A Sausage is a type of meat that is usually made of ground meat (either pork or beef) with different spices, salt and herbs. There are numerous sausage flavors and varieties to choose from. Although cooking sausage is easy, however cooking a perfectly cooked sausage can be a challenge. That is why most people uses a thermometer when cooking to keep track on the sausage during the cooking process. But how can you tell if sausage is cooked without a thermometer? In this guide, we will you show you how to know if sausage is cooked without a thermometer.
How To Know If Sausage Is Cooked Without Thermometer
Before we go through the ways on how to know if the sausage is already cooked even without a meat thermometer, let us first talk more about sausages and the correct temperature a cooked sausage should be.
Ideally, when cooking sausages a safe internal temperature of 160 F a typical temperature of a cooked sausage. When the sausage reaches that desired temperature, make sure to remove them from the heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes and sausage will remain moist. If the cooked sausage’s goes way beyond 160 F, you will get a an overcooked and dry sausage.
There are two main types of sausages: the fresh and the cured sausage. Fresh sausages are sausage with uncured meat while the ones that was seasoned of salt is a cured sausage.
Sausages are made by different meat cuts, most of the time pork is used and the part of the pork are either the leg, belly, loin or shoulder. Aside from Pork sausage, other meats can also be used to make sausage such as a chicken, turkey, beef or a lamb. There are also sausage if you are vegan. A red and raw sausage contains beef or lamb meats, pink and raw sausage on the other hand contains pork or poultry meat.
In case you are wondering, what is used to pack the meat. In packing the minced meat to make a sausage, a natural or synthetic casing is being used. Cooking a perfectly cooked sausage especially for first timers will take patience to learn the skill of identifying whether the sausage is already cooked or not. You do not want to get a brown sausage skin but the inside is still raw.
Different methods of cooking sausage without them splitting
If you do not want your sausage to split while cooking, there are other cooking methods that you can use such as boiling, using the slow cook method, steaming using an instant pot and baking the sausage in a grill.
When boiling sausages, the time for its boiling process depends on how thick the sausages are. A 20-minute boiling time is the typical cooking time, after the boiling time the sausage should be cooked on in the inside and there is no splitting.
Cooking pre cooked sausages in the oven should normally take about 10-12 minutes when at 300F. The cooking time will be longer especially if the sausage are taken from the chiller. That is why if you plan to cook sausages, make sure to take the sausage from the fridge and place at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
Since oven cooking also depends on the type of sausage, you may refer to the guide below for the oven temperature and cooking time.
- For turkey sausages, cook at 400F for at least 15 minutes to get a cooked an not undercooked sausages
- For Pork sausages, cook at 400F for 15 minutes
- For chorizo Sausages, cook at 350 F for 18 minutes
- Lamb sausage, cook at 350 F for 20 minutes
Another cooking method for sausage is by grilling. These method uses high heat temperatures to achieve a delicious grilled sausage. Placing the sausage on the grill and cook for at least 8-12 minutes. Make sure to turning them over every now and then to make sure all sides are fully cooked and are crispy brown in color.
Broiling is another method to cook sausages. Place sausages in a broiler pan and put the pan inside the oven. Make sure oven is set to Broil settings. Start the broiling process and it should take about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, open the oven and turn over the sausages and continue cooking for another 5 minutes to ensure all sides are thoroughly cooked all the way through.
Deep Frying Method
The most common cooking method is by deep frying the sausages. Though this method may be the unhealthy method since it has more calorie content than other cooking method to cook sausages. If you want a healthy sausage, you can use healthy oils such as coconut oil and olive oil.
Pan Frying Method
Sausages can also be pan fry or stir fried over high heat temperature using either a cooking pot, a work or a cast iron skillet.
For a pan fried sausages, on a stovetop with healthy cooking oils (coconut oil or olive oil) fry sausages until it becomes golden brown for at least 10-15 minutes. To check if the sausage is cooked, cut at the center of the sausage to check for doneness.
This method is usually used if you want to make large batches of cooked sausages. Similar to other methods, the cook sausages will become crispy brown too.
To do this, place sausages in the pan and put inside a preheated oven of 355°F or 180°C. If you are baking small sausages, recommended baking time is between 15 to minutes while for cooking large sausages cook them for at least 30-40 minutes.
Listed below are some ways to tell if a sausage is already cooked even without using a meat thermometer:
Color of the sausage
You will know if the sausage is already cooked by looking at its color. A deep brown color sausage indicates an already cooked sausage while a pinkish or reddish in colors means the sausage is not thoroughly cooked or halfway cooked.
Other than that, sausages have juices in which a clear sausage means an already cooked sausage while a red and pink juice means the sausage is not yet cooked.
You will also know if the sausage is cooked by cutting it because of the color of the inside, if the inside of the sausage is still pink it means it is still uncooked.
Firmness of the Sausage
It is also important to differentiate the firmness of the sausage to know if it is already cooked or not. Though the firmness depends on the type of sausage since there other sausages that already have a firm texture such as a bratwurst in which the center does not have a pink color on its center.
To check this, simply press down the sausage. You will know of the sausage is still uncooked if it is still soft, but when the sausage is firm when you pressed on it, it means it is already cooked.
Listen for hissing sound
If you hear a sizzle or a hissing sound when frying or cooking the sausage, it will indicate the the sides of the sausages are evenly cooked. But if you no longer hear a sizzle, it would simply mean that the sausage is already overcooked.
Check Sausage for Juices
As mentioned, if the juice on the sausage is clear it means the sausage is already cooked. But if the juices that comes out are either pink or red, this means that you still need to cook the sausage longer.
To check for juice, you can simply stick a knife at the center of the sausage. If a knife comes out clean (meaning no red or pink Juices), it means that your sausage is already cooked all the way through. But when the knife comes out with pink and red or bloody juice, you may need to cook sausage a little longer.
Smell of the sausage
By doing a smell test of the sausage, you will know if it is already cooked or needs more cooking time even without using meat thermometers.
If the sausage have a smoky smell, this means that the sausage is cooked all the way compared to a raw smell or uncooked smell in which is would be pretty obvious that it needs to be cooked longer. Also, a burnt smell of the sausage would indicate that it is already overcooked.
Taste of the sausage
You can easily tell if a sausage is cooked or uncooked by simply tasting or taking a bite of the sausage. A chewy, raw or undercooked meat would definitely taste raw, while a cooked sausage would taste delicious.
Frequently Asked Questions
When looking at the sausage internal appearance, the meat should not look raw but have a brownish color.
Consuming undercooked sausage does not only taste bad but can be unhealthy to eat too. keep in mind that bacteria can live in raw and unrefrigerated foods that is why it important to cook foods before you eat them.
You will know if the sausage is undercooked if it tastes bland and not delicious. The texture is soft and chewy than firm.
A very helpful and useful kitchen tool is the meat thermometer, used to check the doneness of the meat (in this case, sausages). However, not all have thermometers in their kitchen or rather not used to using a thermometer. That is why, we have outlined in this post the different methods that you can apply to tell if sausage is already cooked or if you have an undercooked sausages.
The best ways to tell if sausage is cooked without a thermometer is by checking for color (deep brown), check for firmness (cooked sausages are firm than soft for undercooked sausages), check meat juices (turn out to be clear than a reddish or pinkish juice) and by tasting and smelling the sausages.
Although it make time some time and practice, you will be able to tell if sausage is cooked even without using a meat thermometer.