For better grilled sausage, learn how to parboil it before cooking. It’s easy to do and is a great way to add flavor.
Do you know how to parboil sausage? It’s a technique that often gets overlooked when cooking sausage - but it’s one that adds flavor and helps produce an evenly cooked, perfectly colored finished dish.
Parboiling produces lovely, juicy sausage that won’t split and looks as delicious as it tastes. And it's such a simple cooking technique!
What is Parboiling?
Parboiling is a cooking method in which food is partially cooked, then set aside until it is ready to be fully cooked and served.
It is a simple process that involves simmering food gently in water, then draining it before it is cooked all the way through.
Parboiling is often confused with blanching, but blanching involves the use of an ice bath after boiling to rapidly stop the cooking process. Parboiling doesn’t include this step.
Why Do You Parboil Sausage?
Sausages are not the easiest things to cook and sometimes they look cooked on the outside but may still be a little raw in the middle.
Parboiling encourages even cooking and helps prevent this from happening - and it’s why we recommend parboiling brats, too!
The time-saving aspect is another huge advantage. If you parboil sausages in advance, then you can finish cooking them and have them on the table in no time at all.
This is just what you need if you’re trying to throw together breakfast on a busy morning, or want to make a quick and easy dinner.
As you parboil your sausages, you also help to strengthen their casing. This makes them less likely to stick to your grill or break apart during the grilling or frying process.
Best of all, parboiling sausages in wine or beer can enhance their flavor, especially when you throw a few tasty extras like sliced apples and onions into the cooking liquid.
How Long Do You Parboil Sausage?
Given their slim shape it doesn’t take long at all to parboil sausages - in fact six to eight minutes should be all you’ll need.
You will know when they have been parboiled for long enough by their color - they will turn gray.
Whilst they may not look appetizing at this point, remember that this is just a pre-cooking step - when you come to finish them off on the grill they will turn the appealing golden brown you’d expect.
How to Parboil Sausage
Parboiling sausages is super simple! Simply pop your sausage links into a saucepan or a large, deep skillet.
Add enough water to the skillet just to cover the links.
Turn your heat to medium high and cook until the water is gently simmering. Simmer for 6-8 minutes until the sausages are gray.
Remove the sausages from the heat, drain, then pat dry.
Continue cooking as desired when you are ready to serve them.
Tip: If you are parboiling sausages that are stronger in flavor, use a heavily malted beer as your cooking liquid instead of water. This can help add a little sweetness.
For sausages that are already sweet, you can add extra flavor by using lager. You'll love the results!
To do this, simply fill a pan with enough beer or lager to cover the sausages and simmer them for about 15 minutes. Add in onions or cubed apples for extra flavor.
How to Cook Parboiled Sausage
- Parboil sausages before pan frying, perfect for use in this Easy Sausage and Peppers Pasta
- Parboil sausages before oven roasting for dishes like Oven Roasted Sausage Kabobs
- Parboil sausages before grilling – you can then use grilled sausages for these mouth-watering Sweet and Spicy Sausage Subs or Sausage and Pepper Subs
- Parboil sausages before smoking for the best texture
Cyd is a native of Upstate New York, born to a family of women who love to cook and host parties. She shares her love of all things food, home and entertaining on her blog, The Sweetest Occasion and on Instagram.