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Mar 17, 2012 01:16 PM

How to cook 100 sausages

Need advice. I have about 100 sausages destined for the soup kitchen where I volunteer. They're big ones - so we're going to serve them in buns with all the trimmings. Anyway, I need to somehow figure out a way to get them all cooked. Here is my plan: pre-cook sausages (in batches) at home in a bit of water just so they're definitely cooked through. Then I'll either lay them in roasting pans and bake on site (med-high temp) until browned and sizzling. OR if I get ambitious tomorrow, I'll briefly grill them before putting in the roasting pans and reheating on site. What do you think? Would the grilling step be such a great improvement that it's worth the extra time or will the sausages brown nicely enough in the oven? They're really nice sausages that were donated by a culinary class who made them in school.

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  1. the sausages will brown in the oven. no need to grill. no need to parboil either imo. If you partially cook them you have to cool them back down in the interim to keep them safe, I'd not bother.

    1 Reply
    1. re: magiesmom

      I agree. Just roasting will do fine though it might be worth it to put some water in the pans at the start so the pan doesn't burn.

    2. I'd just put them in a roasting pan, less fuss and things to clean up.

      1. Ok great then! I'll lay them out in pans, add a bit of water and roast. Thanks for the help.

        1. A note of caution -- check with the soup kitchen about any local health code(s) re: cooking/cooling/transporting/reheating food to be donated. Often, temperature comes into play. Is there a reason they cannot be cooked on site, at the soup kitchen? A couple of sheet pans in a hot oven would do nicely. It's a lovely thing you're doing. I'm certain they'll be appreciated.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Sherri

            Yeah I'm going to bring in the sausages defrosted but on ice and cook them in the ovens there. Simple and easy.

            We do a variety of things to provide food at this place. Sometimes we prepare at home and just finish/reheat onsite. Occasionally, if it's something simple, we prepare entirely in the soup kitchen kitchen. But mostly it's some kind of hybrid - main dishes or soup prepared at home, salad done onsite, desserts donated from someplace else. We certainly try to follow food safety regulations but it can be almost a joke at times. Yeah, sure, make sure the food is heated to a safe temp but never mind that bucket of turkey defrosting on the floor in the corner... My one rule: if I won't eat it, I won't serve it to anyone else. Seems to work.

            1. re: Sherri

              My church, which provides dinners to the needy, gets the food from a caterer whose business it is to cater to churches. The food, usually fried chicken, macaroni & cheese or baked beans, and cooked greens, is delivered cooked and is heated on site. So there must not be a health requirement to cook the food on site.

              1. re: Querencia

                Q, there are no health dept. requirements, in my area, that mandate donated food must be cooked on site. However, there are strictly enforced, unannounced, checks at the site for sanitary transportation and temperature during transport of donations. Certainly caterers, whose business it is to transport food, will have the necessary equipment to comply with the regs. Volunteers may or may not be quite as diligent and these are the people who often, despite the best intentions, may not follow the guidelines. Likely, they're even unaware of them. I was just giving a "heads up" to Nyleve because there is nothing more gut-wrenching than being forced to discard food that you're pretty sure is OK but falls out of code.
                NB: these codes are all local and vary greatly by geographic area. I was involved in setting up a food donation program in the Phoenix area many years ago and became all too familiar with the crazy-quilt of different rules.

                1. re: Sherri

                  Oh yeah - I know all about having to discard food. The donations come either as an avalanche or a pittance. When it's an avalanche it's a real challenge to get everything properly refrigerated or stored. Just last week I went into the back storage room and found 3 (THREE!) cartons of bulk liquid egg on the floor - unrefrigerated. I asked how long it had been there and no one knew. We threw it out. What a horrible waste. It just kills me to do that. But this is a place that runs on fumes, so they're always just one step away from non-existence and it really does fill a need in the community. So we make it work no matter what.