Buying and cooking Johnsonville frozen patties
Your trip to the food store.
Suppose you have a shopping list someone gave you to buy food for a cookout this weekend, or for Wednesday night's supper. You've done well buying everything except for this: Johnsonville Bratwurst and Johnsonville sausage. You don't have the "phone a friend" lifeline because your cell phone battery is dead. You must decide which to buy based on your knowledge and instinct. Come on, you can do it. Let me help you decide.
Links or loose or patties
Whenever I buy sausage or bratwurst, it seems to be available in three ways.
In pre-made patties.
It seems to me that the choice is a matter of preference and convenience. I choose mostly based on what else will be served or what else will I have on hand. If I know I have or will have plenty of hot dog buns, then I will buy the links. If I want the sausage in bite size pieces, I may also buy the links and cut them into the smaller size. If I am making sauce for pasta, I will buy the links if I want to have different size pieces and I will buy the loose if I want to make like a meat sauce. I will buy the patties if I only have hamburger buns or kaiser rolls handy.
In addition to the above reasons, I prefer the ground sausage over the link sausage for the most part because it seem the ground sausage is easier to cook. It seems to cook more evenly and faster than it does when it's in the link form.
How will you cook it?
One thing I've noticed about cooking meat: IT IS IMPORTANT TO READ THE DIRECTIONS! When the package instructs the user to thaw product before cooking or to keep frozen it is important to do exactly that. This will affect how the product cooks. When cooking sausage, it must be cooked to an internal temperature of 160o Fahrenheit. For most links or patties and most cooking methods, the time needed is similar. (About 15 minutes for grill, skillet or broiling) It is not always accurate to tell if something is fully cooked just by looking at it. The edges may appear to be done, but the inside may still be pink and bloody. For this reason, I advise checking the meat with a meat thermometer. To do this, using a meat thermometer, poke a hole in the link or patty and push the tip of the thermometer to the center of the meat and leave it there. The reading will probably change rapidly at first, then it will stabilize. If it reads below 160, keep cooking.
In addition to having to choose from among several different types of sausage, even if things look the same, they may be very different.
Based on my experience, most sausage or bratwurst must be thawed before cooking. The confusions can be with certain products such as Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage Patties or Bratwurst Patties. Some are sold frozen and meant to be kept frozen until cooked, and others are sold fresh or frozen and meant to be thawed before cooking. On some shopping trips, I will buy a package of the frozen patties to have on hand for a quick meal if I forget to set something out to thaw, and a package of either links or loose, which must be thawed before cooking.
The packages of Bratwurst patties that come frozen and must be cooked from frozen are more convenient than the ones that are packaged just refrigerated and that must be cooked thawed. The problem with the frozen patties is that they are larger. The frozen patties are 1/3 pound each and there are six to a box. The others are sold in 1/4 pound patties and come four to a package. So the package and and individual burgers are smaller. This can be a good thing if you are trying to be careful with fat and sodium intake.
A note about Chorizo
Something else available from Johnsonville in the form of a frozen patty is Chorizo. I have purchased, cooked and eaten Johnsonville Chorizo in both link form and frozen patty. The frozen patty seemed easy to cook and had less fat cook out of it than the links. It cooked evenly on my George Foreman Grill. For some reason, the Chorizo in patty form was not as spicy hot as it was in the link form.
If you plan your shopping trip well, you should have no problem making the right choices if you hve the right information and know what you want before you get there. It is usually a bad idea to do impulse buying, though retailers want you to do just that. Remember, you are in control. No one is forcing you to buy what you don't need.
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