Sausages are versatile, easy to cook, easily available, and oftentimes inexpensive. But if you let cooked sausage sit in the fridge for too long, you can easily get sick. In this article, I’ll describe how long cooked sausage lasts in the fridge so that they won’t go to waste, and so you stay safe.
How long does cooked sausage last in the fridge? Cooked sausages last for up to 4 days when stored in the fridge. They should be kept in an airtight container and ideally in a single row, not one on top of the other. It is also okay to wrap them securely in aluminum foil. Keep the sausages in a place in the fridge that gets a constant 40 degrees F temperature.
Read on to learn more about how long cooked sausage lasts in the fridge, including important storage and handling tips.
How Long Does Cooked Sausage Last in the Fridge?
I think this scenario has happened to a lot of us: you host a barbecue or a dinner party where you serve sausages. And because it is so easy to just keep putting sausages on a grill, you just keep adding them on the grill. Later on, when everyone has left, you realize there’s a lot of sausages left! What do you do? Don’t throw them out! That’s going to be a huge waste. Store the sausage in the fridge to eat for later.
There are many kinds of sausages. Germany alone has more than a thousand kinds. We’ll happily discuss the types of sausage later on in this article.
Most sausages will last the same amount of time in the fridge if stored properly. There are some sausages in particular that can last for a longer period of time because it has been smoked and cooked before-hand.
These are dried sausages and have been pre-cooked. Dried sausage has a longer shelf life and will be good even if you do not refrigerate them. Some examples of these are pepperoni and chorizo.
How long are cooked sausages good for in the fridge? So, most cooked sausages will last for 4 days in the refrigerator. The sausages will need to be stored properly.
They should be placed in a shallow, tightly sealed container or a well-sealed freezer bag and should be on a shelf that has a consistent 40 degrees F temperature. Handle the cooked sausage with clean tongs or if you must use your hands, make sure they are dry and clean.
Remember, the freshness of the sausage decreases the longer it stays in the fridge, so consume them within 4 days. If you want to store them for a longer period of time, store them in the freezer.
Storing Cooked Sausages in the Freezer
Because cooked sausages can only be stored in the fridge for 4 days, move them to the freezer if you can’t eat them in time. Cooked sausage will last up to four months. You’ll need to store them in freezer-safe containers, freezer bags or wrap them securely with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
This ensures that the sausages won’t get freezer burn. Store at constant 0 degrees F. To thaw out these cooked sausages, simply take them out from the freezer, place them on a low shelf in your fridge and wait until they’re soft. Reheat them on a pan or a grill. You may also choose to nuke them in the microwave.
Kinds of Sausages
There is a ton of sausage variety out there. I have many times stood in the refrigerator section of the supermarket and stared at dozens of available sausages. What are the kinds of sausages? Here’s a list to help with your sausage choices.
There are 4 types of sausages – fresh, pre-cooked, smoked, and cured.
Fresh sausages – These are sausages that have not been pre-cooked. Basically, they’re ground meat which can be pork, beef, chicken, or turkey, mixed with spices and seasoning. Some may contain herbs too. This mixture is then put in a casing. The casing is most often pork intestines. Fresh sausages need to be stored in the freezer until you’re ready to cook them.
Some popular examples of fresh sausages are Bratwurst, Italian sausage, breakfast patties (yes, they fall under the sausage category), and Mexican chorizo.
Fresh sausages are good for grilling or frying. Some sausages can be boiled in a little water first, and then when the oils come out, they can be fried in their own oil. If you’re going to do this, prick their skins with a fork so that they don’t end up bursting from their casings.
Pre-cooked sausages – As the term implies, these sausages have been cooked after they are put in their casings. These sausages still need to be cooked after you buy them to get their full flavor. Most pre-cooked sausages come in thicker and sturdier casings.
Some popular examples of pre-cooked sausages are hotdogs, Hungarian, frankfurters, bratwurst, Bierwurst, and bologna.
These sausages can be broiled, grilled, pan-fried, or added as the main ingredient to other dishes when cut up. Since these sausages have already been pre-cooked, you can cook them fairly quickly because they are not considered raw meat.
Smoked sausages – These sausages are also pre-cooked because they are smoked before being sold. These sausages are hung in smokehouses where they use charcoal and wood chunks put on top of the coal bed, and the smoke cooks and flavors the sausages.
Some popular examples of smoked sausages are the French Andouille, the American Andouille, and Kielbasa.
Smoked sausages can simply be sliced and heated to eat. They’re good for making sandwiches, pizza topping, and mixed with soup.
Cured sausages – These sausages are, as the name implies, cured. Curing is a process of meat preservation with the use of salt. These cured sausages were fresh sausages, to begin with, and then salted and dried for weeks and weeks. Curing makes the meat uninhabitable for various microbes that cause foodborne illnesses. In Italy, it is called salumi, and in France, it is called charcuterie.
Some popular examples of cured sausages are the Spanish Chorizo, Pepperoni, Thailand’s Isaan sausage, and the Mortadella.
Cured sausages may or may not be heated before serving. It is best to slice them thinly, like most cured meats. They’re good as appetizers, in sandwiches, or on a platter with cheese.
The first three sausages – fresh, pre-cooked, and smoked all need to be stored in the refrigerator after you cook them if you have any leftovers. Cured sausages may be kept unrefrigerated for weeks. However, you must only keep other kinds of sausages in the fridge, and only for up to four days.
Tips for Storing Cooked Sausage in the Fridge
Cooked sausages can last in the refrigerator for up to 4 days after they are cooked. To make sure the sausages are stored properly and lessen the risks of spoilage, here are some tips:
- Use shallow airtight containers to store your cooked sausages in. Heavy-duty aluminum foil will work too. This will ensure that your sausages won’t be contaminated in the refrigerator.
- Store your cooked sausages in a place in the fridge that gets constant 40 deg F temperature so that bacteria cannot grow or thrive in it.
- As with most meats, proper food storage usually starts with cooking it properly. When you are cooking your sausages, ensure that they reach an internal temperature of 160 deg F. This temperature kills bacteria that can cause food-borne illnesses.
- Handle your sausages with a clean utensil or with clean hands when you place them or take them out of the fridge.
- Keep your cooked sausages away from any raw or uncooked food in your refrigerator. This lessens the risk of contamination.
- Cooked Sausage will last four days in the refrigerator. If you need to store them longer, keep them in your freezer where they will last for up to 3 months.
- When you’re thawing cooked sausages from the freezer, place them in the refrigerator until they are soft enough to heat.
- It’s easy to forget when you stored your cooked sausages. So, whether you’re storing cooked sausages in the fridge or freezer, label the container with the date of when you stored them.
How to Tell When Cooked Sausage Has Gone Bad
How long does cooked sausage last in the fridge? You can keep cooked sausage in the fridge for up to four days. When you do take them out of the fridge, give them a quick check for freshness.
The first telltale sign of a cooked sausage that has spoiled is the smell. A rotten sausage will smell just like that – rotten! It can also acquire a sweet, sort of funky smell. Discard your sausages if they smell funny.
When there’s doubt, examine your sausages. Check for discoloration. If the sausages have turned gray or even black, that’s a sure sign that they have spoiled. Check your sausages for any traces of mold too. Do not attempt to cut out the parts that have mold. You can’t really tell if the molds have gone deeper in some parts. If your sausages have traces of mold, throw them away.
Touch your cooked sausages. If they feel slimy or sticky, that’s a sure sign that they have spoiled. A sausage covered in slime suggests the presence of bacteria and that the sausage has gone bad.
Leftover Cooked Sausages
There’s so much spoilage in a lot of countries with food. In fact, in the UK alone (A country that consumes 175,000 tonnes of sausages a year!), there are 1.5 million sausages that go into waste every year. That’s a lot of spoilage. So, don’t throw out those leftover cooked sausages. We now know that you can store them in the fridge for 4 days.
Here are a few ideas on how to recreate your leftover cooked sausages, whether they were grille, fried, or broiled.
- Traybakes. Use your leftover sausages for traybakes. Traybakes are very simple to make and it gives a whole new taste to your leftover cooked sausages. Simply cut up your sausages, add veggies of your choice like beans, carrots, corn. Add some tomato sauce, herbs and spices. Chuck it in your oven and bake until the vegetables are soft.
- Pasta. Cut up your leftover sausages, mix this up with either tomato sauce or olive oil. Add minced garlic, basil, tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Stir in with any kind of cooked pasta and top with more cheese. Your sausages will taste
- Casseroles. Chorizos make very flavorful casseroles but they will also work with most leftover cooked sausages. Slice up some tomatoes, add green peas and some spinach. Season to taste. You may add either fresh cut up tomatoes with water or tomato sauce. Stew until the veggies are cooked.
Cooked sausages can only last up to 4 days in the fridge. These are all ways that you can spice them up, and voila, you’ve got a new dish!
Conclusion – How Long Does Cooked Sausage Last in the Fridge?
If you’ve cooked too many sausages and you can’t finish them, don’t throw them away. Cooked sausages will last for 4 days in the refrigerator. They need to be properly stored at a constant 40 deg F temperature.
Place them in shallow, airtight containers or wrap them in heavy-duty aluminum foil to ensure freshness and avoid contamination. If you need to store sausages for longer, keep them in the freezer.
We also gave tips on how to recook and reinvent your sausages, so they don’t feel like leftovers. Happy cooking!