Can You Eat Kielbasa out of The Package?


Kielbasa is a polish sausage but can be found in American grocery stores. Some brands label some of their sausage varieties kielbasa. Which simply refers to it being in a u-shape and made with beef, pork, or turkey. Sometimes all three meats or a combination.

Can You Eat Kielbasa out of The Package? Most Kielbasa sausage, also labeled “Polska Kielbasa” sold by American meat packers are precooked. These are the packaged versions of Kielbasa and are best served after heating or cooking with other ingredients.

The Kielbasa most commonly seen in the United States is a imitation of the traditional Polish sausage. Remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

This type is smoked and precooked. It is u-shaped and is very similar to other ring sausages. There are usually different meats used together, as opposed to just beef or pork.

Pork, veal, beef, lamb or chicken are more commonly used in Poland for the sausages.

Traditional, authentic Kielbasa has four main variations. There is probably much more since its been around Polish culture for so long. One popular kind goes by the name “white fresh” and is uncooked. Most other variations are smoked and dry cured.

Kielbasa sausage is almost always present at polish weddings. That is how popular it is there. Well it has been very popular in the U.S. for some time.

The versions that Americans have adopted are the keilbasa wedzona (smoked sausage) and the wiejska (farmhouse sausage).

If you buy a Kielbasa made in the United States it more closely resembles the traditional “Polish Sausage” or the kielbasa wedzona. Which is a simple smoked version.

American Kielbasa vs Authentic

What makes traditional kielbasa different from American. Is the way it is prepared and some of the meats used. The possible reason it has become so popular in the United States is the simplicity.

Kielbasa is typically made with liberal amounts of garlic, black pepper and marjoram (an herb with citrus and pine flavors). The pork used is chopped and they are stuffed into hog casings.

Read more: Can You Eat Sausage Casing?

American KielbasaAuthentic Kielbasa
Pork, Turkey or BeefPork, Veil, Lamb
Smoked SausageFresh, Lightly Smoked, Dried

Can you eat kielbasa raw?

Depending on the type of Kielbasa, if the meat is dry cured first then it is safe to eat. Kielbasa is not traditionally made with beef and is not served raw.

Most meats other than types of beef should not be eaten raw. Steak can be served nearly raw but pork or chicken are not safe to consume raw.

Does kielbasa have to be refrigerated?

Any precooked but not dried sausage should be refrigerated. Kielbasa precooked sausages need to refrigerated. Because they contain moisture and will spoil without being kept cool.

The Kielbasa you buy in the United States needs to be refrigerated. Similar to hot dogs they are not dried and will not last long without refrigeration. Without going to a specialty import grocery, it is hard to find authentic Kielbasa.

Kielbasa is best when it is refrigerated and will last much longer.

How long can you keep kielbasa in the refrigerator?

The packaged kinds of Kielbasa typically available at most grocery stores. Should last for one to two weeks in the refrigerator.

If it is traditional Kielbasa other than the common “polish sausage” then it depends on the type. Uncooked Kielbasa will last for only a couple days in the refrigerator.

Is kielbasa already cooked?

Yes Kielbasa is usually precooked or can be dry cured. There are four unique variations of polish sausage. They can be dry, smoked or fresh.

Depending on the region of Poland each type of sausage is made differently. Kielbasa refers to sausage in Polish, similar to German or American sausage. The word sausage is a catch all phrase, not referring to one single type.

Do you peel kielbasa?

You do not have to peel Kielbasa or any polish sausages. There may be a good recipe that can made with the meat. Peeling kielbasa is not typically done and the precooked kinds do not have any casing.

What goes go good with kielbasa?

There are lots of recipes using kielbasa as the meat. Potatoes and peppers are commonly used. You can also use cabbage or sauerkraut. Cutting the sausage into thick slices and then putting a pretzel stick into each one. Try dipping them in your favorite BBQ sauce.

Also the polish sausage goes go with soups or stews. You can cook the sausage many ways. On a stove top pan or grilled, baked and also in a slow cooker.

Kielbasa is a very popular type of sausage to make at home. For those who actually make sausage homemade.

Eric M Wilkens

Content writer and recreational cook. I also enjoy craft beer, comedy and the outdoors.

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