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Polish Sausage and Sauerkraut:
A Satisfying Meal in Your Truck


Thanks to a reader named Matthew, we tried cooking polish sausage and sauerkraut in our truck. He suggested using a crock pot but we used our hot pot to speed up the cooking process. If you're interested in fixing this meal in your truck, here are some things to consider.


Contrasting turkey smoked sausage and polska kielbasa. First, there are differences between brands of sausage.

Pictured at the left are a "turkey smoked sausage" with less fat and a "polska kielbasa."

For our first attempt at cooking this dish in the truck Mike drives for his trucking company, we purchased the lower fat version and were highly disappointed with the flavor.



Although all of the meat products come in sausage form (like an extra large hot dog), some are looped over and some are cut in two.

This is an image of Hillshire Farm's brand of polska kielbasa, together with the price that it was being sold for at a Wal-Mart in the southern USA in late 2009.

The Hillshire Farm brand of polska kielbasa.


Different brands of smoked sausage, polish sausage and polska kielbasa. In this photo of the store's meat display, you will see different brands of smoked sausage, polish sausage and polska kielbasa.

Please take special notice of the weight of the packages, as there can be differences.

One brand we bought weighed 12 ounces, another 16 ounces (a full pound). For the purposes of this page, we consider the 16-ounce size.



Read the labels for nutrition information or search NutritionData.com for online info. This photo shows the Nutrition Facts for the Hillshire Farms product. Nutrition Facts for Hillshire Farms' Polska Kielbasa.




A smoked sausage cut up with sauerkraut in a hot pot, ready to be heated up. You can find polish sausage recipes online.

One of the simplest is combining it with sauerkraut.

Most likely, this meat product is already cooked and only needs to be heated up. Here, this two-ingredient meal is in our hot pot.



There are also numerous brands of sauerkraut, although your grocery store may sell only a couple.

We prefer Wal-Mart's store brand to a much tangier name brand kraut that we have tried.

Heated up polish sausage and sauerkraut.


The nutrition facts from the back panel of a can of store brand sauerkraut. According to Sauerkraut.com and Wikipedia, there are numerous health benefits to eating sauerkraut, among which are it is:
  • an immune booster;
  • a cancer fighter;
  • a digestive aid;
  • a flu fighter;
  • an excellent source of Vitamin C and other nutrients; and
  • possibly more healthy than the raw cabbage from which it was made.(1)(2)

Pictured here is the back panel of a can of store brand sauerkraut, showing the Nutrition Facts.



Matthew's crock pot directions for this dish are:
For a small crock use one can of any brand kraut. Empty contents of can into crock and 1/4 cup water and then cut up polish sausage in to pieces and mix in the kraut. Add as much or as little as you would like and set on low for 3-5 hours and serve.


Equipment we used:



  • Hot pot;
  • Inverter;
  • Large cutting board (for cooking surface);
  • Can opener;
  • Plate and bowl; and
  • Utensils for cutting, cooking and eating.




The Cost

The cost of this meal:
Polish sausage $1.25 (half of 16 ounce package)
Sauerkraut $0.57 (estimated)
Bread (3 slices) $0.24 (estimated)
Total cost of meal $2.06
Total cost per serving $1.03


Note: Unless you get one that specifically states a lower fat content, polish sausage is not a low-fat entree. Some people have objections to eating highly processed foods, especially meats. Please use your own best judgment regarding foodstuffs like this.






truck drivers money saving tip icon Money saving tip: This is a low-cost meal. Using the ingredients we did, it was only a little over a dollar per person. You might be able to save even more money than we did by buying all store brand ingredients. However, the brand of meat you use could partially determine the flavor. A lower fat meat may not taste as good as one with a higher fat content.

This is an extremely fast meal to prepare. If you heat it in a crock pot and use a slow cooker liner, it is also extremely fast to clean up after. Time is money on the road.





References:

1. http://www.sauerkraut.com/benefits.htm
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sauerkraut#Health_benefits





Return from Polish Sausage and Sauerkraut: A Satisfying Meal in Your Truck to our Food and Recipes page or our Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips home page.







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