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I cooked some sausages sous vide at about 158F for a few hours. Usually I cook sausage in my pan until it hits an internal temperature of about 155 and it climbs to 165 and they are incredibly juicy. They are 30% fat and I made them myself, so fat is not an issue here. I subsequently used a torch to brown them.

I cooked them sous vide due to convenience rather than wanting the sous vide experience. I expected them to be very juicy because they would be less cooked than in the pan (158 all the way through, and not just in the centre), but they turned out significantly more dry.

Why were my sous vide sausages drier than my pan sausages?

I have two hypotheses, and am open to others: 1. Cooking sous vide resulted in an overall lower temperature, but cooking the sausages longer forced out more fat. 2. When I browned them with the torch, the outside skin shrivelled a bit and some holes appeared because the torch is so hot. I don't think this cooked the sausages any more, but perhaps rupturing the membrane and slightly constricting the casing may have pushed out some of the fat.

Any other ideas?

  • For how long did you cook the sous vide sausage? – AMtwo Dec 3 '18 at 1:23
  • @insidesin I was making a big dinner and didn't want to use up another pan and I happened to have the sous vide going at an appropriate temperature anyway for pork belly – Behacad Dec 3 '18 at 13:53
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Sous vide is an excellent way to cook sausages, particularly those that are lower in fat, because you can avoid over cooking. I find pork sausages cooked at 140 F (60C) to be ideal. One theory is that you may have cooked them to a higher than necessary temperature. However, sausage making technique can also contribute to dry or crumbly texture. So, you will want to consider that as well. For starters, try 140F for an hour (if not frozen), then sear or grill quickly. More than two hours in the water bath could also begin to degrade the texture.

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    I take your point, but I don't think the temperature alone is an issue. When I cook these sausages to a HIGHER temperature in the pan they turn out juicy. So the issue is perhaps time in this case, rather than temperature, but I'm not sure. – Behacad Dec 2 '18 at 17:12

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