Not knowing when your sausages are done on the grill can lead to undercooking or overcooking.
Neither is an outcome you want, as undercooking can lead to food poisoning, and overcooking can ruin the nutritional content and taste.
Luckily, it’s not difficult to learn how to tell if sausage is cooked on grill heat to perfection.
How Do You Know When Sausages Are Cooked on The Grill?
Don’t let a crispy or even slightly burned exterior fool you.
Depending on the sausage casing, fat content, meat combination, and seasonings, the outside can cook considerably faster than the interior.
If you don’t use pre-cooked sausages on the grill, there’s a good chance the exterior will look done way before the interior is cooked.
Three Methods to Know When Sausages Are Done On The Grill
Use a Thermometer
The easiest and best way to determine whether a sausage is cooked or needs more time on the grill is to use a meat thermometer.
Either type will do, whether you have to stick it in or read the temperature using an infrared sensor.
Depending on the meat combination, the sausage will have different internal temperatures at which the interior is ready and safe to eat.
This method should be familiar and easy to use if you know how to tell if sausage is cooked in the oven.
Sausages made from pork, beef, and combinations of both should reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Chicken, turkey, and game sausages should be cooked until they hit an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This is because poultry meat is hazardous if undercooked.
Use the Pressure Method
If you’ve ever cooked steak, you should know that the feel of the meat can indicate if it’s medium, medium-rare, done, well-done, or raw.
You can apply a similar principle to a sausage. For example, a sausage that’s too squishy or flexible when touched is likely undercooked and should be left longer on the grill.
Firm sausages are more likely to be thoroughly cooked on the inside.
Slice the Sausage
You can always sacrifice one sausage to determine if your batch is cooked. Take one off the grill and slice it in half, preferably at its thickest point. If it’s not watery or runny, the sausage is done.
How Long Does It Take to Cook Sausages on the Grill?
Sausage grilling times vary based on many factors:
- Type of meat
- Casing thickness
- Grill temperature
- Using indirect vs. direct heat
- Using a covered or uncovered grill
- Grill type
- Using pre-cooked, raw, or fully cooked sausages
As many prefer, the cooking time can range between 12 to 15 minutes for regular-sized links if you’re cooking raw sausages.
Thicker sausages may need up to 30 minutes on the grill to ensure the interior reaches the desired temperature.
So, how to tell if sausage is cooked at grill temperatures of various settings?
For one, learn more about the rate at which different sizes cook.
To minimize the cooking time, you can grill sausages over direct heat, although you will risk burning the exterior and overcooking the interior.
While this can add to the cooking time, it can reduce the grilling time to 5 minutes.
How Hot Should the Grill Be for Sausage?
The grill temperature for sausage cooking can vary based on the meat type, size and thickness, and other factors.
Keeping the grill temperature at 350° Fahrenheit is usually enough to prevent the casing from cracking and splitting.
In addition, this temperature will penetrate a thicker cut and cook the sausage’s interior without drying it.
A higher temperature isn’t recommended, even if cooking the sausages over indirect heat.
Should You Poke Holes in Sausage Before Grilling?
Poking holes in sausage before grilling will accelerate the cooking time because the dripping fat fuels the fire and intensifies the heat.
However, this will cause the sausage to dry and have a tougher bite. In addition, it will lose most of the juices that give its unique flavor.
Therefore, poking holes in sausages before grilling isn’t a good idea.
How Do You Grill Fully Cooked Sausage?
When it comes to sausages, many people don’t know how long to grill. Fully cooked sausage grilling can be even trickier because it has a higher chance of drying out the sausage and losing flavor.
Unlike cooking raw sausages, which should be done slowly, fully cooked sausages should be flash-grilled as the sausage is already cooked.
Thus, you only need to brown the exterior for extra flavor and a nicer texture.
It’s best to put the sausages over direct heat until you get the desired char marks and baste the sausages to avoid drying the filling.
How Do You Keep Sausages From Burning on the Grill?
You can do several things to prevent sausages from burning on the grill.
First, you could use a silicone grill-ready cover to protect them from direct heat.
Another option is avoiding sugary toppings, marinades, and too much oil on sausages. These char sooner and can quickly create a burnt crust.
Cooking over indirect heat also reduces the chances of burning sausages on the grill. Furthermore, you can baste them more often to moisten the exterior and prevent burning.
When it comes to sausages, you have a lot of variety. Learning how to tell if sausage is cooked on grill heat takes time.
However, grilling a sausage to perfection will become second nature if you practice and try different meat combinations.
Using a meat thermometer will give you accurate results every time. So whether you’re an amateur cook, a grilling enthusiast, or a pro, a quality meat thermometer is a must-have, no matter how you cook your sausages.
Of course, keeping a close eye on the sausages is just as important.
You won’t cook them with a thermometer stuck inside them the whole time, so watch out for dripping fat and high flames, and learn to practice zone grilling to avoid overcooking the meat.