When Texans talk about breakfast sausage, it doesn’t come in the form of links. Instead, breakfast sausage is more like a pork burger patty that’s heavily seasoned and super tasty. It’s easy to get confused because, by definition, a sausage is something that’s stuffed inside a casing. But whatever the case may be, breakfast sausages are a part of a hearty breakfast, and whether they come in casings or not, it doesn’t matter as long as they’re tasty and good for you.
Breakfast Sausage Trivia
- The three basic spices for the breakfast sausage are salt, pepper, and sage.
- The breakfast sausage is a traditional American country breakfast where scraps and trimmings were ground up, heavily seasoned for an inexpensive high-protein (and delicious) meal.
- The breakfast sausage is the easiest sausage to make. Just ground the meat up, season, form into patties, and cook! No more fiddling around with hog casings.
Breakfast Sausage Buying Guide
Here are the five ways to get breakfast patties.
- Pre-seasoned breakfast sausage rolls – This is the most popular way of buying breakfast sausage. The meat is already ground up and seasoned evenly. All you need to do is thaw it out, form them into patties and pan-fry.
- Raw breakfast sausage patties – These are basically the same as the meat rolls, except that they’re pre-formed into patties. Still as good, but you have no control over the thickness.
- Pre-cooked breakfast sausage patties – These are the ultimate in convenience, just pop them in the microwave and they’re ready to go. They won’t taste as good as the raw ones, but they’ll do in a pinch.
- Ordering from a local butcher – There are a lot of local butchers that will happily grind up meat and season it up for you. This is an excellent way to get breakfast sausage if you want to make sure that you’re getting good meat in your sausage and not just trimmings.
- Do It Yourself – Every family has its own time-honored breakfast sausage recipe. Get some meat, grind it up, season, and cook. This is the best way to have breakfast sausages without worrying about preservatives and breaking the bank.
A note on purchasing commercial breakfast sausage meats. Be sure to check ingredients tabs for any allergen and added preservatives. As breakfast sausages are already heavily seasoned, there is no need for any added chemicals. Avoid products that have added phosphates or nitrites or that contain any ingredients that you can’t pronounce.
Breakfast Sausage Production & Farming in Texas
Commercially Produced Breakfast Sausage:
Unless specified in the packaging that certain parts of the pig are used for that particular breakfast sausage, it is safe to assume that the meat that is used in commercially produced breakfast sausage will come from every part of the pig. A good thing to note is that there are some sizeable commercial breakfast sausage manufacturers still use good cuts and avoid the use of preservatives for their products. Even though you might think to yourself, “Oh, that’s good, no preservatives,” there is still the issue of over-salting the food to preserve it.
Commercial breakfast sausage preparations that may use preservatives are usually the pre-cooked breakfast sausages, so check the label before purchasing.
Small Batch/Artisanal Breakfast Sausage Production:
Getting breakfast sausages from a specialty store is almost the same as making it yourself, you’re just saving yourself the hassle of grinding up the meat and seasoning it. Artisanal breakfast sausages are usually ground up and seasoned on the spot by butchers and small producers. It’s more of a cost versus convenience thing where you can choose the cuts that you want, have it ground up into breakfast sausages on the spot, or you can do it at home. Either way, they will be better than mass-produced store-bought products.
Preservatives and Chemicals:
Check the label beyond the “No Artificial Colors/Flavors” tag, and you can see the following ingredients in some commercially produced breakfast sausages.
- Corn Syrup Solids / Corn Syrup
- Natural Flavors
- Propyl Gallate
The first three are flavoring agents that you would never use at home if you’re using good meat, as the flavor of the meat will be the star of the dish. The last two are preservatives added to extend the shelf life of the product.
When choosing store-bought breakfast sausages, it just needs to have three ingredients: Ground Pork (best if specified what part of the pig), salt, and spices.
The most common packaging for breakfast sausage is for the meat to come in a large tube that resembles a giant sausage. This is already pre-shaped, and you can cut the sausage to the thickness that you want. For pre-shaped and pre-cooked breakfast sausage, these are usually packed in rigid plastic trays before being sealed in with extra thick cling film for protection.
For small batch/artisanal breakfast sausages, these are usually ground up on the spot and wrapped in wax paper. Some producers who sell in farmers’ markets also utilize rigid plastic trays with cling film as their packaging to avoid contamination.
Enjoying Breakfast Sausages
Breakfast sausages are not just for breakfast. They’re great for any meal.
For commercially bought breakfast sausages, check the best before date on the packaging and store them according to the manufacturer’s specifications. For opened packages, they can be stored inside the fridge for three to four days before they go bad. They can be re-frozen for an additional one month before you have to get rid of them.
For small-batch or artisanal breakfast sausages, they are best consumed immediately, or they can be stored in the fridge for up to three days before they start to go rancid or bad.
To cook raw breakfast sausage, heat a nonstick or cast-iron skillet in low to medium heat. Cook the sausage until cooked through and browned on the outside. Do not forget to turn it often as the spices on the sausage may cause it to burn faster.