Sous Vide Sausage
J. Kenji López-Alt is the Managing Culinary Director of Serious Eats, author of the James Beard Award-nominated column The Food Lab, and a columnist for Cooking Light. He lives in San Francisco. A New York native, Kenji cut his cooking chops the old-fashioned way by wo ...
Just like with chicken and steak, a sausage cooked sous vide can be held for a long time, but not indefinitely. As you begin to hold the meat for longer than around 4 hours or so, it’ll start to take on a mushy, mealy texture. I recommend cooking sausages between 45 minutes and 4 hours. Here's what you'll get at different temperatures when cooking sausage sous vide:
- At 140°F (60°C): sausage that is extra juicy compared to traditional cooking, but with a softness that some might find bordering on too soft.
- At 150°F (66°C): sausage is fully firm and extra juicy with a very smooth texture throughout.
- At 160°F (71°C): sausage has a nearly traditional texture—springy and juicy, quite firm, but starting to show a difference in texture between fat and lean areas with the latter starting to turn a little loose and crumbly.
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Ingredients for 2
3 lb / 1.36 kg Raw natural casing sausages such as Bratwurst or Italian
6 oz / 180 ml Beer for cooking (optional)
2 tsp / 10 ml Kosher Salt (optional)
1 tbsp / 15 ml Butter or Vegetable Oil
Buns and condiments for serving
Set your precision cooker to the desired temperature between 140ºF / 60ºC and 160°F / 71°C according to your preferred finishing texture, illustrated here and in the app.
Place the sausages inside a vacuum sealing bag or a zipper-lock bag in a single layer. Optional: Add a few tbsp / ml of beer to each bag along with 2 tsp / 10 ml of salt.
Seal the bags, making sure to stop the vacuum sealer and seal the bags immediately after the air has been removed—do not let the sausages get squeezed. Alternatively, use the water displacement method: seal your zipper-lock bag almost all the way up, then gently lower it into a large pot of water, sealing off the bag just before the top is fully submerged.
Add the sausages to the water bath and cook for at least 45 minutes and up to 4 hours.
Remove the sausages from the bag and discard juices. Dry sausages carefully on a paper towel-lined plate.
Finishing Steps - Stovetop
To finish on the stovetop, heat 1 tbsp / 15 ml of oil or butter over medium heat in a skillet until shimmering. Add sausages and cook, turning occasionally, until well-browned on all sides, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately.
Finishing Steps - Grill
To finish on the grill, grill sausages over medium heat, turning occasionally, until well-browned on all sides, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately.