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What Are Pork Sausages?

Glyn Sinclair
Glyn Sinclair

Pork sausages are tubes of finely minced pork, usually taken from the shoulder or leg of a pig, then seasoned and stuffed into a thin casing or skin. The casing can be made from various materials. In the past, sausage casings were made from the cleaned intestine of the pig, but they have gradually been replaced with casings produced from cellulose, collagen or plastic. The pork sausages are fried; grilled; or smoked, cured and preserved to be eaten cold at a later time. This form of food preparation and preservation is an ancient one, dating back to 4,000 B.C. and the Sumerians.

Certain sausage manufacturers use non-meat fillers and extenders in their products. These fillers serve to contribute to water binding and create a sausage that has a tighter or more resilient quality. Ingredients such as flour, processed potato and corn syrup are sometimes used. Extenders such as plant proteins — primarily soybeans — are inserted into the pork sausages to enhance their overall bulk. In many countries, these fillers are regulated and restricted as to the quantity and quality of additives used, even going as far as renaming the product if the ratio of fillers to pork is too high.

Pork sausages.
Pork sausages.

There are a few schools of thought when it comes to cooking pork sausages. Either way, the pan frying method usually is preferred over grilling. The sausages are arranged in a preheated pan that has been glazed with a dab of butter, and then they are allowed to gently simmer for 20 to 30 minutes while the cook makes sure not to allow the sausage casing to burn or stick to the frying pan. There is a theory that poking a few tiny holes in the sausage with a fork will enhance the flavor. Other people claim that allowing the pork sausages to simmer without any holes is the way to go.

Pork sausages are made from highly seasoned minced pork.
Pork sausages are made from highly seasoned minced pork.

Another popular method of cooking pork sausages is for the cook to first place them in a pan with a thin layer of water, to essentially boil them for several minutes. After this has been accomplished, the sausages are then allowed to simmer in butter or oil for the remaining cooking time. This method is intended to extract even more flavor from the sausages. The non-water proponents, however, are just as vociferous in their claims about their particular process. Ultimately, the method used to cook pork sausages is subjective and up to individual tastes.

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Discussion Comments


I really hate to hear that sausage manufacturers are putting non meat fillers into their products. This is the worst kind of shady business and when I hear about stuff like this I am grateful that we have so many regulations on food in this country.

But sausage is not the only culprit when it comes to fillers. Products throughout the grocery store, meat and non meat alike are packed with all kinds of fillers. And the ratio of fake to real is sometimes shockingly tilted towards the fake.


A few years ago I bought a sausage grinder with the intention of experimenting with different sausage recipes. Today I am making lots of delicious sausages and all kinds of varieties. but it was a slow learning process.

I definitely screwed up my first few batches and after that my sausage was only mediocre for a long time. Its harder than you would expect making sausage. The recipes are surprisingly delicate and the actual stuffing process takes a practiced hand.

But once I got it down I could make lots of sausage fast and it turns out delicious every time. I usually have a big sausage grill out in the summer time and afterwards people are always asking me to make them sausage.


For me it's not breakfast without a couple of links of spicy pork sausage. That's what my mom served for breakfast and I have been in the habit of eating it every morning for going on 30 years now.

I like all of the breakfast meats, but for me nothing beats pork sausage. It has all the rich decadence of the other meats but it also has the dynamic spicing. It's the king of breakfast meats, forget bacon.

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    • Pork sausages.
      By: Louis Renaud
      Pork sausages.
    • Pork sausages are made from highly seasoned minced pork.
      By: al62
      Pork sausages are made from highly seasoned minced pork.
    • Pork sausage meat is usually stuffed into casings made of pig intestines.
      By: lucamedei
      Pork sausage meat is usually stuffed into casings made of pig intestines.