Sausage balls are a classic appetizer that are perfect for any occasion, from game day to holiday parties. But what do you do when you have a large batch of sausage balls and want to keep them warm for your guests?
Enter the crock pot.
In this article, we’ll explore whether or not you can keep sausage balls warm in a crock pot and provide tips for making and reheating them.
So, grab your apron and let’s get cooking!
Can You Keep Sausage Balls Warm In A Crock Pot?
The short answer is yes, you can keep sausage balls warm in a crock pot. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to keep them warm and ready for your guests to enjoy.
To keep sausage balls warm in a crock pot, simply place them in the crock pot and turn it on to the “warm” setting. This will keep them at a safe temperature without overcooking them.
It’s important to note that if you’re using a crock pot to keep sausage balls warm, you should first cook them in the oven or on the stove. Once they’re fully cooked, transfer them to the crock pot to keep them warm.
The Benefits Of Using A Crock Pot To Keep Sausage Balls Warm
Using a crock pot to keep sausage balls warm has several benefits. First and foremost, it allows you to serve hot and fresh sausage balls throughout your party or event. The “warm” setting on a crock pot keeps the sausage balls at a consistent temperature, ensuring that they don’t get cold or overcooked.
Another benefit of using a crock pot is that it frees up oven space. If you’re hosting a large party or cooking multiple dishes, oven space can be limited. By using a crock pot to keep the sausage balls warm, you can free up oven space for other dishes.
Using a crock pot also allows you to make sausage balls ahead of time and keep them warm until your guests arrive. This can be especially helpful if you’re hosting a large event or if you have a busy schedule.
Finally, using a crock pot is a convenient way to serve sausage balls buffet-style. Simply place the crock pot on your buffet table and let your guests help themselves. The “warm” setting will keep the sausage balls at a safe temperature for several hours, so you don’t have to worry about them getting cold or spoiled.
Choosing The Right Size Crock Pot
When it comes to choosing the right size crock pot for keeping sausage balls warm, there are a few factors to consider. First, think about how many sausage balls you’ll be making and how many people you’ll be serving. A general rule of thumb is to allow for about 1-2 ounces of sausage balls per person.
If you’re only making a small batch of sausage balls for a few people, a 2-4 quart crock pot should suffice. However, if you’re making a larger batch for a party or gathering, you may want to opt for a larger crock pot, such as a 6-8 quart size.
Another factor to consider is whether or not you’ll be serving other hot foods alongside the sausage balls. If so, you may want to choose a larger crock pot to accommodate all of the dishes.
It’s also important to make sure that the crock pot you choose has a “warm” setting. This will allow you to keep the sausage balls at a safe temperature without overcooking them.
Preparing Sausage Balls For The Crock Pot
Preparing sausage balls for the crock pot is a simple process that involves just a few steps. First, mix together Italian sausage, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and kosher salt in a medium bowl. Use your hands to mix the mixture really well so there are no huge chunks of cream cheese. Shape the mixture into tablespoon-sized balls or use a small cookie scoop to create the meatballs. You should get around 30 balls out of the mixture.
Next, brown the sausage balls by adding a small drizzle of oil to a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add a batch of sausage balls (about 12-14 balls, or as many as will fit in your skillet without crowding). Cook for 2-3 minutes, flipping once to get some browning on at least two sides. The sausage balls do not need to be completely cooked through. Repeat with the remaining sausage balls until all the balls have been browned.
When finished, add the sausage balls to a slow cooker pot. When all the sausage balls are browned and in the slow cooker, gently stir in the marinara sauce (the sausage balls may be fragile) and cook on high heat for 2 hours or low heat for up to 8 hours.
Once the sausage balls are cooked, you can keep them warm in a crock pot by transferring them to the crock pot and turning it on to the “warm” setting. This will keep them at a safe temperature without overcooking them.
It’s important to remember that when storing leftover sausage balls, they should be allowed to cool completely before being placed in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for three to four days. To reheat them, simply place them in the microwave or oven until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat them in a crock pot by placing them on the “low” setting until they are heated through.
Tips For Reheating Sausage Balls In The Crock Pot
If you’ve made sausage balls ahead of time and need to reheat them for a party or gathering, the crock pot is a great option. Here are some tips for reheating sausage balls in the crock pot:
1. Place a damp paper towel in the bottom of the crock pot. This will help prevent the sausage balls from drying out as they reheat.
2. Place the sausage balls in the crock pot and turn it on to the “low” setting. It’s important to note that if you’re reheating frozen sausage balls, you should allow them to thaw first before placing them in the crock pot.
3. Heat the sausage balls on low until they’re fully heated through. This may take 2-3 hours, depending on how many sausage balls you’re reheating.
4. Once the sausage balls are fully heated, turn the crock pot to the “keep warm” setting. This will keep them at a safe temperature without overcooking them.
5. If you’re serving the sausage balls at a party or gathering, be sure to stir them occasionally to ensure even heating.
By following these tips, you can easily reheat sausage balls in a crock pot and keep them warm and ready for your guests to enjoy.
Other Ways To Serve Sausage Balls At Your Party Or Gathering
Sausage balls are a versatile and delicious appetizer that can be served in a variety of ways. Here are some other ideas for serving sausage balls at your party or gathering:
1. Serve with Dipping Sauces: Sausage balls taste great on their own, but they’re even better when paired with a dipping sauce. Some popular options include honey mustard, homemade ranch dressing, barbecue sauce, and sweet chili sauce.
2. Pair with Soup or Salad: If you’re looking for a way to enjoy sausage balls outside of a party setting, try serving them as a side dish alongside your favorite soup or salad. They pair particularly well with creamy tomato basil soup or farmhouse cheese soup.
3. Breakfast or Brunch: Sausage balls can also be served as a breakfast or brunch item. They go great with tater tot breakfast casserole and blueberry coffee cake.
4. Football Parties: Sausage balls are the perfect finger food to bring to any football party. They’re easy to make ahead of time and can be served warm in a crock pot.
5. Christmas Morning Breakfast: Some people even enjoy sausage balls as a Christmas morning breakfast tradition. They’re easy to prepare and can be popped in the oven while everyone is opening presents.
No matter how you choose to serve them, sausage balls are sure to be a hit at any gathering. And with the ability to keep them warm in a crock pot, you can ensure that they stay delicious and ready to eat throughout the entire event.