How To Tell If Sausage Is Cooked? Do It the Right Way!

Who doesn’t love sausages?

The prospect of relishing any desired flavor in meat is thrilling. And the delicate approach to preparing them at home is one we’ve all craved.

But newbie cooks still have lingering doubts about actualizing the incredible sausage their taste buds envision.

You’ve experimented.

You’ve asked too many questions.

Even the easiest of all – how to tell if sausage is cooked, but still can’t get it right.

Take a deep breath. This article is just all you need. You’ll find out:

  • What sausages are
  • The types of sausages
  • How to know when sausages are cooked, and
  • The different proper ways to cook sausages

What are Sausages?

A sausage is a flavored meat product of minced meat, mostly pork or beef. Poultry and wild game also suffice.

Seasonings like salt, herbs, or other spices give it unique flavors, while grains or breadcrumbs can be extenders or fillers.

Historically, sausage-making was initially discovered for preservation.

By adding salt and other spices to dried meat, people could easily prevent spoilage during transportation.

It dates far back to China in 589 BC. Lup Cheong, its name, was made from goat and lamb meat.

Back then, the Chinese used salt, ginger, bean sauce, green onion, and pepper for flavor.

Additionally, sausages (lucanica) were also prominent in ancient Italy.

Cicero and Martial (Roman scholars) reported that Roman “soldiers or slaves” brought them from Lucania (Basilicata).

Types of Sausages

Today, sausage has two connotations depending on the part of speech implied.

As a noun, which this article significantly covers, “a sausage” refers to cylindrical sausage meat encased in a skin.

As an adjective, “sausage” is loose sausage meat that can also be stuffed into skin or formed into patties.

The skin is a casing formed, either naturally from animal intestines or artificially from cellulose and collagen.

But multiple types of sausages exist in every region.

Now, give any of these mouth-watering types a try if you’re looking to cook something new:

  • Boudin rouge – USA
  • Longganisa – Philippines
  • Chorizo – Spain
  • Longaniza – Argentina
  • Sai Ua – Thailand
  • Bratwurst – Germany
  • Andouille – France
  • Kiełbasa – Poland
  • Kurobuta – Japan
  • Salami – Italy
Fun fact: In the US alone, there are over 200 varieties. Still, that doesn't make them the most inventive sausage cooks. The Italians, French, and Spanish also boast of some renowned ones.
image of Sausage Is Cooked

How To Tell If Sausage Is Cooked?

Beginning sausage preparation feels quite tricky. Ascertaining whether it is cooked, even more so.

Truth to be told, no one wants a weird-tasting sausage, so adept chefs employ various standards to determine their palatability.

Check out both methods:

1. By precise internal temperature

Well-cooked sausages attain certain minimum internal temperatures. According to the USDA recommendation, they should get to:

  • Pork sausage – 160°F (71.1°C)
  • Beef sausage – 160°F (71.1°C)
  • Pork and beef sausage – 160°F (71.1°C)
  • Game sausage – 165°F (73.8°C)
  • Chicken sausage – 165°F (73.8°C)
  • Turkey sausage – 165°F (73.8°C)
Tip: By inserting a meat thermometer at the probe tip into the end of the link, you'll get an accurate reading in a few seconds. The form and shape will remain intact, making this method more suitable for serving.

2. By inspection

Honestly, not even 50% of regular sausage cooks have a meat thermometer. And you’re probably not even planning to get one, despite it being the most accurate determination method.

But luckily, you can tell that sausage is cooked by sight.

When the sausages are all golden brown on all sides, remove one from the heat and wait for it to cool briefly.

Then, half it diagonally. If the meat is cooked, it will be firm, fleshy, and mostly taupe-colored.

If it isn’t, it will feel soft, bloody, and be pink-colored.

What are the different ways to cook Sausages?

Generally speaking, there are various factors that will influence your desired cooking method for sausages. Let’s enumerate them:

1. Pan-fry

Pan-frying sausages is a quick and relatively easy method.

It works with most varieties and allows you to include various flavorings like peeled onions. To pan-fry sausage:

  • First, remove your sausages from the fridge or other cold storage to attain room temperature.
  • Next, grease your frying pan with 1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil and preheat for 3-4 minutes.
  • Fry the sausages and occasionally turn them until they’re golden brown on all sides.
  • Then, test the internal temperature to affirm that they’re cooked, which should take 10-15 minutes.

2. Oven/Baking

Oven-roasting is the easiest method to cook sausages. Just:

  • First, bring your sausages to room temperature by removing them from their cold storage.
  • Next, while the sausages attain room temperature, preheat the oven for 20 minutes to 350°F (180°C). You can leave it to heat longer, ensuring that they aren’t any cold spots.
  • Then, place your sausages on your sheet pan with a wire rack.
  • Lastly, roast it for 20-30 minutes, turning their sides over mid-cooking.

3. Grill

You can grill sausages on a gas grill or a charcoal grill.

Either way, ensure that they are over indirect heat.

On a gas grill:

  • Once your gas starts burning after setting the burners to high, preheat for 15-20 minutes. Ensure the lid is closed throughout.
  • Turn half of the burners off and grease the grates with cooking oil.
  • Grill the sausages for 5-6 minutes on indirect heat and confirm when it’s cooked.

On a charcoal grill:

  • Put on your BBQ gloves and lift the grate when the charcoal starts ashing over. It should be after 20-30 minutes of ignition.
  • Ensure your sausages are attaining room temperature during this time.
  • Rake the charcoal to the left.
  • Place the grates back on and grill your sausages on the coal-free side.

4. Steam

Apparently, the steaming method ensures that the sausage is extensively cooked as it provides heat around all sides of the link. Follow these steps:

  • First, put butter in your skillet and place it on a medium-heat stove burner.
  • Second, when it begins bubbling, place your sausages in the skillet and turn its sides until brown.
  • Next, pour little water on the skillet, cover it, and cook the link for five minutes.
  • Then, turn the links over, replace the lid, and continue cooking for a further five minutes.
  • Lastly, remove the lid and confirm its temperature with a meat thermometer.

5. Boil

Boiling is also a significantly easy method to cook sausages.

Basically, just allow them to simmer in a pot of boiling water for 10-30 minutes.

Unlike other methods, they won’t be crispy and brown after cooking.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it healthier to cook Sausages in the oven?

Yes, because they don’t require much oil. Deep frying is the least healthy method due to the added calories and fat.

2. Can I prick the Sausages when cooking?

Yes, but don’t overdo it to avoid dry sausages. Also, use a small toothpick.

3. Why are my Sausages undercooked?

They’re undercooked probably because the cooking heat was too high. This allows the outer part of your sausage to cook sooner while the insides are still undercooked.

To prevent this, cook all the meats low and slow.

4. How can you tell if sausages are done without a meat thermometer?

Insert a meat thermometer at the probe tip into the end of the link. You’ll get an accurate reading in a few seconds.

Compare the temperature with the standard prescriptions for each meat according to the USDA.

5. Can you get sick from eating undercooked sausage?

Yes, you can contract Trichinosis from undercooked sausage, specifically pork.

Its symptoms include fever, diarrhea, abdominal pains, headaches, and chills.

Take Away

In conclusion, the best method to tell if your sausage is cooked is by using a meat thermometer.

If you don’t have one, cut it open and observe its texture and color.

The sausage-cooking process is overall as delicate as it’s exciting.

You’ll need to follow hard-and-fast rules to realize your dream meat, but you’re sure to be on cloud nine when successful.

So, put on your white hat, strap your apron, and toss out some sausages from the refrigerator!

Give it a shot!

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