Golden brown air fryer sausage made easy. This healthier spin on pan-fried Italian sausage can be enjoyed as a breakfast side or a quick weeknight dinner. Get our tasty recipe here.
No hearty breakfast would be complete without a side of fried Italian sausage. But what if we could do away with the unhealthy layers of oil and grease, while still creating that delicious crisp and succulent center? This air fryer sausage recipe will do the trick.
Air fryers have skyrocketed in popularity thanks to their ability to make healthier versions of classic fried dishes, and sausages are no exception. With a good kitchen air fryer, you can make your sausages golden brown and juicy without the excess grease that normally accompanies them.
Discover how to make one of our favorite air fryer recipes from scratch with our easy step-by-step guide to creating this breakfast classic. Let’s get into it!
Benefits of Air Frying Sausage
Air frying isn’t all about reducing grease. There are a number of benefits to switching to the popular kitchen appliance. Here are some of our favorites.
Most air fryers use air circulation, which is a cooking method that involves circulating hot air around your food inside the fryer. This type of contactless cooking reduces hot spots on your food, instead offering even coverage. Not only this, but it also ensures consistent cooking temperatures from all angles. So, instead of the brown scorch marks that accompany skillet or oven cooking, you have a sausage that’s cooked well and has an even golden brown coating.
Set & Forget
Gone are the days when you had to constantly check on and flip over your sausages when pan-frying them. With an air fryer, all you have to do is put the sausages in its frying basket, set it to the appropriate temperature, and let the hot air inside cook them evenly.
Unlike pan-frying, you do not have to worry about oil splattering all over when making them in an air fryer. This makes the cooking process less messy and safer as it reduces the risk of hot oil burning you.
Why Use Italian Sausage?
While almost any type of sausage will work, including bratwurst and Cumberland, our go-to favorite is Italian.
Italian sausage is often seasoned well, and carries an unmistakable taste that balances between sweet and mild spice. This combination of flavors then pairs perfectly with the crisp that develops on the skin once fried.
New to air frying? These quick recipe tips will help you get the best results for your Italian sausage.
- Don’t forget to prick each sausage link before cooking. This will prevent them from bursting and allow excess fat to drain out. Be careful not to overdo it, however, as too much juice escaping could leave the sausage bland and tasteless. Pierce 1-2 times on each side.
- Use a cooking spray with a high smoke point. Oils or sprays with low smoke points won’t withstand high temperatures and could affect the taste of your dish. Use canola oil spray. It has a smoke point of 375-450°F (190-230°C) and is perfect for all types of frying, including air frying.
- Add water to your air fryer’s drawer before cooking. This is particularly important with fatty food (like sausage) because it will catch greasy run-off and prevent it from flaring up and smoking. If your appliance doesn’t have a water drawer, line the bottom of the basket with parchment paper.
- Eight sausage links might be too many to fit in the air fryer basket at one time while still allowing hot air to circulate through the cooker. If this is the case, cook the sausages in batches of four at a time.
- To know when your sausages are cooked, use a meat thermometer. Cooking times can vary depending on food size and thickness, so use a meat thermometer to measure the pork’s internal temperature. It will be safe to eat once it reaches 160°F (71°C).
- If you make these ahead of time or have leftovers, place them in an airtight container or Ziploc bag and store them in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can enjoy them cold or reheat them in the air fryer again, this time at 350°F (180°C) for just 5 minutes.
Side Dish Ideas
There are tons of fantastic side dishes you can serve with your air fryer sausages. Here are some of our favorites.
- Sweet Potato Hash: This classic breakfast side dish only takes 20 minutes in the skillet. Made with sweet potatoes, onions and bell peppers, it pairs perfectly with the pork meat.
- Cauliflower Cheese: Besides being easy to prepare, this side dish is both healthy and delicious.
- Roast Potatoes: Why would you go for French fries from a fast food joint when you can make these crispy air fryer baby potatoes? You can also add some creamed spinach to make it more healthy.
- Garlic Mushrooms:This is another amazingly delicious side dish that can go well with your sausages. And the good thing is, you can also prepare them in the air fryer.
How to Make Air Fryer Sausage
As we mentioned before, making air fryer sausages is easy, and you don’t need a lot of ingredients. Here is a detailed step-by-step guide on how to make amazing air fryer sausages.
Step One: Preheat the Air Fryer
Set your air fryer to a temperature of between 185°C/ 365°F and 204°C/ 400°F and preheat it for approximately five minutes. Although the temperature depends on several factors, such as the thickness of the sausages, it is advisable not to set your air fryer to a very high temperature. Putting your sausages in a very hot air fryer may cause them to burn on the outside and not cook perfectly inside.
Step Two: Pierce or Prick the Sausages
Using a sharp knife, pierce or prick the sausages a few times. Doing so will prevent their skin from splitting when they are cooking. It also helps the sausages to drain some of the fat out that would cause them to burst. However, do not poke your sausages too much as they may lose all the juicy flavors that make them delicious.
Step Three: Grease the Air Fryer Basket
Before placing the sausages inside the air fryer basket, spray it with a few squirts of your favorite oil. This will prevent them from sticking to it during the cooking process.
Step Four: Place the Sausages in the Air Fryer Basket
Using tongs, put the sausages inside the air fryer basket. Make sure that they don’t touch each other to allow them to cook evenly. Set the air fryer’s timer to about 10 to 12 minutes. This will depend on the thickness of the sausages and whether they are frozen or not.
Halfway through cooking duration, check on the sausages and flip them over if necessary to enable them to cook more evenly. Once the set time is over, check whether the sausages are entirely done. If not, allow them to continue cooking until they are cooked perfectly.
Air Fryer Sausage
- 8 Italian sausage links
- cooking spray
- Preheat air fryer to 360°F (180°C)
- Use a fork or sharp knife to prick each sausage a few times
- Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray
- Carefully place each sausage inside the basket, leaving space between so they don’t touch
- Set timer to 14 minutes (or 12 minutes if you prefer less crisp on the surface). Halfway through cooking, use tongs to turn the sausages over.
- After 14 minutes of total cooking time, check that sausages are cooked. Remove from air fryer and serve immediately.