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How To Cook Polish Sausage?

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Grilled Polish sausages with a golden-brown crust on a barbecue grill.

Kielbasa is one of the most famous and the best food from Poland. People all over the world love it. No wonder why- it’s tasty, filling, and always made of the highest quality of meat. You have already bought kielbasa and now what? I am here to help you! Keep on reading to find out how to cook Polish sausage.

About Kielbasa

Traditional Polish kielbasa is made of pork meat. However, you can buy kielbasa made of poultry, fish, or tofu (vegetarian kielbasa) in Poland. It’s less popular but still not that difficult to find. Polish sausage, although available in all food stores is still made in the traditional way by many, especially in the countryside. In fact, the smokehouse is often found even in new households.

 The word “kielbasa” means nothing more to Poles than just a sausage. Therefore, you need to be a lot more specific when asking for one in Poland. 

There are many types of Polish sausage, but the most popular are:

  • zwyczajna (basic, “cheaper” kielbasa; it has an orange or brownish color)
  • wiejska (smoked kielbasa, it has a dark brown color)
  • biala kielbasa (white Polish sausage, it’s not smoked that’s why it’s white; usually served for Easter)
  • parowki (also known as the Vienna sausage; it’s usually used for hot dogs, it’s served for breakfast in Polish hotels and hostels); see my koziołki recipe;
  • serdelki (thick parowki, they are usually made of pork and veal)
  • kaszanka (also known as kiszka, it’s Polish blood sausage)
  • krakowska sucha (thick kielbasa made of grounded meat; usually served on sandwiches, thinly sliced)
  • żywiecka (similiar to krakowska and also very common) 
  • myśliwska ( hunter’s sausage lightly smoked and dried, its ingredients are pork, salt, pepper, and juniper).
  • kabanosy (thin, long, smoked dark brown sausage that is always served cold)

Grilled Polish sausages on a plate with a side salad of lettuce, tomato, and caramelized onions, isolated on a white background.

How Is White Kielbasa Different From Other Sausages?

The main difference between white kielbasa and the rest of the Polish sausages is that the white one is not smoked.  If you decide to buy the white sausage, you will have to give it a heat treatment before consumption.

This specific kind of sausage holds a special place in the Polish kitchen, as it is a traditional Easter food. White sausage is a main ingredient of Easter Zurek or Biały Barszcz.

How To Cook White Sausage?

The first method is to place white sausage in boiling hot water (the heat should be turned out!), then leave kiełbasa in it for about 20 minutes with a lid on.

The second method is to place white sausage in cold water and heat the water up to the temperature of 175-195°F (80-90°C). Keep kiełbasa in that water for 20 minutes with a lid on the pot.

How To Cook Kielbasa?

If you wonder how to cook Polish sausage, this post will help you.

To start with, you need to know that all kielbasa except for the white, raw Polish kielbasa can be eaten cold, without cooking. You can slice it and put on the sandwich or dip in ketchup and bite it.

However, it tastes way better warm. Here is how you can cook Polish sausage: 

Boiling Polish Sausage

How To Boil Polish Sausage?

It’s probably one of the most popular ways to cook Polish sausage. People in Poland often eat it for breakfast, as it’s super fast to prepare. Here is how to boil Polish sausage:

Kielbasa Boiling Time And Temperature

If you wonder how long to boil kiełbasa, the answer is about 10 minutes. The perfect cooking temperature is 170-175°F (75-80°C).

How To Serve Boiled Kiełbasa?

Boiled Polish sausage tastes best with ketchup, mustard, and bread. Additionally, when served with dill pickles and mashed potatoes, it makes a really fast dinner.

Grilled Polish Sausage

How To Cook Polska Kielbasa On A Grill?

Poles like to joke and say, that grilling is their national sport. The moment the weather sets in, and it gets warm enough, you can smell the barbeque every weekend. Unless you are a vegetarian, when you live in Poland, you will eat grilled Polish sausage at least once during the barbeque season (May-October). Poles love their kielbasa grilled!

It’s very easy to cook, either on the electric or barbeque grills.

How Long To Grill Kielbasa?

Firstly, to make sure the kielbasa is well grilled inside, you need to make small slits on the sides.  Place the sausage on the grill’s tray and grill 5-15 minutes on each side (depending on the temperature).

How do You Know When The Polish Sausage Is Grilled Just Right?

If you notice that the skin gets dark after 1-2 minutes of grilling, it means that the temperature is too high. The longer you grill, the better the taste you will get. Don’t let the sausage’s skin burn down.

It should be dark brown and crispy.

Pan-Fried Polish Sausage

How To Cook Polska Kielbasa In A Skillet?

It’s the best way to cook Polish sausage if you want to serve it with add-ons, such as:

How Long To Cook Kielbasa In A Skillet?

About 5-10 minutes on each side, the heat should be medium. Again, remember to make small cuts on the side of the sausage, and by doing so allow the meat to warm well from the inside too.

In Poland, when you fry kiełbasa in a skillet, people usually cut it in smaller chunks or slices. It makes it more crunchy!

Polish sausages sliced and cooking in oil in a frying pan on a stove.

How To Serve Pan-Fried Kiełbasa?

Pan-fried sausage is often served in Poland with fried onion. You can actually add raw onion cut in half-moons to the sausage and fry it all together. Kiełbasa tastes best with mustard or ketchup.

Grilled Polish sausages and sautéed onions served on a black plate.

 

It’s also the perfect dinner meat, you can serve it with mashed potatoes, bread, and any salad.

Baked Polish Kielbasa

Polish sausage baked on the stove tastes amazing, especially when served with potatoes and onion. Its skin is crispy and it has an amazing flavor.

A person places a dish of Polish sausages into an oven to cook.

How To Cook Polish Sausage In an Oven?

Simply set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit,  and then slit the sausages and add them along with any toppings to the oven.  In addition, sprinkle with oil and cook for about 45 minutes.

How Long To Bake Kielbasa?

It takes about 30- 45 minutes to bake kiełbasa in an oven, after that, you can serve it as an add-on to a big variety of dishes. 

Bonfire Polish Sausage

Two Polish sausages on sticks being roasted over a campfire surrounded by snow-covered ground.

It’s my favorite way of cooking kielbasa. It gets a wonderful wooden flavor, its skin is crispy and delicious!

Cooking it over a fire is possible when it’s warm enough outside. 

There is no rocket science about it.

  1. Start a campfire.
  2. Find a long stick and put the sausage on it.
  3. Hold it above the fire for about 15 minutes until it’s ready to eat!
  4. Make sure to keep it high above the fire, so it doesn’t burn. 

You can put it between the two slices of bread, add some sauces such as mayo, mustard, or ketchup, and eat it straightaway like a hot dog.

Cooking Kielbasa On Distilled Spirit (95% abv)

I bet you haven’t heard of this way of cooking Polish sausage! This method is unique but also very easy. You can do it anywhere, all you need is a distilled spirit (not vodka!), a sausage, a plate, and matches.

Place kielbasa on a plate and pour one shot of distilled spirit (95% abv) over it.  The next thing is to put it on fire and wait until the fire goes out. That’s it! Polish kielbasa is ready to eat.

Here’s a video of how I cooked kielbasa on distilled spirit:

Please stay cautious while using this method! You need to control the fire, don’t put any easy-to-burn materials close to the plate. Don’t touch the plate when the fire goes out, as it will be very hot.

This method is not advised for kids and teens.

Other Ways To Cook Polish Sausage

How To Cook Sausage In The Microwave?

A plate of cooked Polish sausage inside an oven, illuminated by sunlight filtering through a vent.

Every microwave is different, so it’s kind of hard to answer this question. If it has a grilling option, you can use it to get crispy skin.

You can also heat it up and have it with mustard or ketchup.

How To Cook Frozen Sausage?

Three whole Polish sausages cooking in a beige ceramic pan on a stove.

The best way is to put it in the pot with cold water and let it slowly cook. It will take about 15-20 minutes. Kiełbasa will be ready to eat after about 15 minutes. Don’t let the water boil!

How To Cook Kabanosy?

You don’t cook them! Kabanosy are always served cold. If you really want to cook them, you may fry them just like any other kiełbasa.

Yield: 4 Servings

How to Cook Kielbasa - Polish Sausages

How to Cook Kielbasa - Polish Sausages

Polish kielbasa sausages from Poland are popular everywhere. It can be cooked in a number of ways - boiled, baked, grilled, over a bonfire, and more. Here are some of the most popular kielbasa cooking methods!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Boil Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 Sausages
  • Salt - Optional, based on the method
  • Water - Optional, based on the method
  • Spices - Optional, based on the method

Instructions

Method I - How to Boil Polish sausages

  1. Put the sausage(s) into the pot.
  2. Pour the cold water until the sausages are covered.
  3. Cover the pot with lid (optional).
  4. Heat it up (medium heat). The water with kielbasa should be heated up slowly. Don't make the water boil! Polish sausages sizzling in a pot on a stove.
  5. After about 10 minutes kielbasa is ready to eat. When you notice that the water is about to start boiling, you can turn the heat off and wait for a few minutes before starting to eat. When cooking white sausage allow at least 20 minutes to cook. Pay attention to the color of the skin, it will turn from seethrough to white when cooked.
  6. Serve the boiled Polish sausages with ketchup, mustard, and bread.

Method 2 - How To Grill Polish Sausage?

  1. Cut the surface of the sausages (about a 1/4'' across the surface). This helps to make the skin more crispy and prevents the kielbasa from rupturing.
  2. Heat up the grill.
  3. Place the sausage on the grill. Sprinkle it with your favorite herbs and spices (optional). A man grilling polish sausages on a grill.
  4. Depending on the temperature, Polish sausages should be grilled 5-15 minutes on each side.

Method 3 - How To Cook Polska Kielbasa In a Skillet?

  1. You can either slice kielbasa into the rings or only cut the surface of it (about a 1/4'' across the surface). Or you can cut the Kielbasa into smaller pieces that are minced, chopped, or diced and set aside.
  2. If you want to have kielbasa with sides, fry them first on oil or lard. (Polish sausage tastes best with onion.)
  3. When the add-ons are getting soft (usually after 3-5 minutes of medium-heat frying), add the sausages.
  4. If you are having it without add-ons, simply pour the oil on the skillet, heat it up, and add sausages. Polish sausages sizzling in a frying pan on a stove.
  5. Fry for about 5 minutes, each side on medium heat.

Method 4 - How To Cook Polish Sausage In The Oven?

  1. Set the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Cut the surface of the sausages (about a 1/4'' across the surface).
    You can bake it with add-ons, such as raw potato slices, chopped pepper, onion, or any other veggie.
  3. Pour the oil or place the baking paper on the bottom of the oven dish. When using a glass heatproof dish, this is not necessary.
  4. Place the sausages and add ons in the dish. A tray of traditional Polish sausages and crispy potatoes baking in the oven.
  5. Pour a bit (1 tablespoon for every 4 sausages) of oil on top of the food.
  6. Put the dish in the stove and bake for about 45 minutes.

Method 5 - How To Cook Polish Sausage On A Bonfire?

  1. Start a campfire.
  2. Find a long stick and put the sausage on it.
  3. Hold it above the fire for about 15 minutes until it’s ready to eat! Polish sausages cooked on sticks over a campfire.

Method 6 - Cooking Kielbasa With Distilled Spirit (95% abv)

  1. Place kielbasa on a plate and pour one shot of distilled spirit (95% abv) over it.
  2. Set it on fire and wait until the fire goes out.
  3. That's it! Polish kielbasa is ready to eat.

Notes

  • Boiled Polish sausages taste best with ketchup, mustard, and on bread.
  • While grilling sausages, cut the surface of the sausages about a 1/4' across while grilling. It will make the skin more crispy and you will be sure kielbasa won't rupture during the grilling process.
  • Pan-fried sausage tastes best with mustard or ketchup. It's also the perfect dinner meat, you can serve it with mashed potatoes, bread, and any salad.
  • Kielbasa cooked over a bonfire is best eaten between the two slices of bread, add some sauces such as mayo, mustard, or ketchup and eat it like a hot dog.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 424Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 1273mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 16g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

Did you make this recipe?

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More Info & Tips For Cooking Kiełbasa

Safety Tip

Don’t prick the sausage casings before boiling to prevent them from splitting!

What To Serve Kiełbasa With?

Kiełbasa tastes best with mustard, ketchup, horseradish, bread, and veggies.

I have a whole article about the best side dishes for kiełbasa (follow the link to read it)!

Read More About Polish Sausage!

Here are my other articles about kiełbasa:

Best Polish Food With Kiełbasa

You can serve kielbasa solo, however, there are many authentic Polish dishes with sausage, including:

Pin For Later:


What’s your favorite type of kiełbasa and preferred cooking methods of the Polish sausage? Answer in the comment below!

2 Responses

  1. Ich würde gern wissen wollen, wie man kielbasa zwyczajna zubereitet?
    Mit freundlichem Gruß
    Gitti Gawron

    1. Hallo Giti,

      Genau wie Sie andere Kiełbasa kochen :).
      Ich denke, es ist am besten gegrillt, gebraten oder gekocht.

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