Pickled Sausages: Your Complete Guide – Grow Your Pantry

Pickled Sausages: Your Complete Guide

by Susan Grey on March 22, 2019
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Some people go for food that is sweet. Others go for salty. Others go for sour. Pickled sausages are a winning dish. The wonderful blend of sweet, salty, spicy, and vinegary flavors are guaranteed to tickle your taste buds. The sausages, usually wrapped in plastic, come in a salty-sour brine. You can buy them from any grocery or convenience store. You can also make your own.
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Pickled Sausage Facts

What are pickled sausages?

Soaking sausages in a salty brine for a number of days until they absorb the flavor of the salt, vinegar, and spices in the brine are how pickled sausages are made. The texture is beautiful – soft and compact on the inside with a beautiful crunch or pop on the outside that comes from the casing.


What are pickled sausages made from?

You can make pickled sausages from a wide range of sausages, including hotdogs, Polish sausage, ring baloney, and smoked beef sausage.


What is pickling?

Pickling is a process that lengthens the shelf life of food so it can be enjoyed for a longer period of time. Pickling creates an environment that deters the growth of pathogens. This preserves food from decay. Meat tends to rot more easily than other food, therefore, requires more care when pickling. It is safer to use precooked meat like cooked or smoked sausages to make pickled sausage. You reduce the probability of food poisoning and bacterial growth.

How To Make Pickled Sausages

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Method 1:
1. Put brine in a large jar.
2. Put the cooked sausages in the jar.
3. Keep the jar in the refrigerator.
4. You can eat the pickled sausage after 2 or 3 days, then the sausage will have absorbed the full flavors of the brine.
    Method 2:
    1. Prick holes in the smoked sausage. (The holes will help the smoked sausage absorb the flavors from the brine).
    2. Fill a jar with brine.
    3. Put the sausage in the jar.
    4. Put the entire jar of brine and sausage in a bigger pot filled with water.
    5. Heat the water until the vinegar in the jar boils.
    This process allows the sausage to better absorb the brine flavor. You don’t have to worry about getting the sausage wet. The casing of the sausage will prevent this.

    Popular Pickled Sausages Around The World

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    Penrose Sausages (link

    What are they?
    Penrose is a brand name for the sausages first made by ConAgra Foods, Inc. The company makes and sells a wide variety of food. These products are sold in food service establishments, restaurants, supermarkets, and grocery stores.
    What are they made of?
    Penrose sausages are usually made from precooked link sausages like Kielbasa or beef smoked sausages, vinegar, garlic, pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, paprika, onion, salt, all-spice, and white pepper.
    In what part of the world are they popular?
    Penrose sausages are very popular in North America where they originate from.

    Vienna Sausages (link

    What are they?
    Vienna sausages are small, thin sausages that are precooked in hot steaming water.
    What are they made of?
    Traditionally, Vienna sausages are made with beef and pork and put in a casing made from sheep intestine. Most recipes call for the addition of spices like mustard and sweeteners like corn syrup.
    In what part of the world are they popular?
    Vienna sausages are popular in North America where they are often referred to as miniature wieners.
    They are also popular in Europe where they go by different names like the German Wiener or Wiener Würstchen, the Swiss German Wienerli, the Viennese/Austrian German Würstl or Frankfurter Würstel, and the Swabian Saitenwurst or Wienerle.

    Pickled Polish Sausages (link

    What are they?
    Pickled Polish sausages are sausages made with pork and beef. They are recognized by their dark and deep smoked coloring.
    Pickled Polish sausages are known for their perfect blend of brine and spices that gives the sausages just the right amount of flavor and heat.
    What are they made of?
    Pickled Polish sausages are usually made with Kielbasa or Polish sausage, white vinegar, brown, sugar, onions, and crushed red pepper.
    In what part of the world are they popular?
    These thick and heavily smoked sausages find their roots in Poland. They were popular, particularly with knights, noblemen, the clergy, and the privileged class who could afford it.
    Poland became associated with high-quality sausages. Its products soon found their way to other parts of Europe and the United States were they, too, became highly popular.

    Storing Pickled Sausages

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    How do you store pickled sausages?

    Refrigerator
    Homemade pickled sausages are best kept in the refrigerator. It is also good practice to eat them within a few days once you open the jar.
    Cupboard or Dark Place
    You can buy pickled sausages from the grocery store. The sausages usually come in shelf-stable plastic packaging material or jars. These sausages usually keep for several months if you don’t open them.

    Check out our article if you're interested in storing other foods (link).

    Pickling vs. Canning

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    Canning and pickling are popular ways of preserving food and extending its shelf life. People who have large harvests frequently use these processes so that the produce doesn’t go to waste.
    Canning preserves food by processing or cooking the food by boiling it under pressure to sterilize the bacteria and prevent food spoilage, then sealing the processed food in airtight jars.
    Pickling preserves food by using marinating liquid or brine that has salt or vinegar as its main ingredient. The brine causes the food to ferment anaerobically, producing lactic acid which keeps the food from spoiling.

    Check out our article if you're interested in canning and pickling mushrooms (link).

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Canning

    Advantages:
    • Canning changes food chemically by altering the levels of pH, moisture, and salinity of the food. This action protects food against yeast, mold, bacteria, microbes, and other microorganisms that cause food decay.
    • Food has enzymes whose activity causes food to rot. Canning limits the activity of food enzymes and prevents decay.
    • Canning combines the advantages of the chemical processes mentioned above with physical barriers (the use of airtight jars with efficient lids and seals) to prevent decay and make food last longer.
    • Canning helps preserve food for 1 or 2 years on shelves.
    • It helps save money by preserving home-grown produce.
    Disadvantages:
    • Canning food requires time and effort.
    • When seals are inadvertently broken, the food can spoil.
    • Glass jars can crack or break.
    • Canning requires care. You have to be vigilant in following instructions. Failing to do so may result in poor sanitation, inadequate processing, and sealing problems. All of these could cause contamination.
    • Canned food pales in taste compared to fresh food.
    • Canned food also pales in comparison with fresh vegetables and fruits when it comes to nutrients. When foods go through the canning process, they lose about 65% of their vitamins and minerals.
    • You need to buy equipment and packaging materials. If you only can produce once or twice every season, you may not be able to get back what you spent on the equipment.
    • Jars filled with food are bulky and heavy. You have to build or buy strong shelves for them.

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Pickling

    Advantages:
    • Pickling enables you to add unique flavors to the food that you are preserving.
    • It enables you to preserve the healthy bacteria, amino acids, vitamins and minerals present in food.
    • Pickle juice helps in hydration. It prevents muscle cramps induced by heat.
    • Pickling helps to preserve large harvests of summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and other similar vegetables.
    Disadvantages:
    • Pickling changes the taste of the food that you pickle. When a recipe calls for fresh ingredients, it may not always be prudent to substitute with the same food in its pickled form.
    • Pickled foods have a high amount of sodium. People with hypertension are not advised to include too much pickled food in their diets.
    • You have to buy canning equipment like jars and lids. However, you don’t need a pressure canner.

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    Guide to Canning Sausages

     

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    When you can sausages, you have to cook and seal them in airtight containers to keep them edible and palatable for a longer time. Meats like sausages have low acid levels, this makes them more susceptible to bacteria. Cooking sausages by using a high-temperature pressure cooker ensures that the food is properly sterilized. This prevents botulism and other diseases caused by spoiled food.

    Instructions for Canning:

    1. Cook the sausages and let them brown. Set aside.
    2. Use hot, soapy water to wash all canning jars, including lids and rings. Set aside.
    3. Fill your canner with the required amount of water. (For pint-size jars, fill the canner with water two-thirds of the way. For quart jars, fill the canner midway).
    4. Use high heat. Let the water boil.
    5. Put the sausages into the jars. Leave one inch as headspace.
    6. Ladle some hot sausage grease into the jars.
    7. Get a clean plastic knife and run it around the inside of the jars to release air bubbles.
    8. Use a damp cloth to remove any food spots from the rims of the jars.
    9. Cover the jars tightly with their lids. Place the rings on.
    10. Put the jars on a rack and bring the rack down inside the canner. Ensure the water covers the jars by an inch or more. Pour more water if needed.
    11. Cover the canner. Bring the water back to a boil. Process based on the time specified on the recipe that you are using.
    12. If the boiling water spills over, bring the heat down a bit.
    13. Use a hot pad and tongs to bring the rack up from the canner. Use a jar lifter to take the jars out. Leave the jars on the kitchen counter to reduce to room temperature.
    14. Check if the jar is properly sealed by pressing on the middle of the lid. If the center doesn’t pop up, the jar is sealed properly. Wipe the jars dry with a clean cloth.
    15. Label the jars.
      Canned sausage can keep for up to a year or two.
      Once opened, keep the jars in the refrigerator.

      Guide to Pickling Sausages

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      You need a good ceramic, glass, enamel, or stainless steel containers to pickle sausages. A container made from tin or aluminum is likely to produce an unpleasant metallic taste.

      Instructions for Pickling:

      1. Put the meat in the container. Add an adequate amount of water so that the meat is completely covered.
      2. Take the meat out of the container.
      3. Add coarse-grained salt to the water, probably about 4 or 6 cups. Stir to blend.
      4. Test the water to determine if you have added enough salt. (Put a fresh whole egg in the water. If the egg floats, you have added enough salt. If the egg fails to float, add more salt).
      5. Add sugar.
      6. Add saltpeter (potassium nitrate). (Saltpeter is a chemical preservative that adds a beautiful pink color to pickled meat. You can omit the saltpeter for health reasons if you want to).
      7. Return the meat to the crock. Keep it totally submerged in the brine at all times. (Tie strings around the meat or put something heavy on top of the meat to weigh it down).
      8. Cover the crock and allow the meat to pickle for about 3 days.
      9. Use the same pickling liquid to cook the meat over high heat until the meat is fully cooked and tender.

        Pickled Sausage Recipes

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        Pickled Polish Sausage

        Ingredients:
        • 2 lbs Kielbasa, cooked
        • 1 tbsp onions, sliced
        • 1 cup water
        • 3/4 cup brown sugar
        • 3 cups white vinegar
        • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
        • 2 tbsp salt
        Directions:
        1. Mix the water, brown sugar, white vinegar, cayenne pepper, and salt until well blended. Allow to boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
        2. Put the Kielbasa sausage and the sliced onions in a jar. Pour the brine over the sausage. Cover the jar with the lid.
        3. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 days before serving.

        Penrose Hot Sausage 

        Inspired by CopyKat kitchen
        Ingredients:
        • 1.75 lbs smoked Kielbasa, sliced 1/2 inch thick
        • 1/2 cup water
        • 2 cups white vinegar
        • 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
        • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
        • 1 tsp garlic, minced
        • 1 tbsp onion, dried
        • 1 tsp paprika
        • 1/2 tsp white pepper
        • 1 tbsp salt
        • pinch of allspice
        Directions:
        1. Combine water, vinegar, cayenne pepper, onion, garlic, red pepper, paprika, white pepper, allspice, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Simmer for 5 minutes.
        2. Put the precooked sausage slices in a sterile 1-quart jar. Fill the jar but don’t pack the sausage too tightly.
        3. Pour the hot mixture over the sausage. If you don’t have enough mixture to cover the sausage, add more vinegar. Put the lid on securely.
        4. Let the mixture reduce to room temperature. Refrigerate.
        5. Pickle for 5 to 7 days before serving.
        6. Once you open the jar, keep it in the refrigerator.

          Pickled Smoked Beef Sausage

          Ingredients:
          • 4 cups water
          • 2 tbsp salt
          • 4 cups apple cider vinegar
          • 10 drops red food coloring
          • 10 links smoked beef sausage
          Directions:
          1. Combine all ingredients except for the sausage in a large pot. Bring to boiling point over medium high heat.
          2. Slice the sausage links into thirds or halves.
          3. Put the sausage slices in a sterile jar.
          4. Pour the hot spiced vinegar over the sausage. Cover with the lid.
          5. Allow the sausage to pickle in the vinegar mixture for 2 to 3 days.

            Spicy Pickled Bar Sausage

            Ingredients:
            • 3 lbs Kielbasa
            • 4 1/2 cups white vinegar
            • 3 1/2 cups water
            • 2 1/2 tbsp crushed dry red pepper
            • 1 1/2 garlic, minced
            • 6 bay leaves
            Directions:
            1. Combine the vinegar, water, red pepper, and garlic to make the brine. Bring to a boil in a large saucepan.
            2. Cut the sausage into 3 inch slices.
            3. Put the sausage in a sterilized 1-gallon glass jar. Add the bay leaves.
            4. Pour the vinegar mixture over the sausage.
            5. Seal the jar.
            6. Keep the jar in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. The sausage will improve in taste the longer it sits.

            Pickled Hot Dogs

            Ingredients:
            • 20 pieces of hot dog, cut into 1 inch slices
            • 4 cups water
            • 3 cups vinegar
            • 1 onion, sliced
            • 5 garlic cloves, diced
            • 2 tbsp salt
            • 1 tbsp sugar
            • 12 pieces allspice, whole
            • 1/4 tsp alum
            • 1 tsp coriander
            • 1 tsp mustard seeds
            • 1 hot pepper, diced
            • 4 bay leaves
            • pinch of turmeric
            Directions:
            1. Put all ingredients in a large pot and boil together.
            2. Transfer the contents to a jar. Seal tightly. Refrigerate.

              How to Use Pickled Sausage in Recipes

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              You can use pickled sausage in many recipes. The following are convenient and easy-to-prepare dishes:
              Saltine Crackers and Pickled Sausage:
              Put some saltine crackers on a tray. Serve chunks of pickled Vienna sausage on top of the crackers. This recipe is good for an appetizer or for a snack.
              Onion, Tomato, and Pickled Sausage Salad:
              Cut a white onion into serving slices. Cut a big tomato into wedges. Get some pickled sausage and cut into smaller slices. Mix the onion, tomato, and the sausage together. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. Add a dash of salt. Serve the salad with some rye bread or homemade garlic bread on the side.
              Mashed Potato with Carrots and Pickled Sausage:
              Make some mashed potato. Add some diced boiled carrots and fresh dill. Cut some pickled sausage into cubes and add to the dish for an extra twist of flavorful sourness.
              Sweet Potatoes, Pineapple, and Pickled Sausage Dish:
              Boil some sweet potatoes. Cut them into cubes. Get some pickled sausages and cut them into cubes. Simmer the sweet potato, pickled sausage, and canned pineapple tidbits in the pineapple juice that comes from the same can until the syrup turns thicker. Serve with bread.
              Cucumber, Onion, and Pickled Sausage with Greens:
              Slice some cucumber. Slice some onions. Slice some pickled sausage. Mix the cucumber, onion, and sausage together. Drizzle with olive oil. Top with toasted pine nuts. Serve on a bed of lettuce with bread on the side.

               

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