Can You Eat Vienna Sausage From The Can? Answer Explained

It’s hard to think of a more convenient meat product than vienna sausages. These bits of beef, pork and chicken are quite tasty and tend to be bite-sized. No need for utensils, and you don’t even need to cook them! Wait, really, is that last bit true? Can you eat vienna sausages raw?

Yes, you can! Store-bought Vienna sausages are fully cooked by the time you purchase them. They are considered safe to consume directly out of the can.

They come vacuum sealed in cans of tin or aluminum. There’s also a liquid within the can that keeps them moist and preserves their juiciness. The intention is to allow for maximum convenience, a little meat snack that can be taken right from the can and eaten in moments.

Having said that, we do advise you to rinse them off first. That juice they come in isn’t recommended for consumption. But once the sausages have been cleaned, they can be eaten with no issue. They’re ready to eat in seconds!

How Do You Eat Vienna Sausages From The Can?

You can pop the top of them quite easily, about as easy to open as a canned soda. You’ll see a number of vienna sausages resting in a bit of juicy liquid. While some people find no harm in drinking this, others will dissuade it. Personally we do not recommend it, that juice is only there to keep the meat from drying up. 

As said above, we suggest rinsing the sausages off before eating them. Once they’re clean their shouldn’t be any reason to worry. And you can do this very quickly, as we’ll now go over!

Simply hover the opened can beneath the faucet of your sink and let in enough water to fill it up. Put your fingers over the sausage to hold them in place and then give it a small shake. Then, tip the can over – make sure you’ve got those sausages secured! – and let the water drain out between your fingers. 

Once all the water is gone, the juice should follow and you’ll be left with perfectly safe vienna sausages to eat. While you can use whatever you like,unsauced  vienna sausages make for perfectly good finger food. So they really don’t require any more set up than that!

Are Vienna Sausages Good For You?

As with many things, it depends on what you’re looking to get out of your food. They are high in sodium and fat. They’re a solid choice for someone looking to build muscle or weight with protein. But if you’re looking to slim down, they aren’t a great option. There are other risks and benefits to consider, but that’s the gist of it.  

Ultimately they aren’t thought to pose any major health risks. You could certainly do worse!

Are You Supposed To Heat Up Vienna Sausages?

While it isn’t considered necessary to do so, there’s also no reason not to warm them up. Eating cold meat might feel strange for some people. Many have attested to the improved quality and taste of a warmed up vienna sausage

If you plan to add further seasoning to a plain flavored vienna sausage, a quick microwaving is recommended. A little added temperature is a good way to bake the new flavors into the meat. 

While eating raw vienna sausages is safe, it’s not everyone’s preference. Let’s look into some alternative ways you can enjoy that canned meat! 

Ways To Prepare Vienna Sausages

We don’t quite have the space here to list full recipes for all of these, but here’s some recommendations that you can look into! And we’ll be noting all of the more unique ingredients as well.

Pigs In A Blanket

You might know that you can prepare l’il smokies sausages in this manner. Get some Pillsbury crescent dinner rolls, jam the sausage inside and cook ‘em to perfection! You can wrap the sausage in something like cheese if you wish as well. 

And while the taste might be fairly different, vienna sausages are also the perfect size for a dish like this! They work great as a substitute. 

Jalapeño Popper Pigs In A Blanket

For the daring among us, here’s a much spicier version of the above! Jalapeño poppers are certainly loaded with heat. That’s something you can mitigate by adding in some egg and room temperature cream cheese to the mix. 

Marinara sauce can compliment the spice very well too. You’ll end up with a very different flavor from the vanilla Pigs In A Blanket for sure!


The exotic name might be a bit of a smokescreen here as, at it’s core, this is actually a type of meatloaf. But it’s a bit of an odd one that includes onion, pineapples, carrots and yet more banana ketchup!

Making use of vienna sausages for the ground beef really caps off the eccentric nature of the dish. You’ll never taste anything else like it, no questions asked!

Filipino Style Spaghetti

This is a fairly standard spaghetti recipe until you get to the 12 ounces of jufran banana ketchup and 1/8th cup of sugar. Just to make it all the more unique, the ground beef can be filled in by vienna sausages! 

Whether you’re into sweet spaghetti or not is up to you, and the sugar is optional of course. But with or without that, vienna sausage in spaghetti is a unique combination, no doubt about that.

Franks And Beans

No need to get fancy all the time, right? Baked beans are usually paired with slices from a hot dog, hence the name, but vienna sausages make a great substitute there. Consider it a new spin on an old classic. Mix them with brown sugar, celery salt, onions, mustard and margarine and you’ll have yourself a nice down home meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Is The Best Vienna Sausage?

Libby’s and Armour are the top most popular and well-reviewed brands. Libby’s seems to win out slightly when you look at user reviews, but the difference isn’t huge. They look very similar and if you’re not paying attention you might grab one or the other without noticing. 

Ultimately it’s agreed upon that the brand isn’t too important here. The quality is very similar between the two and you might not even notice the difference. 

How Many Vienna Sausages Are In A Can?

The answer varies a bit depending on the brand. But on average you can expect anywhere between five and seven vienna sausages. If you look at the typical can from the popular Armour brand, they advertise it as a six-pack. 

What Is Canned Vienna Sausage Made Out Of?

Beef, pork, bacon and occasionally chicken. That’s the main things that find their way in there. Water, corn syrup, salt, spices, MSG and sodium nitrite are also present in the mix. 

Are Vienna Sausages Like Hot Dogs?

You might hear the above descriptor and be reminded of hot dogs. But while the process has similarities, they’re all pretty superficial. Vienna sausages are typically boiled in water or smoked before being put into their can. 

Store-bought hot dogs still require cooking and while they share some ingredients, they’re typically ground up first instead of being left in large chunks like vienna sausages. The taste might be similar depending on how they’re prepared, but hot dog meat is thicker to consume.

Why Is It Called Vienna Sausage?

‘Vienna’ is a German word for ‘weiner’. This makes sense as the Austrian city of Vienna is referred to as “Wein” by native German speakers. It’s also been said that the inventor of the Vienna sausage had moved to Vienna from Frankfurt. And you might be able to surmise that Frankfurt is the original locale of Frankfurters, which led to the creation of Hot Dogs. 

So it stands to reason then that they continued the tradition of naming the sausage after the place of it’s origin. Vienna sausages date back to the 1800s. 

In Conclusion…

Vienna sausages are a handy and versatile food. They can be used as a simple snack, eaten right out of the can whenever you have a hankering. They can be easily added onto a meal as a side dish with little to no prep time. Or, with a little work and a bit of love, they can be made into a main course all on their own.

While it’s never going to be a gourmet food by any stretch, it’s a southern classic. And as you can probably tell by some of the recipes, they’re a lot of fun to experiment and toy around with. It’s also an easy and cheap meat source if you just want some ground beef. 

But while there are all sorts of ways to prepare them, ultimately it’s perfectly fine to just eat them as they come. A little bit of rinsing is all that’s recommended, otherwise no prep needed at all. If you’re a meat lover looking for a quick and easy fix, it’s hard to go wrong with a vienna sausage!