A question we get a lot is, “How can I tell when my fresh sausage is cooked all the way through?” Sausage is a little trickier to detect “doneness” than some other meats; you can’t always use color or touch to tell whether a sausage has been cooked enough to eat safely. Colors imparted by spices and herbs can hide the color of the meat itself, and the level to which the sausage is “stuffed” can make a finger-touch test impossible to stand by.
Fresh sausage is one of the most popular products we sell here at Papa Cantella’s. There are lots of benefits to fresh, raw sausage, not least of which is that it tastes delicious! It’s also simpler to cook exactly how you like it, can be juicier than pre-cooked sausage, and easier to incorporate into sausage-based dishes.
The absolute best way to tell whether a sausage is fully cooked is to use a meat thermometer. Meat thermometers are inexpensive and sold at every major grocery store. To take the temperature of a sausage, remove it from the grill or cooking apparatus and onto a plate. Using tongs to hold the (hot!) sausage, insert the meat thermometer into one end of the sausage; the goal is for the tip of the thermometer to be as central as possible to the densest part of the sausage. If you must stick the thermometer in the top, be sure to stop and check the temp in the middle, not once the thermometer hits the plate. Wait for 15 seconds – if the thermometer reads 160° (pork/beef/lamb) or 165° (chicken/ turkey) you’re ready to remove them from the heat and allow them to rest for about 5 minutes before serving.
Once you’re done with your delicious meal, be sure to store any leftover sausages properly. Home-cooked sausage will last 3-4 days sealed up in the refrigerator or 2-3 months in the freezer. Any uncooked sausage you didn’t get to will only last about 2-3 days once opened, so it’s smart to cook all your fresh sausage at once to buy yourself some time.
Got sausage questions?
We can help! Touch base with the sausage experts over on the Papa Cantella’s Facebook page. We’d love to hear from you!