Author Topic: Pre-cooking Sausage?  (Read 2028 times)

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Offline Tatoosh

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Pre-cooking Sausage?
« on: September 24, 2012, 06:48:27 AM »
Before, I made my pizzas in the kitchen oven and they'd bake 15 minutes or so.  I didn't worry about precooking any of my toppings.  But now I am shifting to my Weber/Kettle Pizza setup which is much hotter and will have a shorter cook time, in the 5 minute range.  For pepperoni, since it is cured that isn't much of a problem, but for my homemade Italian-inspired, garlic and fennel pork sausage, it is more of an issue. 

I plan to sous vide the sausage ahead of time and store in a ziploc until needed.  I know that pork is between 145F and 165F for cooking with ground pork on the higher end of the spectrum.  I ground this pork shoulder myself, and although a bit fatty, I think it is a pretty safe piece of meat.  So should I sous vide the patties to 140F?  Maybe 135F and then refrigerate or freeze until needed?  I can warm them to room temperature prior to using them as a topping.  But I want to finish them off while they are on the pizza.  Any suggestions for the target temperature I should precook them to?   
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Pre-cooking Sausage?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2012, 09:51:15 AM »
The USDA says 160F for ground meats including pork.  http://www.fsis.usda.gov/news/NR_052411_01/index.asp

If you don't get it to a safe temperature, you don't get it to a safe temperature.  Pre-cooking might give you flavor, texture, or color attributes you want, but if you don't get it to the safe temperature, you would sill need to when you finish cook it.

There was a discussion about this a couple days ago: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20987.0.html
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline Tatoosh

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Re: Pre-cooking Sausage?
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2012, 01:54:47 AM »
TXCraig1, thank you for pointing out that thread.  I did a search for parcook and pre-cook toppings but didn't see that discussion.  Reading that thread gives me a lot more confidence in using it raw so I may experiment a bit, but I want to stay in the safe zone even if I lose a bit of flavor. 

 
Banana Ketchup Is Not Pizza Sauce - Weber 22.5 OTG, Smokenator 1000, Kettle Pizza Insert, White Mountain 6qt Elec, Cuisinart ICE-20 1.5qt, FMS 1500D sous vide - Mabuhay Pizza!

Offline randyjohnsonhve

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Re: Pre-cooking Sausage?
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2012, 09:15:27 AM »

May I suggest that the USDA has overstated the issue of cooking ground pork and ground beef...Just like Turkeys were ruined at 180F (USDA Standard forever), and that just changed to I believe 165F...The ground beef thing was an extreme over reaction to Jack in the Box E Coli disaster...Pork you can cook to 140F for the best of all worlds...Beef to your desired temp, I like somewhat medium rare at about 135F...Over cooking dries out the meat...For flavor, remember the Mallaird reaction...

Just a Thought,
RJelli :chef:
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Offline rcbaughn

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Re: Pre-cooking Sausage?
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2012, 08:45:24 PM »
I've gone as low as pulling my burgers at 125 degrees without any negative reactions yet.... I've never precooked my sausage and haven't had any ill effects there either and I'm using a national brand of italian sausage, not anything freshly artisan made which I assume would be considered safer from a bacterial standpoint. All my bakes are on the longer side though in a 550 oven.
More is better..... and too much is just right.

Offline Tatoosh

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Re: Pre-cooking Sausage?
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2012, 05:46:48 AM »
Thanks guys for the info!  I've always used raw for the kitchen oven pizzas and probably will continue to.  Same for deep dish that is oven cooked.  The sausage has plenty of time to come to an appropriate temp. The higher temp, but shorter duration of the Weber Kettle setup has me a bit concerned.  I may, for safety sake, pasteurize my sausage by sous vide, which I'm looking at as form of par-cooking.  But it gives me a better handle on how long and what temperature.  Douglas Baldwin's tables show pasteurization at 135F takes 2 hours, if I have my sausage roughly one inch thick.  Almost done, but not quite and definitely safe.  Maybe that is a bit of overkill from reading the thread TXCraig pointed me to.  Figuring i take it out of the refrigerator and spread it on the Kettle cooked pizza, it will have 3 to 5 minutes to come up to finishing temperature. Since I can do it easily and not have any concerns about the meat, particularly if I freeze and keep it for awhile, I'll probably start with sous vide pasteurized sausage.  But with a bit more experience, I may be spreading on the top raw and enjoying the benefits of its juiciness full tilt. Good to have the input!  
« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 05:49:59 AM by Tatoosh »
Banana Ketchup Is Not Pizza Sauce - Weber 22.5 OTG, Smokenator 1000, Kettle Pizza Insert, White Mountain 6qt Elec, Cuisinart ICE-20 1.5qt, FMS 1500D sous vide - Mabuhay Pizza!