How to Cook Uncle John’s Sausage to Perfection: A Complete Guide

Uncle John’s sausage is a popular choice for those looking for delicious, easy-to-prepare sausage options With a wide range of products from smoked kielbasa to hot Italian sausage, Uncle John’s offers high-quality meats at an affordable price point

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through everything you need to know to cook various types of Uncle John’s sausages to perfection. We’ll cover pan frying, grilling, boiling, and more to help you make the most of these tasty sausages.

Uncle John’s Pride, LLC is a producer of branded and private label fresh and smoked sausages located in Tampa, Florida. The company offers a range of products including smoked sausage, kielbasa, chorizo, bratwurst, Italian sausage, breakfast sausage, and more.

With a strong foothold in Florida, Uncle John’s Pride has grown through both organic growth and acquisition of heritage brands dating back to 1922. They provide quality sausage at affordable prices to retail, foodservice, and wholesale customers.

While Uncle John’s did have a recall of some products in 2017 due to contamination concerns, they worked quickly to address the issue. Today, their sausages remain a go-to choice for grilling, smoking, pan frying, and incorporating into recipes.

Selecting the Best Uncle John’s Sausage for Your Needs

With the wide variety of sausage products Uncle John’s offers, it’s important to select the right one for your cooking method and recipe. Here are some tips:

  • For pan frying or grilling, choose raw sausages like Italian sausage, bratwurst, chorizo, or breakfast sausage.

  • For soups, chilis, casseroles, and braises, opt for pre-cooked smoked sausage like kielbasa or smoked bratwurst.

  • For hearty breakfast dishes, try Uncle John’s maple breakfast sausage links.

  • For pizza topping or appetizers, select uncased Italian sausage meat.

  • For a sausage sandwich, go for the smoked bratwurst or hot links.

Consider the other ingredients and seasonings in your dish when choosing a sausage variety. The smokiness of kielbasa complements bold flavors while Italian sausage mixes well with tomatoes and peppers.

Preparing the Sausage

Proper preparation is key to cooking sausage correctly. Here are some tips:

  • If using raw sausage, remove it from the packaging and pat dry with paper towels. This helps achieve a nice sear.

  • For smoked sausages or kielbasa, simply rinse under cool water and pat dry.

  • If the sausage has a casing, pierce it in several areas using a fork. This prevents splitting and bursting while cooking.

  • For bulk sausage, form into patties for burgers or balls for appetizers. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

  • Pre-cook any raw sausage before adding it to slow cooked dishes like soups or chilis.

  • Soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes before skewering sausages to prevent burning.

Pan Frying Uncle John’s Sausage

Pan frying is one of the quickest and easiest ways to cook Uncle John’s sausage to juicy perfection. Here’s a simple process:

  • Cut the raw sausages into 2-3 inch pieces or leave whole and pierce the casings.

  • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil.

  • Once hot, add the sausage pieces in a single layer, working in batches to avoid crowding the pan.

  • Cook the sausages for 4-5 minutes on the first side until nicely browned.

  • Flip and cook another 3-4 minutes on the second side until browned and firm.

  • Use a meat thermometer to confirm the internal temperature reaches 160°F.

  • Remove sausage from the pan and drain on paper towel-lined plate.

The browned, crispy exterior and juicy interior you get from pan frying makes Uncle John’s sausages shine. Try serving with peppers, onions, roasted potatoes, or rice.

Grilling Uncle John’s Sausage to Perfection

The rich, smoky flavor grilling lends Uncle John’s sausages is simply delicious. Follow these tips for grilled sausage success:

  • Use a hot grill heated to 400°F or higher. Clean and oil the grates.

  • Cook raw sausages over direct heat, turning every 2-3 minutes until browned. Move to indirect heat to finish cooking until 160°F internal temp.

  • For pre-cooked smoked sausage, use indirect heat only to warm through without burning.

  • Try soaking wooden skewers of sausage in a marinade for added flavor.

  • Avoid poking sausages as they grill to keep juices intact. Use tongs for turning instead.

  • Charred bits equal flavor – allow the natural sugars to caramelize for the best taste.

From plump bratwurst to spicy chorizo links, the smoky aroma and texture of grilled Uncle John’s sausage can’t be beat.

Boiling Uncle John’s Sausage

Boiling is ideal for pre-cooked smoked sausage varieties like kielbasa. Here are some tips:

  • Cut the sausage into bite-size pieces. This allows for even cooking.

  • Add the sausage to lightly boiling water. Use enough water to fully submerge the pieces.

  • Reduce heat and simmer for 6-8 minutes until heated through. Avoid vigorous boiling to prevent splitting.

  • For extra flavor, add seasonings like bay leaves, onions, garlic, or beer to the poaching liquid.

  • Drain the sausage well before serving or adding to dishes.

Poached Uncle John’s smoked kielbasa is perfectly succulent and ready to mix into hearty bean or cabbage soups and stews.

Baking Uncle John’s Sausage

The oven’s dry, ambient heat lets you cook sausage low and slow for exceptionally moist results:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment.

  • Arrange raw sausages on the sheet without overcrowding.

  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, carefully flipping halfway through. Insert a meat thermometer to confirm 160°F internal temperature.

  • For smoked pre-cooked sausages, bake at 325°F for 15-20 minutes until heated through.

  • Try coating the sausages in olive oil and spices or marinade before baking for added flavor.

Baking brings out the plump, savory juiciness of Uncle John’s sausage. Enjoy it in subs, with roasted veggies, or on pizza.

Uncle John’s Sausage Recipe Inspiration

Beyond the basics above, Uncle John’s sausage shines in all types of recipes. Here are just a few delicious ideas:

  • Breakfast: Make a sausage egg sandwich or breakfast burrito with eggs, cheese, and tater tots.

  • Appetizers: Fry bite-size sausage pieces and serve with homemade honey mustard dipping sauce.

  • Soups and Stews: Add sliced kielbasa to hearty bean and vegetable soups or stews.

  • Pizza: Top homemade or store-bought pizza crust with Italian sausage crumbles, sauce, and cheese for a crowd-pleasing meal.

  • Pasta: Brown loose Italian sausage meat, add marinara sauce, and mix with penne or rigatoni. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

  • Salads: Grill or pan fry sausage slices or pieces and add them to hearty greens or potato salad.

With the right preparation method, Uncle John’s sausage can be incorporated into almost any recipe. Get creative with additional spices, glazes, or ethnic flavor profiles.

Serving Suggestions and Cooking Tips

  • Resist poking sausages as they cook. Use tongs to turn instead to prevent losing juices.

  • Allow raw sausages to rest for 5-10 minutes after cooking before serving to allow juices to redistribute.

  • Pair cooked sausage with hearty side dishes like baked beans, collard greens, or mac and cheese.

  • Choose sausage with flavors that complement other ingredients like peppers, onions, mustard or barbecue sauce.

  • Refrigerate any leftover cooked sausage within 2 hours and use within 3-4 days. Reheat fully to 165°F.

With its affordable price and variety of flavors, Uncle John’s sausage is an optimal choice for weeknight meals, game day appetizers, or outdoor grilling sessions. Follow these tips and recipe ideas to enjoy their sausages at their very best. Just be careful not to overcook them – moist and juicy texture is the hallmark of great sausage.

Sausage Alfredo with Uncle John’s Pride Mild Smoked Sausage – Prepared by Chad Ward

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