microwave sausage

How to Microwave Sausage – Everything You Need to Know

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You can never go wrong with sausages for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. One of the most versatile ingredients around, sausages can be enjoyed any time of day, and in a variety of ways.

There are many different ways to cook sausages, whether in the oven, on the stove, on the grill, or in the air fryer. However, if you don’t have the right equipment, or if you don’t want to wait too long, you can microwave sausages.

How do you microwave sausages?

The best way to microwave sausages is to microwave them on high for between 3 to 4 minutes, for two sausages. The more sausages you microwave at once, the more time you will need to microwave for.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about microwaving sausages, so you get tasty, fully-cooked sausages each time.

Can You Cook Sausages in the Microwave?

First, let’s look at whether you can actually cook sausages in the microwave!

Luckily, the answer is yes, you can cook sausages in the microwave, and it is a safe way to prepare the sausages if the right method is followed. The sausages will cook through at the right temperature and right time in the microwave.

However, it is important to note that you will not get the same caramelized, dark skin on the outside that you achieve when roasting or frying the sausages, but it will be cooked nonetheless.

You also need to remember to practice proper food handling when microwaving sausages, as it is still raw meat and you want to make sure that there is no cross-contamination.

Done right, sausages can be cooked successfully in the microwave, and they can be cooked through in a short amount of time.

How to Cook Sausages in the Microwave

It is a fairly simple process to microwave sausages, but there are a few steps to follow which help the sausages cook through fully and evenly, without drying out or turning rubbery.

microwave sausage

Here is a how to successfully cook sausages in the microwave:

Step 1:

Many types of sausages come linked together, so if this is the case, then cut the links and separate the sausages.

Once separated, prick the sausages with a fork or toothpick several times on all sides. This helps to prevent the sausages from exploding in the microwave, which not only keeps the microwave clean but helps the sausages keep their shape too.

Step 2:

Place the sausages down into a microwave-safe dish, keeping them in a single layer and making sure to not overcrowd the plate.

If possible, only microwave six or fewer sausages at once. Placing too many in at one time might cause them to not cook evenly, and it would take too long to cook them all.

Step 3:

Once you have laid the sausages out on the plate in a single layer and with some space between them, cover them with a suitable microwave-lid, or with some paper kitchen towel.

Step 4:

Microwave the sausages on high for around a minute and a half per sausage. This should be enough time to cook the sausages thoroughly but remember that the thickness of the sausage will determine how long they need to be cooked.

  • Two sausages – cook between 2 to 3 minutes
  • Four sausages – cook between 4 to 5 minutes
  • Six sausages – cook between 6 to 8 minutes

Step 5:

Once cooked for the right amount of time, check the sausages to see that they have cooked through. If not, then place them back in the slotted spatula for another two minutes, and check the sausages. Repeat as many times as necessary.

Step 6:

This is an optional step – but it does help to make the sausages softer. When microwaving sausages, the skins might peel away and be quite chewy, so you might want to remove these from the sausage meat before eating.

Step 7:

Once you are sure the sausages are cooked through, allow them to sit in the microwave for a minute or so, which allows the juices to settle, so your sausages are tender and moist.

How Long to Microwave Different Types of Sausages

Different types of sausages will take different amounts of time to cook, and the last thing you want is to bite into an undercooked sausage!

raw sausages

Generally, set on high in the microwave, each sausage needs about 1 ½ minutes to 3 minutes to cook through, but this can vary for a variety of reasons.

Here are some popular types of sausages, and how long each type needs to be cooked (remember that the thicker the sausage, the longer it needs to be cooked) The time guidelines below are for a single sausage cooked on high in the microwave.

  • Breakfast Sausage – 2 minutes
  • Italian Sausage – 3 to 4 minutes
  • Andouille Sausage – 3 to 4 minutes
  • Kielbasa – 5 minutes
  • Chorizo – 2 to 3 minutes
  • Bratwurst – 3 to 4 minutes

Look for cooking guidelines when purchasing a sausage, to make sure that you cook the sausage for the right amount of time.

Tips for Microwaving Sausages

While it is really quite simple to cook sausages in the microwave, there are some helpful tips to use to be able to cook them to their best quality:

Brown the Sausages

You will never achieve a brown, caramelized outside of sausages when cooked in the microwave, and if this is something that you are after, then you can get this by quickly frying the sausages in a pan.

You can do all of the cooking in the microwave, but once the sausages are cooked, you can throw them into a hot pan on the stove, with some oil. This will give them a good color on the outside, and maybe even a little more flavor.

Just be careful when doing this, as the sausages might break apart easily as they will be so soft.

Drain the Liquid

As sausages cook in the microwave, there might be some liquid that accumulates at the bottom of the plate, and this will be greasy and watery, and not very pleasant.

Try to drain this liquid as the sausages cook, or once they have finished cooking, as you do not want it pooling on your plate when it is time to eat the sausages.

Prick the Sausages

You need to remember to prick the sausages before microwaving them, as this helps relieve some pressure, and helps to prevent the sausages from exploding in the microwave.

You can use a fork or a toothpick to prick some holes around the sausages, and you only need a few holes, not to destroy the casing completely.

Prevent Splatter

Try your best to prevent splatter in the microwave. The water content and fat content in the sausages will cause them to splatter quite a bit, and this can cause a mess inside the microwave.

The best way is to use a microwave container to cook the sausages, which comes with a microwave-safe lid.

If you do not have a dish and lid that fit together, then you can cover the sausages and the plate with a few paper towels to prevent splatter. You could also place a paper towel on the plate and under the sausages to absorb any excess fat.

Turn the Sausages

Halfway through the cooking time, turn the sausages so that they cook evenly all the way around. This also gives you a chance to drain any excess grease and liquid from the plate.

Do Not Overcrowd the Plate

Make sure that you do not overcrowd the plate with too many sausages. The sausages need to be placed in a single layer on the plate and should have some space between them to allow the heat to cook them evenly.

Do Not Cook Different Sausages at the Same Time

There is nothing wrong with enjoying more than one type of sausage at a time – but avoid cooking different types of sausages together in the microwave.

There will be different cooking times between different types of sausages, so it will be difficult to monitor them if they are all cooked together.

You will need to cook the different sausages in batches, and this is the safest way to ensure that they are all cooked properly and completely. 

The Pros and Cons of Microwaving Sausages

If you are still unsure as to whether or not you should cook sausages in the microwave, here are some pros and cons of doing so:

Pros of Microwaving Sausages

Quick Cooking

The biggest benefit of cooking sausages in the microwave is that they cook in only a few minutes. It is a much quicker way of cooking them compared to using the oven, stovetop, or air fryer. The sausages will be cooked in just a few minutes.

Less Clean-Up

If you cover the sausages in the microwave so that they do not splatter, then there will be minimal clean up once they are done. You would really only have to clean the plate that they were microwaved on, and it won’t be nearly as difficult to clean as a roasting tray or frying pan.

Cons of Microwaving Sausages

Lack of Flavor

The sausages will still hold their flavor when cooked in the microwave, but they won’t be as tasty as they would be if cooked on a frying pan or in the oven. Cooking on the stove or oven helps to caramelize the outside of the sausage, which adds a lot of flavor.

The Skins Peel

The skins of sausages tend to peel in the microwave, which doesn’t always look as great. The skins also tend to be chewy and tough, and sometimes even slimy, which might not be what you are looking for.

This is due to the skins not being exposed to direct heat, and not being caramelized.

Lack of Color

Once again, the skin and exterior of the sausages will not have a caramelized, brown color, as they are not exposed to direct heat. The sausages might not look as appetizing as they would have if they were cooked in the microwave or cooked in a hot frying pan.

Why Do Sausages Explode in the Microwave?

One of the biggest issues with cooking sausages in the microwave is that they tend to explode, especially if you do not prick them before cooking.

The reason that this happens is that pressure builds up in the casing, as the water molecules heat up from the energy created in the microwave, and as this water turns to steam, the casing explodes and the moisture explodes out of the sausage.

This is why pricking some holes into the sausages before cooking helps, as it gives the steam somewhere to escape, so it doesn’t rupture the casing of the sausage.

Can I Cook Frozen Sausages in the Microwave?

If you forgot to take the sausages out of the freezer to thaw, and do not have hours to wait for the sausages to defrost in the fridge, then you can cook them from frozen in the microwave.

frozen sausages in the microwave

This will obviously take a little while longer than cooking them from room temperature or from the fridge, but it only takes an extra few minutes.

The best way to do this is if your microwave has a defrost function. Most microwaves with a defrost function will have a set amount of time for certain foods and weights, so use this if possible.

Alternatively, microwave the sausages on low for around a minute a sausage, and then check to see if they have defrosted enough. If not, microwave on low for another minute, repeating until defrosted through.

You can then go and microwave the sausages on high, following the above guidelines on how to do so, and how long to cook certain sausages for, until the sausages are cooked through fully.

Can You Microwave Sausage Meat?

You can microwave sausage meat, and the sausage meat will not explode or burst in the microwave like actual sausages would.

Microwave the sausage meat on high for two minutes, and then check. You might have to repeat this a few times until the sausage meat is cooked through fully. The sausage meat will not have as much flavor cooked in the microwave as it would if cooked on a frying pan, but it will still cook through properly.

How to Microwave Sausages

If you do not have too much time to spare, then you can cook sausages in the microwave. They will not have a caramelized, browned color on the outside, and they will not have that caramelized flavor like they would if they were cooked on the stove or in the oven, but they will be cooked through fully.

Follow the above guide, and use the above tips, to cook sausages in the microwave successfully, to save you time in the kitchen!

Related Questions

Can You Reheat Sausages in the Microwave?

Sausages can be reheated in the microwave. They only need around a minute and a half to be reheated fully in the microwave. For the best results, you should reheat sausages in the oven, but this does take quite a while longer.

Can You Microwave Breakfast Sausages?

You can microwave breakfast sausages, and each sausage will need around two minutes to cook. So if you are cooking four sausages, they will need to be microwaved on high for about eight minutes.

Make sure to check that the breakfast sausages are cooked fully before removing them from the microwave and eating.

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