Last Updated on February 17, 2024 by Shari Mason
I can clearly recall the first instance when I tried sausage balls; the pleasing scent drifting from the kitchen had me salivating even before they made it to the table.
But as I reached for my second helping, a nagging question crept into my mind: do sausage balls need to be refrigerated?
As an experienced food writer and cook, I knew I had to find the answer. Here’s what I discovered.
Should I Refrigerate Sausage Balls?
It is recommended to refrigerate sausage balls  to ensure their safety and preserve their flavor.
Sausage contains a high amount of fat and protein, which makes it a prime breeding ground for bacteria if left at room temperature for too long.
“ I don’t normally cook, but if I did it probably would be beans, sausage, bacon and eggs. I never really get to eat that, to be honest.”– Wayne Rooney, English Association Football Manager
Refrigeration slows down bacterial growth, helping to keep your sausage balls safe for consumption.
So, whether making sausage balls for a party or just for a quick snack, store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to enjoy them.
How Long Can I Leave Sausage Balls Out?
Sausage balls should be kept at room temperature for over two hours. After two hours, the risk of bacterial growth increases significantly, which can lead to foodborne illness.
To ensure the safety of your sausage balls, it’s best to serve them immediately after cooking and then promptly refrigerate any leftovers.
If you plan to serve sausage balls at a party or gathering, it’s a good idea to set them out on a platter over a bowl of ice to keep them cool.
Can I Freeze Sausage Balls?
Yes, sausage balls can be frozen for later use. To freeze, let the cooked sausage balls cool down to room temperature, then place them on a baking sheet  and put them in the freezer until they are frozen solid.
Then, transfer them to a freezer bag or airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to three months. To reheat frozen sausage balls, bake them in the oven until heated.
How Should I Store Leftover Sausage Balls?
- Let them cool: Allow the sausage balls to cool down to room temperature before storing them to prevent condensation from forming inside the container.
- Use an airtight container: Transfer the leftover sausage balls to an airtight container just the right size to prevent excess air from getting in, which can cause freezer burn.
- Refrigerate promptly: Place the container in the refrigerator immediately after transferring the sausage balls, and store them in the coldest part of the fridge, usually the back.
- Reheat properly: To reheat leftover sausage balls, preheat your oven to 350°F and bake them for 10-15 minutes until heated. Alternatively, you can reheat them in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes. Remember that leftover sausage balls may not be as crispy as freshly baked ones.
“Like all good things, sausage balls must be treated with care. Refrigeration ensures flavor and safety so that you can savor each savory bite with peace of mind.”– Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice
How Can I Ensure My Sausage Balls Are Safe To Eat?
- Wash your hands: Always wash your hands before handling food to prevent the spread of bacteria.
- Cook thoroughly: Cook sausage balls to an internal temperature of 160°F to kill any harmful bacteria that may be present.
- Refrigerate promptly: If you’re not serving the sausage balls immediately, store them in the refrigerator to slow down bacterial growth.
- Use proper storage containers: Store sausage balls in an airtight container to prevent contamination from other foods and to reduce the risk of freezer burn.
- Follow food safety guidelines: Make sure to follow proper food safety guidelines when handling, storing, and reheating sausage balls. This includes keeping the cooking area clean, using clean utensils and cookware, and avoiding cross-contamination.
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To reheat sausage balls, preheat your oven to 350°F and bake them for 10-15 minutes until heated. Alternatively, you can reheat them in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes.
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The signs that sausage balls have gone bad include a foul smell, slimy texture, and strange color. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to discard the sausage balls to avoid the risk of foodborne illness.
Sausage balls should be refrigerated to ensure their safety and preserve their flavor.
It’s essential to store sausage balls in the refrigerator if they are not going to be eaten immediately and to follow proper food safety guidelines when handling, storing, and reheating them.
These simple steps allow you to enjoy your sausage balls without worrying about foodborne illness and savor each bite with peace of mind.
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