How To Tell If Sausage Is Cooked

If you’ve ever been unsure about whether or not your sausage is cooked completely, don’t worry – we’re here to help! We will teach you how to tell if your sausage is cooked and how to cook sausage perfectly every time.

By the time you’re finished reading, you’ll be a sausage cooking expert!

How to tell if sausage is cooked:

Internal temperature

160 is the magic number. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your sausage. as long as it registers at 160 degrees Fahrenheit or above, it is safe to eat.


Another way to tell if your sausage is cooked is by checking the color. Sausage that is fully cooked will have a slightly pink color in the center, whereas uncooked sausage will be raw and red. Eating undercooked meat can make you sick, it’s best to air on the side of caution.


Another way to tell if your sausage is cooked is by its texture. If the sausage is dry or crumbly, it is overcooked. Sausage that is properly cooked will be moist and juicy, and have a golden brown finish.


You can definitely use your sense of taste to tell if sausage is done cooking. The flavor really comes to life when the sausage is cooked completely, so if the sausage is not cooked it will really lack flavor.

is sausage cooked


Here are some things to keep in mind when cooking sausage:

  • First things first – before you start cooking, make sure that your sausage is at room temperature. This will help ensure that it cooks evenly all the way through. If your sausage is too cold, it will take longer to cook and may not reach the proper internal temperature.
  • The ideal internal temperature for cooked sausage is 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the sausage before consuming.
  • Sausage should be cooked slowly over low to medium heat. This allows the fat to render out properly, prevents the sausage from drying out, and keeps all the delicious juices in. Cooking time depends on the thickness of your sausage.
  • Sausage that is cooked properly will have a slightly pink color in the center. If the sausage is brown all the way through, it is overcooked and dry.
  • If you are unsure about whether or not your sausage is cooked, err on the side of caution and cook it for a few minutes longer. Better safe than sorry!
  • Eating undercooked sausage can lead to food poisoning, so it is important to make sure that it is cooked properly.

Quick tip to tell if cooked sausage is bad

A sign to determine if cooked sausage is bad is to check the firmness of the sausage links. If they crumble easily when pressed on, they may be bad. If it has a sour smell, or if it has been sitting out at room temperature for more than two hours it can be bad and you should not eat it.

Is it OK if my sausages are a little pink?

Yes, it is perfectly fine if your sausages are a little pink in the center. This simply means that they are cooked through but are still moist and juicy. If your sausage is brown all the way through, this means that it is overcooked and will be dry.

How to tell if sausage is done without a thermometer?

There are a few ways that you can tell if sausage is cooked without a thermometer. By cooking the sausages over low heat for approximately 20 minutes, this ensures the meat has had enough time to cook thoroughly. If you don’t have a thermometer, we highly recommend this slow-and-steady method to ensure proper doneness. Another way to tell if your sausage is cooked thoroughly without a thermometer is to actually break a sausage open once enough time has passed and check the texture and consistency of the sausage link. Sausage that is properly cooked will break apart fairly easily without too much effort. If the sausage links are cold inside, or still have a translucent look on the inside, they probably need more time. If the sausage is dry or crumbly, it is overcooked.

Of course, the safest way to tell is to use a meat thermometer, our favorite is the Alpha Grillers Instant Read Meat Thermometer

What happens if you eat undercooked Sausages?

Eating undercooked sausage can lead to food poisoning, so it is important to make sure that it is cooked properly. Symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. If you experience any of these symptoms after eating sausage, seek medical attention. Make sure that your sausages are always cooked properly before consuming.

What color should sausage be when cooked correctly?

If cooked correctly, sausages should be golden brown on the exterior while the interior colors should be slightly pink/warm in the center but overall have a light brown hue. If the majority of the interior sausages color is pink/red, they may still be raw and you should let the meat continue to cook.

cooked sausage cut open

Techniques to avoid undercooked sausages:

There are many different ways to cook sausage so the doneness is just right..but also not burnt.

Here are some of our favorites:

Grilling: Sausage is a classic grilling food. Grill it slowly over low to medium heat, for 5-6 minutes on each side. This will give the meat those nice golden brown grill marks. Be sure to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature (160 F).


Pro tip: Before cooking your sausage on the grill, simmer your sausage in a light beer for 15 to 20 minutes beforehand. It will lock in those juices and really enhance the flavor of your sausage.

Pan-frying: Another great way to cook sausage is in a frying pan on the stove. Put some oil in a pan add your spice and cook the sausage for 15-20 min on low to medium-low heat. It should have a golden brown finish once ready to eat!

Oven baking: You can also cook sausage in the oven. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the sausage for 20-30 minutes

Boiling: To boil the sausages, fill a pot with water or some other liquid, e.g. broth, wine, or beer. You can different vegetables and spices to add more flavor to the sausages. Once the liquid starts to boil, put the sausages into the liquid. Let the liquid simmer for around 30 minutes.

With any of these cooking methods, your sausages will come out golden brown.

Are They Cooked? Different Types of Sausages and their ideal temperatures.

In general, cooking sausages should follow a similar cooking process and be between 160 F and 165 F to be in the appropriate temperature range when determining if the sausage is done.

Chicken Sausage:

One thing to keep an eye on when cooking chicken sausage is the internal temperature. Unlike pork sausage which requires an internal temperature of 160F, we recommend the internal temperature of the chicken to be 165 F. Chicken sausage is a great option for those who are looking for a leaner alternative to pork sausage. It is also lower in calories and fat than pork sausage.

Pork Sausage:

Pork sausage is the most popular type of sausage, it requires an internal temperature of 160F to be fully cooked. It is made from ground pork, spices, and other ingredients. Pork sausage can be cooked in a variety of ways and is often used in recipes.

Turkey sausage:

We recommend a minute to 90 seconds longer for turkey sausage. 165 F should do the trick. Turkey sausage is a great option for those who want a leaner sausage. It is also lower in calories and fat than pork sausage.

Vegetarian Sausage:

Vegetarian sausage can be cooked for about 15 minutes, flipping occasionally until the sausage is cooked through. Grilled, pan-fried, or baked are all acceptable options


Fully cooking your sausage is priority #1 hopefully our guide on the cooking process gave you some good information on how to prepare your sausage for your next outing!

Now that you know how to tell if sausage is cooked, you can enjoy your next meal with confidence. Be sure to use these tips and example’s the next time you’re cooking sausage, and enjoy your delicious meal! Happy cooking!

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  • Pit Master Chuck Gonzalez

    BBQ is more than a profession for Pit Master Chuck Gonzalez it's a way of living. Chuck has traveled the country cooking, eating, and grilling all different styles of BBQ for the last 19 years. From propane to pellets, smokers to charcoal if it's related to BBQ, Chuck has tried it.

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