Welcome back to Air Fryer Bro, and another bro meals post! Actually its more like a bro tips post, as today I will help you work out whether it is possible to cook frozen sausages in your air fryer without poisoning yourself 🙂
We have all done it, right? Its late at night and you’re hungry. You go rummaging through your freezer to see what delights you have to cook up! You spy a pack of frozen sausages and think to cook a few in your air fryer. But, is it even possible to cook frozen sausages in the air fryer (you think)? How do I know they are cooked?
If you have ever been in this situation or wondered how to cook frozen sausages in your air fryer, please read on…..all will be revealed!
Those of you that have read my other experimental ‘how to cook X in the air fryer’ articles, will know by now that I like to start by telling you the exact product I am using for the test. This should give you an idea if this technique or cook times will work for you.
You will also know that I often end up sourcing Tesco branded items, as I have little else on offer where I live! Today is no different! Say hello to a nice pack of Tesco’s bratwurst style sausages. But these have been in my freezer for a while, so perfect for such a test.
How Will I Know When My Frozen Sausages are Cooked?
It is important we go over how to tell if your frozen sausages are cooked as there are several variables that may mean that your results may vary from my own. The size of your sausages will play a part, the bigger they are the longer they will take (and vice versa). Also, I am using my Philips air fryer, maybe your air fryer will have a slightly different level of heat to mine and thus require a different cooking time. Please be aware of this when trying to copy my results.
The best way to tell whether your sausages are fully cooked is to use a meat thermometer. If you don’t have one already, there is an excellent one you can take a look at on my recommended products page. Don’t worry, it won’t break the bank 🙂
According to the American government (via the Food Safety website), you should always cook ground meat to a minimum internal temperature of 160 Fahrenheit or around 71 Celsius. So this will be my target temperature during this experiment.
How Long Should I Air Fry my Frozen Sausages?
Now lets get down to the nitty gritty and work out our starting point for air frying frozen sausages. After taking a look at the packet’s cooking instructions, I see that they recommend to grill them for 8-10 minutes. Although these instructions are intended for fresh, not frozen sausages. See my blurry picture below if you don’t believe me 🙂
This will be the problem most people have. Not many people buy frozen sausages as they are often low quality ‘lowest of the low’ sausages. Most people will have taken a fresh set of sausages and decided to freeze them in order to make them last longer!
After some thought, I decided to try my first run at 180 degrees Celsius (or 356 Fahrenheit) in my air fryer for 10 minutes. This is the top end of the regular cooking instructions, and I thought the more intense cooking style of the air fryer would make up for the fact that the sausages were frozen.
How did they turn out? Well, when putting them to the meat thermometer test they unfortunately came out a little low on temperature (62.5C to be exact). Not too bad but definitively not hot enough to make good eating. I did take a few bites and, although not awful, they weren’t piping hot all the way through. This is especially important when cooking something from frozen (in my humble non cooking professional opinion).
Although they weren’t fully cooked, I did like the amount of browning that had gone on. Bratwurst sausages are white, so I like to get a good crisp brown skin on them when cooked.
So for the second round I simply added two minutes to the cooking time (making it 12 minutes) at the same temperature.
This time, the end result was pretty perfect. Yes, they were slightly over the recommended temperature, but they were piping hot throughout and still juicy inside. So 12 minutes at 180 degrees is the perfect set of numbers then!
Anything Else to Consider?
As you can see from my grainy photos above, my sausages got an excellent crispy skin on them. No need to spray oil on them like you might for some other food types in an air fryer.
Growing up pan frying sausages, I was always taught to prick them with a fork to make sure they don’t explode. Clearly, with frozen sausages, it is not possible to prick them in this way. However, both sausages I air fried didn’t explode and were still perfectly formed. So this doesn’t seem to be a problem.
A pack of frozen sausages may be hard to separate. I had to bang mine hard on the counter to do this (no, really!!). I imagine a lot of people will simply put the whole pack in the air fryer in one go. The problem with this is that the air flow won’t be the same around the sausages, and you are trying to cook a much bigger solid lump. If you do this, be sure to raise your cooking times.
All in all, I am super impressed with my air fryer again, In twelve minutes I can get perfectly cooked sausages from frozen, just a little over the time they would take unfrozen under a grill. The air fryer really is a convenient little beast of a machine 🙂
How to Cook Frozen Sausages [IN YOUR AIR FRYER]
One pack of sausages
- Take your pack of sausages out of the freezer.
- Break them into single sausages.
- Place in your air fryer’s cooking compartment.
- Air fry for 12 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius or 356 Fahrenheit.
- Test your sausages with a meat thermometer to make sure they are at least 160 Fahrenheit or 71 degrees Celsius.
- Do not spray oil on your sausages. If you have to cook them in one frozen lump (because you can’t break up the sausages) cook for a longer time due to reduced air flow in the air fryer.