Sausages are extremely versatile. For example, you can have sausage and mash, sausages as part of a cooked breakfast, sausage in a bun, or sausage casserole. In addition there are all sorts of varieties of sausages such as beef, pork, lamb, chicken, vegetarian, and vegan.
So what do you do if you’ve bought too many or have some leftovers? The answer is simple. Freeze them. The great thing is that you can freeze both cooked and uncooked sausages (see also ‘Can you Freeze Hot Dogs?‘) as well as sausagemeat.
Freezing Uncooked Sausages
It’s not that difficult to freeze uncooked sausages. Perhaps you have a few left that you can’t use before the sell by date or maybe you want to stock up for the future. This is the way to do it.
- Portion out the sausages. It is best to freeze the number of sausages you need for a meal in separate packs. Don’t freeze more than one serving size together as you don’t want to defrost more than you need. If you have an unopened packet of sausages, you can just put the packet in the freezer.
- Put the sausages into freezer bags. Make sure that you squeeze as much air out of the bags as possible to prevent freezer burn. Freezer burn can cause the sausages to discolor and lose flavor.
- Put the bags into the freezer.
Freezing Cooked Sausages
If you’ve cooked too many sausages, you can freeze them for use at a later date (see also Can You Freeze Bratwurst?). This is the way to do it.
- Cool down the sausages. It is important to cool down the sausages. If you freeze warm or hot food and put it in the freezer, it can bring up the temperature in the freezer. Other food in the freezer may then start to defrost and be ruined.
- Wrap the sausages. As with raw sausages, portion out the sausages into serving sizes and wrap them in cling film.
- Put the portions into thick freezer bags. Squeeze out as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
- Put the bags in the freezer.
With both raw and cooked sausages, use thick freezer bags. Thin plastic bags can let air seep in and freezer burn may occur.
Sausagemeat is useful to have in the freezer. It can be used in so many different dishes. Of course it can be the filling for sausage rolls (see also Can You Freeze Sausage Rolls). You can make sausagemeat pie, sausagemeat stuffing (see also ‘Can you Freeze Stuffing?‘), use it as an addition to pasta sauces, make meatballs, and use it stir-fried with noodles. So how should you freeze it? First of all, you will be handling raw meat so you might want to put on rubber gloves.
- Remove the sausagemeat from the packaging. The sausagemeat will probably come in a big package so you will want to portion it out into serving size portions.
- Portion out the sausagemeat. Using either scissors or a knife cut the sausagement into serving sizes.
- Wrap each piece of sausagemeat in aluminum foil.
- Put the sausagemeat in freezer bags. Put each piece of sausagemeat into a separate freezer bag and squeeze out as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
- Freeze the sausagemeat.
Tips For Freezing Sausages
- Use thick freezer bags to freeze your sausages and squeeze out as much air as you can to prevent freezer burn.
- Label the bags. You will want to put the date frozen on the bag so that you don’t keep the sausages or sausagemeat in the freezer for too long. It is also a good idea to write the type of sausage frozen on the bag. For example, beef and pork (see also article on freezing pork) sausages might look the same and you don’t want to give a vegan a meat sausage.
- It is a good idea to wrap the sausages many times as this also helps to prevent freezer burn.
- You can also freeze dishes with sausages in them such as a sausage casserole or sausage stew. Sausage rolls can also be frozen. Wrap them individually in cling film and put as many as you need into each freezer bag.
For How Long Can You Freeze Sausages?
Whether sausages are raw or cooked, they can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. This also goes for sausagemeat. However, if you have a vacuum sealer which will keep the air out, your sausages can last for up to six months. On the other hand, if you use thin freezer bags, your sausages will probably start losing flavor and become discolored within a few weeks.
The best way to defrost sausages is to put them in the fridge for 24 hours to make sure that the meat is thoroughly defrosted. If it isn’t, hazardous germs can form and you could get food poisoning. If you are defrosting raw sausages, put them in a bowl and place them on the bottom shelf of the fridge so that any liquid doesn’t drop on other food in your fridge. This could also cause food poisoning. You need to make sure that the temperature in your fridge is below 5C. If the temperature is higher than this, bacteria can grow and develop.
You don’t need to take off the wrapping. In fact, sausages defrost more evenly if they are left in their packaging. The sausages should be soft to the touch when defrosted. When they are thawed you can keep them in the fridge for between three and five days. You can defrost sausages in a microwave or in a bowl of water, but these methods are not so reliable and we advise defrosting in a fridge.
Yes, you can refreeze sausages. However, we advise that you refreeze raw sausages, defrost them, cook them, and then refreeze the ones you haven’t used. Ensure that you have cooked your sausages to a temperature of between 68 – 74C so that they are cooked through. It isn’t safe to eat meat that hasn’t been thoroughly cooked.
Is it a Good Idea to Freeze Sausages?
Yes, it is a good idea to freeze sausages as long as you follow the instructions we have given you. The most important thing is to ensure that you get as much air out of the freezer bags to avoid discoloration. If you freeze sausages, you will have food on hand for some time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now feel confident enough to freeze and defrost sausages. However, perhaps you still would like to know a bit more and we have answered a few questions here.
Can you freeze gluten-free sausages?
Yes, you can. All you have to do is follow the instructions we have given in this article. In fact, all types of sausages freeze well.
Can you freeze sausage stew?
Sausage stew is a warming meal for cold winter nights. It’s easy to make as well. All you have to do is to heat up canned tomatoes, chili, stock, paprika, garlic and sliced potatoes for fifteen minutes. Heat oil in a frying pan and brown the sausages. Add them to the stew and heat for another fifteen minutes. Then add kidney beans and butter beans and heat for a further ten minutes. Then it’s ready to serve. Why not make a big pot of this and freeze what you don’t use. Allow your leftovers to cool down to room temperature before freezing and then put them into an airtight container. Wrap the container in foil to ensure that no air gets in. Then put it into the freezer with a label on it with the date frozen. To defrost it, put the container in the fridge overnight.
Can you freeze Nduja?
Nduja is a delicious, spicy, spreadable cured sausage from Calabrese in Italy. You can spread it on toasted ciabatta or stir into a pasta sauce. You can also use it in gnocchi, on pizza, in frittatas, in fritters of zucchini (see also can you Freeze Zucchini?) flowers, or on aubergine slices. It does freeze well, but ensure that you use thick freezer bags otherwise the strong scent of the Nduja will permeate the other foods in the fridge.