Although both are from pork, pork sausage and ground pork are not the same. Pork sausage is the seasoned and flavored version of ground pork while Ground pork is simply ground pork meat.
Ground pork is also known as minced meat, a variety of different parts of a pig ground together.
Pork Sausage is a meat product gotten from ground pork with the addition of salt, spice, and other ingredients, seasonings, preservatives, and fillers.
Sausages can be made from different meats but mostly pork. And it can be made in different ways; pork sausages can be cooked, smoked, fresh, cured, and dried, depending on your preference
Ground Pork is what you get when you grind the lean and fat meat parts of any part of a pig.
It can be ground in different ways depending on the fats you have in the pig.
Ground pork can be used to make varieties of dishes like meatballs, ragu, sausages, meatloaf, and even burgers.
It is very easy to think they are the same when you don’t know the difference, but they are two different meat types, one made from another.
You don’t want to get confused in the grocery store trying to figure out which is which.
So, the next time you get confused, just know that Ground pork is basically pork or parts of pork ground together and it can be used to make different types of meals like pork sausage.
So, pork sausage is made out of ground pork, and it becomes sausage after you have added different flavors and seasonings of your choice.
Major difference between Ground Pork and Ground Sausage
The simple difference between Ground pork and Ground sausage is the spices, seasoning, and flavors added to it.
If you want to make a meal with sausages or you want to buy sausages, you can always substitute the sausage by buying ground pork and mixing it with your own flavors and ingredients.
However, sausages are not only made from pork. Sausages can be made from different types of ground meats like pork, beef, chicken, and other meat produce.
While Ground pork can be used to make different meat dishes like Ground sausage, some ground sausage can be made out of other meat types aside from pork.
Ground pork contains lesser fat than ground sausage. Some ground porks are usually taken from pork shoulder and usually contain about 15% of fat.
If you decide not to grind the pork yourself and you take it to a butcher to grind for you, you can tell the butcher the percentage of fat you will like to have in your ground pork.
Unlike ground sausage, which contains more fat and has about 25 – 30 percent of fat.
Ground sausage also has seasonings, flavors, and spices, which when cooked amounts to even more added fat that makes the sausage a complete meal.
Major Similarities Between Pork Sausage and Ground Pork
The major similarity between pork sausage and ground pork is that they are both made from pork.
Pork sausage is made with pork while ground pork is also pork.
In some instances, ground pork can be used instead of pork sausage, ground pork can replace pork sausage in meals where you want to avoid too many seasonings and flavors and you just want it to be plain ground pork.
Though they are not the same but can be used to cook and prepare the same kind of a mess because pork sausage is just ground pork without all the other food ingredients.
Ground pork and sausage can be used in preparing meals like meatballs, sauce, and lasagna.
Most times I like to eat my already prepared pork sausage with spaghetti or bread, which you can also do with ground pork if you don’t want to eat your meal with too much fat and if you want to choose the flavor and seasons you will use for your meal, you can decide to go for ground pork.
Another similarity is that when grinding pork, you will make sure to go for the shoulder cuts, a few fat, and a lot of lean parts of the pork, which is also what you will be using for the pork sausage if you were going to prepare it.
Can I use pork sausage instead of ground pork?
In most meal situations, pork sausage should not be used instead of ground pork, instead, if you need to use any meat other than ground pork, you can go for ground beef (it might contain more fat, but it will come in handy because it is a type of meat).
You can also use Ground chicken or any other plain meat that has not been mixed with flavors and seasonings.
If you will like to prepare a meatloaf mixture, a larb or sausage, using ground pork will be just perfect. But you cannot prepare these with already prepared sausage.
Instead of ground pork, you can also use any other meat that you would prefer, it might contain more fat and also taste not different too.
You can also substitute ground pork for sausage, but you’d have to know that your meal will need some seasoning and flavors.
Sausage is not limited to pork only, you can make sausage from any meat. Pork sausage is what you make from ground pork.
In some parts of the world, you might not always find ground pork and sausage, just like that, in different packages.
Sometimes, what you might find is minced meat as ground pork and sausage meat with all its fat and rusk.
Sometimes, you might not be able to differentiate the package containing just ground pork and the one containing pork sausage, unless you check the ingredients on the label.
For packaged sausage, you might see ingredients like water, salt, pepper, pork, and even some coriander or red pepper and fennel; depending on your taste and what kind of sausage you want.
How to make pork sausage from ground pork
Pork sausage can be cooked in different ways, but the recipes are not so different from each other.
I’d like to share with you two different recipes I use (depending on your seasoning) that make my pork sausage turn out differently each time.
Sausage can taste differently, look differently, and can be prepared differently depending on the meat type, seasoning, flavoring, or ingredients used.
You can choose to prepare beef sausage or chicken sausage or pork sausage depending on the meat you have.
Check out my ultimate pork sausage recipe:
- Get all your ingredients together; and this will be your ground pork, including seasonings and flavors as desired.
- Put all your desired seasonings and ingredients in a small bowl and mix them together well (pepper, sugar, cloves, red pepper, fennel, etc.)
- Pour your ground pork in a bowl convenient or large enough for mixing, then pour your mixed ingredients into the bowl and mix well. After mixing for a while, form ground meat into patties.
- Forming sausage into patties is quite simple. Divide your mixture into six or eight parts (I usually do six) Roll your sausage into balls, get a plastic wrap and press the softballs flat into patties.
- Allow your patties to cook and get brown by cooking it over not too high heat for almost 5 minutes while changing and flipping the side.
You can remove it from heat when the meat is cooked up to 160°f
This what I do when preparing a simple pork sausage. You can decide to use this if you don’t have a lot of seasoning and you want something simple, or you can try some other type.
It is preferable and more enjoyable to prepare your sausage yourself rather than buying from the store, this allows you to control what kind of ingredient is included and how many servings you’d get from the sausage.
Sausage is quite easy to cook, most times I make sausages in less than 20 minutes with ground pork and spices; I also reduce the amount of pepper, salt, or flavors I put in, but you should do this depending on your preference.
Let me give you another simple but different way to make pork sausage from ground pork.
- Get your ground pork, you can also mix some other meat like beef or chicken depending on what you like, breadcrumbs, eggs, oil, pepper, red pepper (if you like), salt, garlic, thyme
- Mix your ingredients without the oil, which will be used later, mix ingredients in a bowl big enough to allow you to roll your seasonings with the ground meat then roll into sausages.
- You can roll your sausage by adding mixed ground meat into casing (hog casing), then slip the casing into a stuffing tube, let the sausage come out in one long coil, then tie off the casing at the end. Leave to dry for few minutes.
- Heat the oil and fry your rolled sausages for about 15 minutes till it is well cooked.
- Serve with different meals such as Beans (baked, skillet green, or stewed), coleslaw, fries, vegetables, potato salad, avocado tomato salad, mashed potatoes, garlic red potato salad, bread, and so on.
If you also want to know other types of seasonings you can mix in your ingredients, you can try;
- Fresh herbs like oregano, rosemary, sage, basil; Hot pepper; spices like curry, nutmeg, chili, bacon, shredded apple or cheese, onion, mustard seed, black pepper, and so on.
You can also add some beef, lamb, and chicken to your pork.
After cooking and serving, if you have leftovers that you will like to preserve, package leftover in a neat airtight wrapping bag and put in the fridge, it will last in the fridge for 3-4 days, then you can bring it out and reheat in the oven for 10-15 minutes. You can check out my article on how to preserve and eat cooked meat the next day.
I like to freeze my sausage whenever I’d like to eat it at a much later time.
If you want to freeze yours, make sure you freeze in a tight freezer bag or wrap so it won’t lose quality the next time you want to eat it.
What does ground pork look like cooked
When ground pork is cooked, it will change to the color pink. If it is slightly pink, then that means it is not yet fully cooked; ground pork will be slightly pink towards the beginning of being heated.
When cooking ground pork, it is very important to make sure it well cooked and also not overcooked. So, how do you know when your homemade or store-bought (home-made especially) ground pork is just the right taste, color, and texture.
Check for the texture. Uncooked ground pork is usually very soft, while cooked ground pork is solid. When it is overcooked it changes from solid to a rubber-like texture.
It is important to know when your ground pork is undercooked because eating raw or undercooked ground pork is not allowing the heat to take away the parasites like tapeworm or roundworms that will be inside and eating this kind of meat is very dangerous to the health and can be fatal.
However, cooked ground pork is not always pink. Most times it depends on what time of pork you are frying. The color also depends on the time and temperature meat is cooked.
Most times, meat should not be judged by the color but rather should be checked well by looking at the texture, and other features before making conclusions.
Can ground pork be Substituted for ground beef?
Ground pork can be substituted for ground beef. But it all depends on how you want your meal.
Ground beef contains fat and that means if you don’t want a lot of fat in your meal, you should go for ground pork.
Ground pork is smoother and produces more fat when cooked. It might have less fat when raw but produces richer fat when cooked.
You can make meatballs, sausages, and other meat-type of foods with ground pork instead of beef.
Also, in using ground pork, you might decide to change some of your seasonings to use the ones that will go better with your ground pork especially when cooking meatballs.
Ground chicken or turkey can also be used, but ground pork is better because it is mixed with fat and lean parts which are better when cooking because using just lean parts might not make the meal rich enough.
Ground pork has been used to make different types of meals for ages. It is rich in flavor and tastes great no matter what you cook.
Whether you’re preparing meatballs or sausages you can always prepare your ground pork according to your preference.
If preparations are made carefully and with the right seasonings and enough time to cook, you will enjoy a tasty meal.
I have tried different recipes with ground pork and there is never a bad way to mix your ingredients.
You don’t have to follow the recipe exactly, just make sure you find seasonings and flavors you best prefer and cook to your taste and preference.