Along with bacon, breakfast sausage is an indispensable part of any hearty breakfast. Traditionally made from pork, breakfast sausage links can be found everywhere from a traditional English breakfast to chafing dishes at hotel buffets. We shopped around and found 11 varieties of breakfast sausage at local supermarkets, and put them all — pork, chicken, turkey, and vegetarian alike — to the test.
Breakfast sausages are unlike all other sausages, largely thanks to the spice mix. The spices are usually heavier on the sage and black pepper than other sausages, and the flavors work incredibly well with everything else that usually finds its way onto a heaping breakfast plate, like eggs, pancakes, waffles, bacon, and maple syrup. One of the great things about breakfast is that it’s comforting, delicious, and a combination of delicious flavors, and breakfast sausage really is an integral part of it.
In order to prepare these sausages, we pan-fried them all according to the directions on the box, in order to keep the playing field even. Some required a little bit of oil, some a layer of water, and others just a bare nonstick pan. But at the end of the cooking process, we were confident that all of these sausages had been prepared as flawlessly as they could have been. Then we brought in the tasters.
Our panel was told to the judge the sausages on the following criteria: smell, taste, texture, grease factor, balance of salt to fat to sage to other spices to pepper, and overall enjoyment factor. In all, we sampled 11 brands: five pork, two chicken, two turkey, one mixture of pork and turkey, and one vegetarian. While they all tasted different, they all hit that "breakfast sausage" spot, and some were much better than others.
Click here to find out which one came out on top.