Food Guide

Discover the Difference Between Ground Pork and Pork Sausage

Pork sausage, also called pork breakfast sausage or fresh pork sausage, is a type of sausage made from ground pork.

Ground pork is mixed with various other ingredients and spices to give it its flavor and texture.

Its appearance depends on the type of meat used in making it and the additives added to it.

SimilarityBoth are made from ground pork
Both are commonly used in a variety of dishes as a protein source
DifferencePork sausage typically contains a mix of spices, herbs, and seasonings, while ground pork does not
Pork sausage is usually pre-cooked and can be eaten as is, while ground pork needs to be cooked before consumption
Pork sausage often has a distinct flavor profile, while ground pork has a milder taste
Pork sausage is commonly sold in links, while ground pork is usually sold in bulk.


As you may have guessed, ground pork is a byproduct of the pork industry.

When the meat from cuts like loin and rib is cut into smaller pieces to make chops and roasts, ground pork is left over.

Pork sausage on the other hand, is a manufactured product that must be made using USDA-approved methods.

The meat used to make it can either be fresh or frozen raw material or a pre-cooked cured product.

The fat content of sausage can vary too—it can be lean or fatty based on what kind of recipe you use for making it (leaner sausages being healthier but not as flavorful).


Let’s start with the basics: ground pork is made from the meat left over after cutting up a pig into steaks, chops, and roasts.

It’s ground together into a fine paste that can be used in chili, meatballs, or sloppy joes.

Pork sausage is formed by grinding pork shoulder, salt, water, and spices.

Both products are great ways to add lean protein to your diet—but if you want something that has more texture than ground beef would provide (and less fat), then you should go for the sausage links instead of their processed counterpart.

There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re buying pork sausage.

The first is that it comes in many different varieties: Italian, breakfast, bratwurst, Polish and more.

You can find fresh or cured sausage at the grocery store or butcher shop; fresh sausages are ready-to-eat and don’t need to be cooked before eating them.

Cured sausages have been smoked and then dried to preserve their shelf life.

Main ingredients

Ground pork and pork sausage are made from the same meat, but you aren’t going to get the same product.

Ground pork is made from ground shoulder, butt, or trimmings of pork that have been mechanically separated before grinding.

The meat is typically coarsely ground and has a higher fat content than other cuts of meat.

Pork sausage can be made from either fresh or cured meats, but it’s mostly produced using fresh chilled pork trimmings until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (71 degrees C).

As with ground pork, salt is added during processing to enhance flavor and yield desirable color characteristics in your final product.

In addition to spices such as black pepper and garlic powder, sugar may increase moisture retention while reducing shrinkage during cooking time.


The most common ground pork will be your average supermarket variety, usually available at your local butcher.

On the other hand, sausage can come in various forms, such as bratwurst or hot dog sausages.

They’re made with lean meat (pork) and seasoned with spices like paprika or garlic powder.

The amount of fat varies depending on the type of sausage being produced, but generally speaking, there’s more fat in a sausage than in ground meat.


Did you know that ground pork has more calories than pork sausage? Or that it contains more fat, sodium, and cholesterol? It’s true! You’ll generally find that a 100g serving of ground pork has 13 calories more than the same amount of pork sausage.

But this doesn’t mean that all is lost.

Pork sausage typically contains higher levels of protein (more than 2 grams per 100g) than its counterpart.

There’s also less sugar in a serving of pork sausages (1 gram per 100g) than in ground pork (3 grams).

So, if you’re looking for a leaner alternative to ground pork, pork sausage may be the way to go. Just remember that these are only averages, so check the nutrition labels on your favorite brands before making any decisions!

Fat Content

You’re probably wondering how much fat is in ground pork.

The average ground pork contains about 27% of its weight as fat.

Comparing that to regular pork sausage would be a lot higher at about 45%.

Not only does this mean that there is less fat per serving of ground pork than for regular sausage and fewer calories too! That means if you want something with a similar taste and texture but healthier than regular sausage, go for the ground version.

If you want to know how much fat is in pork sausage, then it’s best to check the label on the packaging.

This will tell you how much fat, protein, and other ingredients are in each serving.


So, what’s the difference in seasoning between ground pork and pork sausage? Well, pork sausage is often seasoned with garlic, pepper, salt, and other spices.

Ground pork is often seasoned with garlic and pepper.

Pork sausage can also be smoked—but you probably won’t find that on your local grocery store’s refrigerated meat aisle!.

Regarding cooking methods for these two products: pork sausages are most cooked by frying them in a pan or grilling them outdoors over an open flame.

Ground meats like ground beef are usually cooked by sautéing them in a skillet or frying them up as meatballs.

Cooking time and method

If you’re looking for ways to cook the most delicious pork sausage or want to know how long it takes for ground pork to cook, then look no further! Here’s a rundown of the best ways to achieve that perfect level of doneness:

  • For perfect cooking time, start with a medium pan.
  • Heat up your pan over medium heat (6-7 on an electric stove) and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter.
  • Once the pan reaches its optimal temperature, add in your meat—depending on what type of meat you’re cooking (ground pork vs.
  • pork sausage), this might be 1 pound or 3 pounds at a time; set aside any unused portions until they’re ready for use later in the recipe.
  • Once all of the ingredients have been added into your pan (including salt/pepper/seasonings) and mixed together well, cover them with aluminum foil so that they can cook evenly without drying out during their initial stage as well as prevent anything from burning off before everything else has reached perfection!

Side dishes to pair

Pork sausage and ground pork can be paired with side dishes, but those following a Paleo diet may want to think carefully before pairing the two.

For example, if you’re serving up pork sausage in a taco, you’ll want to avoid pairing it with flour tortillas or other wheat-based products.

Pairing pork sausage with vegetables like broccoli and carrots is always an option—and if you’re trying to take on a healthier lifestyle, cut out grains from your diet and stick with more whole foods instead of processed ones like bread or pasta.

This might even be preferable since it means that there’ll be fewer carbohydrates involved (of course, some people overeat meat, so keep that in mind).

Other good options include rice, pasta, and salad greens such as lettuce or spinach leaves.

You could also serve pork sausage in a sandwich but avoid pairing it with bread or other wheat-based products.

Instead, try serving it on top of a bed of lettuce leaves or stuffing it into rolls made from almond flour instead—this will help you stick to your Paleo diet while still enjoying the meal.

Ground pork vs.

pork sausage should be considered when you’re planning a meal.

The two are similar, but they do have their differences as well.

As we said earlier, ground pork is less processed than sausage because it doesn’t undergo any curing or smoking processes before being packaged for sale at your local supermarket or butcher shop.

This means there is the less fat content in ground pork than in sausage; however, both types of meat are high in protein and other nutrients like iron which are essential for maintaining good health! On top of all these benefits (and more), both products taste great over pasta or rice dishes like lasagna or spaghetti sauce with meatballs thrown into them

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Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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