How to Par-Cook a Sausage

Things You'll Need

  • Pot or saucepan

  • Instant-read thermometer

  • Tongs

  • Large bowl

  • Ice

Bratwurst and many other sausages are usually par-cooked.

Many types of homemade sausage are traditionally par-cooked by poaching. Store-bought sausages may also be par-cooked, either to speed preparation or as a preliminary to freezing. Remember that sausages are like any other meat, they will be toughened by boiling. Sausages should be poached in gently simmering water and never permitted to come to a boil.

Step 1

Place a pot of water on the stove top. Bring it up to a low simmer, approximately 165 degrees Fahrenheit when checked with a thermometer.

Step 2

Fill the pot loosely with sausages, leaving ample room for the water to circulate around them. If you have a large quantity of sausages to prepare, you will need to poach them in several batches or use a large pan.

Step 3

Poach the sausages, never letting them come to a boil, until they arrive at an internal temperature of 150 degrees Fahreneheit. This will require 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the sausages.

Step 4

Remove the sausages from the water and plunge them immediately into a bowl of ice water. This stops the cooking and brings them quickly to a food safe temperature. Repeat, for any remaining sausages.

Step 5

Drain the sausages from the ice water when they are thoroughly chilled. They can now be packaged for storage or cooked according to your favorite method. The sausages will need only to be browned on the outside and heated all the way through.


The poaching liquid can be used to add flavors to the finished sausage. Try poaching sausages in white or red wine, beer or broth. Herbs and spices can also be added to the liquid, introducing extra flavors.


Carefully clean and sanitize any utensils used in sausage making to minimize the risk of food-borne illness. Both uncooked and par-cooked sausages are perishable, and must be held in the refrigerator or freezer until shortly before they are cooked.