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Breakfast Sausage: Patties or Links?

My mom served only patties when I was a kiddo, and now, perhaps in compensation, I'm preferrin' links.


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  1. Generally, links are preferred on plates.....patties for breakfast sandwiches

    1 Reply
    1. Definitely patties for me.

      1. Patties. Because they are easier to make homemade and are therefore easier to control quality-wise.

        1. Links. I like the texture better than patties. I also have access to many local producers of highway quality sausages, so I'm not concerned with making my own.

          1. I prefer patties in restaurants as they seem to be more consistent and I know what to expect. With links, it could be anything.

            1. Sausages come in links, with casings. Those salty pork patties are nice once in a while, but I can't really think of them as sausage.

              19 Replies
              1. re: Scrofula

                The saltiness may have been your experience, but to not think of sausage out of a casing not as sausage is ridiculous. Sausage in casings is ground meat with spices stuffed into a casing. Don't stuff the mixture into a casing and form it into a patty, that does not change the fact that it is sausage.

                1. re: John E.

                  True, but I totally get where Scrofula is coming from. Its like saying a hot dog can be flat and disc-like because a hot dog is technically a sausage and can technically be made this way. But if you ordered a hot dog and got a flat round disc of hot dog, you'd probably be a little disappointed and not view it as a hot dog. And if you consider the definition of sausage to be any highly spiced minced meat product either in or out of a casing, are meatballs actually sausages? Are hamburgers actually sausages? Is donair meat actually sausage?
                  I associate sausage with links. I associate patties with, well, patties, not sausage. But I understand why you feel the way you do.

                  1. re: freia

                    A hamburger is not a sausage because a proper hamburger has none of the qualities of a sausage such as all the spices and mixed ground meat. If a hamburger does have all of then it IS a sausage and NOT a hamburger. If a sausage is round and not flat, then it IS a meatball and not a sausage. In my view a hotdog is not a hotdog until it is in a bun, until then it is a wiener. After all of this, a sausage in patty form is just as much of a sausage as one stuffed into a casing. I could make the argument to Scrofula that sausage meat in a casing is not sausage at all but a wiener. Of course all of this is personal opinion, until a butcher gets involved and educates all of us.

                    1. re: John E.

                      Wow, I have never heard that differentiation between hot dog and weiner!! What region does that (you) come from?

                      1. re: sandylc

                        The region I come from has nothing to do with my personal definition of the difference between a hotdog (wiener on a bun) and a wiener (a plain sausage commonly eaten on a bun, smaller than a Polish sausage). It all started several years ago with the Famous Nathan's (the ones sold in the store are not great) Independence Day "Hot Dog" Eating Contest. They were eating the buns and wieners separately so I decided then that a wiener not on a bun is just a wiener while a wiener on a bun is a hotdog. It is said with a smile but i suppose that does not always come across with the written word and I am not a frequent user of emoticons.

                      2. re: John E.

                        Well, actually home made hamburgers and meatballs often have more spices than the average commercial sausage, with minced jalapeno peppers, sometimes curry powder, onion, salt, garlic, honey, parsley, rosemary, hot sauce and indeed are often made with mixed meats ground up. And a heavily seasoned, homemade hamburger with a variety of meats in the grind shaped flat, like a patty must therefore be a sausage.
                        However, turkey sausage in casings can't be sausage as they are fairly bland and there isn't a mix of meats ground up in them. And can there be vegetarian sausage then, by definition? No meat at all! And if you decase a vegetarian sausage and make it into a patty....well, I could go on forever, but I won't!
                        A weiner is a....drum roll...SAUSAGE. And can be eaten without the bun. A hot dog is also known as a weiner. You may be thinking of wurst of something, which is also sausage even though it isn't heavily spiced.
                        Personally, I think that the term sausage has become fairly colloquial. If you live in an area that serves breakfast sausage in patties routinely, or you purchase alot of breakfast sausage patties, you'll know this as sausage. If you are more familiar with sausage in link form, then that's what it is for you.
                        I live in an area where it is links ALL the way except for McDos breakfast sandwiches, and even then they aren't "sausage" as they are mostly filler with some mystery meat and are really bland.
                        All this to say that we know sausage when we see it, but the first thing that comes to mind is often a culturally referenced food.

                        1. re: freia

                          Perhaps we should lump all ground meat items; burgers, sausages, weiners, wursts, etc. into 'forcemeats", known by other names?

                          1. re: freia

                            Yeah, I know a wiener is a sausage. I also consider turkey sausage to be sausage even if it is bland, it's turkey after all. I don't consider vegan sausage at all, sausage or otherwise.

                          1. re: sandylc

                            I believe it is spiced, ground meat used to make doner kebab. Indian or perhaps Middle Eastern.

                            1. re: Perilagu Khan

                              You may also know it as the meat that goes in gyros -- Middle eastern heavily spiced ground lamb, placed on a vertical skewer and cooks as it rotates. When you order, it is sliced off into thin strips. So it meets the definition of being a heavily spiced minced meat not encased in a casing.:)

                            2. re: sandylc

                              Doner is Turkish, pronounced donair. Sliced grilled meat, lamb often, cooked on a spit, served with grilled tomatoes, onions and sauce with pide, the Turkish version of pita, on the side. Gyro is the Greek version of doner, pork is often the meat in Greece. In the US, gyro usually involves minced lamb or lamb and beef, shaped into a cone and grilled on a spit, then shaved and served. Schwarma is a variation on doner as is al pastor. Only the US version of gyro meat has any similarity to sausage.

                              1. re: sandylc

                                A donair (not doner) is a very popular food fast food in Halifax, where I live. It is based on one of the middle eastern spit cooked meats, but was created by a Lebanese (I believe) immigrant to Halifax in the 1970s. It is it's own unique and yummy beast, almos never done properly away from Haliafx according to us locals! A donair has a sweet sauce very unlike any other I've seen.

                            3. re: John E.

                              Shape is sometimes one of the defining characteristics of a food. A salad with a slice of bread on the side is not a sandwich. Macaroni is not spaghetti. Non-sausage-shaped meat patties are not sausages.

                              Besides, the casing is important. It adds a nice snap to the texture, and keeps more of the juices in; this changes the experience of eating the sausage.

                              1. re: Scrofula

                                Le Cordon Bleu Professional Cooking, 6th edition, defines sausage as "a mixture of ground meat, usually pork, and seasonings stuffed into a casing. The term sausage may also be used for the meat mixture itself, without the casing. Reduced to its simplest form, sausage meat may be nothing more than ground pork seasoned with salt."
                                Culinary Institute of America, Garde Manger: "the word sausage comes from the Latin word salsus, meaneing, "salted." That book goes on to say that sausage meat can be put into casings or be used in bulk (loose) form and made into patties.

                                Go ahead and claim what you want. You might think that sausage must be in a casing. That's your right. But, you are not the authority I look to when defining cooking and or food terms.

                                1. re: wyogal

                                  Uh huh. And my dictionary defines sausage as 'a short cylindrical tube of minced pork, beef, or other meat encased in a skin, typically sold raw to be grilled or fried before eating.'. I don't claim or want to be some food definition police, so you can go on calling all ground meat 'sausage' if you like.

                                2. re: Scrofula

                                  Okay. So if you buy Italian sausage and remove the casings does it cease being sausage?

                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                    I wouldn't really think of it as being a sausage any more, but I would still call it 'Italian sausage' if I was sharing the recipe with someone, since that's more concise than saying 'ground pork with seasonings typically found in Italian sausage'. It's like calling people calling a certain Thanksgiving dish 'stuffing' even when it isn't stuffed into anything.

                            4. Sausage patties tend to have a sharper and saltier flavor whereas links tend to be more mild and come in a wide range of flavors. I generally prefer a good link but have enjoyed patties in the past, and I agree with the above poster that they really aren't the same despite both being called sausages.

                              1. Whenever you have a sausage 'pattie' in a restaurant you can be about 100% sure it was frozen. The chances of being served a fresh sausage link could be up to 50% depending on where you're eating and how fast they are turning over the sausages.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Puffin3

                                  I would bet the sausage in the casing at a typical restaurant has also seen the freezer. They buy in bulk. When referring to a fresh sausage link, are you referring to an uncured, unsmoked sausage, because that is what fresh sausage is, such as bratwurst.

                                2. We don't do patties in Britain.

                                  Sausage is, erm, sausage shaped and comes in a casing made from an animal product

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Harters

                                    Not entirely true. Lorne sausage, a flat square slice, is still very popular in Scotland.

                                    1. re: stilldontknow

                                      Though after the independence vote.. Scotland may not be party of Britain ;-)

                                      And casings do not necessarily natural. There are synthetic casings as well.

                                      1. re: cwdonald

                                        If the casings are edible but not intestines, thwn they're made out of collagen, which is a natural product.

                                  2. I generally find the patties taste better because the links are so variable quality wise, but if I can get with a good natural casing with some snap to them, I prefer the links.

                                    Too many time the links have tasted like Brown-N-Serve.

                                    1. For breakfast - patties.

                                      A good part of their appeal is that they are easier to eat - links roll about and get tricky for a person with morning issues to cut easily!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: meatn3

                                        +1 on patties at breakfast; links are often cheap and greasy... my local grocery makes their own bulk sausage, which I buy for breakfast. A link is not on offer for this 'minnesota breakfast sausage". it is the the best! Lean (I actually have to grease the pan before cooking them so they don't stick!), flavorful, savory.

                                        I think of link 'sausage' as more of the lunch/dinner types; bockwurst, bratwurst, knackwurst, and on and on...
                                        Patties are a country American sausage style.

                                      2. I only order sausage in restaurants when I know they will make it themselves.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: sandylc

                                          Mystery meat sausage is actually pretty rare in the US these days, unless you're talking about chorizo.

                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                            I'm not worried about mystery meat - just about quality. I want someone who knows/cares about the end result to make it, otherwise it's usually poorly seasoned and full of gristle and MSG, etc.

                                            1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                              If sausage is only mediocre, it just isn't worth the calories.

                                            2. re: sandylc

                                              I disagree! Like baking, sausage making is a specialized art and I have no problem with a restaurant outsourcing its sausage production to a reputable maker, just as a fancy Parisian restaurant might get its bread from a local bakery. Many types of highly emulsified sausages like hot dogs are better made in a factory anyway.

                                              To answer the original question, I prefer links for the snap of the casing, but too many places seem to just warm em up in hot water before serving. Either brown the links or don't waste my time!

                                              1. Plate of eggs, bacon, sausage links, home fries and toast.
                                                BUT English muffin with egg, cheese and sausage pattie!
                                                If as a standalone, then links. If part of a breakfast sandwich, then a pattie.

                                                1. Unless the links come in snappy natural casings, patties are to be preferred.

                                                  1. Depends, sausage comes in many forms, but for breakfast:
                                                    Links with pancakes or waffles (maybe something from my youth)
                                                    Patties with hashbrowns, eggs
                                                    Chorizo, on occasion, or a b'fast sausage that I season with paprika, ancho chili powder, and cumin for b'fast burritos, heuvos rancheros.
                                                    Kielbasa with American fries, eggs
                                                    One of my favorite things in cooking school was our very short, brief unit on sausage making. We don't hunt, so haven't really made sausage like some folks, but I walk by the sausage making aisle of the sporting goods stores and drool.

                                                    1. Only time I prefer patties is if I'm having a Sausage Egg McMuffin.

                                                      1. Patties for me, or else it's bacon. There's a Cajun butcher here who makes an incredible breakfast sausage. I buy it by the pound. Maybe they also stuff it in a casing, I don't know. I also have been told there are smokehouses/sausage makers throughout the Czech belt and in small German towns in Texas who make great breakfast links but I've never tried any. Breakfast links just make me think of Lil Smokies.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: brucesw

                                                          on our way from houston to san antonio in march 2013 we stopped about an hour and half out of houston for some sausage stuffed kolaches. yummmmm. it was a place right off the highway. we were peckish and lunch was going to be in san antonio at la fogata, so we stopped and enjoyed a snack.

                                                        2. I like neither. I prefer my breakfast sausage in gravy over biscuits.

                                                          23 Replies
                                                          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                            I really like biscuits and gravy too. I recently saw some show with Bobby Flay where he really screwed up biscuits and gravy. He made biscuits, a sausage patty, and white pepper gravy WITHOUT ANY SAUSAGE. He then proceeded to place the sausage on the biscuit as if he were at McDonald's and poured some gravy on it.

                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                              having not seen the segment you referenced,I really don't understand your diss in this case. He was just adapting the traditional recipe. Was his take for Throwdown challenge? As for the milk gravy, I'm no expert on Southern cooking, but isn't it traditionally made with black pepper? His white pepper inclusion was just another twist. Myself, I like milk gravy and could see why he did so......Peppered Milk Gravy is always applied to the Chicken Fried Steak I have always had and I cannot recall ever having Sausage gravy in place of....although I would love it if it were made with sausage gravy

                                                              My only real point, the McDonald's reference doesn't apply.. I believe they used to offer a Chicken Fried Biscuit for breakfast on a national promotion....as well as a similar option in Southern States regularly......they did not douse in any gravy, only butter on the biscuit.

                                                              1. re: fourunder

                                                                I actually prefer the white gravy on biscuits without sausage mixed in. And that's the way it is typically served in west Texas and New Mexico. Now sausage (or bacon, or ham) on the side goes wonderfully with just plain ol' biscuits and gravy.

                                                                1. re: fourunder

                                                                  My McDonalds reference was to their breakfast sausage biscuit. I'd be interested in what the guy on the boat has to say. My intent was to write a post in agreement with Indianriver. You too can have your opinion.

                                                                2. re: John E.

                                                                  I saw the Bobby Flay episode. He also put some really wrong things in both the sausage and the gravy. It was very sad.

                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                    I must have missed the first part where he made the sausage and the early part of the gravy making. If you don't put crumbled, browned sausage into the gravy isn't it just a white sauce with black pepper?

                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                      Yes. And it is delicious on biscuits.

                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                        I prefer the gravy to my biscuits and gravy to have a little more substance than a simple white sauce (roux and milk is a little bland).

                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                          I'm generally not a huge fan of bland food, but biscuits and cream gravy is an exception. That said, I like it rather peppery.

                                                                      2. re: John E.

                                                                        I have had the "just white sauce" type of gravy quite a lot and been happy with it; in fact, that's what I grew up with. In my eyes, what Bobby failed to do was put pan drippings into his roux. He did a pure bechamel with butter, flour, milk, S & P. The main point of the gravy for biscuits from my perspective is the flavor from pan drippings.

                                                                        Bobby put a lot of fresh garlic and quite a lot of onion powder in his sausage - it might be delicious, but not traditional middle-southern seasoning for breakfast sausage in my experience!

                                                                        Since growing up I have switched to putting crumbled sausage in my gravy, and I like it much better. I haven't researched it to discover which is the original - sounds like an interesting thing to do.

                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                          My guess, the original was... hey, we got some bits of meat, some grease, some flour, and a bit of milk (or coffee, or water)... I'm hungry, let's eat!

                                                                          and those biscuits that are several days old...

                                                                        2. re: John E.

                                                                          i may be overreading your response, so forgive me if i am. this is to clarify for those who don't know about sausage gravy and how it is made. gravy starts with the sausage, then the roux from that sausage grease is used to make the gravy with some milk. sausage is not just "added" into white milk gravy.

                                                                          i brown the bulk sausage and as my momma taught me, then just sprinkle the flour over that lightly browned sausage (with the grease) and "toast" that roux, then add the milk and pepper. voila, sausage gravy, my momma's way.

                                                                          i generally like to use jimmy dean's hot sausage. i think i found bob evans in the grocery store to be a little greasy, but maybe i am thinking of some lesser brand. i wish i had a good country store-style homemade sausage here in northern virginia.

                                                                          i grew up with patties but like a good link too. if we are out for breakfast, i'll ask the waiter which one is the better *there* at the establishment. i'll also have a look at sausages on other plates to see what they look like. ;-).

                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                            In my experience (and this could be regional - they might use different producers in different areas) Bob Evans is better than Jimmy Dean.

                                                                            If you want better sausage, it's easy to make:

                                                                            1 pound ground pork - don't skimp on quality, and don't use pork with any brines/additives
                                                                            1 t. salt
                                                                            1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
                                                                            1 1/2 T. dried sage leaves
                                                                            1/4 t. dried thyme leaves
                                                                            3/4 t. sugar
                                                                            1/8 to 1/4 t. red pepper flakes
                                                                            1/8 to 1/4 t. cayenne pepper

                                                                            You make sausage gravy just the way I do. I was raised to instead cook the sausage in patties, remove them from the skillet, then make the gravy with the remaining grease. I switched from that to your method a couple of decades ago - it's much better with the crumbled sausage included.

                                                                            The method I was taught came from my mother's southern family; I don't know why they did it that way, but they did it almost daily for about 65 years.

                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                              Sandy, I've been making breakfast sausage for years. I buy a pork butt and grind it. The result is a much leaner pork sausage than either Jimmy Dean or Bob Evans. (Has Bob Evans sausage always been available in Minnesota? I only remember first seeing it fewer than 10 years ago.)

                                                                              I prefer to make patties out of the homemade sausage, although I did make my own version of Hormel Little Sizzlers once. I put the ground sausage into a Ziplock bag and piped it out on to a sheet pan and froze it. Once frozen I cut it into links. Intersting, but not really worth the effort.

                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                I find that my home-ground pork shoulder (butt) isn't as good as the ground pork that I can get at Clancey's or Everett's or even Kowalski's.

                                                                                Leaner does not appeal to me - !

                                                                                Yes, I grew up with Bob Evans in the stores in Indiana, but you're probably about right with the 10 years or so here - I remember being happy that I could find it here - it does pretty well in a pinch, and the Jimmy Dean brand always has knobs of unidentifiable stuff in it.

                                                                                So what seasonings do you put in your sausage, John? Are we similar, or do you have a northern twist?

                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                  I'm a fraud. I buy the sausage seasonings at Fleet Farm but I add more per pound than the directions indicate. I have made my own seasonings mix in the past, but not lately.

                                                                                  I grind the pork butt and find it to be about 10% fat. I can get away with that by not packing the patties too tight and never, ever pressing down on the patty while it is cooking. They end up being quite tender.

                                                                                  (By the way, I came real close to growing up in Indiana. When I was a kid, my father was offered a job in Fort Wayne at almost double his salary. He wanted to take it, my mother talked him out of it.)

                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                    Fort Wayne was known as kind of an icky place when I was growing up about 45 minutes away from there, so probably a good move on you parents' part - although the cost of living has historically been more favorable in Indiana than in Minnesota.

                                                                                    I'll have to look at that Fleet Farm seasoning - I'm curious about what's in it! Does your MSG meter go off with it?

                                                                                    I just began using the smashburger method for cooking my sausage patties and I am thrilled with it. (from Kenji at Serious Eats). He has figured out with burgers that smashing them down hard in the first 30 seconds ONLY of cooking produces a nice crust and a moist interior - and it works with sausage, too, I have discovered! Happy.

                                                                                    p.s. You're not a fraud!

                                                                            2. re: alkapal

                                                                              I too make sausage gravy the way you do. I didn't see the entire Bobby Flay Showdown episode so I don't know how he made the gravy.

                                                                              I have had 'biscuits and gravy' without sausage in restaurants and was disappointed when there was no sausage. It was a biscuit with a white sauce with black pepper. I don't know why anyone would make such a thing unless it was for a vegetarian.

                                                                              I have a brother who uses a country gravy mix to make the gravy. He follows the directions to make it in a saucepan and then adds crumbled, browned pork sausage. I told him to sprinkle the dry gravy mix into the browned sausage and then add the milk, but I don't know if he took my advice. He insists on using the gravy mix.

                                                                      3. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                        This is why I like getting the slice-yourself rolls of breakfast sausage. You can cut them into patties or crumble them for sausage gravy. The best of both worlds.

                                                                      4. Definitely patties, they're almost always spicer.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. I prefer the humble patty sausage. I find it more dunkable. :) I can cut the pieces to fit the piece of pancake and egg that I'm going to dip in syrup. This thought reminds me of the scene in "Spinal Tap" when Nigel objects to the round cold cuts provided along with square bread. "What do you do with that?" I feel the same way about a little teeny round of sausage link as it compares to the rest of the food on the typical breakfast plate. "What do you do with that?"
                                                                          But that's just me bein' weird.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                            Are you saying that sausage patties go to 11? When you need that little PUSH to get you off the sausage cliff, you pull out your patty and take it to 11????? LOLOLOL I love Spinal Tap!

                                                                            1. re: freia

                                                                              Obviously a woman after my own heart. :)

                                                                          2. Ah, a subject after my own heart. My preference is for ground sausage rather than links but depending on the situation or the brand, I will sometimes order links.

                                                                            Also, I'm *very* particular when it comes to sausage. I'm trying very hard to avoid MSG and HFCS so I read labels like crazy.

                                                                            The one ground sausage I have found that has none of either is Hormel and it is so low fat that if I'm making biscuits and sausage gravy, I have to add some bacon grease when I make my roux.

                                                                            The other sausage I like is Bob Evans; lovely, lovely stuff. If I am at a Bob Evans restaurant I have to decide if I'm going to have patties or links. For use at home, though, I always buy the ground Hormel's sausage because it has so many uses.

                                                                            I've recently started working part time doing grocery store demos for Aidell's sausage and I *love* their Chicken/Apple link sausage for breakfast, especially if I'm making a Fritatta (which spellcheck wants to change to "Frito"!)

                                                                            18 Replies
                                                                            1. re: RowanGolightly

                                                                              Bob Evans is sold in stores in many areas of the country. I detest all Hormel products.

                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                Eh, to each his or her own. I love Hormel sausage. Also love Bob Evans but it's often a bit pricey for me right now.

                                                                                1. re: RowanGolightly

                                                                                  With a name like Hormel, it's gotta be good!

                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                    <falls off chair laughing....>
                                                                                    oh, yeah.
                                                                                    Jimmy Dean Sage for me, thanks.

                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                      By the by, Jimmy Dean, the one and the same Jimmy Dean, plays a major role in the James Bond film, Diamonds Are Forever. He, and the film, are a panic. I highly recommend giving it a watch.

                                                                                          1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                                                                            Hah. Funny tune. And even if I didn't know who was singing and where he was from, I would identify him as a west Texan. The inflection and pronunciation are unmistakable.

                                                                                            1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                              I did not click because I was afraid it would get stuck in my head.

                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                          I wouldn't eat Jimmy Dean sausage if someone gave it to me.

                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                            I'll file that in the "interesting information" drawer. Thanks!!

                                                                                    2. re: sandylc

                                                                                      Do you even dislike all the Hormel turkey products? (Under the name Jennie O).

                                                                                      Hormel sells a lot of fresh pork as well. Have you tried any of those meats?

                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                        I don't care for turkey very much. Hormel usually fuel-injects its pork products. You have to buy their "all-natural" line to avoid chemical additives. This is enough to ring my alarm bell regarding general quality. Many stores around here don't even carry their tiny "all-natural" selection.

                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                          I think you might be mistaken about 'fuel injects'. I'm fairly certain it would not pass USDA rules to use petroleum products as an injection for meat.

                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                            haha funny. This is a term used casually in reference to undesired chemicals used as ingredients in fresh meat. Fresh meat should not have ingredients.

                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                              You mean like a kosher chicken?

                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                I know exactly what you mean. If you look it will often say "sold in a 14% solution of sodium Yuckinate" (or some other chemical) , purportedly to enhance the flavor. Enhance it by making it mushy and soapy tasting? Ugh no thanks.

                                                                                                It seems the vacuum sealed packages more often have this than the old style shrink wrap packages.

                                                                                                Smithfield is another company I that I find does this with a lot of their meat, and I find the taste disgusting. I always look for ones that are "minimally processed" and don't buy if I cannot find those.

                                                                                                1. re: PenskeFan

                                                                                                  I also adds weight in the form of water - since they charge by the pound, this is bad for us!

                                                                                    3. Links all the way. They crisp up in a way that patties do not. Plus patties have a weird texture to me.

                                                                                      1. I hate to resurrect this thread, but I will since I feel strongly - links all the way! The fat juicy ones which squirt when you bite into the crisp casing.

                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                          Totally OT, but why do some folks act like they are committing a cardinal sin by resurrecting an old thread? Never understood that.

                                                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                            Considering it's your topic, if anyone can deviate and not feel like a criminal, it should be you.
                                                                                            I agree that there's no reason not to revive a good old thread. Though different threads may speak to the same or similar things, there's a synergy that gets perking on some threads that makes them that much more readable, commentable, and just plain fun.

                                                                                            1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                              Because some have expressed anger at this but to me it always made sense rather than start a new one. Just because a discussion ended doesn't mean it has to remain quiet.

                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                Maybe it's my innate nostalgia, but I love to see some paleolithic thread that I'd completely forgotten come bubbling back to the surface. Even if it's not my own thread. And it's always historically interesting to see what people thought and said a decade ago.

                                                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                  I agree. And every thread has a life of its own, regardless of how many times the same topic is visited.

                                                                                            2. I generally prefer patties (made from bulk sausage) but lately I have been buying links for a change of pace.

                                                                                              1. Patties, all the way. I particularly like the browned edges and bits left behind in the pan. Sometimes I even make gravy out of the pan bits.

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                                                                                                1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                  I agree, and this explanation is one of the best I have read so far.

                                                                                                2. Preference is links in casing. The casing seems to retain extra moisture and fat. The snap and burst of flavorful liquid is what I look forward to.

                                                                                                  Seconds is skinless links.

                                                                                                  Patties seem to be on the bland side. The upside of of patties is the greater surface area for crispy brown bits.

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                                                                                                  1. re: dave_c

                                                                                                    Whether or not patties are bland would be dependent upon how much/what type of seasoning are used in them, not what shape the sausage meat is formed into.

                                                                                                  2. OT, but related to sausage patties ---> great breakfast dish that i grew up with and still make today: sausage scrambled eggs.

                                                                                                    in a non-stick skillet, brown ground sausage and break into small chunks, about 2 minutes from being cooked through, add a couple of eggs that you have whipped with a fork (and added a little cream or milk) and let set on bottom, then pull a rubber spatula through to move the curds. do once more (i.e., don't overscramble or overcook). turn off heat before the curds are fully set and leave on burner, so you don't overcook it. season with salt and pepper (and a splash of cholula chili garlic sauce or sriracha).

                                                                                                    this combo can be enriched by adding small dollops of cream or other melty cheese just when adding the eggs, so that the cheese has a chance to melt. boursin is esp. good in this application!).
                                                                                                    if you want to fancify it, sprinkle on some minced chives when you serve it.

                                                                                                    it is great to make a sandwich with the leftovers -- with mayo on white or rye toast. ;).

                                                                                                    1. Links are my favorite, especially in natural casings! But most breakfast sausages are pretty good. If they're real good, I much prefer them over bacon. This probably makes me a pariah, but I think bacon has gotten way too ubiquitous, and needs to be curtailed somewhat.

                                                                                                      That's my story and I'm stickin' with it.

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                                                                                                      1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                        If I'm having breakfast in a restaurant, I always order sausage over bacon.

                                                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                                                          I tend to skip the breakfast sausage (unless made fresh) and bacon, but will jump on country ham, Italian sausage or kielbasa with eggs over medium (any time of the day).

                                                                                                          Love a good breakfast. Add a good crispy English muffin, toasted hard roll or toasted Italian bread and it doesn't get much better (provided the home fries are home made - NOT those disgusting, frozen "breakfast potato" products).

                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                            Me too, and the reason is that restaurant bacon is almost ALWAYS too salty.

                                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                                              IMO, bacon is more difficult to cook properly. It's easy to burn or undercook. Sausage is much more forgiving.

                                                                                                            2. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                              i'm with you on bacon in a restaurant -- unless it is especiallly known to be good.

                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                I'm really picky about how bacon is cooked so am rarely satisfied with how it's done in a restaurant. If I say "extra crispy," it stands a good chance of being overcooked. I think sausage, both patties and links stand a better chance of being alright.

                                                                                                            3. Definitely patties for me. Never had a typical breakfast sausage link that I'd reorder. That said, it's hard to find a decent breakfast sausage patty, but when fresh is available, they are a delight. Seems like most patties at restaurants are a preformed, likely frozen product - much like the McDonald's patties and those found at motel breakfast bars - essentially just a flavor of salt & fat.

                                                                                                              Being the the northeast, we have no choices for grocer breakfast sausage other than the horrible Jimmy Dean products. Perhaps my taste buds have changed, but at one time I did like JD - until about 10-15 years ago.

                                                                                                              My preferred choice for a breakfast sausage is either Italian sausage or kielbasa, although I do occasionally go the linguica or chourico route.

                                                                                                              Hmm - guess maybe I do prefer links.

                                                                                                                1. re: Raffles

                                                                                                                  Agreed. Any Robert Trent Jones links course..:)

                                                                                                                2. Growing up in the South, it would have been unusual for "sausage" to be anything other than patties.

                                                                                                                  1. Since I like to make my own sausage, patties are much easier... links require stuffing casings... very messy process for not a lot of benefit from a flavor standpoint, though if you are going to smoke them, its certainly easier to smoke links.

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                                                                                                                    1. re: cwdonald

                                                                                                                      Hormel Little Sizzlers are little 'links' that are not linked and have no casing. I mentioned upthread how I make them.

                                                                                                                    2. Patties. I just like the look and texture better.

                                                                                                                      1. I have no idea how I overlooked this for, oh, say - 10 years, but my neighborhood grocery has a very nice meat department, in which I found a housemade, coarsely ground, chorizo-seasoned bulk sausage.
                                                                                                                        Just confirms my true love for a crispy-surfaced sausage patty; sizzling lightly on the plate as it awaits the over-medium fried eggs, homemade biscuits that turned out very nicely, buttered and served w/ the last of the plum jam. And, just to use 'em up, re-purposed latkes which are now hash browns. This sausage is pretty amazing, and I've lost ten whole years of eating it.
                                                                                                                        Have a lovely weekend, everybody.

                                                                                                                        1. Patties. The fatty meat gets more browned and crispy on the outside than when it's in a casing. Plus when I want sausage crumbles in something, it's much easier to break up a patty than squeeze all the sausage out of a casing.

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                                                                                                                          1. re: Atomic76

                                                                                                                            When I remove the casing from a sausage I use the tip of my knife and cut from one end to the other and then just peel it off.