You can’t beat a tasty pork sausage. This is one of the best uses for the pork meat, because it’s just so wonderfully tasty. There are so many flavor combinations that you can use to craft the perfect pork sausage.
However, when it comes to pork, you will need to ensure that it has been properly cooked before you take a bite. This is because raw pork can harbor a whole load of harmful bacteria.
So if the meat hasn’t been cooked to a specific internal temperature, then it could give you a horrible bout of food poisoning.
So how can you tell that your pork sausages are done? This is where using a digital thermometer will be essential.
You can stick the probe part of the thermometer into your sausages and find out whether it has reached the internal temp that you need.
This internal temp is more important than the actual temperature of your oven, as it will show that your sausages have been cooking at the correct temperature to kill off any harmful bacteria.
Not sure what internal temperature your pork sausages will need to reach before they are safe to eat? Not to worry!
We’ve got all the information you need to know in our comprehensive guide. As long as you follow the advice we set out in our guide below, you can rest assured that your pork sausages are perfectly safe to eat.
So let’s take a look at everything you need to know when it comes to cooking pork sausages!
Minced Pork Has To Reach 160℉
Okay, so the first thing that we need to understand is that pork sausages will need to reach an internal temperature of 160℉.
Now this may seem a little strange when other cuts of pork are recommended to be cooked until they reach the internal temperature of around 145℉, but it’s always important to ensure that your pork sausages reach the higher internal temperature of 160℉ to be on the safe side.
This is because pork sausages are crafted using different methods to solid cuts of meat. The reason for this is because of the mincing process that has been used to create the sausages.
During this grinding or mincing process, bacteria has a chance to infiltrate the sausage meat. Whereas these bacteria would only be on the surface of a pork chop, it is given the chance to be throughout the whole sausage.
So it will be essential to ensure that all of these harmful bacteria are killed off during the cooking process.
This will mean using a digital thermometer probe to ensure that your pork sausages have reached an internal temp of 160℉.
One of the best methods for ensuring your pork sausages have had the time to cook all the way through is by using a water bath method.
Ensuring that your meat has had time to pasteurize is very important. We’ll cover why this is such a crucial stage of the cooking process in more detail down below.
Why You Need To Cook Your Pork At Both The Right Temperature And For The Correct Amount Of Time
Not sure what pasteurization is? This is basically the process where you can remove all that harmful bacteria through heating up the food product.
You will need to ensure that the food has been heated up to the correct temperature and allowed to maintain this higher temperature for a specific amount of time to allow the pasteurization process to work.
If you don’t allow your pork sausages to pasteurize for as long as they need to, then there’s still a chance that those unwanted bacteria will be lurking around.
Ensuring that your pork sausages have been cooking with an internal temp of around 160℉ will ensure that those bacteria have been killed off.
Another thing you will need to bear in mind is that your sausages will need to cook for even longer if they are thicker or longer.
This is because larger sausages will need longer to cook than thinner sausages. If you don’t allow your sausages to cook for as long as they need to, and at the correct temperature, that harmful bacteria will stick around and cause food poisoning.
One of the best methods to use for killing off bacteria is the water bath method, or sous vide as it is sometimes known by professional chefs.
This allows you to easily control the time and temperature you need to ensure that those dangerous bacteria are killed off.
The general rule of thumb is that the higher the internal temperature, then the less time you will need to cook your sausages for.
So if you were to use the 150℉ temperature as a base, this would mean you would need to ensure that your pork sausages stayed at this temperature for around 72 seconds.
If you were to lower this to 140℉, you would need to maintain this temperature for around 12 minutes to successfully kill off the bacteria. This would be for a sausage with an average thickness of around 1.5 inches.
So why would you opt for cooking your pork sausages over a lower heat using the water bath method?
Let’s take a closer look as to why this is a viable option rather than sticking with your usual method of grilling or frying your sausages.
Using The Water Bath Method For Pork Sausages
Now this may not have been the first cooking method you would have thought to use when it comes to pork sausages.
However, you’ll be surprised with how handy it is to cook your pork sausages properly.
Many people tend to use this method for starting the cooking process – so that they can kill off that harmful bacteria – before they finish cooking their sausages differently using a hot stove top or other methods.
Some people will often use this method for cooking their pork steaks. This allows them to kill off that unwanted bacteria, and then you can use your cast iron skillet to sear the steak as needed.
Now this may sound a little unusual using the water bath method for pork sausages, but hear us out. You would need to cook the sausages at a temperature lower than 160℉, but you will have a better control of the time frame you need for this method.
You will need to place your pork sausages into a ziplock or other type of sealable bag so that the water can’t get inside and ruin the sausages.
This method typically works for sausages that are between 1 inch to 1.5 inches thick. You will need to get them up to an internal temp of around 140℉ over a period of 12 minutes.
There’s no need to worry about the fact that your sausages are still pale when you pull them out of the water bath. This is when you will start to use a frying or grilling method to get them beautifully browned up.
Using the bath method in conjunction with a cast iron skillet will be your best bet for getting tasty sausages that are safe to eat, while also having a deliciously scrumptious interior.
You can use any cooking method you would wish to. However, it can make it harder to track whether the internal temperature of your sausages has reached 160℉ over a certain time frame.
Using The Poaching Or Simmering Method For Pork Sausages
Another method to use for cooking your pork sausages is to either poach or simmer them in a liquid of your choice.
You can use water if you would find this easier, however, using beer is an excellent way to add another layer of flavor to your chosen sausages.
If you wanted to follow this method, all you would need to do is to fill your cast iron skillet or frying pan with an inch or two of your chosen liquid, then cook it over a slow heat.
The chosen liquid should be around half the way up the sides of your sausages for the best results.
Using either the water bath method, the poaching method, or the simmering method allows you to ensure that your pork has had the chance to reach the internal temp of 160℉ that it needs.
If you wanted to, you could also cover your frying pan or cast iron skillet with a lid.
This whole process should take between 15 and 20 minutes to complete.
When the water or other liquid has evaporated from your skillet or frying pan, you can then use this cookware to get your sausages to brown up until you have reached the required stage of done-ness.
Whichever method you select for cooking your pork sausages, it will be crucial to use a digital thermometer so that you can monitor that all important internal temperature.
This will prevent you from eating dangerously undercooked pork sausages.
The Best Method For Cooking Pork Crumbles Or Pork Patties
Okay, so we’ve covered the best methods to use for cooking your pork sausages to ensure that they are able to reach the accurate internal temp needed to kill off that harmful bacteria.
But what about when it comes to pork patties or pork crumbles? If you were to try to fry them on your skillet or grill pan, you would of course run the risk of overcooking them and leaving you with horribly dry meat.
The good news is that you can use a similar method to the poaching one that we have mentioned above! Simply place a bit of water in your cast iron skillet or frying pan. There should be enough for a light covering of the entirety of the pan.
This precious liquid will give your pork patties the added boost they need to get to that crucial internal temp for killing off dangerous bacteria.
If you use a low to medium heat, this allows the patties to reach the temperature that they need to without becoming undercooked or overcooked. It will take roughly 5 minutes for your pork patties to be properly cooked.
When the water has evaporated, you can then continue to flip your pork patties as you normally would to ensure that they are fully cooked. You likely won’t need more than a quarter of a cup of water at most.
This method can of course work with pork crumbles too. Just make sure to use your meat thermometer so that you can accurately measure the internal temperature of the pork crumbles to avoid any unwanted bacteria getting in there.
Can Sausages Be Slightly Pink?
It may go against the grain to eat sausages that have a little pink inside them when you cut them open.
But as long as your sausages have been salt cured before you eat them, and that you have followed the method of using a meat thermometer to ensure they have reached the 160℉ internal temp that we’re after, it is fine.
It is better to use a digital meat thermometer to tell when your sausages are done rather than try to tell by eye. This is because you will run the risk of actually overcooking your food.
You can of course do this if you would prefer not to eat pink meat. However, overcooking food will then dry out the meat, making it a lot less pleasant to eat.
You can always try to use your usual method for cooking your meat. But if you don’t have a digital meat thermometer to hand, it will make it a whole load trickier for actually being able to tell when your sausages are finished. Especially if you cook them over a higher heat!
What tends to happen when you cook them over a higher heat is that the outside will brown beautifully, or even appear burnt.
But when you cut open those sausages, they are pink inside. This is why you will need to use a digital meat thermometer.
By using one of these during the cooking process, you can ensure that the center of your pork sausages have reached that crucial temperature.
You will also need to ensure that they have maintained this internal temp for several minutes, so that any bacteria that might have been present has had time to be killed off by the heat.
The best way to monitor the interior temperature of your sausages is to remove one sausage from the grill and stick that probe inside. If you were to try to monitor it while the sausage was on the grill, it could be interfered with by the heat present on the grill.
So to stay on the safe side, we would recommend using the water bath method, the poaching method, or the simmering method, all of which we have gone into more detail about above.
This will ensure that the meat in your pork sausages has had plenty of time to pasteurize so that you can rest assured it will be safe to eat.
The long and short of it is that a bit of pink inside is okay, but not too much pink. This could indicate that the meat is still raw, and could potentially cause food poisoning.
So there you have it! You now know all there is to know about cooking your pork sausages to the correct internal temperature.
This is the most important aspect of the cooking process, as you will need to ensure that your pork is thoroughly cooked all the way through, without any pink bits showing.
This is because pork can provide an absolute haven for bacteria, so you won’t want to risk eating undercooked pork.
The best method for ensuring that your pork has reached the crucial internal temperature of 160℉ is to use the water bath method.
Place your pork sausages into a sealable bag, then heat the water bath to around 140℉ for a period of 12 minutes.
Even though this is lower than the 160℉ you would need for other cooking methods, it will be plenty of time for the harmful bacteria to have been killed off.
Then you can cook your sausages in a frying pan or skillet so that they get that beautiful brown color that you’re after.
You can also use the poaching or simmering method to ensure that your pork sausages are cooked all the way through.
This allows them to reach the temperature needed to kill off bacteria without overcooking or undercooking your sausages.