When it comes to versatile meats, smoked sausages are very high up on the list. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you can use sausages in so many dishes.
However, when it comes to smoked sausages, one of the most pressing questions is whether they are already cooked.
- Is Smoked Sausage Already Cooked?
- Is it OK to Eat Undercooked Sausages?
- How to Tell if Smoked Sausages are Cooked
- How to Cook Smoked Sausages
- Final Thoughts
Is Smoked Sausage Already Cooked?
Whether or not smoked sausages are fully cooked depends on how the sausages are smoked. Sausages can be hot smoked or cold smoked.
Hot smoking sausage cooks the meat while infusing it with a robustly smoky flavor. In contrast, cold smoking adds a smoky flavor to the sausage without cooking it thoroughly.
Additionally, cold smoking helps preserve the sausages by soaking up moisture particles in the meat.
Therefore, cold smoked sausages are partially cooked while hot smoked sausages are fully cooked.
Nevertheless, you should still inspect the package to see if the sausages are fully cooked. If the smoked sausages are not cooked, they must be cooked until they have an internal temperature of 160 °F.
Is it OK to Eat Undercooked Sausages?
It is definitely not ok to eat undercooked sausages. Determining whether the smoked sausages are fully cooked or undercooked is extremely important.
Even though most smoked sausages are cooked, you should check the package to make sure it says fully cooked.
Consuming undercooked sausages can cause you to become ill. Eating undercooked sausages can cause Trichinosis, a bacterium that causes food poisoning.
Symptoms of food poisoning can include nausea, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Additionally, you may also experience muscle pain, constipation, high fever, or other symptoms.
Furthermore, certain people are at higher risk for developing foodborne illnesses, such as children under four, pregnant women, and the elderly.
You may even have to seek medical attention if your symptoms escalate.
While these symptoms may seem unimportant, no one volunteers to get sick. Therefore, you should not eat undercook sausages.
How to Tell if Smoked Sausages are Cooked
So how do you know when smoked sausages are cooked? A food-grade meat thermometer will tell you when your sausages are cooked.
I know you’re probably tired of me praising a thermometer, but it really is the best way to determine if smoked sausages are cooked.
As I mentioned above, smoked sausages are cooked when they have a temperature of 160ºF.
However, some smoked sausages, especially those made from poultry like turkey or chicken. Cook smoked chicken and turkey sausages should be cooked to 165ºF.
Alternatively, you can also determine if your sausages are cooked by looking at their appearance.
Depending on how you cook the sausages, their exterior should be slightly charred but not burned. In addition to this, the sausages should be pink on the inside.
Nevertheless, you should not depend on smell or appearance to determine if your sausages are cooked. Always use a meat thermometer.
How to Cook Smoked Sausages
Smoked sausages can be cooked in several ways, including baking, braising, slow cooking, stovetop, and grilling.
How to Cook Smoked Sausages in the oven
To cook smoked sausages in the oven, set it to 425°F and let it preheat. You can leave the smoked sausages whole or cut them in half.
Cutting the sausages in half lengthwise will expose more of the sausage to the heat and cause it to brown more.
Place the smoked sausages onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake them for 10-15 minutes.
The sausages will start to brown after 10 minutes so watch them carefully to prevent them from burning. Once the sausages have a temperature of 160°F, they are cooked and ready to eat.
How to Braise Smoked Sausages
To braise smoked sausages, place 1-2 tablespoons of oil into a cast-iron skillet and heat it over medium-high heat. Sear the sausages for 3-4 minutes per side until browned.
Cover the sausages with chicken or vegetable stock, beer or wine, and thinly sliced onions. Cover the sausages, decrease the heat and cook it for 10-12 minutes until the liquid evaporates and a glaze forms over the sausages.
How to Cook Sausages in a Slow Cooker
The slow cooker method is best for cold smoked sausages. Fully cooked sausages should be added to the slow cooker during the last 30 minutes of cook time.
Cut the smoked sausage into 1/2-inch pieces and place it into a slow cooker or crockpot with 1 sliced onion.
Combine beer or chicken, or vegetable broth with brown sugar, vinegar, and mustard in a bowl, then pour it over the smoked sausages.
Cover the sausages and cook them on low for 6-8 on low or 4 hours on high. You can thicken the sauce by mixing water and cornstarch to make a slurry before serving the smoked sausages.
How To Cook Smoked Sausages on the Stovetop
You can also cook smoked sausages on the stovetop. Simply place 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil into a skillet and set it over medium-high heat.
You can leave the sausages whole or cut them in half lengthwise to increase browning.
Add the smoked sausages to the hot skillet and cook them for 3-4 minutes. Decrease the heat to low and cook them for another 2 minutes until the sausages are thoroughly cooked.
How to Cook Smoked Sausages on the Grill
To grill smoked sausages, set the grill up and preheat it to medium-high heat. Once the grill is ready, add the sausages to the grill.
Cook the sausages for 12-14 minutes until they have a temperature of 160°F. Make sure you turn the sausages over every 3-4 minutes. The sausages should be slightly charred, not burnt.
Smoked sausages remain pink after they are cooked. So, it’s natural to wonder if they are cooked or raw.
Hot smoked sausages are fully cooked, but cold smoked sausages are only cooked long enough to infuse them with flavor, so you have to cook them.
Nevertheless, you should always look for the word fully cooked on the package before you consume them straight out of the package.