There are two basic types of sausages: uncooked and ready to eat. Uncooked sausages include fresh and smoked sausages. Ready to eat sausages include cooked, semi-dry, and dry sausages. The following descriptions further explain some of the sausages that are available.
- Uncooked fresh sausage: meat that has not been cured or smoked and must be cooked prior to serving, which is sold as bulk, patties, or links. Uncooked fresh sausages include fresh Bockwurst, Bratwurst, fresh Pork Sausage, Italian-style fresh Pork Sausage, Salsiccia, Weisswurst, fresh Thuringer, and others.
- Uncooked smoked sausage: meat that has been cured or smoked, that requires cooking prior to serving. Country style smoked pork sausage, Linguica, Mettwurst, and Polish sausage are included in this category.
- Cooked Sausage: meat that has not been cured or smoked, but has been precooked. Blood sausage, cooked Bockwurst, Braunschweiger, cooked Bratwurst, Liver sausage, and cooked Thuringer are included in this group of sausages.
- Cooked smoked sausage: meat that has been cured, lightly smoked, and precooked. Bologna, Boterhamworst, Bratwurst, Frankfurters, Knackwurst, precooked varieties of Polish sausage, and Berliner or New England style sausage, Smokies, Vienna sausages, and Wieners are examples of this type of sausage.
- Dry sausage: meat that has been cured and air-dried, making it ready to serve either cold or warm. There are semi-dry and dry sausage categories. Semi-dry sausages are generally partially dried, but sufficiently heated to cook the sausage. Semi-dry sausages include Cervelat, Lebanon Bologna, Mortadella, and Vienna. Dry sausages can be smoked, unsmoked, or cooked, and include Chorizo, Frizzes, Lyons, Pepperoni, Salami, and Soppressata.
- There are also specialty sausage meats available, which are meats that have been cooked and processed into sticks or loaves for slicing, such as Beef Loaf, Goetta, Headcheese, Pickle and Pimento Loaf, and Scrapple.