Are you planning to make a big batch of sausage balls for your next dinner party? Maybe you also have a bunch of other dishes planned and are wondering how you’ll get everything made in time.
This begs the question – can you make sausage balls ahead of time?
By doing so, you could reduce your cooking time and always have a meal ready without going over hundreds of recipes to find inspiration. It’s a good thing then that it’s possible to prepare sausage balls and store them for a later time.
When you’re ready to serve your sausage balls, reheating them with your microwave, oven, or air fryer will bring out their tasty ingredients without disrupting their flavor or texture.
Here, I’ll discuss everything you need to know about making sausage balls ahead of time.
Sausage balls are a delicious option for a quick snack with some dipping sauce or part of a full meal at dinner. A problem many run into is making big batches they can’t eat all at once.
Luckily, you can prepare your batch and store it for future use.
Instead of making the sausage balls every time you’re itching for a snack and wondering what to do with the uneaten food, you can make them once a month and pop them in the freezer or the refrigerator.
The meat will keep its taste and texture, and you can whip up a hearty meal by reheating a small batch.
Sausage balls are easy to store. You can put them in your refrigerator or freezer without worrying about spoiling the intensity of their ingredients.
To properly store your batch, make sure the sausage balls are completely cool before moving them to the fridge or freezer.
Leaving food exposed to room temperature won’t only ruin its taste but it can also make the food dangerous to consume.
As room temperature engenders the development of potentially harmful bacteria in food, you should never leave your sausage balls sitting out for too long.
Once cooled down, the batch needs to be put into a container and refrigerated.
The sausage balls will still taste great afterward when you reheat them, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing they’re safe to eat.
When inside an air-tight container, sausage balls can be refrigerated for around four days.
Generally, they shouldn’t stay in the fridge for more than a week.
When stored properly, frozen sausage balls won’t lose their tastiness.
You can use sealable food bags or containers meant for freezer storage.
Before putting the sausage balls in your freezer, leave them to cool down.
Place your batch on a baking sheet, making sure there’s at least half an inch between each sausage ball. Move the baking sheet to the freezer.
When the batch is frozen, take it out and pack the sausage balls into zip-lock bags. Return the bags to the freezer to store the batch for later use.
If you’re planning on stocking up for the next few months, you can store the sausage balls in your freezer for as long as two or three months.
If they taste a bit different when you take them out, the sausage balls have probably been freezer-burned. While these balls are perfectly safe to eat, they’ll be drier and less fresh.
Uncooked sausage balls can also be frozen. The longer you keep baked goods in the freezer, the drier they become.
You can store a raw batch for up to six months without worrying about the sausage balls getting a stale taste and leathery texture.
Frozen or refrigerated sausage balls can be reheated in several quick and simple ways.
If you’ve frozen the sausage balls, take them out of the freezer and leave them out to defrost.
The process may take several hours, so make sure there’s enough time for the batch to thaw.
Also, avoid leaving reheated sausage balls uneaten because reheating them twice will affect their taste and freshness. Reheat them only once using your microwave, air fryer, or oven.
Using your microwave is the quickest way to warm up sausage balls.
Before you pop the sausage balls into the microwave to reheat them, leave them on the kitchen counter for about 15 minutes to defrost. Move them to the fridge and let them sit there for one hour.
You shouldn’t reheat more than three or four sausage balls at a time. Placing the entire batch into the microwave will result in uneven heat distribution, and some pieces will remain cold and become less chewy.
When heating up a serving for yourself, take a larger paper napkin and slightly dampen it with some water.
Wrap the napkin around one or two sausage balls and reheat them for about five seconds.
Flip the napkin and heat the other side for another five seconds.
If you’re reheating several portions, place a few sausage balls in a microwavable container and cover it with a slightly damp paper napkin.
Heat the container for 15 seconds, then roll over the sausage balls with a fork or tongs. Microwave them for another 10 seconds.
The moisture from the paper napkin will prevent the heat from turning the sausage balls tough and dry.
Reheating sausage balls with an air fryer takes longer than using your microwave but this method ensures that you won’t overheat or burn your batch.
Only reheat small portions, since warming them twice will take all the deliciousness out of your meal.
Bump up the heat to 375°F and place a tray with your sausage balls over the air fryer. Make sure there’s some space between the pieces and leave them for four minutes.
Turn off the air fryer and flip the sausage balls with a fork or tongs. Resume heating them for two more minutes.
Reheating sausage balls in the oven gives them that freshly-baked smell and taste.
Bump up the heat to 400°F and preheat your oven. Place the defrosted sausage balls on a baking tray and pop them in the oven for about 10 minutes.
Check on the batch a few times to make sure you aren’t overbaking it.
If you’re not happy with how the sausage balls look after 10 minutes, heat them for an additional few minutes until completely baked.
If you’re planning on eating the sausage balls sometime in the future, they shouldn’t sit out for long.
The batch will turn bad when left out for over two hours, and this timeframe grows narrower if the temperature of your home exceeds 75°F.
To keep the reheated sausage balls warm until your guests arrive or you get hungry, cover them with aluminum foil or a damp towel.
This will trap the steam, extending the freshness of the food and preventing it from drying out.
Alternatively, you can keep them in the oven as it’s cooling, but make sure you’ve opened the oven door.
Can you make sausage balls ahead of time? Yes, you can. But it is also essential to properly store and reheat them to get the most out of your bites.
Once you reheat them with your oven, microwave, or air fryer, you won’t be able to tell the difference between freshly-baked pieces and stored sausage balls.
Both will have a crispy outer layer with a chewy center.