Baking Fresh Kielbasa

by A.J. Andrews

True, fresh kielbasa contains only pork, salt, pepper, marjoram, garlic, sugar and sodium nitrite, wrapped up tight in a hog casing. Unlike heavily processed Polish sausages, which contain several sources of sodium -- monosodium glutamate, sodium erythorbate and sodium diacetate, to name a few -- you can bake fresh kielbasa without concentrating the salt so much it's rendered nearly inedible, and without drying it to the point it resembles a withered piece of jerky. Fresh kielbasa needs just a few minutes of poaching followed by a bit of dry oven heat to render the skin crisp and crackling, and the inside toothsome and juicy.

Cover the kielbasas with a few inches of cold water in a heavy bottomed pot and simmer them for 20 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit in the center. Gently heating the kielbasas through in water ensures the inside and outside will finish cooking simultaneously in the oven. Heat the oven to 350 F.

Remove the kielbasas from the water and let them drain on paper towels for one or two minutes. Perforate each kielbasa a few times with a fork. The perforations prevent the casings from splitting by letting the steam escape during cooking.

Place the kielbasas on a lipped baking sheet and put them in the oven. Roast the kielbasas until golden brown and crispy, with an internal temperature of 165 F.

Items you will need

  • Cold water
  • Heavy bottomed pot
  • Meat thermometer
  • Paper towels
  • Fork
  • Lipped baking sheet


  • Always cook fresh kielbasa to a minimum internal temperature of 165 F.

About the Author

A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.

Photo Credits

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