How to Separate Sausage Links (Explained!)
While separating sausage links may seem like an easy task, it can often be tricky. If you aren’t careful, you can puncture the casing with your knife and ruin the sausages when it’s time to cook them.
Fortunately, there are a couple of tricks you can try to prevent this from happening.
All you need to do is to put the uncooked sausages in the freezer for about 15 minutes. When you take them out, use the tip of a knife or a pair of sharp scissors to cut each sausage link. Whether or not you want to remove the casing is up to you. Once you’ve separated the links, it’s time to cook!
In this article, I’ll go into more detail on how to separate sausage links. In addition, I’ll talk about how you can make individual sausage links.
Do You Cut Sausage Links Before Cooking?
In the process of making sausages, they’re usually stuffed into casings that help shape the filling.
In most cases, sausage casings are edible. While they can either be natural (made from animal skin or intestines) or synthetic, both types of casings can be eaten.
Still, some people prefer to remove the casing before cooking and eating the sausages.
Before we get into how you can cut and separate sausage links, let’s discuss when it’s best to do so.
Technically speaking, you can separate sausage links before and after cooking the sausages. Therefore, even if you cook your sausages while still linked, they won’t change their taste.
However, it will be much easier to separate sausage links before you cook them.
Some even claim that they will have a much better flavor by removing the casings before the sausages are cooked.
After you separate the sausage links, use moderate heat for cooking them. If the temperature is too high, the sausage casings will burst.
How Do You Make Individual Sausage Links?
Making individual sausage links can be easy if you know how to do it properly. It might seem complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to do this fairly quickly.
You can start by filling the casing with the meat. Be careful not to overfill it, though, since you still need some air to make the links. Also, make sure that you do this in a clean environment.
Sausage casings differ in length. Therefore, the number of sausage links ultimately depends on the length of the casing. It’s generally advised to make a link between every 5 inches or so.
But, of course, this depends on your personal preference and how many sausages you want to make.
When you’ve finished filling the casing, place it on a clean surface. Then, use your forefinger and your thumb to pinch the casing every 5 inches. But don’t do it all at once; instead, pinch the casing to only make the first link.
What you’re going to do next is take both sides of the casing so that the link is in the middle. Then, twist it around at least a couple of times until the link is tightened.
Measure the next 5 inches and repeat the same steps. Do this until you reach the end of the sausage casing. Keep in mind that you should always rotate the casing in the same direction.
This is the most basic way to link sausages, and it’s also the easiest. Butchers do it similarly, with a bit more twisting and turning.
It’s also a good idea to rinse and soak the casing before you start to stuff it.
Then, when you’ve finished linking the sausage casing, use a toothpick to poke any air holes that might have been formed in the process of stuffing the casing. You should leave some air inside the sausage casings to ensure that they cook evenly.
Finally, place the sausages in the refrigerator for at least one day. This will allow the sausage casing to dry, reducing the moisture in the meat.
They can be stored in the fridge for only two days, but they can stay in the freezer for three months if you freeze them. When you take them out of the freezer, they need to spend at least 24 hours in the fridge before you cook them.
Tips on Separating Sausage Links
To separate sausage links, you can use a kitchen knife or a pair of scissors. You should do this carefully so as not to puncture the casing. Doing so will reduce the moisture and ultimately ruin the flavor of the sausages.
It’s also essential to cut sausage links before the sausages are cooked.
One way to make this even easier is to place the sausages in the freezer before they are cooked. After 15 to 20 minutes, take them out. This makes the filling less sticky, and the casing will become drier, enabling you to separate the links more easily.
You can still separate sausage links after you’ve cooked the sausages, although it might be more of a challenge.
To do so, take the sausages out of the hot water and let them dry. Then, you can either rinse them with cold water or dry them with a paper towel. In any case, they should be dry and cold when you separate the links.
When you’re done separating the sausage links, you can proceed to remove the casing. This part is optional, as some people prefer to leave the casing since it’s edible.
Removing the casing will also be much easier if you freeze the sausages for a short amount of time.
You need to be even more careful when removing the casing.
First, use the tip of the knife to slice the casing across the entire length of the sausage. Then, once it’s opened, use your hands to gently peel it off.
When you’re done, you can start cooking your sausages.
Many beginners may wonder how to separate sausage links the right way. While making and cutting sausage links may seem like a daunting task at first, once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to do it like a real butcher.
Whether you choose to separate sausage links before or after cooking the sausages is entirely up to you. However, we highly recommend doing this before you start the cooking process. Then, when you’re done, it’s time to serve your delicious sausages.