How to Tell if Sausage Is Cooked – No Thermometer Needed!

Published Categorized as Journal

If you’ve ever questioned how to tell if sausage is cooked, then we’ve got the post for you. In this post, we’ll be going over the best ways to tell if sausage is cooked, including a few ways you can do so even without a meat thermometer! So, if you’re ready, let’s dive into the “meaty” details!

How To Tell If Sausage Is Cooked – You Won’t Even Need A Thermometer!

Table of Contents

Undercooked Sausage

First and foremost, when wondering how to tell if sausage is cooked, it’s important to first understand why it is important that you cook sausage all the way through in the first place.

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Eating undercooked sausage can cause many issues. Salmonella, E. coli, and other strains of bacteria can end up in your system, causing horrible symptoms and, in some cases, long-term illnesses.

What Happens if You Eat Slightly Undercooked Sausage?

Eating slightly undercooked sausage isn’t likely to send you to the hospital, but you aren’t doing yourself any favors, either. In some instances, a sausage will only appear undercooked because of the naturally pink tinge it has. 

More on that later.

However, there are instances when your sausage may appear “a little” pink but is actually undercooked. When this is the case, you absolutely shouldn’t risk eating it. Continue cooking it until it reaches the proper internal temperature of 160 degrees F before consuming it or feeding it to anyone else.

Can You Eat Undercooked Sausage?

If you know for sure that the sausage is undercooked, you shouldn’t eat it. Remember that consuming undercooked sausage comes with risks, with the acquisition of E.coli and salmonella being top on the list.

So, is there a good way of how to tell if sausage is cooked? Actually, there are plenty. Just remember that no matter what method you choose, it is important that you refrain from eating sausage that is even “slightly” undercooked. Otherwise, you may end up experiencing gnarly symptoms that will make you wish you had done otherwise!

How to Tell if Sausage Is Cooked

Is It OK to Eat Sausage a Little Pink?

That depends.

There are some sausages that are naturally a little pink once cooked. These include “smoked” sausages, chorizo, and other sausage types. 

Feeling confused? We’ve got you! Keep reading for a list of sausages that would naturally be pink even after cooking along with those that shouldn’t be pink at all. 

Let’s get to it!

Is Cooked Sausage Pink?

Raw Red Sausages

Red raw sausages are those that appear to be a bright “blood” red when raw. These sausages generally contain lamb, game, or beef meats. This is normally because these meats are also red when raw in their natural form. 

Because these meats are naturally red in their raw form, it is important that you cook them past this point. Some manage to eat this sort of sausage when it is only a pale pink after cooking.

Still, if you can, I’d recommend you continue to cook your sausages made of raw red meat until they are dull gray or brown on the inside to ensure they’re fully cooked. 

Raw Pink Sausages

Raw sausages that are made of either chicken or turkey will appear pink on the inside before being cooked. Of course, the same is usually true of this type of meat in its normal form. These types of sausages aren’t safe to eat pink. Thus, it is imperative that you cook the sausage until it is brown or a dull gray on the inside before consuming it.

Cured Sausage

Sausages that may appear pink even after they’ve been cooked MAY be fully cooked already. This is often the case with “smoked” sausage and other cured sausage types.

Still, it is imperative that you confirm that the sausage is pre cooked before eating it. Usually, the package will say “fully cooked” in fine print towards the bottom or middle column of the label. If the sausage isn’t listed as fully cooked, be sure to cook it thoroughly!

When cooking cured sausage that is raw, be sure to cook until it is brown or dull gray on the inside. If the sausage is already cooked, follow the package directions before eating. Usually, this simply involves warming the sausage until it’s heated through. Still, you should always double check package directions to be sure.

What Color Should Pork Sausage Be When Cooked?

Though you may hear otherwise, it’s always best (and safest) to cook pork sausages until they are brown, taupe, or dull gray on the inside. Still, there are some cases in which your pork sausage will stay pink. This is usually true of smoked sausage that comes already cooked. 

Again, ensure that the sausages are indeed already cooked before assuming they’ll stay pink. As for raw pork sausage, you should always cook it through until it is brown or gray on the inside when sliced.

How to Tell if Sausage Is Pre Cooked

At this point, you may be wondering how to tell if sausage is precooked in the first place. Honestly, this is a very important question when trying to decide how to tell if sausage is cooked. The reason is because whether or not a sausage is already cooked will determine how you’ll treat it when preparing it.

In general, we find it to be best practice to simply read the label. Making assumptions based on looks, ingredients, or the sausage’s location in the store isn’t enough to guarantee that the sausage you are buying is pre cooked. Instead, the packaging should say pre cooked on the label. If you are unsure, please ask the merchant you are selling from for further confirmation.

How to Tell if Sausage Is Cooked

How Can You Tell if a Sausage Is Cooked Without a Thermometer?

There are several ways to tell if a sausage is cooked without a thermometer. Lucky for you, we have them all here! Still, it is important to reiterate the importance of ensuring your sausage is fully cooked before eating it. Thus, we’d like to recommend the very BEST way we think you should tell if a sausage is cooked. And that’s using a thermometer!

Using a meat thermometer will guarantee that a sausage is ready for consumption without taking the risk of assumption. If you don’t have a thermometer on hand, there are plenty of other ways you can test a sausage for doneness.

These include: 

  • Slice Test: One of the fastest and easiest ways to text for doneness is to slice the meat open and look inside. According to the guidelines we’ve detailed earlier in this post, you should be able to tell by the internal color whether or not the meat is done. If you are unsure, try allowing it to cook a little longer or use one of the other methods mentioned below.
  • Lip Test: If you think a sausage might be done but aren’t sure, try the lip test. Stick a knife into your sausage and hold it there for about 8-10 seconds. Pull the knife out and hold it to your lip. If the knife feels hot enough (the temperature at which you’d eat it) then it should be ready. If not, then it likely isn’t cooked through enough. Note: Be sure to only touch the knife to your lip momentarily. Doing so for a long period of time may burn your lip. It may also cause germs and bacteria to touch your lip if the sausage isn’t done!
  • Test For Pressure: Testing the pressure of a sausage is a good secondary way to tell if sausage is cooked. To do so, gently nudge the sausage for a fork or knife. If it feels hard and firm, it’s likely to be close to done. If it’s still limp and floppy, the chances are very high that the sausages aren’t yet done.

How to Tell If Sausage Is Cooked

If you still have questions about how to tell if sausage is cooked, we’ve got answers! Check out the common queries concerning how to tell if sausage is cooked below for even more details!

How to Tell if Sausage Is Cooked in Pan

When pan cooking sausage, you may find it tempting to consider a sausage done when it seems brown and crisp on the outside. Unfortunately, this isn’t a good way to gauge if a sausage is done when in a pan.

Instead, use either a meat thermometer or one of the other tips without a thermometer mentioned in this post to determine meat doneness. If unsure, try adding a little water to the bottom of your pan and affix a top. The boiling water from the pan will rise and steam the meat from the inside out. This can yield juicy and flavorful results quickly without you needing to scorch the outside of the sausage.

How to Tell if Sausage Is Cooked in Oven

The best way to gauge whether or not sausage is cooked correctly in the oven is either slicing it open or using a meat thermometer. In this case, a meat thermometer is really key, especially if you aren’t too keen on slicing open the meat.

How to Tell if Sausage Is Cooked on Grill

When cooked on a grill, your sausage will be firm to the touch and either brown, gray, or slightly pink on the inside. Which of the three it’ll be will depend on the type of sausage you’re cooking.

How to Tell if Chicken Sausage Is Cooked

Remember that chicken sausage tends to be white or brown when cooked thoroughly. Chicken sausage that remains pink after cooking likely isn’t safe to eat.

How to Tell if Pork Sausage Is Cooked

Pork sausage usually turns brown or dull gray when cooked completely through. You can slice through the meat, check for clear juices, or use any of the previously mentioned methods for testing your pork sausage for doneness. 

How to Tell if Ground Sausage Is Cooked

Ground sausage that has been cooked through will be completely brown. There should not be any pink or red splotches in the meat leftover.

How to Tell if Italian Sausage Is Cooked

Italian sausage will be cooked through when the inside is fully brown or gray. 

A sausage link will typically be grayish color on the inside when fully cooked. When cooking sausage links, be sure to cook it on all sides. You can also pierce it with a few holes using a fork to ensure it gets cooked all the way through. 

How to Tell if Breakfast Sausage Is Cooked

Breakfast sausage will be cooked through once the interior appears brown or gray.

How to Tell if Hot Sausage Is Cooked

Some hot sausages may take on a red hue because of the spices added to it. Use a meat thermometer for the best determination as using its internal color may be misleading. 

How to Tell if Deer Sausage Is Cooked

Deer sausage will be brown and firm to the touch when it is completely cooked through.

How to Tell if Sausage Patties Is Cooked

Slice a sausage patty and look at the inside. If it is brown, it’s likely ready to eat. 

How to Tell if Turkey Sausage Is Cooked

Turkey sausage should be cooked until its pink interior has vanished. The resulting meat should be gray or brown with no leftover pink remaining. 

How to Tell if Chorizo Sausage Is Cooked

Chorizo sausage may continue to have a red or pink tint even after it’s done. Because of this, we recommend checking for clear juices when slicing, firm texture, and also, using a meat thermometer if you have one.

How to Tell if Frozen Sausage Is Cooked

Frozen sausage should be thawed before cooking. If already fully cooked, they’ll only need to be warmed through. If they aren’t fully cooked, be sure to cook them until their internal temperature reaches 160 F, or until they are firm and juices run clear. 

How to Tell If Sausage Is Cooked Depends on the Meat!

When it comes to how to tell if sausage is cooked all the way you should check the cooked sausage inside for color and clear juices. Beyond that, it also helps to check for firmness. Brown internal color, clear juices, and firm texture are all indicators that your sausage is ready to eat! 


Is sausage cooked already?

Sausage comes in raw and pre cooked forms. Check the package to know for sure. 

Why are sausages still pink after cooking?

Some sausages remain pink, and some do not. Refer back to our post for more details!

How to tell if cooked sausage is bad?

Bad sausages may have a slimy coat, weird smell, odd texture, and poor taste.

How long do you cook uncooked sausage?

How long you cook uncooked sausage will depend on the type of sausage and what appliance you are using to cook it.

Does sausage float when it’s done?

Not necessarily. This isn’t the best way to gauge whether a boiled sausage is done or not.

Categorized as Journal

By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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