How to Tell if Chicken Sausage Is Cooked (Explained!)

Chicken sausages are a favorite dish among many because they can be prepared in various ways and have excellent flavor. However, it’s not always easy to cook them just right, especially if you’re a beginner.

The easiest way to tell if a chicken sausage is cooked is by monitoring the temperature with a meat thermometer and checking the sausage’s appearance.

Chicken sausage should reach an internal temperature of 165° Fahrenheit (74° Celsius) to be safe to eat.

Here’s my favorite meat thermometer that’s very affordable and reliable (keep reading for my other favorites across all price ranges):

This article will explain how to tell if chicken sausage is cooked and help you make a delicious meal for friends or family.

how to tell if chicken sausage is cooked

How Do You Know When Chicken Sausages Are Cooked?

The easiest way to know when your sausages are cooked is to use a meat thermometer. All you have to do is insert the needle into the sausage and check the temperature.

For example, the right temperature for chicken sausages is 165° Fahrenheit (74° Celsius). You’ll know the sausages are cooked when they maintain this temperature for at least 30 seconds.

If the temperature is higher, the fat inside the sausages will melt, and you’ll end up with dry sausages.

If the temperature is lower, the meat won’t be safe to consume, and you can end up with food poisoning or bacterial infection.

When it comes to poultry meats, like chicken or turkey sausage, it’s crucial to cook them properly to avoid getting sick.

My Favorite Meat Thermometers

How To Tell if Chicken Sausage is Cooked Without a Thermometer

If you don’t have a meat thermometer, pay attention to the appearance of the sausages to ensure that you don’t overcook/undercook them.

There are several tricks you can use to establish if the sausages are done.

chicken sausage on grill

Cut the meat

If you want to ensure your chicken sausages are cooked, cut into the center of one and examine the meat inside. If the sausage is pink and looks raw and fluffy, it’s not cooked yet.

On the other hand, if the sausage is clear, firm, and has a brownish color, it’s ready.


If you’re unsure how long it will take for a chicken sausage to cook, you can take one, cook it, and keep track of the times and doneness.

The experiment won’t fail. Even if you’ve established you’ve undercooked or overcooked your sausage, you’ll know for the future and adjust your procedure accordingly.

Touch Test

Another way to establish if the meat is cooked is by touching it.

For example, cut a piece of the sausage. Touch the fleshy part underneath your thumb, and then touch the meat. If they’re similar in structure, it means the meat is still raw.

Pick It Up

Use tongs to pick up a sausage and wiggle it. If it’s floppy and moves too much, it’s still raw. If it’s firm but bouncy, it’s cooked.

Pay Attention to Time

Depending on the size of the sausages, it should take about 12-15 minutes to cook them on medium-high heat.

How Long Does It Take to Cook Chicken Sausage?

As mentioned, if you use medium-high heat, your sausages should be ready in about 12-15 minutes.

When cooking sausage, it’s important to preheat the skillet or pan. You should cook your sausages at about 325° Fahrenheit (160° Celsius).

Sausages should be cooked slowly and evenly. If you increase the temperature, you’ll end up with dry, burnt meat. If you decrease it, the sausages might be raw and compromise your health.

To make sure they’re evenly cooked, you should regularly turn the sausages. If you don’t, you risk overcooking one side and undercooking the other.

The skin should look evenly cooked with a golden-brown color.

sausages cooking in a pan

Can Chicken Sausage Be Pink in the Middle?

The important thing about cooking chicken sausages is the temperature.

According to the USDA, if the meat temperature has reached 165° Fahrenheit or 74° Celsius, it’s safe to consume it.

If the meat is still a little pink but has reached the required temperature, you can eat it. But if you don’t have a meat thermometer, don’t risk it; cook the meat a little longer.

If the inside of a chicken sausage is bloody and looks raw, it means it wasn’t cooked long enough. The interior should be pale, with a brownish color, but it shouldn’t be pink.

If the meat is undercooked, bacteria might still be present, causing severe health problems, including food poisoning and infections.

What Happens if You Eat Undercooked Chicken Sausage?

Eating undercooked sausages or even cooked sausages that sat out for too long can harm your health and cause different problems.

The most common one is trichinosis – a food-borne disease caused by eating undercooked or raw meat infected with a worm called trichinella spiralis.

This disease can cause various unpleasant symptoms: abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation, sore muscles, fever, chills, sweating, thirst, etc.

Severe cases of trichinosis are characterized by the inability to control movements, heart muscle inflammation, breathing problems, etc.

Trichinosis symptoms can last up to 45 days after eating the infected meat. Therefore, the best way to prevent getting trichinosis is by cooking the meat until it reaches safe temperatures.

Also, raw meat can often be infected with various bacteria such as salmonella or campylobacter. Both bacteria cause similar symptoms: fever, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, cramps, etc.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the symptoms usually start between six hours and six days after consuming the infected meat.

Most people recover without any medication. However, in severe cases, people require antibiotics to help the recovery process.

If you suspect you’ve eaten undercooked meat, it’s not recommended to induce vomiting since this could damage your stomach.

The best thing you can do is stay hydrated and monitor your symptoms. If you experience severe problems, visit a doctor.

man with stomachache

What Is the Best Way to Cook Chicken Sausages?

Many people claim that the best way to cook chicken sausages is to boil them first and then fry or grill them.

Cook the sausages in boiling water for about seven to eight minutes, and then fry them in a pan.

This lowers the chances of not reaching the desired temperature and helps to kill harmful bacteria.

In Summary

Now you’ve learned how to tell if chicken sausage is cooked.

Though chicken sausage is a different type of meat compared to pork sausage, it still needs to be cooked properly.

The best way to keep track of the cooking process is by using a meat thermometer.

This holds true for any type of sausage from turkey sausage to chorizo.

If you don’t have one, there are various ways to test if the meat is ready.

Since eating undercooked sausages can cause different health problems, always cook them evenly and adequately.

Stick to the instructions, and you’ll become a pro in cooking chicken sausages.

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