Burst sausage

Why Do Sausages Burst When Cooking? (And How To Prevent It)

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It would be hard to find someone who doesn’t enjoy eating sausages. If you eat sausages on a regular basis, you must have cooked sausages many times. Hence, you have probably seen sausages burst or split many times. Not only do these sausages look ugly, but they also lose their flavor. Now, why do sausages burst when cooking

There are quite a few reasons for sausages to split when you grill or bake them. One of the common reasons is trying to cook sausages fast on high heat. The skin of the sausage bursts open, and it remains raw inside. 

In this article, I will talk about different reasons that may cause your sausage to burst. Then I will tell you how to prevent splitting and give you tips on cooking perfect sausages. 

Why Sausages Burst Or Split

At some point, every sausage lover decides to prepare and cook their own sausages. The choices are endless. You can make chicken, beef, lamb, pork, and even deer meat sausages! 

I have been making and cooking sausages for years now. The first time I put sausages on the frying pan, their skin split open lengthwise after a while. They looked and tasted like nothing, as I expected. That was not even the first time I saw sausages explode. I have seen store-bought sausages explode as well.

Hence, I did some research on why sometimes sausages split or burst. Here are the reasons you should know:

Mistakes During Preparation

It is not always how you cook sausages that causes them to split. Sometimes, mistakes can happen during sausage-making. Sausage mainly requires three ingredients to make: meat, fat, and liquid. 

If you add more than the required amount of water to the mix, the sausages have a high chance of exploding. It happens if the water heats quickly and the insides of the sausages get too steamy. Thus, the casing or skin of the sausages cannot contain the steam and splits. 

Another sausage preparation mistake is stuffing the casing too tightly. When you cook the tightly stuffed sausages, the ingredients will expand and burst out of the casing. So, you have to be careful while you stuff sausages. Again, make sure there are not too many air pockets in the raw sausages. Otherwise, the air bubbles may explode when it gets hot. 

Mistakes During Cooking

When you cook, bake, or grill at high temperatures, the sausage casing or skin may split lengthwise. Because of the high heat, the skin of the sausage gets cooked fast, but the inside remains raw. As the skin contracts, it can split on both sides. So, you may see the sausages bursting a while after you put them in a hot frying pan. 

Frying sausages in a pan

Also, too much heat can cause the fat to turn into liquid, which can cause the casing or skin to burst. The same problem can occur during the baking or grilling of sausages. These sausages look like a disaster. Moreover, you should not eat them as they may remain uncooked inside. Obviously, you understand what can happen to you after eating raw meat. 

How To Prevent Sausages From Bursting

Now that you have learned the reasons why sausages tend to explode, you can take a few steps to prevent it from happening again. In fact, there are several ways to make sure your sausages do not split. 

Here are some tricks and tips I follow to avoid causing sausage explosions:

During Sausage Preparation

If you are making sausages at home, make sure to add all the ingredients proportionally, especially the amount of water. Typically, you should add 1 cup of water (8 ounces) for every 5 pounds of meat. So, follow the ideal amount of water according to the sausage meat. You should put the sausage meat in the refrigerator. It helps keep the sausage together. 

Next, you should do the proper casing and linking of the sausages. Always buy quality casing and tubes for making sausages. It will save a lot of time and reduce the risk of exploding the sausage casing. When you link the sausages, do not stuff them too firmly. Use your hands to feel the stuffing. 

After linking and separating the sausages, you can take a fork and make small holes in them. This way, the extra juice from the sausage comes out instead of exploding. 

Boiling/Simmering The Sausages In Boiled Water

Whether you want to fry, grill, or bake your sausages without splitting, you should prepare them. You can put your sausages in the refrigerator for a while. Or, you can submerge them in a pot or pan of cold water. Many people simmer sausages in wine, beer, or cider. 

After a while, boil the pot or pan for 6 to 8 minutes. When you have finished simmering the sausages, take them out of the water and dry them well. Boiling the sausages in hot water will help them get evenly cooked inside. Hence, they will not be raw inside, and the possibility of splitting decreases. 

Then you can cook it any way you want. I found boiled sausages easy to fry, bake, and grill. You can refrigerate the boiled sausages to cook later. It will help you a lot when you have to cook sausages for house parties. All you have to do is get the precooked sausages out and cook them the way you want.

Whatever method you choose to cook the sausages, you must cook them slowly over low or medium heat. Too much heat will split open the sausage skin. The internal temperature of the cooked sausages must reach 160 degrees F. Eating sausages cooked below the safe temperature can cause digestive problems. 

How To Cook Sausages In The Oven

If you want your sausages to cook evenly, you can roast or bake them in the oven. The sausages will be evenly cooked without the risk of burning as the heat moves in all directions. Here is how you can bake sausages in the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 to 400 degrees F.
  2. Take an oven-proof pan and place tin foil on it. Then place the sausages on top of it. You can also use a skillet for baking the sausages. 
  3. Smear the tin foil with cooking oil to keep the sausages from drying out. 
  4. Place the pan or skillet in the oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes. 
  5. Turn over the sausages halfway through to distribute heat evenly. 
  6. Remove when the sausages turn brown or a color of your liking. 

How To Grill Sausage 

If you are not careful, you may end up splitting or bursting sausages on the grill. So, you must avoid grilling them at a high temperature. Set the grill temperature to medium heat. The sausages just need to reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. 

Grill your sausages for about 20 minutes at a temperature of 160 to 200 degrees F. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the sausages. When the temperature reaches 160 degrees F, your food is ready. 

To ensure even cooking, turn the sausages in every few minutes while they’re grilling. Cook for a few minutes longer if you want your sausage to be a little browner.

How To Fry Sausages?

If you want to fry sausages in a frying pan, there is a high risk of burning or splitting them. So, I always simmer the sausages for 6 to 10 minutes before frying them in the pan. You may heat 1 tbsp of oil to cook the sausages.  

Dry the sausages and put them in the heated oil in the pan. Then cook for 10 to 12 minutes on low to medium heat. Turn the sausages over for even cooking. Once they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees, they are ready to eat. 

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