Freezing sausages is a great way to stock up on this delicious food that can be enjoyed in so many ways.
Whether you make them fresh at home or buy the fresh or frozen variety from the market, they last a good amount of time in the freezer and make for convenient meals.
But what if you have already thawed your frozen sausage and wish to freeze it again? Is it possible to refreeze it? Let’s find out!
So, can you refreeze sausage? Yes, you can refreeze both raw and cooked sausage that has previously been frozen, but on two conditions — it must have been thawed safely or cooked entirely before refreezing.
Read on to find out more about refreezing sausages, the precautions to take before refreezing, the best way to do so, and much more.
How To Refreeze Sausage
Sausages are a type of ground meat mixed with fat, spices, and other seasonings. They can be made with a variety of meats and prepared in a number of ways, from mild, fresh sausages to smoked and cured options.
There are so many types of sausages available — they can be sold fresh or fully cooked, cured, smoked, or dried. There are also several ways to cook sausages, including grilling, pan-frying, roasting, and boiling.
You can also easily make sausages at home or buy the frozen variety available in supermarkets all over the country.
Freezing sausages, similar to other types of meat, is a great way to make them last longer. However, once they have been thawed, it can be a bit of a hassle to figure out how to store the leftovers.
The good news is that you can refreeze both raw and cooked sausages if they have been thawed and handled properly!
Refreezing Cooked Sausages
If you’ve cooked your already frozen sausages, you can refreeze them for future use. However, you have to be very careful while handling them.
Cooked sausages must be cooled down quickly and either refrigerated or frozen within 2 hours.
The reason for this is that the longer they are allowed to sit out in the open at the temperature “danger zone,” the higher the chances are of them getting contaminated with bacteria.
Refreezing Raw/Uncooked Sausages
If you have thawed uncooked sausages and changed your mind about cooking them at the last minute, you can put them back in the freezer as long as they were thawed in the refrigerator.
Make sure to not keep raw sausages in the refrigerator for longer than 2-3 days as it may increase their chances of going bad.
Refreezing Commercially Frozen Sausages
When you buy frozen sausages from the supermarket, they usually come in packaging designed to be able to make them withstand extreme temperature fluctuations.
If they thaw a bit on your way home, you can just pop them in the freezer as soon as you get home.
If you have already opened the packaging, you can wrap the thawed sausages in heavy-duty freezer bags and refreeze them.
Things To Consider When Refreezing Sausages
When refreezing sausages, there are a few things to consider to make sure they stay good and can be enjoyed at a later time.
Proper handling is key when it comes to refreezing sausages. When buying frozen sausages from the supermarket, get them at the end of your grocery run so that they stay colder for longer.
You must refrigerate them as soon as you get home at 40°F and put them in the freezer within 2 days.
Always make sure to thaw the sausages overnight in the refrigerator, and never at room temperature, as the latter promotes bacterial growth.
When refreezing cooked sausages, make sure to cook them properly before refreezing.
Pork and beef sausages should be cooked to a minimum temperature of 160°F and poultry-based sausages should be cooked at 165°F. Allow them to cool quickly and freeze them within 2 hours.
Pack the thawed sausages into airtight containers or freezer-safe bags. If using the latter, try to squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing them tightly. Label the boxes and bags with the date and refreeze them at 0°F or lower.
Best Way To Thaw Sausages For Refreezing
There are several ways to defrost sausages, but not all of them are recommended when you plan on refreezing them.
The safest method is putting them overnight in the refrigerator. Although it takes the longest, it is safest when compared to other defrosting methods such as microwaving them or leaving them on the countertop.
Thawing your sausages in the refrigerator allows them to maintain a certain temperature at all times and have limited contact with air, which often leads to bacterial contamination.
When defrosted in the refrigerator, sausages can easily be refrozen without losing their quality and nutritional properties.
How Many Times Can You Refreeze Sausages?
Sausages can be refrozen only one time. Once you’ve defrosted a frozen sausage, you can freeze it just once more without compromising much on its flavor and overall quality.
Refreezing again and again will have an impact on the sausage’s flavor and texture, which is why it isn’t recommended to do more than once.
To prevent refreezing, it is always a good idea to portion the sausages before freezing them so that you thaw only as much as is needed. Having to defrost 10 sausages frozen together in order to use only one is not the right way to go!
Portion freezing will prevent the continuous cycle of thawing and refreezing, and allow you to defrost only the quantity you need without compromising the quality of the remaining sausages.
How Long Do Refrozen Sausages Last?
According to the USDA, sausages can be stored in the freezer for an indefinite time as long as the freezer maintains a constant temperature at or below 0°F.
However, they will maintain their peak quality for only a certain amount of time: 2 months for frozen raw sausages and up to 3 months for frozen cooked sausages.
When it comes to refreezing, the repeated process of freezing and thawing can have an impact on the overall quality of the sausages. The harsh freezer air causes loss of moisture and results in the meat losing its rich flavors.
For best results, you can leave sausages refrozen for a month and, as discussed above, not refreeze them more than once.
If you leave the sausages in the freezer for longer, they may develop an unpleasant taste and get freezer burn.
Keeping that in mind, if you want to avoid consuming bland-tasting, dry meat, we suggest you eat the refrozen sausages within the 4-week time frame.
Sausages thawed on the kitchen countertop are not safe for refreezing since they are exposed to bacterial contaminants and are on the verge of spoilage.
In such instances, consume the sausages within the safe time frame and discard the leftovers.
If you try to freeze them again, chances are that they will spoil inside the freezer and become inedible.
Therefore, for best results and to make sure your refrozen sausages last as long as possible, it is important to refreeze them at the right time and use the correct steps.
What Is The Best Way To Use Refrozen Sausages?
Frozen and refrozen sausages can be used in a variety of ways. When you wish to use them, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and heat them on a skillet over the stove or bake them to 160°F in the oven.
While you are at the liberty to use them any way you like — in a sandwich or with your breakfast — refrozen sausages taste best when combined with other ingredients, such as in a soup, pasta dish, or savory casserole.
The reason for this is that thawing and freezing the sausages several times dries them up a bit — the moisture in the soups, gravies, and sauces will help overcome both the dryness and “frozen” taste of the sausages.
Can You Refreeze Smoked Sausage?
Yes, you can refreeze smoked sausages under two circumstances: they were thawed at a cold temperature, or are properly cooked before refreezing.
If during the thawing process, they are left at room temperature, the best way to go about it is to cook them before refreezing.
Can You Refreeze Sausage Rolls?
Yes, like sausages and smoked sausages, you can refreeze both cooked and uncooked sausage rolls as well. When you reheat them to eat, make sure they are hot all the way through!
Uncooked sausage rolls freeze (and refreeze) better than cooked sausage rolls since all the cooking is done after freezing. Although cooked sausage rolls can also be frozen, they can become a bit soggy and the pastry may not be crispy.
As with anything that goes under the repeated freezing and thawing process, the texture and flavor of sausage rolls will degrade, which is why you must avoid refreezing them when you can.
Flash-freezing them will prevent them from sticking together and allow you to portion them and defrost as many or as little as you need at a given time.