There are many types of sausages, but there aren’t as many options when it comes to how to cook Vienna sausages. Vienna sausages have been around since the 1890s, and they can be bought from many grocery stores today. The most common types are beef, pork, or veal, but chicken and turkey varieties are available for those who prefer poultry to red meat. Vienna sausages come in two main types: fresh and cured, and can be cooked by boiling, pan-frying.
Regardless of what you decide to do with your Vienna sausage, you must know their ingredients before determining if they’re the right choice for you. Therefore, we will also look at the health aspects of Vienna sausages and their healthier alternatives.
What is a Vienna Sausage?
A Vienna sausage is a type of pork and beef sausage that originated in Vienna, Austria. It is made by stuffing ground meat and onions into natural or artificial casings like skinless gut (hog casing) before being smoked over low heat for several hours with a minimal amount of water to keep the sausages moist.
The word “wiener” is a German word that means to stuff, and this type of sausage was initially encased in a sheep’s intestine.
How to Prepare Vienna Sausage ?
Vienna sausage is a sausage made of chopped or ground meat emulsified with either beef fat, pork lard, or bacon. The American version of this sausage is made from pork meat seasoned with a couple of spices.
Elsewhere, Vienna sausage is made with beef (usually veal), pork, and spices. The sausage is then cooked over a long period to cure it properly before eating. The sausage can also be eaten fresh or smoked if desired but still needs to be cured by smoking for several hours at low heat.
The commonly used spices in a Vienna sausage are nutmeg, pepper, cinnamon, coriander seed, cloves, and salt. The mixture may also include onion powder, allspice, and garlic.
How to Cook Vienna Sausage in a Microwave ?
Vienna sausages are usually precooked. You only need to warm them up in the microwave, but if you like them crispy, you should pan-fry them in a hot skillet for approximately 30 seconds on each side.
Since the microwave is the easier option of the two, let’s take a quick look at how you should do it:
- Open the can or the packaging and empty your sausages together with the broth in a bowl. Ensure the bowl is microwave-safe.
- For an 800-watt microwave oven, set the heat to ‘High’ and cook for between 1 and 2 minutes, until hot.
A higher-powered oven will cook in lesser time, so you’d want to work with 10-second intervals until you establish the ideal amount of time.
- If you don’t want to have the sausages with broth, place the sausages in a microwave-safe bowl without stacking them.
- Cover the bowl with a clingfilm or a non-metallic lid.
- Cook for approximately 90 seconds on high heat setting and stop to turn the sausages before cooking for 90 more seconds.This ensures even cooking.
Health Benefits of Vienna Sausages
The health benefits include providing protein as well as rapidly providing energy due to its calorie content. Vienna sausage also contains iron, calcium, and vitamin D in smaller amounts.
Protein is a bodybuilding nutrient that must be consumed daily. The high-calorie content is helpful if you are doing strenuous work like jogging or running.
Iron is an essential element in hemoglobin, while vitamin D and calcium are necessary for bone health.
You can enjoy the health benefits of Vienna sausage by having it with boiled and buttered vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, or spinach which make up for the absent vitamin A and C.
Vienna Sausage Health Risks
There are two prominent health issues associated with Vienna sausages. The first and most obvious one is the processed meat. Nitrates and nitrites used in curing brine, and thus in the processed meats, have been implicated in the development of colon cancer and an increased risk of other types of cancer.
The nitrates that are used to preserve a Vienna sausage’s color and flavor are similarly harmful. Nitrates can lead to an increased risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson`
The second primary concern is the high-calorie content, most of which is saturated fat. For example, a 5-ounce batch of Vienna sausages contains up to 300 calories. 250 of the 300 calories come from fat, of which a third (80+ calories) are saturated fats.
These fats, sodium, and chemical preservatives are a sure ticket to heart diseases, some types of cancer, and diabetes if you consume too much of them.
Healthy Alternatives to Vienna Sausage
The most popular healthy substitute for Vienna sausage is tofu. Tofu can be substituted for any protein, and it tastes good with just about anything. Tofu can also be cooked in so many different ways.
There are also substitutes like cauliflower rice or quinoa pasta (but these both take a little more work). These two options are a great source of energy that’s free of saturated fats
There are also other substitutes for Vienna sausage that you might be interested in. These can include grilled chicken, beef, or pork with various sauces (tomato sauce, barbecue sauce), salmon and shrimp, eggplant slices dipped in breadcrumbs seasoned with basil and oregano baked.
These options provide you as much protein as the sausages have but eliminate the wrong side of processed foods and the high saturated fats content.
Vienna Sausage Nutrition Data
A typical Vienna sausage weighs around 16 grams. This mass contains the following amounts of the constituent nutrients:
- Calories – 37
- Proteins – 1.7g
- Carbohydrates – 0.4g
- Sugars – 0g
- Total fats – 3.1g
- Potassium – 16mg
- Sodium – 141mg
- Cholesterol – 14mg
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Can Diabetics Eat Vienna Sausage?
Unfortunately, diabetics should steer clear of Vienna sausages. The first issue is the high-fat content in these sausages. Diabetics need to consume as little fat as possible.
Diabetics can have a small amount of unprocessed meat, but it’s a big no when it comes to processed foods like canned meat and sausages!
The second issue is the absence of fiber in Vienna sausages. Fiber is essential because it helps lower blood sugar levels and thus helps manage diabetes.
The third issue is the high sodium content in these sausages. Diabetics have to be very watchful of their salt intake, as too much can lead to a greater risk for heart disease, stroke, or worsen complications associated with diabetes.
Q. Does Chicken Sausage Have Nitrates?
Pure chicken or turkey sausages do not contain nitrates, at least for most brands. If there is a nitrate-based preservative in them, it will be clearly indicated on the product packaging.
On the contrary, chicken Vienna sausages do have nitrates. If you are watching your nitrate intake, you should go for chicken or turkey sausages instead.
Q. Is Vienna Sausage Good for Weight Loss?
Vienna sausages have a high calorie and fat content, which makes them unideal for a weight-loss diet. If you must have the sausage, ensure to consume no more than 10 grams a day. Nevertheless, you’ll still have to deal with the ugly side of processed meats.
Q. How to Eat Vienna Sausage?
Vienna sausage can be eaten in various ways. It can be consumed by itself, as a part of another dish or meal, such as in a sandwich.
A more common way to eat Vienna sausages is with other foods and dishes. For example, it may be served on top of mashed potatoes or alongside scrambled eggs for breakfast.
Vienna sausage can also be cut up and added to a soup or used as an ingredient for pasta.
Vienna sausage can also be eaten straight from the can or cooked in various methods for varying flavors and textures.
At this point, you now know how to cook Vienna sausage, as well as the bad and the good side of eating the sausage.
One of the most important things to remember is that these sausages are made with highly processed beef and pork.
Therefore, it is essential to consume these less often to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you are looking for substitute products with the same taste as Vienna sausages but with better nutritional value, try the alternatives listed above!