In this blog post, I’m excited to share with you a simple yet fantastic way how to cook frozen sausages in the air fryer.
Trust me, they turn out delicious, and it’s incredibly easy—even if your sausages are frozen solid and stuck together
Let me walk you through how I do it, including my top tips for choosing the best sausages and making the meal extra special.
What We Will Cover
The Best Sausage Picks For Air Fryer
If you want a detailed explanation you can find it in this section.
In a nutshell, pick sausages that contain at least 70% of meat (the more the better) and are free from UPF such as fillers or stabilizers (They’re healthier and taste so much better).
After much tasting and testing, here are my go-to choices:
- UK Market: Heck 97% Frozen Pork Sausages and Finnebrogue Naked Ultimate Pork Sausages are at the top of my list. They’re meaty, minimally processed, and simply delicious.
- USA Market: It’s a bit trickier here, but I lean towards Kroger Mild Italian Sausages, Johnsonville Sweet Italian Sausages, and Aidells Chicken and Apple Sausage Links for their natural ingredients and great taste.
Cooking Frozen Sausages in the Air Fryer
Step 1: Defrosting:
Start by setting your air fryer to a medium temperature, such as 160°C (320°F). This is ideal for partially defrosting and cooking the sausages simultaneously.
Cook the sausages for six minutes. After this time, they should be defrosted enough to be separated easily. Be cautious as parts may still be frozen.
Step 2: Adjusting Temperature for Cooking:
After defrosting, increase the air fryer temperature to its highest setting, typically around 200°C (400°F).
Step 3: Air Frying the Sausages
Continue cooking the sausages for a total of about 20-25 minutes.
Step 4: Checking and Flipping:
After the first 10 minutes of high-temperature cooking, check and flip the sausages to ensure even cooking.
Step 5: Final Adjustments:
I recommend cooking them for an additional five minutes at the same temperature to achieve a lovely brown color.
If your air fryer cooks slower, extend the cooking time by 5 to 10 minutes. Be mindful to avoid overcooking and drying out the sausages.
Pairings for Air-Fried Sausages
Air-fried sausages are not only delicious on their own, but they also pair beautifully with a variety of side dishes and can be enhanced with different dipping sauces and toppings. Below are some ideas to elevate your air-fried sausage meals.
Side Dish Ideas
I love pairing sausages with mashed potatoes. They provide a creamy and comforting complement to the crispy texture of air-fried sausages.
Baked beans offer a sweet and savory balance that pairs wonderfully with sausages. They add a rich, saucy element to the meal, making it more satisfying and hearty.
For a lighter option, a fresh salad with a mix of greens, vegetables, and a tangy dressing can provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of the sausages.
Roasted vegetables like carrots, Brussels sprouts, or bell peppers add a healthy and flavorful touch. Their natural sweetness and caramelization complement the savory sausages.
Grilled Corn on the Cob
Grilled corn on the cob, seasoned with butter, salt, and herbs, makes for a delightful side that adds a bit of smokiness and sweetness.
Dipping Sauces and Toppings
From classic yellow mustard to spicy Dijon or whole-grain varieties, mustard is a perfect match for sausages. Each type brings its unique flavor profile to the dish.
A smoky and slightly sweet BBQ sauce can enhance the flavors of your air-fried sausages, especially if you’re aiming for that BBQ finish.
Combining the tanginess of mustard with the sweetness of honey creates a delightful dipping sauce that pairs well with all kinds of sausages.
Troubleshooting (The Issues I Was Facing)
One downside of air frying sausages is that they can become dry, as the juices tend to drain away. If this is a concern, you might prefer baking them in a roaster pan to retain more moisture.
Cutting and Checking
Before serving, cut open a sausage to check if it’s cooked through. It should be juicy and no longer pink inside.
Choosing the Right Sausage for Air Frying (Quality Matters)
In this section, I’ll discuss what to look for in a good-quality sausage and give you some recommendations.
Importance of High Meat Content
70% Meat Standard
A key indicator of a quality sausage is its meat content. Ideally, a good quality sausage should contain at least 70% meat, with pork being a popular and flavorful choice.
This high percentage of meat ensures that the sausage is packed with natural flavors and has a desirable texture.
Sausages with lower meat content often compensate with fillers and additives, which can detract from the overall taste and quality.
Avoiding Ultra-Processed Foods (UPF)
Another critical factor to consider is whether the sausage is ultra-processed or not.
UPF-free sausages are those that contain only natural ingredients and are free from artificial fillers, stabilizers, and preservatives.
These natural sausages provide a cleaner and more wholesome eating experience, as they are made with real, identifiable ingredients.
No Fillers or Stabilizers
Look for sausages that do not contain fillers like starch or stabilizers.
Fillers are often used to bulk up the sausage and reduce costs, but they can compromise the taste and texture.
Stabilizers, on the other hand, are used to extend shelf life but can introduce unnecessary chemicals into your food.
Opting for sausages without these additives not only leads to a better-tasting product but also supports a healthier diet.
Reading Labels and Ingredients
When shopping for sausages, take the time to read the labels and ingredient lists.
Look for sausages with a high percentage of meat (preferably over 70%) and a short list of recognizable ingredients.
Avoid products with long lists of additives, preservatives, and unpronounceable components.
My Top Recommendations for Sausages
Best Pork Sausages in the UK market
I’ve reviewed three different brands of sausages available in the UK, based on their ingredients and meat content. Let’s see how they stack up.
1. Heck 97% Frozen Pork Sausages
These are the sausages I used in this recipe. Heck, 97% Frozen Pork Sausages are an excellent choice for those looking for high-quality, meat-rich sausages.
The additional ingredients are minimal and straightforward, including seasoning, gluten-free rice flour, and a small amount of preservatives and antioxidants for freshness.
The use of beef collagen casings is a common practice and does not detract from the overall quality.
Availability: Ocado, Sainsbury’s, ASDA, Waitrose, Morrisons, Amazon Fresh
2. Finnebrogue Naked Ultimate Pork Sausage
The Finnebrogue Naked Ultimate Pork Sausage boasts 90% British or Irish pork, along with natural ingredients like sea salt, rice flour, and a blend of spices.
The use of chickpea flour is interesting and likely contributes to the texture. Notably, these sausages are filled into natural vegetable casings, which is a positive aspect for those seeking more natural alternatives.
These sausages are a great option for air frying, offering a high meat content and a clean list of ingredients.
Available: Ocado, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, ASDA
3. Sainsbury’s British Pork Sausages
Sainsbury’s British Pork Sausages contain 93% British pork, which is still quite high and promising for flavor.
However, these sausages contain more additives than the Heck sausages, including tapioca starch, gram flour, stabilizers, preservatives, and several spices and flavorings.
While these sausages have a decent meat content, the additional fillers and additives are a slight drawback.
They are still a good option for air frying, but might not be the best choice for those strictly avoiding processed ingredients.
Best Sausages on the USA market
In the USA market, selecting high-quality sausages for air frying can be more challenging, as the percentage of meat content is often not explicitly mentioned in the list of ingredients.
Therefore, I am focusing on the most natural and minimally processed options. Here are three recommended choices:
- Kroger Mild Italian Sausages
- Johnsonville Sweet Italian Sausages
- Aidells Chicken and Apple Sausage Links
These selections prioritize natural ingredients and minimal processing, making them suitable choices for those seeking healthier, high-quality sausages in the USA.
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