Last Updated on: 23rd October 2022, 12:52 am
Sausages are the go-to choice for people who want to taste the deliciousness of meat but are not ready to put in much effort.
These are inexpensive and also come in different varieties that can be easily bought from grocery stores. But it can be tricky to tell when a sausage is done.
You can tell if the sausage is done or not by taking into account its texture and color. temperature and assessing the juices contained within it.
A done sausage will have a golden brown color, a firm texture, clear meat juices, and a temperature above 165°F.
Although sausages are inexpensive and come with a how-to cooking guide, you can’t tell if the sausage is done without some experience.
If you are just starting to cook sausages, then you should consider examining the various aspects of sausage before making a final decision.
When I first started cooking sausage, I used to be really sensitive about the doneness of the sausage, and to be honest, I made all the mistakes that one can make while checking the doneness.
I learned this the hard way, but I am going to explain it to you so that you can check the doneness effectively.
How to tell when sausage is done: things to check
Sausages come in a number of varieties and their doneness can also vary depending on their composition.
But by analyzing most of the aspects and taking a bird’s eye view of the sausage, you can easily tell if it’s done yet or not.
There are various factors that can help us in the determination of the doneness of a sausage, but the most common things that are used to tell the doneness are color, texture, temperature and the wiggling of the sausage.
Although you can assume the doneness of sausage by various methods, the most accurate way of telling the doneness is by its temperature.
If the temperature of the sausage is high enough to kill the pathogens, then you can consider the sausage done.
Different people have different methods of determining the doneness depending on their personal choice of how they want their sausage to be and the composition of the sausage.
I personally like to check these factors to determine the doneness of sausage.
Appearance of sausage
A done sausage will have a golden brown or dark color, while an undercooked sausage will have a different color depending on the type of meat used in the sausage.
If it’s made from poultry, then it will have a whitish color.
If it is made from pork or beef meat, it can have a reddish to pink color.
It doesn’t require much effort to tell the difference between an undercooked sausage and a done sausage depending on its appearance.
If you’ve been eating sausages for a while, you might be able to tell the difference between a cooked and a raw sausage.
However, distinguishing between an undercooked and done sausage can be difficult due to their similar appearance.
If you are not able to tell if the sausage is done yet or not, then please don’t start beating yourself at this point.
Because we are going to examine the other aspects of sausage before judging its doneness. Deciding the quality on the basis of a single factor can often give wrong results.
After analyzing the appearance of the sausage, you might have an idea of the doneness, but it can only be verified if the temperature of the sausage is also high enough to kill the pathogens.
The temperature can vary depending on the composition of the sausage.
Sausage is usually prepared from ground meat, and it can also result in foodborne illness if eaten uncooked.
Salmonella is the most common bacteria present inside the meat of poultry, which can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, or even typhoid fever.
So it is better to check the internal temperature before eating.
If the sausage has been prepared from poultry meat like chicken or turkey, then the internal temperature of the sausage should be around 160°F to be considered as done.
At this temperature, the pathogens present inside the sausage are killed.
While in the case of beef or pork, the temperature should be a bit higher to make sure most of the pathogens are killed.
Usually, a sausage prepared from the meat of beef should have an internal temperature of 165°F to be considered as done.
The internal temperature of the sausage is the most accurate way to tell the doneness of the sausage.
The appropriate internal temperature makes sure that the pathogens inside the sausage are killed and it’s safe to eat.
Even if you are sure about the doneness of the sausage on the basis of its appearance, you should consider checking the internal temperature to be on the safe side.
The appearance of the sausage shows if it’s been exposed to heat or not, but the internal temperature indicates if the heat was high enough to kill the pathogens.
Procedure to check the internal temperature of a sausage
To check the internal temperature of the sausage, first you will need to have a good quality instant read thermometer.
These thermometers are not costly but can help you make sure that the sausage is cooked properly.
To check the internal temperature of sausage, you should consider inserting the probe of the thermometer into the hole of the sausage at the end of the link.
The thermometer will measure the temperature and display it on its screen.
The temperature should be around 160°F to consider the sausage done.
You should also make sure that the thermometer is accurate by buying a good quality thermometer and calibrating it from time to time to increase its accuracy.
After you have checked the internal temperature of the sausage, you might have assumed whether the sausage is done or not.
But we advise you to take other aspects of the sausage into account before making a final decision.
Another method used to check the doneness of sausage is the bounce test. It is not as difficult as it appears.
You just have to pick a sausage and drop it into the dish. If the sausage bounces back, then it is considered as done.
You should consider testing all of the sausages one by one to separate the ones that are still uncooked from those that are cooked.
The bouncing of the sausages is due to the change in their texture after they are done.
Usually, when the sausage is made from ground meat, which has a lot of moisture when uncooked, But after the sausage is done, it loses moisture and all the chunks of meat stick to each other.
Due to the way the sausage bounces upon falling,
Texture is another aspect of the sausage which should be taken into account before making the final decision.
The raw sausage is soft and fleshy, while once it is done, it will have a firm texture due to evaporation of moisture.
You can check the firmness of the sausage by pressing it between your fingers. If the surface seems firm, then there is a higher chance that the sausage is done.
If it feels soft and mushy, then you should consider cooking it for some time.
Another way to check the doneness of sausage is by picking up a sausage with the help of tongs and wiggling it.
If the sausage seems floppy and wiggles easily, then it is undercooked and needs extra cooking to be done properly.
Sausages are usually made of ground meat, so like any meat product, they also start to get firm over time.
You should consider taking into account the firmness along with other aspects to accurately decide the doneness of the sausage.
Sausages are also made up of meat, so their color also changes from pink to white or opaque once they are done.
However, if the sausages are made with lean meat, the color change will be less noticeable.
The internal color of a sausage is also a determinant of its doneness. But you need to cut the sausage to check its color for doneness.
There are two schools of thoughts on cutting the sausages to check their color for doneness.
Some people prefer to cut the sausage to see its internal color to ensure its doneness because cutting sausage is better than eating undercooked sausage and getting ill.
Others oppose cutting the sausages because it can result in loss of moisture and meat juices.
I prefer to cut the sausages only if I am unsure of the doneness in other ways.
You can cut them if you want to, or you can also make your decision on the basis of other factors. Either way, there is a low probability of error.
After you have examined the color of the sausage, you should consider checking the color of the meat juices to make sure the sausage is done.
Although there will be fewer meat juices in sausage, there will be enough to determine when it is done.
To check the color of the meat juices, you should poke the sausage with a toothpick or a skewer. Meat juices will start to seep out of the sausage after sometime.
If they are pink and watery, then the sausage is undercooked.
A done sausage will have thick meat juices with a clear color. The pink color in the sausages is due to the presence of blood.
You should make sure to poke the sausage in different locations to check the color accurately.
Use your experience
After you have analyzed the sausage by all the methods given above, you should try to re-evaluate the sausage based on your experience.
You should consider using your senses like touching and smelling to see if it is done.
If you have a little bit of prior experience of cooking, then you should be able to tell if the sausage is done or not by now.
If you are still unsure if the sausage is done or not, then you should consider cooking it for 2-3 minutes and analyzing it again.
How to tell when sausage is done without thermometer
If you have a thermometer, then you can remove the guesswork and tell the doneness accurately.
But some people don’t know how to use a thermometer or want to tell the doneness in the traditional way without using a thermometer.
By examining its color, texture, meat juices, and appearance, you can tell if the sausage is done or not.
If the color of the sausage is red brown with a firm texture, clear meat juices, and a whitish color internally, then you can conclude that the sausage is done.
- To check the temperature without a thermometer, you can poke a skewer into the sausage and wait for 8 seconds.
- After that, you should remove the skewer from the sausage and place it on your bottom lip.
- If it’s hot, then you can assume that the pathogens inside the sausage have been killed.
But to increase the accuracy of the results, you should consider investing in a thermometer. It will not cost much, but it will assist you in effectively determining doneness.
Moreover, you should consider calibrating it from time to time to make sure it is accurate.
Pro tip: Best way to make sure that sausages are done every time after frying or grilling?
Although sausages are inexpensive, it can be tricky to tell their doneness because they are usually made of a mixture of meat from different animals,,
which means it’s difficult to tell at which temperature or color they are done.
To make sure that your sausages are done every time you finish frying, you should consider boiling them prior to cooking.
It’s really effective to cook the sausages properly because boiling them will make sure the pathogens are killed and frying will give the sausages a good appearance.
It is tricky to tell the doneness of sausages because they are usually made of a mixture of different meats.
If the internal temperature of the sausage is above 165°F with a golden brown color and clear meat juices, then you can conclude that the sausage is done.
if you are interested in digging deeper into checking doneness ,then don’t forget read our article on where to probe brisket
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