How to Cook Sausage (Italian Sausage & Sausage Links)

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Knowing how to cook sausage properly is a definite must when it comes to eating low carb ( and just making delicious sausage in general). Over the years Karlynn has perfected the way to cook up crispy, tender sausages that aren't dry in the middle from overcooking. Read on to find out her awesome method!

How to Cook Sausage
How to Cook Sausage

How to Cook Sausage so it's Cooked on the Outside AND Inside

It's a well known fact that sausages tend to crisp up on the outside and then are still raw on the inside. The small pork breakfast sausages may not be as bad for this however those are the most likely to dry out inside. Karlynn figured out years and years ago that you start them out in water!

How to Cook Italian Sausages

While we show you the how-to with small breakfast sausages, this is also how we cook larger Italian sausages. Those can be the WORST for crisping up on the outside and then being raw on the inside. That is especially true when you BBQ so guess what a great trick is for that?

The boiling first method! I would suggest boiling large sausages for 5 minutes and then finishing them up fast and hot on the BBQ. As long as your BBQ grill is greased or non-stick, those sausages are going to crisp up on the outside and already be cooked on the inside, it's the best of all worlds.

Sausages in a large skillet with water
Sausages in a large skillet with water

Find yourself a large enough lidded skillet that will hold the amount of sausages that you want to cook. Add in enough water so it comes up a third to halfway up the sausages, they don't have to be covered.  You are then going to heat up the skillet until the water is a low rolling boil then cover the skillet. Cook the sausages for 5-7 minutes for small ones and 8-10 minutes for large ones. You then remove the lid, let the water keep cooking and evaporate and then fry the sausages until crispy – right in the same pan.

Tips & Tricks for Cooking Sausages

There are some methods that have you boiling the sausages in water and then frying them in a pan, but :

a) I hate washing more dishes and we all know that I'm chief dishwasher in the house

b) you are losing the grease in that boiling water and have to ADD more grease to the frying pan! With our method you keep that grease as the water evaporates (see the photo above) and then the sausages fry in their own fat, NOT fat that is added. It really works like a charm!

So does anyone else use this method of cooking sausage?

Happy low-carbing!



Over the years we have perfected the way to cook up crispy, tender sausages that aren't dry in the middle from overcooking! #sausages #lowcarb #keto #ketodiet #meat #lowcarbs #cooking #recipe #howto #pork #breakfast #brunch #dinner



How to Cook Sausage (Italian Sausage & Sausage Links)

How to Cook sausages so that they are crispy, tender and not dry inside! This method works for all types of sausages including Italian sausage. 
5 from 2 votes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Total Time
15 minutes
Karami Urbanoski


  • 2 lbs pork sausages of choice
  • 1/2 cup water


  • Place the sausages in a large lidded skillet. Pour the water over top of the sausages and place the lid on top.
  • Place on the stove and bring to a low rolling boil over medium-high heat. 
  • Cook for 5 minutes for small sausages and 8 for large sausages.
  • Remove the lid and let the water evaporate while you continue to cook the sausages.
  • Continue to cook and let the water evaporate and the sausages will now start to fry in their own grease. Fry until they are crispy and perfectly brown inside and if you want to check, reach an internal temperature of 165 °F.
  • Remove and serve.

Recipe Notes

Nutritional values for the recipe will vary greatly depending on what sausage you use. Do not use these values.
If you find that you need more water in the first steps you can add some more. This is a very easy and forgiving method and you can adapt it to your needs.
Cooking times may also vary as sausage sizes are different. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 689kcal, Protein: 34g, Fat: 60g, Saturated Fat: 19g, Cholesterol: 163mg, Sodium: 1443mg, Potassium: 562mg, Vitamin A: 170IU, Vitamin C: 1.6mg, Calcium: 20mg, Iron: 2.5mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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  1. Tyler Overmeyer says

    You can also use this method for bacon. Just no lid

  2. Donna Shaw says

    This is the best way&has ALWAYS been my mother’s,for cooking sausages.I got some jerk-style links from the meat market,cooked them this way,but used a Lil more water&an few more minutes of cooking time&voila! They’re perfectly done.I appreciate seeing your recipe&it backs me up when I’ve tried to tell others about benefits of boiling first,versus just frying.

  3. Zach Lovin says

    This should be the only way of “pan frying” raw sausage links. I think people get confused when they buy he precooked frozen sausage links that you can just brown in a pan or microwave. My local grocery store has great raw pork sausage, so when I buy those and need to cook them this is my go to method. This is also my favorite method to use when I prepare bratwursts and its too cold outside to grill. Great work!

  4. Jeannine says

    My husband taught me to do this and then at the end I add a bit more water to bring up the fond in the pan and roll the sausages in that goodness. I also use this method for frying minced beef. Makes it more tender.5 stars

  5. Julie Hall says

    I like hot Italian sausage, but I have always dreaded cooking it because of the spatter and mess of following the package directions to brown first, then add water and boil until the interior temperature is high enough to guarantee food safety. I usually buy two packages of 5 sausages, cook them one package at a time so the pan isn’t crowded and they are easier to turn, then cool, wrap, and freeze all the links so I can grab one to thaw in the microwave for a quick meal anytime. Your reverse method of boil, THEN brown, is an amazing game changer. I just tried it for the first time and it was so easy and much less fussy and messy. It produced beautifully browned, perfectly cooked links with a minimum of babysitting the pan. Thank you so much for sharing your clever technique!5 stars

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