, cured, or smoked sausages to help develop more flavor. Additionally, you can reheat any previously cooked sausage product.

While this may seem strange in comparison to traditional sausage cooking and heating techniques, there are actually a ton of benefits to microwaving these meaty products!

In this jam-packed article, we will explore all of these options. We’ll also look at which sausages you can heat in the microwave, how to microwave different types of sausages, and the benefits and downsides of microwaving sausages.

Should You Microwave Sausage?

There are thousands of different kinds of sausages around the world. In the United States alone there are more than 200 different kinds — and that’s not even including different flavors within each kind!

So when considering whether you can microwave sausages, you really have to think big:

  • What type of sausage are we talking about?
  • Have they undergone some cooking yet?
  • Do they even have to be cooked?
  • Are they safe to eat uncooked?

All these questions are crucial to determine whether your specific sausage can be (or should be) microwaved!

Different Types Of Sausages

Now, there are four main types of sausages.

Cured sausages are preserved through a curing process and therefore don’t need to be cooked in order to safely eat them. You can, of course, but this is usually to add the sausage flavor to the rest of the ingredients in the dish. 

If you are wondering which sausages are cured, they are also often called and labeled “salumi” and “charcuterie.” Some popular examples include chorizo, salami, pepperoni, and coppa. 

Fresh sausages are made from raw, fresh meat that has been ground, seasoned, and stuffed into casings (natural or artificial). These include sausages like breakfast links, sausage patties, boerewors, and bratwurst.

These are highly perishable and need to be properly stored and cooked. 

Pre-cooked sausages are another common category of sausage. Some examples include bologna, hot dogs, and cheese bangers. The meat inside the casings is very smooth, and they don’t have a lot of texture.

Now, these are obviously pre-cooked, so you don’t need to cook them to eat them. However, most people prefer reheating them for a better, juicier flavor.

And finally, we have smoked sausages — these types of sausages have also been cooked through smoking. Andouille is one of the most popular smoked sausages across the globe!

If they are cold-smoked, they first underwent some other form of cooking. However, hot-smoked sausages are slowly cooked during the smoking process.

Now, just like pre-cooked sausages, these don’t have to be cooked — however, many people heat them to help incorporate their flavor into the rest of the dish.

Can You Microwave Sausage? Which Types Are Best?

In short, you can microwave sausages. There are three reasons you would want to do so.

The first reason is to cook fresh sausages. These sausages cannot be eaten raw, so you clearly cannot just reheat them for a couple of seconds — you need to cook them completely.

The second reason you would maybe want to microwave sausages is to heat them.

This is done with cured, smoked, and pre-cooked sausages. Even though these are completely safe to eat on their own, heating them helps more flavor and juices develop.

When heating these sausages, you don’t have to test their doneness because they are already cooked. So, you can play around with how hot you want to make them.

The third and final reason you would microwave sausages is to reheat them after they have been cooked. This applies to all kinds of sausages, even freshly cooked ones.

Here you technically also don’t need to test the doneness of the freshly cooked sausages. However, they won’t be good semi-warm — we always heat them until they are piping hot.

Now, you may be wondering why we discussed the different reasons for microwaving sausage. Well, even though the answer doesn’t change regarding whether or not you can for different kinds, the heating techniques do.

Different categories of sausage will need to be prepared, heated, or cooked (and tested for doneness) in different ways. It’s crucial to understand why to understand the consequences if you don’t.

Undercooked fresh sausage can be deadly. So, you must follow the guidelines we’ve set out below exactly.

How To Microwave Fresh, Raw Sausages (Of Any Kind)

Cooking fresh sausages in the microwave is easy, but you can create quite a mess if you don’t follow certain steps.

Another important note is that you must test the doneness before removing them from the microwave.

1. Prepare The Sausages

Depending on the kind of sausage you have, you may need to prepare it.

Any sausage enclosed in a casing has to be pricked with a fork. This will prevent excessive steam from building up inside, causing the sausage to eventually burst and create a mess literally all over the inside of your microwave.

If you have linked sausages, separate them from each other. That makes them easier to handle, and they will lay flat in a single layer.

2. Place The Sausages In A Microwave-Safe Container

Any container that fits the sausages in a single layer will do. Don’t heat more than six sausages at a time (depending on their size) — if you overload the dish, the sausages won’t cook evenly and quickly.

Cover the container with a microwave-safe lid or a damp sheet of paper towel. This will help keep the moisture inside and prevent the entire microwave from being covered with juices.

3. Microwave On High

If you are cooking two fresh sausages, microwave them for 2–3 minutes. Four sausages will cook for 4–5 minutes. Six sausages will take 6–8 minutes to cook.

Basically, it’s about a minute per sausage, maybe a little extra.

4. Test Their Doneness

Once the initial cooking time has elapsed, remove them from the microwave and test their doneness.

You can use a meat thermometer or check the inside. The thermometer should show an internal temperature between 155°F–165°F (68°C–74°C).

Alternatively, you can cut open the inside and see if the meat is still pink or bloody. The skins will also effortlessly peel from the meat.

5. Brown The Sausages

This step is optional, but highly recommended. It adds a delicious meaty caramelized flavor that a microwave will never be able to create!

Drain the cooked sausages from any juices. Then, heat some olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the cooked sausage and leave them brown for about 1–2 minutes per side.

You can brown them while they have their skins on or without their skins; it’s up to you.

How To Microwave Cured, Smoked, And Pre-Cooked Sausages

If you want to heat these kinds of sausages that don’t need any additional cooking, merely some warming if desired, it will take significantly less time than when cooking fresh, raw sausages.

1. Prepare The Sausages

You can prick or slice these sausages to help them heat faster and more evenly. You don’t have to though, because they don’t contain as much moisture as raw sausages. So, it’s unlikely that they will burst open.

2. Place The Sausages In A Microwave-Safe Container

Again, place the sausages inside a microwave-safe container and place a microwave-safe cover over them.

3. Microwave On High

These sausages only have to heat for 30–120 seconds. The times really depend on how much you are heating and how hot you want them to be. The actual size of the sausage or pieces will also affect the exact heating time.

4. Test Their Doneness

These sausages will be safe to eat at any temperature, so you don’t have to look for specific signs of them being “cooked.” You can just feel them to see if they are at the temperature you would like.

5. Use The Heated Sausages

Use your heated sausages in any way that you’d like. They can be incorporated into soups, stews, casseroles, sandwiches, and salads.

How To Reheat Sausages In The Microwave

Food should only be reheated once — this is especially important for freshly cooked sausages. Never reheat sausages twice.

If you want to reheat any sausages, you need to place them in a microwave-safe container with a cover. 

The exact reheating time will depend on how thick the sausage is, how big the portions are, and how hot you want them.

You are looking at anywhere between 30–90 seconds on high — it shouldn’t take any longer than that. If it does, you are likely drying out the sausages, or you’ve overloaded the container.

How Long To Microwave Sausages

To cook raw, fresh sausages, you can microwave them on high for a minute per sausage, plus an additional minute for the entire batch. For two sausages, you would need 2–3 minutes; five sausages would take about 5–6 minutes to cook. 

To heat already cooked, cured, or smoked sausages, you can microwave them for 30–120 seconds (½–2 minutes). This wide range is because the size, density, and sausage amount will all affect the final heating time.

And to reheat any cooked sausage, you are looking at anywhere between 30–90 seconds (½–1½ minutes).

Benefits Of Microwaving Sausages

Microwaving sausages has a bunch of benefits.

First, it’s very quick. Cooking fresh, raw sausages in a frying pan takes at least 10 minutes. Sure, it helps caramelize the outside to add more flavor, but it’s not always needed, and some people don’t like it.

Comparatively, cooking six sausages (which is more than a lot of pans can handle) takes, at the most, 8 minutes in the microwave.

It’s also a lot less messy. You can wipe down the microwave if any juices escape the cover, but a frying pan or skillet has to be scrubbed vigorously. Even if you roast the sausages in the oven, you still have to clean up pans and trays.

Downsides To Microwaving Sausages

Naturally, there are some downsides we have to mention. First, the sausages aren’t browned — in a microwave, they steam. The skins won’t caramelize nicely, so you won’t have that added flavor (but you can pan-fry it after it has steamed).

The second downside is that the sausages aren’t always as flavorful — the meaty flavors don’t develop because the steam almost waters them down. It’s the same reason why fried chicken is better than boiled chicken.

And finally, the skins steam and peel off a lot. If you don’t like sausage skins, that’s great, but if you do like them, you may want to use an alternative method.

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