Do You Need to Boil Sausage Before Frying?

Michael Blann/Photodisc/Getty Images

When you cook raw or fresh sausage, pre-boiling can bring the meat to a safe internal temperature faster, which helps eliminate any foodborne pathogens in the meat. However, while you can boil sausage before frying, it is usually not necessary. Pan-frying sausage allows the fats and juices to create a crispy, golden brown exterior while the center of the meat reaches a safe temperature.

Out of the Frying Pan

Some people like to boil sausage first to ensure it cooks thoroughly. If you boil first, you can pan fry to add color or flavor to the exterior. Boiling shortens the frying time to just a few minutes, long enough to brown the link. To safely cook raw sausage in a frying pan, prick the skin of the sausage and place in a pan over medium-high heat. Cover pan and cook, turning occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes or longer if sausages are thick. Test with a meat thermometer to ensure the interior temperature reaches at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit in beef, pork, lamb or veal sausages and 165 F in chicken or turkey sausages. The inside of the sausage should not contain any traces of pink meat.