How to Poach Sausages Like a PRO

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As we’re just about to enter summer, that can only mean one thing: BBQ weather! If you’re like me and love to get organized for those big summer get-togethers, the best way is to be fully prepared with the pro way of making perfectly grilled sausages, particularly from raw. And here’s where poaching sausages comes in.

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Table of Contents

grilled sausages

What is the benefit of poaching your sausages?

If you’re wanting to get ahead of the cooking preparation when hosting a BBQ, then poaching your sausages before is ideal for making sure the meat is cooked the whole way through and prevents any cases of food poisoning.

This means then that you can just pop the poached sausages on the hot grill to brown the meat and give it that smoky BBQ flavor for a short period without stress that you’ve undercooked the meat!

It is also a much healthier way of cooking sausages as it removes the need to add lots of oil to a pan when frying them. It will also dilute the excess oils that come off the sausages and reducing the fat content of the sausages!

How to poach sausages

There are two different ways of poaching sausages. Depending on what appliances you have, you can either poach your sausage on the stove, or in your slow cooker!

Poaching sausages on the stove

  1. Place your sausages in a pot and add cold water so the sausages are covered completely.
  2. Bring the water to a simmer and then immediately remove it from the heat.
  3. Do not bring to a boil as this will cause the skin to split and the flavor and meat bits will fall out.
  4. Let your sausages sit in the water until it has cooked to room temperature.
  5. Remove sausages and store them until you’re ready to use!
How to Poach Sausages Like a PRO

Poaching sausages in the slow cooker

  1. Place your sausages in the slow cooker and cover completely with cold water.
  2. Set your slow cooker to high for 1-2 hours.
  3. Remove the sausages from the water and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to use.
How To Poach Sausages Like A Pro

How long do sausages take to cook in the slow cooker?

It of course depends on the slow cooker you are using, but mine personally took an hour and twenty minutes. This was cooking raw sausage to an internal temperature of 320 degrees Fahrenheit.

The great thing about using a slow cooker is that you can set-and-forget, and don’t need to worry about the pot coming to a boil.

If you don’t already have a slow cooker, the one I have linked below is the same slow cooker as mine, and I really love it! They come in at a pretty low price and are so versatile.

NOTE: Poaching sausages may not seem all that different from “Sous Vide” Sausages. The equipment and method of cooking is very similar. A Sous Vide approach however would require the sausages be placed in a vacuum sealed plastic bag THEN placed into the water bath. Both poaching directly in the water, or going the Sous Vide route offer similar cooking benefits – Poaching your sausages directly in the water doesn’t require the additional equipment that Sous Vide would, therefore I’m a fan of the simplicity!

Why should I buy a slow cooker for poaching?

Hugely versatile

Slow cooking is a hugely versatile method of cooking and is particularly good for larger tougher meats. The slow cooker is great at tenderizing these cuts and they slowly marry all the ingredients together to make perfect stews, casseroles, soups, and curries.

And yes, you can also use a low cooker to poach food, such as your sausages!


The great thing about a slow cooker is that it can just be programmed earlier in the day, which you can just set and forget until the meal is ready. It will even automatically switch to the keep warm setting once the cooking is complete.

Which means you can leave your poaching and do something else around the house.

Perfect food every time

The food within the slow cooker is not in direct contact with the heat source so it cannot scorch the food. What’s more, depending on the length of time you’re cooking, you add in a corresponding amount of water, which means your meal will never dry out!

All-Clad SD700450 Programmable Oval-Shaped Slow Cooker with Black Ceramic Insert and Glass Lid, 6.5-Quart, Silver
Buy on Amazon

What to do after you’ve poached your sausages

So you’ve poached your sausages, what next?

There are actually a few different ways you can cook them:


If you follow the steps above for poaching, you can then just heat the sausages up on the hot grill to brown the skin and give the sausages a little extra flavor.

Better yet, pop them in the BBQ to heat them up and this will add a smoky flavor to your sausages and you’ll truly get the best tasting sausages!

Use indirect heat

You can also just cook sausages in indirect heat on your BBQ if you just want them heated up.

It’s worth noting that if you choose this method, slow smoking sausages at a lower temperature can cause the skin to become tough and chewy, so beware. It may be better to just pop them on the hot grill for a short period before indirectly smoking them!

If you’re making homemade sausage, look for natural casings to prevent this from happening!

cooked sausage

Poaching Sausage FAQs

Should I pierce the sausages before poaching?

No, do not pierce them as this will allow some of the flavor to escape while cooking and remove moisture too.

What is best to serve with sausages?

Thanks to the high-fat content found in sausages, acidic, tangy foods pair best with them – pickles onions, mustard, pickles, horseradish, sauerkraut, kimchi and relishes pair really well with sausages. Did someone say hot dogs?

What is the best way to grill raw sausages?

If you’re using the BBQ, prepare the fire and once the coals have turned black, place the sausages above the coals for about 2 minutes on each side until brown.
Then, return to indirect heat and let the sausages cook through for another 15-20 minutes.

How long does it take to cook sausage meat?

To ensure the meat is fully cooked through, cook your sausages so the internal temperature is at least 320 degrees Fahrenheit. If there are still signs of pink meat, just let them cook a little longer and they should begin to brown.
The size of your sausages will affect cooking times and larger sausages will need longer to cook the whole way through.

How To Poach Sausages Like A Pro

Poaching sausages: the best way to ensure completely cooked food

Now that you understand how poaching works and the benefits of poaching your sausages before big events, you are ready to try it yourself!

I also wrote about how you can cooks sausages in the microwave, not just as a pre-cursor to grilling, but as a method of completely cooking the sausage. Although possible, the appearance and outcome of cooking sausages in a microwave is probably less appetising to most vs poaching them then grilling them to get that tasty crispiness on the outside of the sausage that I certainly love!

Let me know in the comments section below how it goes and if you have any questions, just ask!

By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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