Olsen's Sausage Shoppe

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Cooking Tips

Fresh Sausage - Our fresh sausage items (fresh brats, fresh breakfast sausages, etc.) are not cooked during processing and have a pink to rosy color. This is a raw product and must be fully cooked before eating. This type of sausage is fully cooked when the color has turned a gray color throughout. Fresh sausages are best cooked by parboiling, then pan frying or grilling.

Cooked/Smoked Sausage - Our cooked sausage items (any smoked items, hot dogs, etc.) are cooked during processing and only need to be heated. This can be done in a variety of ways: boiled, baked, microwaved, grilled, or pan fried.

With all link sausage (both fresh and cooked/smoked), care must be taken not to overcook the sausage, as splitting of the casing may occur. Sausage should only be turned with tongs or a turner, not a fork, as puncturing the casing will allow flavorful juices to escape.


Sausage Handling and Storage

Sausage is perishable. Handle carefully and store properly to preserve freshness, use right away or freeze. Vacuum-packages sausage can be frozen as is. You can freeze items for one to two months without affecting the flavor and the quality of the sausage. Sausage frozen for more than two months will gradually lose flavor and quality. Thaw frozen sausage in the refrigerator, do not thaw at room temperature.

We recommend leaving sausage in vacuum packages until used to prolong shelf life. After opening a vacuum package, remove the remainder of the package. Rewrap sausage tightly to keep air out. If sausage is moist, wipe dry before repackaging. Proper storage, safe thawing methods, and prompt usage will eliminate most sources of sausage spoilage. If, in spite of proper handling, sausage looks or smells spoiled, use common sense and discard. The following guidelines may be used for refrigeration of sausage:

Type of Sausage Refrigeration
Fresh Link Sausage
(includes fresh brats, fresh italian sausage, fresh breakfast sausage)
Use within 2 days
Luncheon Meat
(includes sliced ham, turkey, beef, and pastrami)
Use within 4-5 days
Cooked/Smoked Sausage
(includes precooked and smoked sausages, chicken brats, hot dogs, ring bologna)
Use within 4-5 days
Dry/Semi Dry Sausage
(includes summer sausage, snack sticks, landjaeger, kippered beef bites)
Use within 14 days


In the above refrigeration chart, the suggested "use by" guideline under the refrigeration column refers to sausage that has had the vacuum packaging removed. With an unopened vacuum package, refer to its "sell by" date and use it before it expires.
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