Sausage rolls are a tasty and convenient snack to have on hand. But when you’re ready to eat them and find they’re rock solid frozen, you’ll need to properly thaw them first.
Thawing frozen foods incorrectly can lead to unsafe conditions that may make you sick. So in this complete guide, we’ll cover the safest methods for defrosting sausage rolls, along with tips for handling and storage.
Why Thaw Sausage Rolls Before Cooking
It may be tempting to skip defrosting and just pop frozen sausage rolls straight into the oven or microwave. However, this is not recommended for several reasons:
- The outside can burn or cook unevenly before the inside thaws.
- The filling may still be frozen or cold in the center after cooking.
- Frozen portions take longer to cook, resulting in dried out or overcooked sausage rolls.
- Bacteria is more likely to survive when frozen meat is undercooked.
For food safety, texture, and taste reasons, it’s important to properly thaw sausage rolls before cooking.
Time Needed to Thaw Sausage Rolls
The time required to thaw sausage rolls depends on a few factors:
- Size – Smaller individually frozen rolls defrost faster than a whole box or bag.
- Quantity – Thawing multiple sausage rolls takes longer than just one or two.
- Frozen temperature – Food frozen closer to 0°F needs more time than items at 15-20°F.
- Thawing method – Microwaving defrosts faster than refrigerator thawing.
For 2-3 standard size sausage rolls (about 4-6 oz each), expect thawing times around:
- Refrigerator: 8-12 hours
- Cold water: 30-60 minutes
- Microwave: 3-5 minutes
For a 1 lb package of sausage rolls, thawing times may be:
- Refrigerator: 12-24 hours
- Cold water: 60-90 minutes
- Microwave: 5-8 minutes
Monitor rolls during thawing and adjust time as needed based on your specific quantity and doneness preferences.
Thawing Methods for Sausage Rolls
Below are the top recommended methods for safely thawing frozen sausage rolls:
1. Refrigerator Thawing
Refrigerator thawing is the slowest but safest method, since the chilled environment inhibits bacterial growth.
To refrigerator thaw sausage rolls:
- Place rolls in a sealed container or resealable plastic bag.
- Lay container flat on a plate to catch any drips.
- Defrost in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours or overnight.
- Cook within 2 days after the rolls are thawed.
2. Cold Water Thawing
For a faster thaw time, submerging rolls in cold water works well. The water helps release heat from the sausage while keeping it chilled.
To cold water thaw sausage rolls:
- Choose a bowl or container that allows rolls to be fully submerged.
- Fill with cold tap water. Water should be cold, not warm or hot.
- Place frozen sausage rolls in the water and weigh down if needed.
- Change water every 30 minutes so it stays cold.
- Thaw for 30-60 minutes until pliable but still chilled.
- Cook immediately after thawing.
3. Microwave Thawing
A microwave can rapidly thaw sausage rolls in just a few minutes. But care must be taken to avoid partly cooking the outside before the inside thaws.
To microwave thaw sausage rolls:
- Place rolls on a microwave-safe plate, spaced apart.
- Microwave at 30% power if available. If not, use the defrost setting.
- Microwave in 1 minute increments, flipping over halfway.
- Check frequently and press middles to test for frozen areas.
- As it thaws, reduce time to 30 seconds increments.
- Stop when thawed but still slightly icy in the center.
- Cook immediately, don’t allow to sit after microwaving.
Handling Thawed Sausage Rolls
Once your sausage rolls are thawed, proper handling is important to keep them safe before cooking.
- Cook thawed sausage rolls immediately whenever possible. If not, store in the fridge up to 2 days.
- Do not refreeze rolls after thawing – cook or discard instead.
- Keep thawed rolls stored in a bowl to contain drips rather than on a plate.
- Avoid letting rolls or their juices touch or drip onto other foods during thawing and storage.
- Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces after contact with raw sausage rolls or their thaw water.
Cooking Thawed Sausage Rolls
Thawed sausage rolls can be cooked in the oven, skillet, or air fryer. Follow these tips:
Oven: Bake at 400°F on a parchment lined sheet for 18-22 minutes until browned and 165°F internal temperature.
Skillet: Pan fry over medium high heat with a bit of oil, turning occasionally, about 8-10 minutes until browned and cooked through.
Air Fryer: Air fry at 380°F for 10-14 minutes, flip halfway, until crispy.
Always check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer to confirm rolls are fully cooked.
Discard any uncooked sausage rolls after handling or thawing – do not eat raw.
Storing Leftover Cooked Sausage Rolls
For storing any cooked sausage rolls you don’t finish:
- Allow to cool fully, then refrigerate within 2 hours.
- Keep refrigerated for 3-4 days.
- Reheat to 165°F before eating.
- To freeze, let cool completely first.
- Freeze for 2-3 months in airtight packaging.
Troubleshooting Thawing Problems
If you encounter any issues thawing sausage rolls, here are some quick troubleshooting tips:
Still partly frozen after thawing? Thaw for longer, using lower microwave power or smaller time increments.
Edge is cooked but middle is frozen? Thaw at too high a temperature. Use lower heat and thaw more slowly next time.
Losing shape or unrolling? Thaw more gently. Don’t let rolls sit in excessive water or microwave too long.
Dries out when cooking? Don’t over thaw. Cook just until heated through after thawing.
Rubbery or tough texture? Avoid over thawing or cooking too long. Cook just until heated through.
Off odor? Discard roll and thaw remaining ones more quickly. Don’t thaw too slowly.
With the proper method, time, and handling, you can safely thaw frozen sausage rolls and enjoy their savory flavor. Follow these definitive guidelines for foolproof sausage roll thawing every time.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you thaw frozen sausage rolls quickly?
For a fast thaw, use the microwave method, thawing in 30 second increments at 30% power. Smaller rolls may thaw in just 3-5 minutes. You can also submerge rolls in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes.
Can you put frozen sausage rolls straight in the oven?
It is not recommended. The outside of the roll may overcook before the inside thaws, leading to poor texture. Always thaw sausage rolls fully before baking for food safety and quality.
Is it OK to refreeze thawed sausage rolls?
Previously frozen sausage rolls should not be refrozen after thawing. Refreezing can allow dangerous bacteria to grow. Cook thawed rolls immediately or refrigerate up to 2 days before cooking.
Can you get sick from eating undercooked sausage rolls?
Yes, sausage rolls can contain harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness. Always cook until no longer pink inside and 165°F internal temperature. Discard uncooked rolls rather than eating undercooked.
How do you reheat leftover cooked sausage rolls?
To reheat fully cooked sausage rolls, place in a 350°F oven for 5-10 minutes until heated through 165°F. Or microwave on half power in 30 second increments. Refrigerate within 2 hours and reheat within 3 days.
What happens if you thaw sausage rolls at room temperature?
Room temperature thawing is very unsafe. The outside warms to the bacteria growth zone while the inside stays frozen. Only use refrigerator, cold water, or microwave thawing methods.
Can you freeze sausage rolls after baking?
Yes, fully cooked sausage rolls can be frozen to enjoy later. Let cool completely then place in airtight freezer bags or containers. Freeze up to 2-3 months and reheat to 165°F before serving.
How long do raw sausage rolls last in the fridge?
Store raw sausage rolls in the refrigerator just 1-2 days maximum. Freeze any that won’t be used right away. Handle carefully to prevent spoilage and foodborne illness.
Should sausage rolls be thawed before frying?
Yes, always thaw sausage rolls first before pan frying or