Cooking sausages for lunch, dinner, or a quick snack is a real win as far as I’m concerned. They are a budget-friendly and super tasty protein that you can pop in the freezer whenever you’ve run out of ideas. If there’s more than one person in the kitchen, there’s often a conversation around “how to tell if sausage is cooked.” Everyone has their own idea of how to tell.
I’ll share the method I use that has worked for me for ages. I hope it makes your kitchen adventures a little easier.
How to know when sausage is done?
Here are a couple of handy tips and tricks that’ll help you tell whether sausage is cooked.
My fail-proof method includes using a meat thermometer.
I let mine reach 165°F/73.88°C, and then I know it’s properly cooked and done. If I’m somewhere and don’t have a meat thermometer on hand, there are two other tests I’ll use.
The slice test
Another way to tell if the sausage is done by slicing a piece off or cutting one in half. Sometimes, even if the sausage is done at one of its ends, it can still be a little raw in the center.
This can often happen if the sausage is cooked at a high temperature – the meat cooks quickly in the thinner parts and outside, and the thicker inner parts remain undercooked.
Cooking at too high heat can also cause the outer case or skin to split open, letting the juice seep out and resulting in dry meat.
Anyway, once you cut the sausage, it will be done if it’s pale brown inside and some juices are in the center.
The press test
The final test is a press test. This is a super simple test and works with regular sausages. I press down onto the sausages.
A cooked sausage will be firm to the touch, and a raw sausage will feel soft and offer no resistance.
So, wrapping that little lesson up – the number one best way to know when sausage is done is to test it with a meat thermometer. The second most accurate test is the slice method, and the third is the press test.
What color should sausage be when cooked
There are tons of different kinds of sausages out there, and all are a little different.
So, while you need to check whether the sausage is cooked using a meat thermometer, color can also be a good indicator.
Anyway, here are a couple of pointers on how to tell if sausage is cooked depending on the type of sausage:
- Game meats, lamb, beef: red meat sausages are quite red insides when raw. Once cooked, they’ll be a little pink or pale brown.
- Chicken, pork, turkey: white meat sausages are pale pink inside when underdone. When cooked, they turn pale brown.
- Cured sausages: these are often pink and will remain pink once cooked. This is because they are cured with nitrates. These types of sausages will often turn a light grey or stay pink once cooked.
Ways to tell if sausage is undercooked
The best way to tell if meat sausage is undercooked is by using an internal meat thermometer. This temperature for meats should come up to 165°F/73.88°C.
You know the sausage is undercooked if the temperature is still below that. The other way to know is if it’s too red, bloody, or watery inside or if it’s very soft and floppy to the touch.
When using a meat thermometer, you want to try not to poke the sausage with too many holes. Doing this will let the juices that keep your sausage yummy and moist ooze out, which will dry the sausage out.
It’s super important to be able to tell if sausage is undercooked. Eating undercooked sausage is a health risk and can make you very sick, so it’s important to know the methods to recognize if it’s cooked.
How long does it take to cook sausages in a pan?
You’ll want to cook regular-size sausages for around 15 -20 minutes in a pan. I like to cook mine at medium-high heat so that they cook evenly.
Cooking them too quickly might burn them on the outside and leave them raw in the middle.
Another great tip is to let them rest for about 3-5 minutes before eating them. This will get all the juices and meat to settle nicely and avoid the sausages drying out.
How long does it take to cook sausages in the oven?
I like to cook my sausages in the oven at 350°F/180°C for about 25 minutes. I use the fan element to give them a lovely golden color.
The fan also gets the sausages really steaming well internally. After roasting them, I’ll rest them for 3 minutes as I do with pan cooking.
I use the same meat thermometer method to check that the internal temperature has reached 165°F/73.88°C to know if they’re done.
Is it OK if my sausage is a little pink?
So, there are many reasons a sausage can be pink in the center unrelated to its doneness. Certain sausages are spiced with seasonings that make them look more pink or red than they would normally be.
If you follow the guidelines of using a meat thermometer to check the sausage’s internal temperature, all should be ok.
What happens if I eat undercooked sausage?
There is a chance you will be totally fine, and there’s a chance you’ll get sick. Personally, I’d prefer not to take the risk.
You can get food poisoning from bacteria and parasites in the meat. One of the nasty ones is called trichinosis, and you can get it from eating undercooked meat, especially pork.
Besides cooking the meat thoroughly, you’ll want to let it cool completely to room temperature before storing any leftovers in the fridge or freezer. This is another way to prevent getting food poisoning.
Can you overcook sausage?
Yes, you can overcook sausages. They will become rubbery, chewy, and tough if left too long in the pan.
Wrapping it up!
I think you’ll agree that sausages are a great addition to a weekly menu plan. The key is knowing what tricks are around to determine if you’ve cooked them properly.
I hope this helps with the question, “ how to tell if sausage is cooked.”