How To Tell If Your Sausage Links Are Undercooked

Sausages are a wonderfully diverse branch of meat products that offer flavor profiles for every palate. They can, however, be notoriously tricky to cook. The thing about sausage links is that, when you're cooking them whole, they may look finished on the outside, but are actually drastically undercooked on the inside. Fortunately, there are a few ways to figure out whether or not a sausage is undercooked with the most fool-proof method being the use of a meat thermometer.

A meat thermometer is your friend in all instances, whether you're cooking steak, whole chicken, duck, or sausage. It gives you an accurate reading of the internal temperature of the meat, thereby informing you whether or not it has reached the point where it is safe to eat. With sausages, as noted by Healthline, you're aiming for an internal temp of between 155 degrees Fahrenheit and 165 degrees Fahrenheit. But be sure to check the sausage package for recommended cooking temps, as it could be higher than the general range. If you're buying freshly made sausages, ask the butcher.

While the thermometer may be the best option, not everyone is going to have one on hand. The good news is that, in the days before instant-read meat thermometers, cooks developed methods by which they could tell if a sausage was undercooked.

Test for firmness and clear juices

Long before meat thermometers ensured safe food temperatures for all, sight and touch were the winners of the day when it came to testing whether sausages were undercooked. Now, there are a few ways to go about this. If you're not a stickler for structural integrity, consider taking a knife to the link. Slicing a sausage at its middle to check and see if the center is still raw is a surefire way to see if it's done. However, it ruins the overall shape. If you want to keep the sausage intact, there's another way to check for doneness.

Much like with testing a chicken, you need to take a look at the juices that are exuding out of the sausage. A good rule of thumb is this: if the sausages are soft and squishy, and the juices are pink, they're not done. If they're firm and have clear running juices, they are likely finished and can come off of the stove. You can check the firmness of the sausage either by poking it with a fork or prodding it with your fingers. 

As there are many ways to cook one, so too are there plenty of ways to see if a sausage is undercooked without using a meat thermometer. Just make sure you're not using the method that involves biting the sausage on your plate. That's no fun.