Pork sausages make one of the nation’s favourite meals, but what makes a tasty, premium pork sausage? Our taste tests show that there is such a thing as a delicious, cheap and relatively healthy pork banger.
In our taste tests, we chose 17 premium plain pork sausages with 80% meat content or higher, comprised of 10 branded sausages and seven supermarket own-brands.
Our four experts tested the sausages without knowing which ones they were trying, scoring each for its taste, texture, aroma and appearance. So what set the top three sausages apart from the others in the test? Apparently, a tasty sausage has to be succulent, so those that achieve the right moistness are well on the way to making a cracking banger.
The taste test toppers
The Good Little Company Great Big Sausages available from Waitrose and Ocado topped our taste table and were praised for their succulent texture, scoring 76% overall. Asda’s Extra Special 6 Pork Sausages stormed into second place with a 75% score, only narrowly missing out on the top spot.
Costing just £2.00 a pack – or 44p per 100g – this test shows that cheaper sausages can still get an expert’s stamp of approval. Our third top performer, Debbie & Andrew’s Harrogate 97% Pork Sausages, are available from all major supermarkets and have a slightly coarser texture, scoring 74% overall. They also boast a notably higher meat content.
It seems that seasoning makes a big difference, as herbs help the flavours blend together successfully. Caution is advised though – herbs traditionally used to complement the flavour of your supermarket sausages, such as thyme and rosemary, can be too strong and overpower the pork flavour if not used sparingly. The Waitrose 6 Gourmet Pork Sausages, seasoned with black pepper and nutmeg, had one of our testers refer to the spice as ‘very numbing’.
Can you get a healthy sausage?
According to our experts, fat is an important component of a good sausage. The right balance between meat and fat can help differentiate between a fabulous banger and a frightful failure. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a sausage that goes easy on the fat. After all, our taste test topper contained the second least amount of saturated fat per 100g, coming in at 4.5g per sausage.
But is the nutritional value of a sausage important to you? Or are you more concerned about good flavour and where the sausage comes from?
If you’re a sausage connoisseur, make sure you put British Sausage Week in your diary, which runs 5-11 November.