If you’re looking for delicious and easy ways to cook kielbasa, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll show you how to cook fresh and smoked kielbasa in a variety of different ways.
It only takes a few simple steps to cook this type of sausage, and the end result is mouthwatering. Read on to learn how to cook kielbasa like a pro.
Boiling is the most common way to cook kielbasa. Simply add the kielbasa to a pan with about a 1/2 inch of water. Bring the water to a boil, then cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes. If using fresh (not smoked) kielbasa, you’ll need to add more simmer time to ensure it’s cooked through.
In this article we’ll cover the following:
- Kielbasa Overview: Smoked vs. Fresh Kielbasa
- 5 Ways To Cook Fresh & Smoked Kielbasa
- Air Fry
- Frequently Asked Questions About Cooking Kielbasa
Kielbasa is a type of Polish sausage. It is typically made from pork, beef, or turkey, and has a smoky flavor.
It is also often served as part of a traditional Polish dinner. But kielbasa is sold in markets and grocery stores across the United States showing that everyone loves this smoky, delicious meat.
Kielbasa can be served as a main dish or side item, but it also makes a great appetizer or snack at a party. It pairs particularly well with other polish recipes like pierogies.
Pre-cooked Smoked Kielbasa vs. Raw Fresh Kielbasa
As you’re reading through the different cooking methods, it’s important to note that kielbasa can be pre-cooked or raw. The cooking time will vary depending on which type of meat you have.
Precooked Smoked Kielbasa: This type has a pink color, often smells smoky and is popular in grocery stores. Packaging will say “fully cooked” or “precooked”. To cook, it just needs to be heated thoroughly.
Raw Fresh Kielbasa: Fresh polish sausage has a white color and is most often sold at butcher shops or specialty markets.
For food safety, many professionals recommend that raw, white sausage be cooked (usually boiled) until internal temperature reaches 168° to 174° F before using the additional cooking methods listed below (sauteeing, grilling, roasting, or air frying).
Related Reading: 35 Delicious and Easy Kielbasa Recipes
How To Cook Kielbasa: 5 Delicious Ways
1. Boiling Kielbasa
How To Boil Kielbasa
Boiling is a popular way to cook fresh Polish kielbasa. However, if you’re not careful, some of the delicious flavors can be lost during the boiling process.
A great way to ensure your meat has lots of flavor is the addition of spices such as marjoram, peppercorns, salt, or bay leaves. You could also add garlic cloves or onion slices.
To boil, add kielbasa to a frying pan with about a 1/2 inch of water. Bring the water to a full boil, then cover and simmer on medium-low heat.
You can also use a large pot with a little water in it instead of a skillet.
How Long To Boil Kielbasa
To cook smoked sausage, simmer for about 5-10 minutes or until the kielbasa is hot.
For fresh sausage, boil for about 30 minutes or until meat reaches an internal temperature of about 175° F.
2. Baking Kielbasa In The Oven
How To Cook Kielbasa In The Oven
Cooking kielbasa in the oven is a convenient way to prepare it when you are making other side dishes for your meal. Just pop it in the oven, set the timer, and let it bake.
To bake kielbasa, heat the oven to 350°. Place sausage on a baking pan or baking dish. Bake according to the instructions below.
How Long To Cook Kielbasa
For pre-cooked kielbasa sausage, bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.
For raw sausage, you can bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes. To cut down on the baking time, you can also simmer the sausage in a small amount of hot water for about 15 minutes or so. Then finish the cooking in the oven for about 20 more minutes.
3. Grilling Kielbasa
How To Grill Kielbasa
Nothing beats the taste and smell of grilled kielbasa with dark brown grill marks!
Before grilling, you can cut the sausage in half length-wise or keep it whole.
How Long To Grill Kielbasa
Pre-cooked kielbasa will cook on a hot grill in about 4-6 minutes. Turn several times to get grill marks on all sides.
For fresh kielbasa, it’s a good idea to cook to an internal temperature of 168° to 174° F before grilling. It can be cooked from raw on the grill, it will just need more time at a lower temperature.
PRO TIP: Some say the best way to cook kielbasa is to grill it over an open fire or campfire. The result is a delicious smoky flavor with crispy, brown skin. Plus, it’s probably the easiest way to make it.
4. Frying Kielbasa
How To Fry Kielbasa
A delicious way to prepare kielbasa is to saute it in a large skillet. Frying the sausage seals in the delicious smoky flavor.
To fry kielbasa, cut the sausage into 1″ chunks. In a large frying pan, add butter (or cooking oil) and the kielbasa. Add sliced onions if desired. Season with salt and pepper.
How Long To Fry Kielbasa
Pre-cooked kielbasa should only be fried for about 4-6 minutes on medium heat. To get a nice sear, you can turn up to high heat for a minute towards the end.
For food safety, cook fresh kielbasa to an internal temperature of 168° to 174° F before frying or sauteeing. Again, it can be cooked from raw, but lower the temp and cook until the internal temp is safe to eat.
5. Air Frying Kielbasa
How To Air Fry Kielbasa
Making food in the air fryer is a popular new way to cook. Although traditional polish kielbasa has been around for generations, it too can be cooked in this trendy new kitchen device.
To air fry, heat the air fryer to 350°. Cut sausage in half lengthwise. You can also cut the meat into small, 1″ thick slices if you’d prefer. As a next step lay polish sausages in the air fryer basket in a single layer and cook according to the guidelines below.
How Long To Air Fry Kielbasa
For pre-cooked kielbasa, it takes about 8 minutes (4 minutes on each side) to cook in the air fryer.
It is recommended to cook fresh kielbasa to an internal temperature of 168° to 174° degrees F before putting it in the air fryer. It can be cooked from fresh state, but cooking time will need to be adjusted. Keep an eye on the internal temp for food safety.
Q. What is the best way to cook fresh kielbasa?
A. There are a number of ways to cook fresh kielbasa.
One of the most popular methods is to boil it. However, boiling the sausage can cause some flavor loss. You can add seasonings like a bay leaf, salt, pepper, onion or teaspoon marjoram to help lock in flavor.
Kielbasa can also be grilled, fried, and baked in the oven for a smoky and delicious flavor.
Many people agree grilling kielbasa over an open flame at a bonfire is one of the best ways to prepare it.
Q. How long does fresh kielbasa take to cook?
A. The time it takes to cook kielbasa will vary depending on which method you’re using.
In general, kielbasa that is pre-cooked will cook quickly and is an easy dish to prepare. Raw, uncooked sausage or fresh homemade kielbasa takes longer.
Below is a quick reference guide for pre-cooked kielbasa cooking times.
It is recommended to heat fresh kielbasa to an internal temperature of 168° to 174° F before finishing up the cooking process using one of the methods below.
Smoked, Pre-Cooked Kielbasa Cooking Times
Grilling: About 4-6 minutes on a hot grill
Oven: About 20 minutes at 350°
Pan Fry: About 4-6 minutes on medium heat in a saute pan
Boil: About 5-10 minutes in simmering water
Q. Do you boil kielbasa before grilling?
A. It is not necessary to boil smoked kielbasa before grilling.
However, fresh kielbasa should be boiled to reach an internal temperature of 168° to 174° F before grilling. After the sausage is warmed thoroughly, add it to a hot grill or saute pan for a nice sear.
Q. Is kielbasa already cooked?
A. Most store-bought kielbasa sausage is smoked and already cooked. To know for sure, check the packaging for the words “fully cooked” or “precooked”.
If the kielbasa looks white or very pale in color, it probably is not smoked or cooked. This type of meat is referred to as “fresh kielbasa”, “raw kielbasa” or sometimes “white kielbasa”. It will need to be cooked longer to be safe to eat.
If buying from a butcher or meat shop, you can ask the store for details on the best way to prepare the sausage.
Q. How do you cook fully cooked kielbasa?
A. Kielbasa is typically sold smoked and pre-cooked. Therefore, it’s a quick process to warm up the meat for a tasty snack. Methods of cooking kielbasa include boiling, frying, grilling, baking in the oven and air frying.
Q. How do you know when kielbasa is done?
Kielbasa is done when the internal temperature is between 165° and 175° F. You can test the internal temperature by using a meat thermometer.
Q. How do you cook kielbasa on the stove?
A. You can cook kielbasa on the stove in two different ways: boiling or frying.
To boil, add about a 1/2 inch of water to a deep skillet. Place the pre-cooked kielbasa in the boiling water, then reduce to a lower temperature. Put a cover on the skillet. Allow the sausage to simmer for about 5-10 minutes or until the kielbasa is heated through.
To fry, cut the smoked or precooked sausage into chunks. In a hot skillet, add butter (or cooking oil) and the kielbasa. Fry on medium heat for about 4-6 minutes, or until cooked thoroughly.
Q. Can you eat the skin on kielbasa?
A. Most kielbasa sausages have an edible casing or outer skin. It is common to eat the skin on kielbasa, but it can be removed if desired.
So there you have it, 5 delicious ways to cook kielbasa. We hope that you’ve found this article helpful and will enjoy trying these methods in your own kitchen.
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- 10-12 ounce package of kielbasa, any brand
- Water (for boiling)
- Seasonings such as marjoram, peppercorns, salt, bay leaves, garlic or onion (optional)
- Add kielbasa to a frying pan with about a 1/2 inch of water.
- Bring the water to a full boil, then cover and simmer on medium-low heat. Cook about 5-10 minutes or until the kielbasa is hot.
A great way to ensure your meat has lots of flavor is the addition of spices such as marjoram, peppercorns, salt, or bay leaves to the boiling water. You could also add garlic cloves or onion slices.
Micky Reed, a two-decade veteran in the food and baking industry, leverages her influential Three Snackateers food blog and Instagram presence to collaborate with industry giants like Ben & Jerry's and Crumbl Cookies. Her work has been featured on Delish, PopSugar and more. Her expertise as a product curator for one of the world's largest international snack subscription box companies solidifies her status as a key player in the field.