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Sausages are so versatile and come in hundreds of varieties from pork bangers to chicken sausages, German bratwurst or frankfurters to hot dogs. They’re a great breakfast food with eggs or hash, make a quick and easy hotdog for lunch, or a full-on midweek supper with mash, gravy, and vegetables.
Sausages are not only popular because they’re delicious but also because they are quick to cook. But how long should they be cooked for and is it okay if they’re still a little pink in the middle? Read on for our insights into this.
Can Sausage Be Pink?
All sausages are not created equal so we’ll deal with a few of the different kinds. When it comes to ground beef sausages, pink or reddish color in the sausage’s central part is fine as long as the sausage is seared on the outside and cooked until fairly firm inside.
If beef is a little underdone, whether it’s a steak or sausage, it will usually not cause any health issues provided it was fresh, to begin with. If you’re cooking pork bangers, though, it is best to cook them all the way through until they are completely firm and no pink color remains.
This is because pork meat can be a source of parasites such as roundworms or tapeworms. They cause an illness called trichinosis that can cause stomach pain, fever, and headaches. Cooking the meat properly kills these.
Slightly pink pork can still be okay as long as the juices that run from it are clear. This is because some pork sausages are made with colorants or salt treatments that preserve the meat and color it slightly. (This is why bacon remains pink even once it’s cooked.)
If you’re unsure, use a food thermometer and cook your sausages to an internal temperature of 160˚F. Do not go higher than this or the sausages will dry out. To ensure that German sausages are cooked properly, first put them into a pot of boiling water and simmer them for about 10 minutes.
Remove and drain them, then brown them in hot oil in a frying pan. If, after this treatment, your sausages are still a pinkish color inside, it will be due to the ingredients used and not because they are undercooked. When cooking Italian sausage, bear in mind that many contain paprika, a red-colored spice.
This will cause the sausage to look pink or reddish inside even after they have been perfectly cooked. As long as the sausages were cooked to an internal temperature of 160˚F, they will be safe to eat.
The salt content in many sausages also causes them to retain their pinkish color. We hope this has set your mind at rest regarding eating sausages that are still pink in the middle.
If you have any questions regarding this topic, please feel free to drop us a note in the comment section.