Cooked sausage balls are tasty, especially when they’re hot. Still, you must remember that they primarily consist of fat and protein, making them tempting targets for bacteria. That’s why you must understand how best to store them so they’ll last longer.
Yes, you must refrigerate your cooked sausage balls. They’ll only last an hour or two at room temperature before becoming unsafe to eat. In the fridge, however, they’ll be kept safe for 3-4 days. If you want them to last longer for up to 6 months, freeze them in an airtight container instead.
Read through this quick guide to understand how to store these food items safely and what happens if you don’t. By the end, you’ll also discover how to reheat and enjoy them again!
Yes, you must refrigerate these sausage balls for two crucial reasons.
Firstly, you cannot leave these food items out at room temperature for too long. Doing so for more than an hour will put it in the temperature ‘danger zone’ that encourages bacterial growth.
Eating those sausage balls at that point can lead to food poisoning or other health problems.
However, refrigerating them will slow the growth of bacteria and keep them safe to eat for much longer.
The second reason you must refrigerate your sausage balls is to preserve their flavor. The longer you leave them out in the open at room temperature, the less appetizing they’ll taste when you eventually eat them.
So, be sure to serve them as soon as you can after cooking them. If no one plans on eating them immediately, you must then store them in your refrigerator.
How Long Do Cooked Sausage Balls Last?
Earlier, you read that these sausage balls will last one or two hours when left out at room temperature. After that point, they will experience fast bacterial growth that makes them unsafe to eat.
Once you put them in your refrigerator, you can expect them to last at least 3-4 days.
Remember: refrigeration slows down bacterial growth but doesn’t stop it entirely. So, sausage balls are still safe to eat in that 3 to 4-day period in your refrigerator.
Still, that’s not enough if you plan on keeping them for longer. If you are sure you won’t be eating them in the next few days, you can stick them in the freezer instead.
There, your frozen sausage balls will last up to 6 months. However, that’s only true if they do not experience freezer burn, which you can prevent by using airtight, freezer-friendly food containers.
Can You Make Cooked Sausage Balls Last Longer?
Yes, whether you prefer to refrigerate or freeze your food items, there are steps you can take to make them last longer.
The most important thing to remember is to keep your sausage balls in airtight containers. For the best results, use refrigerator-friendly or freezer-friendly containers that are specifically designed to maintain an airtight seal and keep food for longer.
On top of that, it’s best not to mix any other kinds of food inside the same containers. Doing so will help you preserve its flavor and texture for as long as possible.
What Are The Signs That Cooked Sausage Balls Have Gone Bad?
There are some things to look out for to know if your sausage balls have gone bad.
Those 4 things are:
- Smell: You don’t necessarily have to taste a cooked sausage ball to know if it has gone bad. Instead, you can smell them first. Sausage balls aren’t supposed to smell foul, no matter if you keep them at room temperature, in the fridge, or in the freezer. If they smell bad, you can assume they’re no longer safe to eat.
- Texture: Another indicator that your food has gone bad is that they’ve developed a slimy texture that feels weird to the touch. Very few food items are meant to feel that way, and a cooked sausage ball is certainly not one of them.
- Color: You certainly remember the color of your food when you first cooked and stored them. If you take them out of the fridge or freezer and notice their color has turned to something else, that’s a clear indication they’ve gone bad.
- Taste: Last but certainly not least, you can confirm if your sausage balls have gone bad by biting into one. Trust your taste buds! If they don’t taste right, throw them out.
Learning to recognize the signs described above can save you from consuming rotten food and dealing with the side effects. So, keep an eye out just to be sure!
Check out some of our website’s articles that might interest you like Do Claussen Pickles Need To Be Refrigerated?, Do Cuties Need To Be Refrigerated?, Do Cocoa Bombs Need To Be Refrigerated?, and Do Coconut Aminos Need To Be Refrigerated?
What Are Ways To Reheat Cooked Sausage Balls?
One of the cool things about these food items is that you don’t need much time, effort, or any specialized equipment to reheat them.
You can reheat them in your air oven, microwave, or even your air fryer!
Turn them over every few minutes while reheating to ensure they’re done evenly.
Overall, it’s important not to leave your sausage balls out at room temperature for too long. They can only last an hour or two before breeding bacteria and going bad. It’s much safer to refrigerate them, where they’ll last up to 3-4 days.
Alternatively, you can store them in the freezer if you want them to last up to 6 months. Whether you use the fridge or freezer, you can reheat them at any time using your oven, microwave, or even your air fryer!