How to defrost sausages

Here's how to defrost sausages safely before cooking

how to defrost sausages
(Image credit: Getty)

Knowing how to defrost sausages correctly is essential to making sure they're safe for cooking. Freezing sausages is a convenient way of preserving them if you've bought a lot of them, but it's very important to defrost raw pork (or chicken, or any other type of meat your sausages are made from) properly to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. 

The main tip for defrosting your sausages is keeping them in their original packaging whenever possible – or, if you've discarded the original wrapping, transferring them into a sealed sandwich bag. Never defrost sausages without any packaging as this could allow cross-surface contamination. 

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How to defrost sausages in the fridge

Defrosting your sausages in the fridge is the best method as it is the safest. Simply place the sausages in their packaging (or in a sandwich bag) on the bottom shelf of your fridge. Make sure your fridge is cold enough – that is, at least -5°C. Leave the sausages to defrost for at least six hours, and preferably overnight. When they're soft to the touch within their packaging, they're ready to cook. 

How to defrost sausages in the microwave

Defrosting sausages in the microwave is easy – you just have to make sure they don't begin cooking as you defrost them. To make sure of this, begin by microwaving them in their packaging for two-three minutes on the defrost setting (or half the microwave's standard heat setting). Once the sausages have separated, transfer the sausages onto a microwave-safe plate, leaving a bit of a gap between them. Continue defrosting for a minute at a time, until the sausages are soft to the touch. Remember to wash your hands after your touch them. Once defrosted, cook immediately. 

Can I defrost sausages in water? 

Don't have a microwave and don't have time to defrost sausages in the fridge? There is a quicker way – but the sausages must be sealed to prevent direct contact with water. Fill a large mixing bowl with cold water and submerge the sausages in it. They should defrost in about half an hour. Do not use hot water, as this will make the sausages potentially unsafe to cook. 

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Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

Anna is Consumer Editor across Future's home brands. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening.