Ground Pork vs. Sausage: Differences & Which Is Better?

ground pork vs sausage

Most meat lovers would agree that ground pork and sausages taste delicious, and usually, it is very difficult to pick one between the two. However, these types of meat come with many significant differences. Therefore, what are the differences between ground pork and sausage, and can you determine one as the better choice? 

The main difference between ground pork and sausage comes from their manufacturing processes. Namely, ground pork is plain pork meat, while sausages are made of ground pork meat accompanied by fat, preservatives, salt, and various spices. In other words, sausages come with a particular seasoning.

Ground pork meat and the meat used in sausages can raise great confusion between people who are just starting to learn their ways around the kitchen. There are different types of meat, especially when it comes to pork combinations and variations. 

To shed some light on this matter, I have made a clear comparison between ground pork and sausages, so once you learn the differences, you will be able to decide which one is better for your needs and preferences. 

Ground Pork vs. Sausage: Differences 

Ground pork and sausages come with many similarities, and the thing that comes surprising to many people is that they are basically the same meat. 

This comes as a surprise since they taste completely different, so some people cannot wrap their heads around the notion that the same meat is in question. However, when you compare these types of pork meat and look closely into their features, you will see their similarities and differences clearly. 

Meat Type 

You might say that pork is simply pork, and it should taste the same. However, this theory is not really applicable because pig meat is prepared differently. This is exactly the case with ground pork and sausage. 

In other words, ground pork is actually plain pig meat that does not include any spices or other types of seasoning. Some people call ground pork a pure form of pig meat, which is absolutely correct since we are talking about meat that has not been mixed up with anything else. Ground pork is used in many recipes, meaning that this kind of meat is usually needed for different dishes. It can be used just like ground beef for tacos, meatballs, etc.

On the other hand, sausages are also made of ground pork, but butchers have a different preparation method. In addition, sausages are usually combined with different spices and herbs, meaning that you do not eat only pork meat in a pure form. The added spices usually vary, i.e. they are not the same in every pork sausage you encounter. 

However, it is important to point out that the herbs and spices included in the sausage are added according to particular recipes. You cannot just add anything that comes to your mind. Following a recipe, in this case, is of crucial importance. 

Another thing that should be pointed out is that although sausages are usually made of pork meat, they can also include some other type of meat, such as beef or wild boar meat. Therefore, you should sometimes expect to come across a sausage made from meat other than pork. 

ground pork vs sausage

Flavors And Taste 

Even though we are talking about the same type of meat here, you should know that they do not taste the same. They might include similar flavors because they are actually made of pure pig meat, but the seasoning and the spices included in sausages make a great difference in the taste of both ground pork and sausages.

When it comes to ground pork, the taste is usually the same, so those who have tried it would be able to recognize it immediately. However, that is not the case with sausages since they can include different herbs and spices. These additional things in sausages are not always the same, so it is difficult always to determine the sausage taste at the very beginning. 

Spices and herbs that are the most common and easily tasted are garlic and paprika, a red strong spice made from dried peppers. 

This seasoning that comes with the sausages can sometimes be added from the butcher that prepares them. On the other hand, seasoning can be sometimes done in the kitchen before the sausage is cooked. Some people like to do the seasoning by themselves because this way they can include the exact spices they desire in their sausages. 

RELATED: Ground Pork vs. Ground Beef: Difference & Which Is Better?

Health Properties

The biggest difference between ground pork and sausages comes in the health properties they carry. For instance, ground pork is pure pig meat that does not come with additional spices, salt, and preservatives. That is why ground pork is considered the better option of meat when it comes to choosing the healthier type of pork. 

Sausages usually incorporate a high amount of fat and salt. The additives included in sausages are generally added to keep them fresh for a long time. In other words, they serve as preservatives, so they are not considered healthy. [1]

Versatility In Use

Ground pork usually works well when you need it for making a meat sauce, or other combination that will be included in the dish you are preparing. For instance, when preparing a type of sauce, meatballs, or lasagna, you need a type of meat that has not been seasoned beforehand.

This is because you add your own spices to these kinds of dishes. Therefore, a pure form of meat is what is suitable in this case. 

On the other hand, sausages are well combined with bread, beans, salad, and potatoes if you want to add immediate spiciness to your dish. That is why ground pork might be the more versatile choice for combining meat in other dishes. Many people tend to do their own meat seasoning, so they would rather go for ground meat instead of sausages. 

ground pork vs sausage

Ground Pork Vs. Sausage: Which Is Better? 

If you are trying to opt for the healthier option, then ground pork would be your wiser choice. In general, pure pork meat is regarded as the better option for your meals, so you should stick to it if you are looking for healthier diet options. 

On the other hand, if we consider personal preferences, then most meat lovers would opt for sausages rather than ground pork since they are richer in flavors, hence more delicious. In addition, sausages are usually a quick and simple lunch idea.

Can You Use Pork Sausage Instead Of Ground Pork? 

Usually, it is not recommended that you replace the ground pork with pork sausage since the latter contains spices, meaning it is not pure meat. Therefore, if you need a replacement for ground pork, it is advised that you go for ground turkey meat or ground beef. 

Just bear in mind that turkey meat has really mild taste, while ground beef has a stronger taste than pork.

However, if your dish will not be changed a lot due to the seasoning, then you can freely use pork sausage instead of ground pork. For example, you can use pork sausage meat to make a burger.

In other words, since they contain the same type of meat, it is logical that you can use them interchangeably. But, sometimes, the seasoning and the flavors in pork sausage can mess up the taste of your dishes, so using it as a substitute for ground pork is not possible. 

How To Make Ground Pork Into Sausage? 

If you want to turn ground pork into a sausage, you will need to work on your own seasoning. For that purpose, you will have to follow some steps to make the seasoning appropriate for the pork meat. Some of the basic guidelines for making ground pork into sausage are the following:

  • Use enough salt, so the proteins included in the meat can blend correctly. Salt is also responsible for getting the right texture of your meat, so do not skip on it. 
  • Now it is time for other spices: pepper, paprika and powdered garlic. Mix all of the spices and flavors well to blend perfectly with the pork meat. 
  • To make sure that the sausage is moist enough, add more fat. Usually, about ⅓ of sausage weight only fat. But, since you will probably use the meat now, better to opt for lower-fat content. 

As you can see, ground pork and sausages contain the same pig meat, but they come with significant differences. Sometimes, you can use them interchangeably, but this is not possible for all the recipes. However, you can always turn ground pork into sausage by mixing up the right spices and flavors. 

  • Laura is the owner of Julie's Cafe Bakery. She started this blog with her grandma Julie who introduced her to the amazing world of cooking. She likes to experiment with different flavors, and her favorite flavors combo is chicken with coconut milk, curry and peanuts!