Chicken sausage is a delicious way to enjoy the taste of chicken. It can be used in many dishes and is especially good with pasta, eggs, or soup.
However, it’s important that you know how to tell if a chicken sausage has been cooked properly before you eat it. If not cooked properly, raw chicken sausage can contain salmonella — a bacteria that causes food poisoning.
As long as you’re using a proper cooking technique, and not eating your chicken sausage raw, then you’re free to enjoy it any time! Let’s take a closer look at how to tell if chicken sausage is cooked or not.
Table Of Contents:
How To Tell If A Chicken Sausage Is Cooked
If you’re in a hurry, you can tell if a chicken sausage is cooked by using the touch test. Raw sausage will be slightly slimy on the outside—especially if it has a thin, natural casing.
All sausages, including those with artificial casing, will be soft to the touch when uncooked.
You can also insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the sausage to make sure it’s the correct internal temperature (more on that below). This is especially helpful if you’re baking your chicken sausage in the oven.
Try doing a visual check on your sausage as well. Check for a change in color, or juices appearing on the surface after being cooked.
back to menu ↑
Chicken Sausage Temperature (Guide)
165°F is the recommended internal temperature for cooked chicken sausage. As we mentioned, chicken sausage has a lower fat content and therefore a higher water content than regular pork sausage. Therefore, it cooks much faster.
All food safety guidelines recommend cooking sausage at 165°F and it is also the temperature at which all harmful bacteria are killed. Brown your chicken sausage over medium heat for the best flavor and texture.
Here’s how to tell if sausage is cooked, even if you don’t have a meat thermometer.
Check the color of the outside.
Fresh chicken sausages are light pink and may be translucent in an appearance before you cook them. So if your chicken sausage is pink on the outside, it needs more time to cook.
If the sausage is white or translucent when cooked, that means it’s undercooked and should be returned to heat for a longer period of time before serving.
If a chicken sausage is brown on the outside, it is done. When they’re fully cooked, they’ll be dark in color with an opaque appearance on their outer surface.
Slice one open and look at the inside.
If you plan on eating the sausage right away, test it to see if it’s cooked. Slice one open and look at the inside: if there are clear juices, your chicken sausage is cooked through. If there are pink juices, it needs more time in the oven (or under a broiler).
Tilt the sausage toward you — if juices run clear, it’s done.
When you’re cooking sausages, the juices should run clear, not pink. If you tilt your sausage towards you and see pink liquid in the middle, then it’s not done yet.
If there are no juices at all coming out of your sausage, then it hasn’t cooked long enough and needs to go back in the oven for another five minutes.
With thick-cut chicken sausage, it may be browned on both sides but isn’t fully cooked all the way through. This technique can also be used to check if there is any pink meat inside.
If there is any pink meat under that beautiful crisp golden brown exterior shell, then something went wrong with your cooking process and those sausages need more time in the oven before eating them.
back to menu ↑
3 Best Ways To Cook Chicken Sausage (Guide)
1. Baking Chicken Sausage
Baking is a great method for cooking chicken sausage because it doesn’t require any oil or butter. If you’re hoping for a delicious sausage to enjoy with your breakfast or mix it into your favorite pasta dish, you want to make sure it stays juicy throughout the cooking process.
A good way to do this is by baking in an oven that’s set at 350℉(177 ℃). This will ensure that all of its juices stay inside where they belong!
Slice up some garlic and onions to toss onto your baking dish along with the chicken sausage!
It’s a great way to add some extra flavor and add more variety to your meals.
2. Cooking Chicken Sausage on the Stovetop
If you want to cook your chicken sausage quickly, then using a stovetop is an excellent option. You can add a little butter or oil to the pan if you like. But most sausage has enough on its own that you don’t need to add much.
You’ll want to heat up a skillet over medium-high heat while adding small amounts of water (or broth), oil, or butter as needed. Be careful not to add water to hot oil, or it may jump out at you!
Once this liquid begins bubbling lightly, place your sausage into the pan and cook for 7-10 minutes on each side. Let the sausage rest for a minute or two before slicing it.
3. Grilling Chicken Sausage
Cooking your sausage on a grill adds a nice charred flavor without sacrificing its juiciness. You can cook it with onions and bell peppers, and throw it all together on a roll for a delicious sandwich.
Heat your grill to about 350℉(177 ℃). Place your sausage on the grill so it comes in direct contact with the flame, and cook it for about 20 minutes.
Turn the sausage occasionally for a nice, even grill. Brown it for about 10 minutes on each side. If you feel like pre-cooking your sausage, grill it for 10 minutes instead for a satisfying char.
back to menu ↑
When it comes to cooking sausage, it’s important to know what you’re doing. Otherwise, you could end up with a dry, overcooked piece of meat or even worse—a food poisoning diagnosis!
Keep these tips and tricks in mind when preparing your next meal with chicken sausage and enjoy the deliciousness of this tasty treat without any worries about what might happen if you don’t cook it right.
back to menu ↑
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you eat slightly undercooked sausage?
If your chicken sausage is just slightly pink on the inside, you don’t have to panic. But it’s best to ensure they’re heated enough to kill harmful bacteria like salmonella.
If the sausages look and smell good (no black spots, no foul odor), and you know how long they’ve been sitting out, then you can safely chow down on them. However, if there are any signs of spoilage (see below), toss ’em!
In general, the USDA recommends cooking ground meats until an internal temperature of 160°F is reached. That said, salmonella is killed at 140°F so if you want to err on the side of caution (even though it’s not necessary), go ahead and cook your patties all the way through. The same goes for poultry: 165°F will do it!
back to menu ↑
Is chicken sausage healthy for weight loss?
If you’re looking for a lower-fat and calorie alternative to pork sausage, consider chicken sausage. Chicken sausage is high in protein and iron. You can use it as an alternative to ground meat in many recipes or enjoy it as part of a healthy breakfast on its own or with egg whites and spinach. It’s higher in fat content than 3 oz of chicken breast, but it’s still a great source of protein.
Chicken sausage also contains zinc, which helps with wound healing, cell growth, gene regulation, and more. Zinc also benefits your immune system by keeping cold symptoms at bay while they heal your body from the inside out.
back to menu ↑
How long does cooked sausage last in the fridge?
You should refrigerate cooked sausage within 2 hours of cooking. Cooked sausage will last in the fridge for about as long as banana pudding, up to 3-4 days.
If you want to store cooked sausage longer, freeze it. Frozen cooked sausage will keep for up to 3 months before being discarded.
back to menu ↑
How to tell if a chicken sausage is bad?
You can tell if a sausage is bad by checking the expiration date. If you see that it has gone bad, throw it away. Although, some packaging contains a “sell by” date instead. If this is the case, you don’t have to necessarily throw your food away at the “best by” or “sell by date”. Most food can last up to days or even weeks after this date.
Since this date is not regulated, it’s best to check for signs of your food going bad before throwing it away and wasting it. You should look at your package of sausage for signs of spoilage: mold, discoloration, and an off smell can all indicate that a food item has gone bad.
If you still aren’t convinced about whether or not your chicken sausages are safe to eat, take a closer look at them (and smell them). If they seem okay but have been sitting out for too long, put them back in the fridge immediately!
As we’ve mentioned before in other articles on this blog – don’t let your food go bad.