Steaming Boil

How to Tell If Sausages Are Done

Hearty, piquant, and tasty, sausages are a bona fide favorite among carnivores. And for good reason: every decent store carries at least a few varieties of sausages—and a single pack can feed the whole family inexpensively.

But buying sausages is the easy part. Cooking them, less so.

Once you’ve unwrapped the sausages from the grocery bags and you’ve slapped them on the hot skillet, how do you know when they’re done? (And what’s the deal with the degree to which meat is cooked, anyway?)

Raw or undercooked sausages can contain pathogenic bacteria that can make you sick, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service says. To become safe to eat, sausages must be cooked to a minimum internal temperature specific to each type of meat.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 48 million Americans get sick from food-borne illnesses every year. Of them, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die.

Clearly, cooking meat to a safe internal temperature is important.

To tell if sausages are done cooking, use a meat thermometer. Insert the tip of the probe into the end of the link and wait a few seconds to get an accurate reading. Sausage is done when the internal temperature reaches 160°F (70°C) for beef, pork, and lamb; 165°F (74°C) for chicken, duck, goose, and game birds.

With a meat thermometer, you don’t have to pierce the casings on the sausages. If you do, the juices in the meat will run out, and the sausages will come out dry and tough. The tip of the meat thermometer should be inserted into the small opening on each side of the sausage where it was twisted into links.

(A good instant-read meat thermometer won’t set you back all that much and, with it, you can elevate your cooking to new heights. When in doubt, check out my meat thermometer picks.)

Still, not everyone who’s reading this article has a meat thermometer handy—and some don’t intend on buying one.

How can you tell if sausages are done without a meat thermometer?

Cook the sausages, turning every minute or two, until they are golden brown on all sides. Then remove one of the sausages from the heat and cut it crosswise towards the end. If it’s done, it will be firm, juicy, and taupe-colored. If it’s undercooked, it will be soft to the touch, bloody on the inside, and colored pink.

The technique above applies to grilled, oven-roast, and pan-fried sausages. Boiled bratwursts and other boiled sausages are a world of their own.

Where exactly to cut the sausages, you’re probably wondering?

The answer depends on what you plan to use them for once they’re fully cooked.

Suppose you’re briefly browning the sausages, so that you can chop them up and throw them in a stew. Test one of them for doneness by cutting a quarter-sized piece from one of the ends.

Let’s imagine that you’ll need to cut the sausages into halves anyway, as you plan to put them between hot dog buns to make sausage sandwiches. Check for doneness by—no prizes for guessing—cutting one of them into halves.

Sausage Doneness Temperature

Sausage Meat Minimum Internal Temperature Resting Time
Beef sausage 160°F (71.1°C) 3 minutes
Pork sausage 160°F (71.1°C) 3 minutes
Pork and beef sausage 160°F (71.1°C) 3 minutes
Chicken sausage 165°F (73.8°C) 3 minutes
Game sausage 165°F (73.8°C) 3 minutes
Turkey sausage 165°F (73.8°C) 3 minutes
Wild fowl sausage 165°F (73.8°C) 3 minutes
Sausage done temperature

Cook all of your sausages to the USDA-prescribed minimum internal temperature as measured by a meat thermometer.

Rest the sausages for 3 minutes after coming off the heat. The meat will continue cooking in its residual heat, tenderizing itself and sealing the juices in.

Why Are My Sausages Undercooked?

When your sausages are blackened and burnt on the surface but cold and raw at the center, this means that you cooked them on overly high heat.

This is a classic problem that many home cooks experience when they prepare meat. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that you can do to salvage the burnt sausages other than cutting out the scorched bits and cook whatever is left in a soup, stew, or chili.

The good news is that putting a stop to raw and undercooked sausages is simpler than you probably think.

Cook your sausages—and all of your meats—low and slow. For example, I pan-fry most of my meats over medium heat and roast them in a 350°F (180°C) oven.

Through much trial and error, I’ve found the heat on those settings to be “just enough” for proper browning and caramelization on the outside of my meats while being “gentle enough” to cook them through on the inside.

Should You Cut Up or Prick Sausages Before Cooking?

When it comes to cutting up or pricking sausages before cooking, there seem to be two schools of thought out there. The jury’s out on which is right, and which is wrong.

The advocates for this technique claim that sausages must be cut up or pricked in several spots to let the steam escape, preventing the casings from bursting.

The critics say that it lets not just the moisture—but also the fats and the juices—escape from the meat, and that sausages come out dry and chewy when you cut them up or pierce them before cooking.

My experience is that cooking sausages low and slow, as I suggested above, won’t cause their skin to rapture. And I agree that the less you poke, pierce, or cut them before (or during) cooking, the more succulent they come out.

How to Pan-Fry Sausages on the Stove

Frying sausages is quick, requires only a skillet, and works with pretty much any sausage variety. You could even throw in a few white onions, peeled and cut into quarters, to impart some sweetness to the sausages.

  • Bring the sausages to room temperature. I usually do this by taking the sausages out of the fridge—and resting them on the counter for a few minutes before breaking the original packaging and frying them up.
  • Grease the skillet with cooking oil and preheat it for 2-3 minutes over medium heat. You only need 1-2 tablespoons of oil to grease the bottom and sides of your skillet to prevent the sausages from sticking and keep their casings intact.
  • Fry the sausages, turning them occasionally, until they’ve turned golden brown on all sides. If the sausages start to blacken on the surface or the oil in your pan begins to emit excessive smoke, adjust the knob on your stovetop; that’s a sign that you’re using too much heat.
  • The sausages, depending on their size and the amount of heat you use, normally cook in 10-15 minutes. You know that they’re done when you test their internal temperature with a meat thermometer, and it reads at least 160°F (70°C) for sausages containing beef, pork, or lamb; 165°F (74°C) for poultry.

It’s best to use a thick-walled, heavy-bottomed skillet for the job. So open your kitchen cabinets and whip out that well-seasoned cast iron skillet. Alternatively, a carbon steel or stainless steel frying pan will also do.

(Teflon and ceramic pans, at least in my experience, won’t brown the sausages as well as uncoated skillets will.)

How to Roast Sausages in the Oven

If pan-frying is the quickest way to cook sausages, oven-roasting is by far the easiest. Preheat the oven, pop the sausages in, turn them mid-cooking, and they’re pretty much done.

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) for 20 minutes. The longer, the better; an oven preheated for sufficient time has few cold spots and roasts meat more evenly.
  • Use that time to bring the sausages to room temperature. Take the sausages out of the fridge and leave them on the counter, keeping the packaging that they came in intact.
  • Lay the sausages on a sheet pan with a wire rack. The rack will lift and keep them from coming into contact with the bottom of the pan, promoting browning on all sides and separating the sausages from the dripping fats and juices.
  • Roast for 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the sausages, turning them over to the other side mid-cooking. Don’t spiral cut the sausages; most of the juices will flow out, causing the meat to come out stiff and dry.

My favorite kind of pan for the job is a sturdy aluminum sheet pan with a wire rack. In case you don’t happen to have one, you can use your cast iron skillet (as long as it’s got bare-metal handles).

How to Grill Sausages

Always cook your sausages on indirect heat, no matter if you’re grilling over charcoal or gas.

On a charcoal grill:

Ignite the charcoal, then let it burn for 20-30 minutes until it starts to ash over. Once you’re there, lift the grates with your BBQ gloves on and rake the charcoal to the left. Put the grates back on and cook your sausages with the lid off over the right, coal-free side.

On a gas grill:

Open the lid, set the burners to high, and light your gas grill. Once it’s burning, close the lid and preheat for 15-20 minutes. Turn half of the burners off, keep the other half on high, and grease the grates with oil. Cook the sausages on indirect heat for 5-6 minutes on each side until they’ve reached the minimum internal temperature (or they look done).

P.S. Thank you for reading this far! If you’re curious to learn more on the topic, head on over to our guide on how to cook sausages.

For your information

We first published this article on September 15, 2020. Quite a few readers gave us feedback that they wanted to get tips for testing sausage’s doneness not only with, but also without a meat thermometer.

So my editorial team and I scoured the Internet for advice, collecting and testing what seemed to be the most promising of it. After much debate—and many eaten sausages—we updated this article on October 31, 2021, with updated guidance.

How To Know If Boiled Corn Is Done

It is perfect to enjoy perfectly tender corn, whose kernels just burst with sweetness!

On the other hand, if the corn served is chewy, old, or overcooked, it ruins the whole mood. You should avoid having corn that isn’t cooked with proper instructions as it is awfully dry.

Therefore, how do you tell when corn is done boiling?

When the corn is done boiling, its kernels look more plumper, and the yellow color of the corn gets more intense. You can also determine if it is done by pricking one of the kernels while it is still hot with a fork.

To know more about how to tell when corn is done boiling, read on!

How Do You Know When Corn is Done Boiling?

Corn is Done Boiling

There is nothing less manageable than a bowl of mushy corn, which can result from excessively boiling the corn. Note that corns aren’t that difficult to boil, but you should know when to take them out from the boiling water.

There are quite some ways to tell if your corn is done or not such as the following.

Method 1: Look for the color change

The first and most obvious indicator of boiled corn is the color change. When throwing the corn in the boiling water, look for the yellow color to get more intense.

As soon as the color is intense enough and looks plumper, that is the sign to get the corn out of the boiling water. The change of color to a deeper yellow is a sign that the conversion of sugar to starch has taken place!

Method 2: Time taken by the cob to dry off

After putting the corn in boiling water, wait for 5 minutes. Next, with the help of some tongs, lift a cob out of the boiling water.

Check how quickly the steam dries off the cob when pulled. If it is done, it is supposed to be hot. This would dry the steam off fast. Accompany this method with the color method just to be sure.

Method 3: Checking for crisp

When you submerge the corn in the water, let it boil for a few minutes. Afterward, to check if the corn is done, you should poke a knife on one of the kernels.

The already done kernels are tender and crisp. Hence, when you poke them with a fork, it will pierce into it. The perfectly cooked kernels are also often plumper than usual and have the highest level of sweetness and tenderness.

However, this may also depend on the corn’s freshness. 

How Much Time Do You Boil Corn?

Generally, the boiling time depends on the amount of corn you are using in one batch. The more corn is added, the more time you will need to boil them.

However, different types of corn require different boiling times as well.

Fresh corn

For instance, fresh corn takes a shorter interval to boil than pre-packaged corn. They take less time to boil into plumper kernels because of the amount of extra moisture they withhold.

Husked and unhusked corn

The main battle of time is between husked or unhusked corn. The husked corn takes longer than the unhusked corn.

The husked corn takes about 10 minutes while the unhusked corn takes about 5 minutes.

Can You Boil Corn on the Cob Too Long?

You should avoid boiling corn on the cob for too long. The fresh corn, when boiled, tends to lose its sweetness.

Excessively boiling the corn can also make it chewy. You can also prefer to steam the corn or microwave it to avoid firm and chewy kernels due to excessive boiling.

How Long to Boil Frozen Corn on the Cob?

In winter, when there is limited access to corn, you can always opt for the frozen version. Moreover, it is convenient to use in soups and stew.

However, the frozen corn takes longer to boil than the fresh ones. Even in medium heat, it takes approximately 5-8 minutes for the frozen corn to cook

Though, the frozen kernels take less than 5 mins to boil.

Tossing the frozen corn in the fridge to defrost can help you lessen the cooking time. It does not affect the taste, and it can become helpful when cooking a last-minute dish.

How Long to Boil Corn off the Cob?

Corn on cob

It takes around 5 minutes to boil the corn off the cob.

The corn should be boiled and carefully taken out of the boiling water. You should separate the corn from the cob with the help of tongs.

If the boiled corn is proper, the kernels would look plump and come off easily. You can also keep it to rest for 15 minutes, and it won’t be tough after resting.

Related Questions

How many whistles does it take to boil corn?

After adding enough water along with a pinch of salt to the cooker, you should fully submerge the corn in the water.

Set the pressure cooker on a high flame, and after the first whistle, let the corn simmer in the water for around 12 minutes on a low flame. Then, take the corn off the water and check if it is perfectly boiled by poking a sharp knife onto it.

Does corn float when boiling?

When you boil corn, it tends to float. So, I advise you to cover the pot as you bring the water back to boil on high heat. This will allow the corn to get submerged back in the water and cook fully.

Why is my corn very chewy after boiling?

When boiling corn, the kernels tend to get affected by the spreading heat of the boiling water. The heat breaks the corn’s cell walls which affect the subtle crunch of the corn.

So, unlike the perfectly cooked corn, overcooked corn turns out to be chewy or mushy. To avoid this, boil the corn until it is holding the crisp but you can also pierce it with a fork.

How long do you boil eggs in the Egglettes?

How long do you boil eggs in the Egglettes?

How long until an egg is boiled? Place eggs in a medium pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then cover the pot and turn the heat off. Let the eggs cook, covered, for 9 to 12 minutes, depending on your desired done-ness (see photo).

How long do you microwave Egglettes? Super easy to use, just whip 1 or 2 eggs in Easy Eggwich, beat and put the lid on. Microwave Easy Eggwich for 1 minute and you’re ready to make the egg sandwich. The question is also how to use an Egglette microwave egg cooker.To use Egglettes, simply open your egg and place it in the device.

Does the Egglettes really work? This egglettes eases the process of boiling the eggs. You can only do this once the eggs are cooked and you peel them off. Here, you get to toss the veggies, spices and meats to the eggs. This makes it ideal so yes it will work for you.

How long do you boil eggs in the Egglettes? – Related Questions

Can you over boil eggs?

If you boil an egg for five or 10 minutes, it becomes firm and cooked. If you boil it for hours, it becomes rubbery and overcooked. Beyond that, things get a little mysterious. Keep boiling the egg and the proteins continue to form cross-links, making the egg even more firm and rubbery.

How do you tell if boiled eggs are done?

Tip: Just place the egg on a hard surface, like the counter, and spin it like a top. As it’s spinning, grab it with your fingers ever-so-briefly and immediately let go. If it keeps spinning, it’s raw. If it stops dead, it’s boiled.

How do you microwave Egglettes?

Spray the inside of a microwave-safe small bowl with cooking spray and crack one egg in it. Whisk with a fork. Microwave on full power for about a minute and a half. Slide onto hot buttered toast when cooked.

Can Egglettes go in the dishwasher?

Egglettes are a small, egg-shaped and heat safe silicone casing with a screw-on top. Instead of just throwing away shells, we do have to clean the individual Egglette cups, but they are dishwasher safe.

How do you hard boil eggs without shells?

To use, just crack your eggs into the non-stick silicone boiling pods, twist on the individual lids, and boil away! The design of Egglettes means they stay upright in the water, even during a rolling boil, so you get perfect even cooking throughout.

Are silicone egg cookers safe?

Since it’s chemically inert, it doesn’t leach into food or produce gas. Silicone is a safe alternative to other non-stick materials like Teflon. Purists may disagree that silicone pods produce “real” poached eggs because the egg steams rather than cooks in the water.

How do you boil eggs in a silicone mold?

Crack desired number of eggs into the holes of the silicone tray. Place tray on top of the trivet. Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 13 – 15 minutes (see notes regarding cooking time).

Do eggs float when you boil them?

If the egg’s shell is cracked, egg white will leak out into the boiling water. This reduces the mass of the egg, making it easier for the less-dense egg to float. Some bits of boiled egg white will float around in the saucepan of boiling water, which is unattractive but harmless.

Do hard boiled eggs float when they are done?

If the egg stay at the bottom – it is fresh. If the egg stands on its pointed end at the bottom – it is still safe to eat but best used for baking and making hard-cooked eggs. If the egg float – they’re stale and best discarded.

Will hard boiled egg floats in salt water?

The egg floats on the salt water because it is supported by the denser salt water. The fresh water is less dense than the salt water and will float on top of the salt water if poured very carefully and slowly.

Is it okay to eat 4 eggs a day?

There is no recommended limit on how many eggs people should eat. Eggs can be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet, but it’s best to cook them without adding salt or fat.

Is GREY yolk bad?

A greenish-gray ring may appear around a hard-cooked egg yolk. It’s unattractive, but not harmful. The ring is caused by a chemical reaction involving sulfur (from the egg white) and iron (from the egg yolk), which naturally react to form ferrous sulfide at the surface of the yolk.

Is it OK to eat 2 eggs a day?

Eating eggs leads to elevated levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as the “good” cholesterol. People who have higher HDL levels have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and other health issues. According to one study, eating two eggs a day for six weeks increased HDL levels by 10%.

What do I do if my eggs are not fully boiled?

To fix undercooked hardboiled eggs, simply keep them in their shell and simmer under a low heat for up to 10 more minutes. Turn off the heat and cover your pot. Remove from pot and transfer to ice water. Let cool 2 minutes before peeling.

Do hard boiled eggs need to be refrigerated?

Refrigeration is necessary for hard boiled eggs if the eggs are not to be consumed within a few hours. It is preferable not to peel your eggs until you are ready to eat or use in your recipe. Hard-cooked eggs in the shell can be refrigerated up to one (1) week.

How do you cook eggs with Egglettes?

Crack and add each egg to the Egglette pod. Twist on tops of each Egglette pod (make sure they are on tight). Once water is boiling, add the Egglette pods to pot and keep at a rolling boil. Boil for 15–16 minutes for hard-boiled (less time if you want soft or medium-boiled.

Why do my Egglettes tip over?

You may have too much water in the pan if they are flipping over. The water only has to be deep enough to provide “float” to keep the silicone Egglette off the hot bottom of the pan. It may also have something to do with the size egg used. That extra weight, plus the shallower water, may be why ours don’t flip over.

How do you microwave an egg without it exploding?

Microwave a bowl of water (deep enough to submerge the egg) for 3 minutes until hot. Lightly prick the bottom of the egg with a safety pin or thumbtack to prevent the egg from exploding.

Are microwave eggs safe?

Is Cooking Eggs in the Microwave Safe? Yes, it is safe to cook eggs in the microwave, whether you wish to poach, scramble, or “fry” your eggs. Sometimes, microwaved eggs taste even better than stovetop eggs. For example, you can make perfectly poached eggs in the microwave without needing to form a whirlpool.

Is it safe to boil eggs in plastic?

You can’t actually use boiling water with most plastic bags

If you pick one that is too thin or not suited to be used to heat foods, you might end up with a huge mess and possibly burns. However, as long as you follow the instructions correctly and choose heat-safe plastic bags, you can avoid this melty mistake.

Can you use silicone egg poachers in the microwave?

Can I Microwave Silicone Egg Poachers? Well, in short, yes you can use silicone egg poachers in the microwave – they’re marked as microwave safe on the product information tag.

Can You Boil Water and Refrigerate It?

There are several reasons people may want to boil their tap water, whether it comes from a well or a municipal water service. Sometimes local health departments issue boil water advisories when it is not safe to drink because of flooding or other emergency circumstances. Some consumers may want to remove or reduce chlorine, other chemicals from the water, or contaminants like trihalomethanes or cryptosporidium, but can you boil water and refrigerate it?

You can boil water and refrigerate it. You must, however, wait until the boiled water cools before placing it in a fridge. Unless you take steps to store the water in a sanitized container, it is recommended that you refrigerate it.

The following will discuss reasons for boiling water and what contaminants or chemicals are and are not removed when water is boiled. Also provided are steps for storing large or numerous containers of boiled water in a way that will keep the water potable if you don’t have room to refrigerate all of it. Finally discussed are alternative ways to sanitize untreated water and remove chemicals and other contaminants from treated or untreated water.

What Does a Boil Water Advisory Mean?

Sometimes in emergencies, your health department may issue a boil water advisory. This means that your water could or already does contain germs that could make you ill. When such advisories are issued, you should either boil your tap water or use unopened bottled water that has not been stored in a warm place.

Can I Use the Refrigerator to Cool Boiled Water?

No, do not use the refrigerator to cool your water or anything else for that matter. Michigan State University, which has a section of its website dedicated primarily to the proper storage of cooked foods, offers a warning relevant to placing anything hot in your refrigerator. It also provides information on ways to cool down food or water before refrigerating quickly.

If you put something hot in the fridge, it will increase the temperature inside and put the other refrigerated items at risk for spoilage. If you need to speed up the cooling of boiled water, you can place the container in a sink or larger vessel containing ice water.

Is Refrigerating Boiled Water Necessary?

Unless you have taken measures recommended by the CDC for storing boiled water or opened a large container of properly stored water, it is best to refrigerate the portion you are not using right away.

Sometimes you may want to prepare for any upcoming emergency or boil water advisory by boiling a large supply of water ahead of time, enough for all family members to each have a gallon per day for at least a couple of weeks. Because this much water won’t all fit in your refrigerator, you should follow CDC guidelines for properly storing the water outside of the refrigerator.

How Do You Properly Store Boiled Water You Cannot Refrigerate?

The CDC provides steps on storing boiled or otherwise sanitized water that will keep it potable, without refrigeration, for about six months. The basic steps are:

  1. Boil the water for at least one full minute of roiling or roiling boil. 

Some sources say to boil the water for 10 minutes, so go ahead and boil a few minutes more to be sure it is sanitized.

  1. Use only food-grade containers or water storage.
  1. Sanitize the containers
  • Wash them with warm soapy water (use a fragrance-free and dye-free detergent) and rinse them well.
  • Sanitize the containers with a solution of ¼ to 1 teaspoon (1.23-5mL) of unscented household bleach mixed in 1 quart (1 liter) of water, shaking the solution to make sure all areas inside are contacted by the bleach solution.
  • Rinse again, this time with boiled water.
  1. Seal the filled containers tightly. 

Store the sealed containers in an area where they will not be exposed to direct sunlight or volatile chemicals like gasoline, pesticides, and paints or temperatures over 70°F (21 °C)

  1. Optional: Put the containers inside dark bags to help keep out sunlight.

Where Do You Find Proper Storage Containers for Boiled Water?

The CDC recommends food-grade containers like these 5-gallon Collapsible Water Storage Cubes and adds that it’s best to use a container with a narrow opening for pouring.

USA Emergency Supply sells new FDA-approved food-grade buckets and containers and says that you should check to be sure new containers you purchase are FDA-approved for storing food or water. Some containers have dyes in the plastic that are not acceptable, and HDPE recycled containers are not food-grade.

USA Emergency Supply also advises that if you want to store your water in used buckets, make sure they have been used only to store food. You can find these at ice cream manufacturers and parlors, bakeries, large restaurants, and food processing plants.

Is There Any Reason to Boil Tap Water if No Advisory Has Been Issued?

If you want to remove free chlorine, which may have been used to disinfect your tap water, boiling will remove most of it. There are also contaminants in tap water, such as cryptosporidium, which chlorine will not kill, and trihalomethanes, which chlorine creates.

Although you can remove some free chlorine without boiling by allowing the water to sit out uncovered, you will remove chlorine and the other contaminants by boiling for at least five minutes. However, you cannot remove chloramine, which is used by some water department unless you boil for about ten minutes, still with no assurance that you will remove all of it from the water.

If your goal is to remove chlorine, be sure to check with your water supplier first to see which, if any, chemicals are used to disinfect it.

Is There Any Reason to Use Filters With or in Place of Boiling Water?

Boiling water concentrates fluoride, which is often added, in the form of hydrofluosilicic acid (HFSA), to many US water supplies. The recommended level of fluoride allowed in municipal water supplies has been recently (2015) reduced by the CDC from 0.7–1.2 mg/L to .07 mg/L, due to concerns about the adverse health effects of over-fluoridation, such as fluorosis.

Others, like scientists with the Fluoride Action Network and former EPA senior scientist and now Scientist in Residence at American University, J. William Hirzy, have contested any addition of fluoride to drinking water. Hirzy more recently warned about the adverse effects of adding HFSA to tap water due to the arsenic that often contaminates it.

Hirzy recommends only pharmaceutical grade sodium fluoride if water facilities, city, or town boards of commissioners continue choosing to add fluoride. However, this form of fluoride is also toxic, and it will concentrate when the water is boiled.

What Are Other Methods of Sanitizing or Filtering Water?

The EPA provides an online brochure, which describes and recommends filtrating methods and reasons you may wish to filter even treated tap water. If you cannot afford a reverse osmosis system (RO), which is currently considered the most effective way to filter and sanitize water, you might consider boiling the water.

Use a carbon filter like this NSF Certified Waterdrop 10-Cup Water Filter Pitcher, available on Amazon, to supplement the process. However, keep in mind that these pitcher filtering systems only reduce contaminants and don’t remove them completely. The only way to remove fluoride from tap water is through distillation or reverse osmosis.

Final Thoughts

When a boil water advisory is issued by health authorities, boiling the water is one way to make it reasonably safe for drinking if bottled water is not available. If you don’t store your boiled water in properly sanitized and tightly sealed containers, away from heat and sunlight, then you should refrigerate it. But don’t use the refrigerator to cool it.

If you want your treated water to be the purest possible in the absence of an emergency, invest in a reverse osmosis system, like this APEC Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System, which claims a WQA gold seal certification.

How To Prepare Boiled Chicken For Dogs

Dogs with dental issues, sensitive digestive systems, or special dietary needs can benefit from a chicken-based diet. Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein, omega 6, and glucosamine. Feeding your dog a fresh, human-grade diet can lead to a shinier coat, hydrated skin, and healthy bones. While there are plenty of dog foods that contain chicken-based ingredients, nothing quite beats the taste or nutrition of fresh, homemade dog food.

That being said, you might be curious about where to start or how to make sure you prepare fresh chicken correctly for your pup. Let’s dive into the right ways to cook chicken for your dog to enjoy its nutritional benefits and delicious flavor.

Although chicken has a reputation for its mildness, you may be surprised to know there are some possible risks associated with this meat:

  • Avoid salmonella or other bacterial infections by cooking chicken thoroughly before feeding it to your dog.
  • Plain chicken is best for your pooch. Don’t add any seasoning, onions, or garlic when cooking your dog’s chicken at home.
  • Chicken is the third most prevalent food allergy for dogs. If you think your furry friend may be suffering from a chicken allergy, remove the ingredient from their diet and contact your vet right away.
  • Keep bones out of your dog’s plate. They are a choking hazard and can even puncture your pup’s stomach and intestines.
  • Stick to the chicken breast, which is low in fat and healthier for your dog. Fatty foods can lead to pancreatitis in dogs.

How to boil chicken for dogs

Unlike their pet parents, dogs love plain boiled chicken. Their tummies don’t do well with seasoning and their palates actually prefer the natural flavors of chicken. Here’s an easy step-by-step process for you to whip up a dish that your pup will love:

  • Place chicken breasts in a medium-size pot with water.
  • Cover the pot and bring the water to boil.
  • Boil the chicken for 12 minutes over high heat or until completely cooked.
  • Shred the cooked chicken and let it cool off to avoid burns.
  • Feed your dog a small portion and store leftovers for up to four days.

For dogs with sensitive stomachs

Chicken and rice is a popular recipe that helps dogs that suffer from upset stomachs. Simply prepare white rice without any seasonings and mix it with your dog’s boiled chicken to calm his sensitive stomach.

Keep in mind that brown rice is harder for dogs to digest, so white rice is the best way to go. Also, be sure to leave out any onions or garlic. These plants are toxic to dogs and shouldn’t be fed raw, cooked, fried, or powdered.

Other add-ons

To enhance Fido’s diet, you can add other ingredients that make meals more filling and nutritional. Here are some ideas:

  • Plain yogurt: Use it to boost your dog’s protein and calcium intake.
  • Canned pumpkin: This is a great source of vitamin A and helps with digestion.
  • Cooked veggies: Green beans, carrots, and broccoli add fiber to your pup’s diet. Just keep it under 10% to avoid digestive issues.
  • Dog food: Mix the fresh chicken with wet or dry food for a tasty treat and extra flavor.
  • Vitamin supplements: Sprinkle powdered dog vitamins on your pooch’s meals to make sure they get all the nutrients they need.

Other cooking methods

Foodie dog parents may want to get more creative in their pup’s meal prep. If you love the health benefits of chicken but want to change things up for your dog, consider baking his chicken. Just place the chicken in an oven-safe container with a little oil to avoid sticking and cook the meat thoroughly at 400º F for 20-30 minutes.

How often should your dog eat chicken?

Chicken breasts are excellent for dogs that need extra protein in their diets – especially if the chicken is free of additives, hormones, or other potentially harmful ingredients. If you don’t want your dog to feed exclusively on chicken or end up rejecting other types of food, limit their chicken meals to once or twice per week.

Chicken is a favorite of most dogs. If you’re looking to give your pup a special treat, this healthy source of protein is sure to leave your furry friend licking their whiskers. Pair it with some rice or veggies and watch your pooch devour!

Just remember to consult with your dog’s vet before making any drastic changes to their diet, especially if you’re concerned about stomach issues or the nutritional balance of your dog’s food.

Final thoughts on chicken

If you’re cooking chicken for your dog as opposed to feeding them dry dog food, they will be just as thrilled as you are to be treated to such a nutritious, delicious meal. In their eyes, you’ll definitely be pet parent of the year!

 

 

Pike: The Poor Man’s Lobster with Fried Cattails

They’re sometimes called slime darts, snot rockets, slough sharks, even water wolves… for those of you who have come across them, you know I’m talking about northern pike or jack fish.

As you can imagine (as the first sentence might imply), pike are not always looked upon with a whole lot of love, sometimes for good reason. The most common gripes I come across are that deboning them is a real pain and they tend to be covered in a slime that likes to get on everything.

So why, you might ask, would you ever want to pull a pike from the reedy shallows and go through all the trouble to get them to the table? Glad you asked. Because Poor Man’s Lobster, that’s why.

A small pike is usually under twenty-two inches and about two years old. These fish are a blast to catch because they’re young, active, and aggressive. However, they’re also the perfect size for the dinner table. Not only are they fun to target, but delicious to eat fried, pickled, or boiled into Poor Man’s Lobster.

I’m not going to go over how to debone a pike here. There are great videos out there that make it a fairly fun task if you’re a fan of the process. Go find a handy deboning YouTube video then come back here and make some Poor Man’s Lobster!

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 northern pike fillets
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp dried basil or parsley flakes
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Take your pike fillets and cut them into roughly 1 inch pieces.
  3. In a large pot on your stove bring your water to a boil. While the water is heating up stir in your sugar, salt, and 1 tbsp of basil.
  4. When your water reaches a boil, carefully place your fish chunks in and cook until white and flaky. This step doesn’t take very long; just 4-5 minutes.
  5. In a small pan, melt the butter and toss in the garlic.
  6. Plate your beautiful Poor Man’s Lobster, sprinkle on some salt and more basil, and serve with your garlic butter as your dipping sauce. Enjoy!

How To Cook Eggs In A Rice Cooker

Okay, raise your hand if  you own a rice cooker. Keep your hand up if you don’t use that steamer tray that comes with the cooker and it’s somewhere lost in your cupboard (don’t worry…I’m not looking!). Keep your hand up if you didn’t even know what that tray was for! 🙂

No worries…you are one of MANY who fall into that group and I’ve got a recipe coming to the rescue! I’ll show you one thing you can do with it and it’s actually pretty cool!

A white steaming tray in a rice cooker to make Eggs in a Rice Cooker

Rice cookers aren’t just for cooking rice. I’m about to show you how to cook eggs in a rice cooker! And you’re going to use that mysterious plastic steamer tray that came with your rice cooker, so you’d better go look for it!

I know – you’re thinking, “What? That doesn’t sound good…”

I had my doubts when I first heard about it, too, and the idea seemed crazy! Cook eggs in a rice cooker?? Seriously?

A Philips brand rice cooker for cooking Eggs In A Rice Cooker

However, as crazy as idea sounds, it works! I was of the old school — put eggs in a pot with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for a certain number of minutes to reach the desired doneness. Sounds simple enough. However, boiling eggs in a pot did have its shortcomings.

Sometimes the shells cracks when they’re bouncing around in the boiling water, and some of the egg leaks out. Well, then you’ve got a really  messy pot and very unsightly eggs. You know what I’m talking about. It’s like something out of a horror movie. And if you’ve got lumpy unsightly eggs, you can forget about perfect eggs for Easter decorating. Or deviled eggs. Or any dish where you need a nice looking hard-boiled egg.

A hard-boiled egg cut in half on other hard boiled eggs from cooking Eggs In A Rice Cooker

But the rice cooker eliminates that problem. The steaming water cooks the eggs while they sit, undisturbed in the steaming tray. I guess you could consider it an egg sauna. 🙂 And because the cooking method is more gentle, it is also easier to achieve the desired doneness. No more unsightly grey color around the yolks from overcooking the eggs.

All you do is put water in the rice pot. Put the eggs in the steamer tray and set it in the pot. Close the lid and press ON. Turn on your timer.

Remove eggs at the appropriate time and place eggs immediately into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.

Brown eggs in a bowl of ice water after cooking eggs in a rice cooker

Wait a minute before you get cracking! And then you get these!

A blue bowl of hard-cooked eggs from Cooking Eggs In A Rice Cooker

Cool, right??

Here’s the formula: 20 minutes for hard-cooked eggs. 13-15 minutes for soft-cooked eggs (depending on how soft or runny you like them).

(NOTE: These times are based on my rice cooker and the time starts when put the eggs in and start the rice cooker. Your times may vary a little, give or take, depending on your rice cooker. However, these times are a good reference point and are a good place to start when trying this out.)

It’s so simple, you can’t NOT try this out.

A hard cooked egg cut in half on a round plate. Cook Eggs In A Rice Cooker

HOW TO PEEL HARD COOKED EGGS

By the way, I’m going to assume that you can all peel an egg, but just in case… There is actually a method that works really well.

Tap on the fat end of the egg (opposite the small, “pointier” end) to crack it first. There is often an air bubble there and that is a good place to start peeling away at the shell, without digging into the egg itself.

A crack in the bottom of a brown egg. Cook Eggs In A Rice Cooker

Then gently tap on the sides of the egg, rolling as you go. You don’t have to be rough with it…just tap hard enough to crack the shell.

Cracking the brown shell of a hard cooked egg on the counter. Cook Eggs In A Rice Cooker

Next step…gently roll the egg back and forth a couple of times on the counter. This helps to loosen the shell and you will feel the shell pull away from the egg as you roll. Then start peeling from that first bottom crack you made at the beginning!

Rolling a hard cooked egg with the shell on a counter. Cook Eggs In A Rice Cooker

And voila!

A hand holding a hard cooked egg, the shell on the counter. Cook Eggs In A Rice Cooker

You remember I mentioned you can make soft “boiled” eggs in the rice cooker, too, right??

An open soft-cooked egg on a plate. Cook Eggs In A Rice Cooker

Being Chinese, it is an assumption that I have a rice cooker. I will happily confirm that the assumption is correct! Of course, you don’t have to be Chinese or of Asian descent to have a rice cooker. But if you don’t have one, you’re missing out on, not only, perfectly cooked rice every time, but also hard- and soft-cooked eggs!

Hard cooked egg cut in half on a round plate. Cook Eggs In A Rice Cooker

Are you intrigued?? Seriously, I thought it was a crazy idea when I first heard of it, but it is now my preferred method to make hard cooked eggs. I still know how to do it in a pot, obviously, but I have never had as good as results as I do with the rice cooker. You should definitely cook eggs in a rice cooker if you’ve got one. You will be amazed how easy it is. Give it a try and leave a comment below!

Make Sour Milk From Raw Milk

Sour milk is a fermented, probiotic-rich cultured dairy food you can easily make with raw milk. A terrific technique to use up older and surplus raw milk, sour milk has many uses in recipes and beyond.

carafe of sour milk
Left in a warm spot in your house, the good bacteria in raw milk will naturally flourish and sour.

Traditionally made sour milk done in the old way from raw (unpasteurized) whole milk that has been left out somewhere warm to naturally turn is a healthful dairy product that has an incredible array of uses. It is also a powerful natural probiotic.

Using soured milk is an old way to leaven bread without the use of yeast, but you can also drink it straight for its pleasantly sour taste. Or ferment it even further until it thickens and separates into curds and whey and eat it as you would yogurt. If you have older raw milk kicking around — do not let it go to waste. Make sour milk instead.

You absolutely must use raw (unpasteurized) milk to make real and safe sour or “clabbered” milk. Pasteurized milk will not contain the good bacteria that flourish at room temperature.

Spoiled Milk

What is the difference between soured milk and spoiled milk?

Soured milk is raw milk, usually whole milk, that has been left out at room or warmer temperatures for a period of time until it becomes slightly thicker and takes on a sour taste.

The timeframe is usually around 24 hours for this process to occur.

Spoiled milk is milk that has gone bad and is not fit for consumption. It can also be quite dangerous as it’s teeming with all sorts of bacteria, many of which are hostile to the human digestive tract. Milk that has spoiled will not have the pleasantly sour, fermented taste of soured or clabbered milk but will taste and smell absolutely disgusting. Your nose will tell you that the milk is bad.

Please note that dangerous pathogens can flourish and multiply in any milk whether it smells or tastes “off” or not. This is true for unpasteurized and pasteurized milk alike.

Buttermilk

Then there is also buttermilk which is the liquid leftover from the butter-making process. It can be made from sweet cream or cream that has been left to culture (i.e ferment) at room temperature for about 24 hours.

I describe this process in great detail here: Raw Cream Cultured Butter or Sweet Cream Butter Recipe | Traditional European Butter Techniques

Sweet & Acid Whey

And of course, there is also whey which is the liquid leftover from the cheesemaking process. There are even two types of whey, the first is acid whey which results from making vegetarian cheese like paneer, which is the easiest cheese to make and also freezes beautifully.

The second is sweet whey which is leftover from renneted cheeses. Rennet is the enzyme found in a calf’s stomach.

Whey is a protein-rich drink with many uses besides.

Clabbered Milk or “Bonny Clabber”

Clabbered milk or bonny clabber (Bainne Clábair) is a type of soured milk. Bonny clabber is, again, raw whole milk left out at room or warmer temperatures until it sours and thickens up even more than simple soured milk. Clabbered Milk is the same as Curds & Whey as it will separate into thick sour curds leaving the whey at the bottom.

Clabbered milk can be considered a type of yogurt.

In my experience, this process to make clabbered milk can take as long as 72 hours but it depends on your kitchen and climate.

Soured milk does not ferment long enough for this separation to occur and that is its key difference from clabbered milk.

Sour Milk Substitute

You may have come across recipes that advise you to just add some vinegar or lemon juice to milk as a shortcut to making soured milk, a substitute for the real thing..

And although this will work in a pinch but it is not even remotely close to true sour milk.

However, if you need some RIGHT NOW for a baking project — add 1 tablespoon of plain vinegar or lemon juice per 1 cup of milk and after letting that sit for 5-10 minutes you will have a facsimile that would work decently enough in something like Traditional Irish Soda Bread.

You can use pasteurized or raw milk for this technique, but again, this is not true sour milk and I recommend trying out the real stuff if you can.

raw kefir smoothie in mason jar
Try using sour milk in a smoothie, like in my nutrient-dense raw kefir smoothie recipe. Just swap out kefir for sour milk.

Recipes With Sour Milk

  • My historic recipe for Irish Soda Bread Using Einkorn Wheat depends on sour milk (or buttermilk) to leaven the bread.
  • You can also use sour milk instead of kefir in my Raw Kefir Smoothie With Berries, Collagen, & Egg Yolks Recipe

10 More Practical Uses

There are many uses for soured milk. Here are just a few.

  • Drink it on its own. Why buy expensive probiotic supplements if you have access to nourishing raw milk? It’s teeming with beneficial gut bacteria.
  • Use it to ferment and make chicken feed more nutritious and last longer.
  • Or just feed it directly to your livestock.
  • Remove the bitterness from liver. Soak your liver in soured milk for 4-8 hours, or even overnight. This will remove any bitterness and may win over liver haters.
  • Tenderize meat. Soured milk will tenderize any tough cut of meat you have.
  • Bake/cook anything. Any recipe calling for buttermilk can generally also be substituted with soured milk. There are a ton of recipes out there for fried buttermilk chicken, cookies, pancakes, scones, cake etc.
  • Soak grains. Properly prepare your grains by soaking them in soured milk. This process will render many of the toxic anti-nutrients naturally found in grains inert or at least greatly diminish the effect. I use this technique in the Soda Bread Recipe.
  • Gardening. Dilute the soured milk with plain water and use it as a nourishing source of calcium and other things in your vegetable gardens.
  • Skincare. Lactic acid is a common and powerful ingredient used in skincare. It exfoliates the top layers of your skin leaving it refreshed and glowing. Try this once a week to start. Just rub some soured milk on your face and wash it off after about 20 minutes before applying your moisturizer. Can be used after a deeper pore cleansing salicylic acid treatment too.
  • Leave it out longer until it separates into curds and whey — make clabbered milk or bonny clabber. This can take up to 72 hours but will depend entirely on the conditions (temperature and humidity) of your kitchen. Enjoy plain or spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup, raw honey etc.
a carafe of sour milk next to some cheeses

Best Green Bean Casserole

This easy Green Bean Casserole recipe is made 100% from scratch with lightened-up ingredients, including a delicious creamy green bean filling and crispy onion topping. It’s also easy to make ahead and always a crowd fave.

Green Bean Casserole Recipe

Move over, canned creamy soup, frozen green beans, and packaged fried onions.

This modern homemade green bean casserole recipe is made entirely from scratch and tastes a million times better than the retro casserole full of processed ingredients. And it is my hands-down fave. ♡♡♡

For too many years, I always passed on the green bean casserole at Thanksgiving because it was so mushy, bland and boring. But as it turns out, when homemade green bean casserole is well-seasoned and made with better ingredients, it comes to life and tastes SO fresh and flavorful. And it’s still quite simple to make!

Instead of soggy frozen green beans, fresh green beans are the star of the show here, which are ever-so-briefly cooked in order to preserve their crisp texture and bright flavor. Instead of canned cream of mushroom soup, fresh mushrooms are sautéed and folded into a lightened-up creamy Alfredo sauce. And instead of dry, packaged, palm-oil-fried onions, fresh red onion is sautéed with crispy panko breadcrumbs, which toast to golden perfection as the casserole bakes.

Together, all of these ingredients combine to make a casserole that is legit delicious and anything but boring. I make it every Thanksgiving, and friends and family all agree that it’s the best!

 

GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE RECIPE | 1-MINUTE VIDEO

Trimmed Green Beans

BEST GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE INGREDIENTS

Alright, so before we get to the full recipe below, let’s talk for a sec about about the best green bean casserole ingredients. The three components for this recipe include…

  • Green beans: I really recommend using fresh green beans (vs frozen) for optimal crispiness, cut into bite-sized pieces with the ends trimmed off and discarded.
  • Crispy onion topping: By contrast to the retro French’s green bean casserole recipe, we will make our French “fried” onion topping here from scratch. All you need are some very thinly-sliced onions (red, white or yellow — up to you), Panko breadcrumbs (which we will briefly sauté to make them extra crispy), Parmesan cheese, butter and salt.
  • Mushroom Alfredo sauce: Made with fresh baby bella mushrooms (or your favorite kind of mushrooms), lots of garlic, butter, flour, stock, milk, Parmesan, salt and pepper.

How To Make Green Bean Casserole from Scratch

GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE TIPS

Full instructions are included in the recipe below for how to make green bean casserole, but here are a few key tips to remember:

  • Don’t overcook the green beans: Remember when you are blanching the green beans that they will continue to cook and soften while baking in the oven with the rest of the casserole. So it’s important to undercook them slightly during this first step so that they don’t get mushy in the oven. (I like my beans pretty crispy so I usually boil mine for about 2 minutes.)
  • Pre-toast the breadcrumbs: In order for the Panko breadcrumbs to get extra crispy and golden, it helps to sauté them briefly in a bit of butter before baking them in the oven.
  • Very thinly slice the red onion: I also recommend slicing the onion as thinly as possible so that it can crisp up well in the oven.
  • Feel free to make the casserole ahead of time: If you would like to prep the casserole ahead of time (very helpful for Thanksgiving), just follow the recipe instructions through the end of Step 5. Then instead of placing the baking dish in the oven, cover it tightly with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 48 hours. Once you are ready to bake the casserole, uncover and bake as directed.

Easy Green Bean Casserole Recipe in Pan

OPTIONAL VARIATIONS

There are many different ways that you can customize this fresh green bean casserole recipe to your liking. For example, feel free to…

  • Make it gluten-free. To make gluten-free green bean casserole, be sure to use certified gluten-free panko breadcrumbs. And in place of the all-purpose flour, use a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend.
  • Make it vegan. To make vegan green bean casserole, use olive oil or vegan butter (in place of butter) and plain plant-based milk (instead of cow’s milk). Then you can either omit the Parmesan altogether, sub vegan cheese in its place, or sprinkle in some nutritional yeast to taste.
  • Add bacon. I mean, I’m never going to turn down a green bean casserole with bacon. 😉  Feel free to dice and fry up some bacon to add to this casserole if you would like. And for extra flavor, use the leftover bacon grease to sauté the onions and mushrooms.
  • Add in extra cheese. To make extra cheesy green bean casserole, feel free to stir some cheese (such as smoked gouda, cheddar, feta, blue or goat cheese) into the green bean filling.
  • Add Cajun seasoning. I also really love adding in a few teaspoons of Cajun seasoning (or Old Bay seasoning) to the Alfredo sauce too. It adds a nice extra kick, and pairs well with all of the other flavors in this casserole.
  • Add some heat. Want to add a little heat to this casserole? I love adding a finely-diced jalapeño to the onion topping. Or you can just sprinkle some crushed red pepper flakes into the mushroom sauce.

Many of you have also asked in the past for a CrockPot green bean casserole recipe. And unfortunately, I just don’t think that this one translates very well to the slow cooker. (The cream sauce needs to be cooked on the stove, and the onion topping really needs to be crisped up in the oven.)  So I vote go the traditional route with this one.

Best Green Bean Casserole on Serving Plate