The Way You Should Cook Breakfast Sausages Instead Of In A Pan

A. A. Milne's Piglet once famously asked, "When you wake up in the morning, Pooh ... what's the first thing you say to yourself?" To which, Pooh answered, "What's for breakfast?" If you tend to wake up hungry, you know exactly what the silly old bear is talking about. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for a reason: According to Lena Beal, M.S., RD, LD at Piedmont, "Starting your day with a nutritious breakfast kick-starts your metabolism and provides fuel for your body and brain." (Not to mention it makes the prospect of getting out of those warm covers in the morning a little easier.)

There's a special place at the table (literally) for breakfast sausage. In 2020, over 172 million U.S. consumers ate sausage for breakfast, reports data analytics platform Statista. However, of that whopping number, there's a good chance many of those wake-and-bake home cooks were preparing their sausage all wrong. Have you ever gotten a perfect golden brown pan sear on the outside of your links, only to slice in and find an underdone pink center? If you typically reach for a pan and some oil when it's time to cook the breakfast sausages, you probably aren't alone. However, there's a better way, and it doesn't involve all the skillet scrubbing and popping hot oil you might be used to. Here's the way you should cook breakfast sausages instead.

Break out the boil

Don't reach for that trusty pan — at least, not yet. Instead, John Adler, vice president of culinary at meal kit company Blue Apron, recommends boiling raw sausages until they're fully cooked through, then hitting 'em with a quick pan sear right at the end to crisp up the skin and still retain that "perfect snap," via Eat This, Not That. According to Healthline, pre-cooked sausages only need about 10 minutes to boil, and raw ones will take closer to 30 minutes to cook all the way through the middle. However, it says, make sure the only type of sausage you're boiling is links, not patties — those need to be cooked in a stovetop pan or in the oven.

This technique might make less of a difference for folks cooking links to use in sausage gravy and biscuits for their breakfasts, since the gravy conceals much of the sausage and alters its texture. However, if you're on an early morning war path for a classic platter — sunny side up eggs, shredded hash browns, toast with jam (like this plant-based keto-friendly spread by vegan brand Good Good), and good old fashioned sausage links — put some water on to boil first. That crispy, snappy sausage mouthfeel will be worth the extra step.