13 Sausage Hacks You'll Wish You Knew Sooner

grilled sausages on slate board
grilled sausages on slate board - Maria Tebriaeva/Shutterstock

Sometimes you really can't beat a good sausage. From fried breakfasts to pasta dishes, casseroles, and cookouts, the truth is that there is a sausage recipe for all occasions. What's more, there are many varieties of sausages and ways to cook them. You might prefer fresh Italian sausages or hanker after classic breakfast links, for instance, or perhaps you would love nothing better than to chow down on a hot dog. On other days, you will surely want to use British-style bangers to make a traditional toad in the hole. And then there's a whole charcuterie board of salamis and other cured sausages to choose from for your next party.

But how to treat them all? Do you know how best to cook sausages so that they don't burn on the grill? What about turning them into perfectly bitesized party food? And what's the easiest way to serve sausages and spaghetti? Here are some of the most sizzling sausage hacks you'll wish you knew sooner. Quite a few of them will likely become go-to tips you'll never forget.

Read more: The Biggest Grilling Mistakes People Make

Skewer Sausage Pieces To Secure Them

Sausage and bread skewers
Sausage and bread skewers - YouTube

When you're busy grilling, you don't have time for flipping individual sausages. Cooking isn't always a culinary art. Sometimes, it's about making the process of laboring over a hot grill a whole lot easier, like the trick of loading sausages on a wooden skewer. That way, you can flip them all at the same time. But that's not all. Spear each sausage three times along its length with three individual skewers, then cut the sausages into even pieces. That way, you've got three evenly-loaded kebabs.

Turn this into a breakfast dish by cutting two slices of bread on top of each other into four strips. Turn these on their sides, keeping them doubled-up. Add three sausages between the sections. Divide these into three bread and sausage kebabs by cutting between the sticks. Next, frym them in a skillet with a little butter, turning so that all four sides are browned. In a clean pan, melt some grated cheese and roll the cooked sausage sticks in it so that they are completely covered. You can also roll the skewers in an omelet so that the egg wraps around the bread and sausages.

Grate Sausages For A Tasty Topping

Frozen sausages and box grater
Frozen sausages and box grater - TikTok

You've probably grated cheese, and those with more advanced cooking skills may have also grated their share of onion, potato, garlic, and ginger. It's less likely you've put a sausage and a box grater together, but you should. Once you've sampled this tasty topping, you're only going to ask yourself why you've never tried this trick before. It starts with frozen sausages, which are far easier to shred than refrigerated ones. Use the smallest holes on your grater for a fine topping that distributes well.

Fry the grated sausage in a dry skillet so that it cooks through and turns a little crispy. Do this with breakfast sausages and sprinkle some of the bits on top of a fried egg on toast. Or shred frozen Italian sausage and scatter the meaty bits over a pizza. Rather than slicing sausage in a way that you can only taste every few bites, you'll now be able to appreciate the flavor of sausage in every mouthful.

Thread Uncooked Spaghetti Through Sausage Pieces

Sauages threaded with spaghetti
Sauages threaded with spaghetti - YouTube

You know when you love, love, love a culinary hack and are going to be telling everyone you know about it? A new way of eating sausages and spaghetti is about to become an absolute gamechanger, especially if you've got picky kids. Adding a bit of fun to mealtimes is sometimes a necessary ingredient even for adults, too.

For this hack, cut hot dogs or sausage into bitesize pieces and push five to 10 uncooked spaghetti strands through the cut sides. Space them out and make sure the pasta is the same length at either end. Cook in boiling water and serve the sausages with the soft pasta fringes.

For a variation, thread the pasta through the sides of the sausage pieces like a star. Once cooked, stick your fork in the sausage and twist so that the spaghetti spirals around and picks up your homemade tomato sauce spiced with cumin and chili peppers.

Split Sausage For Easier Flipping

Split sausages on griddle
Split sausages on griddle - YouTube

Have you ever found yourself laser-focused on trying to keep a round sausage from rolling around when you're frying it? You know the drill: you turn one sausage to brown the other side but, if one rolls, they all roll. So, how to get round sausages evenly cooked and colored all the way around?

The solution is beyond simple. Take a knife and split your links in half lengthwise. Don't cut all the way through, though. Keep one side just barely joined like a door hinge, so that the halves aren't separated in the pan. You still want to serve them up whole, after all.

Rather than rotating them little by little — or trying to — all you need to do now is flip 'em. Since one side is flat, it gets lovely and charred, which the rounded outer edge is way more stable. This shape is also perfect for making a sausage sandwich that can hold plenty of topping. Splitting makes for easier flipping with hot dogs on a grill as well and ensures that you will get those mouthwatering char marks.

Boil Sausages Before Grilling Or Frying

sausage in boiling water
sausage in boiling water - Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Cooking fresh sausages on a grill can be tricky, as they can easily burn before they are cooked through. To avoid this, try to simmer them in water beforehand. Start with cold water in a skillet and don't rush the heating process. You then only need the grill to brown the outside of the sausages and give them some char lines. Be careful to not let the water boil, though.  If you don't, you run the risk that the sausages will burst, letting all the juices and flavor into the cooking water. You could also cook the sausages in beer or cider for an extra boost of flavor. Whatever liquid you choose, be sure to dry the sausages before you add them back into the pan or on the grill.

Another hack is to add sausages to a little water bubbling away in a skillet. Keep them moving around as the water evaporates. Continue frying after the liquid disappears so that the outside browns and you get a lovely brown finish.

Cut Them Up With Scissors

Cutting sausages with scissors
Cutting sausages with scissors - Satoshi-k/Getty Images

If you cook fresh sausages without separating them, you can get yourself in a pickle trying to turn them. If you do this in the pan with a knife, for instance, you risk scratching the surface or dealing with spattering oil. A super-easy way to divide sausages up is to use a pair of scissors. Unless it's truly sharp, a knife can sometimes roll over the thin, oily casing that covers and connects each sausage, increasing the danger for you, too. Scissors can be more stable, especially if you want to separate the sausage links prior to cooking.

The same hack works even if you want to cut sausage into smaller pieces while they are still in the pan. For this method, pick each sausage up with a pair of tongs at one end and snip away with scissors so that each piece falls back into the pan. Remember to reach for sharp kitchen shears that you use for culinary jobs and not simply a pair you've grabbed from your toolbox.

Create Crispy Cuts

Crosshatch cut sausages on grill
Crosshatch cut sausages on grill - YouTube

For many, the perfect sausage is meaty in the middle and crispy on the outside. But it's not always easy to create that texture on the outside without drying out the meat beyond, sometimes to the point of virtually incinerating it. However, with a few clever cuts, you can change the surface area of your sausages for cooking perfection.

Cut into the meat fairly deeply at one angle, then do the same with slices angling the other way. As the cuts cross over, you'll create a crosshatch design that creates more edges that will crisp up beautifully. Trying cooking these sausages in an air fryer. With cheese-filled links, all that filling will melt and contrast wonderfully with the crunchiness.

Next time you're grilling hot dogs, use this technique to turn them into spiral sausages so that they will be all the crispier. The slits also mean the meat can hold more condiments between the slices. For spirals, thread your hot dog onto a skewer and start cutting at one end. Turn the hot dog instead of the knife, so that you end up with a spiraling cut all around the meat. The skewer will help to stop you from going too far and chopping the meat in half. Remove the skewer before cooking.

Use Warm Water To Remove Salami Casings

Salami on slate background
Salami on slate background - Nataliia Osetrova/Getty Images

If you think life's too short to stuff a mushroom, then you're definitely going to struggle with removing stuck-on salami skin. But if you've got a charcuterie board to create for a dinner party, what can you do? Biting into a wonderfully oily slice of cured sausage that's super-thin is intensely satisfying. What's less appetizing is being left with a plasticky ring of casing that's now wedged between your teeth.

You may have tried to nip the sides of sliced salami to pull off the skin. However, this is fiddly and time-consuming, and you can end up tearing the meat. Instead, run a knife down the length of the salami, cutting into the casing. This might give you enough leverage to peel off enough of the outside in one go.

But if it's breaking up into bits, grab a tray or bowl of warm water and roll the salami in it. Leave it to sit in the water for a few minutes and you should be able to carefully peel off the casing that's now no longer sticking to the meat.

Make Fun Octopus Hot Dogs

Octopus-cut hot dogs lunch box
Octopus-cut hot dogs lunch box - sherwood/Shutterstock

Knowing how to encourage kids to try new foods is a necessary skill for any parent. Youngsters love activities that are fun and imaginative, and with food you have the perfect ingredients to create a whole other world. In this fantasy food land, broccoli florets turn into fairy trees, while hot dogs can turn into delightful sea creatures.

With a few simple cuts, you can turn a plain sausage into a playful octopus shape. Not only do kids love the design, but they are easy for little hands to pick up and bite into, too. Simply cut a hot dog in half and, leaving the rounded ends, cut slits down the length to create the tentacles of your octopus. Once you have eight arms, fry in a little oil so that they curl and crisp up, while also fanning out a little. This gives the hot dog creatures an animated look, perfect for resting on a sea of carrots as part of your platescape. Young diners can also enjoy grabbing the octopus heads and swishing the "tentacles" in ketchup.

Make Pastry-Free Sausage Rolls

Pastry-free sausage rolls
Pastry-free sausage rolls - YouTube

The U.K. may be the home of sausage rolls, but they are so good that the U.S. has opened its culinary arms to this scrummy treat, too. Pigs in a blanket are cooked sausages wrapped in bread, whereas traditional sausage rolls are made with ground sausage meat encased in pastry. What makes sausage rolls so amazing is the contrast between that flaky, buttery pastry and the juicy, savory sausage filling. However, if you're on a pastry-free quest, you'll be glad to know that you can still enjoy sausage rolls. All you need is a delicious hack or two.

For this trick, add mashed-up fresh sausages to the middle of a flour tortilla. Fold in the four sides to cover the meat and create a parcel. Cook this package in an air fryer with the seams facing down, then cut in half and serve with a dip. With this method, you're still getting a veneer of carbs, but with far fewer than what you would received in a thick pastry case.

Another idea is to take a slice of white bread, cut off the crusts, and roll it out so that it's flat and thin. Add a cheese slice and a cooked sausage at one end, then roll up. Dip the rolls in beaten egg and fry until golden brown.

Heat Cooked Sausages In Their Packs

Sausages boiling in packet
Sausages boiling in packet - Framarzo/Shutterstock

Sous vide is a cooking technique that devotees tout as a way to more perfectly control temperature, texture, and flavor thanks to a temperature-controlled water bath. A sous vide machine is at home at an upscale eatery, but you can bring the concept home with boil-in-the-bag sausages.

Instead of opening the packaging and taking out the meat, pop the unopened sausages in some boiling water. After 10 minutes of simmering away, the sausages should be ready to consume (unless they're especially large). If you're not quite ready to serve them, leave them to stay warm in the hot water, off the heat.

When ready, simply take the package out of the water and open the packet. Because the meat has warmed up in a sealed package the juices will be retained. You won't have any of the mess that comes with frying or grilling them, either. Perhaps best of all, you have just a saucepan to rinse out afterward.

Cook Eggs Inside Sausage Shapes

Sausage heart shapes with eggs
Sausage heart shapes with eggs - Dmitriev Mikhail/Shutterstock

Sausages and fried eggs are a splendid pairing, especially at breakfast time. So why not cook the eggs inside the sausages? That way, the edges of the meat crisp up and the whites won't run all over the pan.

To start, split a hot dog or pre-cooked sausage down the middle. Be sure to leave the halves joined together at the end so you can then bend the sausage inside out to form a heart shape. Secure the ends with wooden cocktail sticks. Add to your skillet and fry for a couple minutes, then flip. Add a cracked egg in the middle and cook until the white sets and the yolk is cooked but still soft.

For another variation, layer three large half slices of boiled sausage in individual muffin cups so they resemble flower petals. Add some finely grated cheese, then break an egg into the center. Cook in the oven until the egg is set, then serve the pretty sausage arrangements with some toast. You could also split a hot dog down the middle, stopping just short of one end. Open out the cut part to create an oval. Add a couple of eggs in the middle and sprinkle on some sliced green onion. Once the shapes are cooked underneath, flip them to cook on the other side.

Make Sausage Lollipops For Parties

chicken sausage lollipop
chicken sausage lollipop - Instagram

Sausage lollipops are a great way to get in a tasty party bite and they look cool too. You can make them in many different ways. For a cookout, create one long sausage from three shorter ones and form a lollipop-style coil. Add slices of vegetables and red pepper along the length of the sausages before winding up so that you get a swirl of color. Add a skewer to keep them in place. Make sure you soak wooden skewers before putting them on the grill so that they don't burn.

For another method, cut cooked sausages into three pieces and poke a wooden stick through these lengthways. Make a batter with flour, cornstarch, baking powder, sugar, an egg, and water. Dip the sausage sticks in the batter and fry in oil. Once cooked on one side, add a spoon of batter on top of each and flip to fry on the other side. Now all you need to do is dip your battered treat in some ketchup. Yum!

Read the original article on Mashed.