The Internal Temperature Of Pork Sausage When Done

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Pork sausages are delicious food items that are usually served hot or cold. They are often eaten as snacks or appetizers at parties and celebrations.

The Internal Temperature Of Pork Sausage When Done

The internal temperature of pork sausages should be around 160 degrees Fahrenheit. If they are too warm, they will spoil faster.

It is important to monitor the internal temperature of pork sausages because if you give someone undercooked pork this can make them very ill.

In this article, we will be going into further detail about the internal temperature of a pork sausage when it’s done. 

Pork Sausages Vs Other Cuts Of Pork

It is known that the USDA  has recommended that pork sausages should be cooked to have an internal temperature of around 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Yet, this temperature is much higher compared to their serving temperatures of cuts of pork.

For a cut of pork, the USDA recommends an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thus, people have questioned why the temperature for pork sausage is different to other cuts of pork.

The reason for this difference in internal temperature requirements is due to the grinding process of the meat. However, we will go into more detail about this further on in the article. 

There are various different types of pork sausages that you may come across.

The most popular type of sausage is the traditional pork sausage, like Italian sausage and bratwurst. There are even pork sausage crumbles and breakfast patties as well.

However, no matter the form or shape of the pork sausages, it still needs to reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. 

To reach this temperature, there are many ways to cook a pork sausage.

The simplest way to cook them is to simmer or poach the sausages in a liquid, then place them on a hot skillet or grill to finish the cooking process.

By doing it this way, you make the internal temperature of the sausages rise much quicker.

However, another popular method that is favored by grilling enthusiasts and chefs is to cook pork sausages in a sous vide water bath.

Then again, finish the cooking process by placing the sausages on a hot skillet or grill. With this method, you produce juicy sausages on the inside with a crisp exterior. 

We will go into more detail about these cooking methods later on in the article. 

Why Must You Cook Ground Pork To 160 Degrees Fahrenheit?

As we have mentioned above, the internal temperature between pork sausages and cuts of pork is different.

As cuts of pork like pork tenderloin or pork chop are seen as safe to eat once they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Yet, pork sausage must reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

This difference in temperature is due to the grinding process, which introduces bacteria that is on the surface of the meat into every area of the ground meat.

Normally, the bacteria on the surface of the meat is killed instantly when you cook a cut of pork to a particular temperature.

However, by grinding the meat, you are dispersing the bacteria all through the meat.

This dispersal of surface bacteria, once the meat has been ground, doesn’t just relate to pork. It relates to any kind of meat that is ground.

As a result, as there is surface bacteria all over and throughout the ground pork, you need to make sure that the middle of the ground pork is cooked thoroughly.

This is then why the internal temperature of ground pork and pork sausages must reach above 160 degrees Fahrenheit to make sure all the surface bacteria is killed.

Otherwise, when using the sous vide cooking method, you need to make sure the middle of the sausage is pasteurized.

With this method, you can cook and serve your pork sausages at a lower temperature that doesn’t reach 160 degrees.

Pasteurizing Your Pork Sausages: Time And Temperature

Pasteurizing is seen as the mild heat method that has been designed to kill the majority of any heat-resistant vegetative pathogens and bacteria.

This process uses time and temperature to completely kill all pathogens in the pork. 

Therefore, if you keep a piece of meat above a particular temperature for a set period of time you can then kill all pathogens.

This then allows the meat to be safe to eat, as all the pathogens have been killed, which would normally make you ill if not destroyed. 

You need to be aware of the thickness of the sausage or meat that you are going to use this method on.

The pasteurization process takes a lot longer for a thicker piece of meat or sausage than a thin sausage. Hence, the thickness and size of your meat has to be taken into consideration. 

So, when you are cooking anything in a water bath using the sous vide method, you can control the time and temperature.

Thus, it is your responsibility to get it right to make sure that all the pathogens are destroyed. 

There are minimum temperatures for every kind of meat, that will ensure that all the harmful pathogens are destroyed.

When it comes to pork sausages, all the bad bacteria are  destroyed at 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Although, the internal temperature of the usage can be 150 degrees and above. It only takes 72 seconds for all the bacteria to be killed at this internal temperature. 

If the internal temperature is 140 degrees, then the time to kill all the pathogens is increased.

It can be increased up to 12 minutes to ensure all the bacteria is properly destroyed.

This is an estimate for a sausage that is 1.5 inches thick, but don’t forget the thickness of the sausages will affect this time too. 

By being able to cook food at lower temperatures that is still safe to eat has many benefits. The main one being that the food doesn’t become overcooked and dry. 

Pork Sausages Sous Vide Style

The Internal Temperature Of Pork Sausage When Done

The sous vide method has recently become a much more popular cooking method. Yet, the reason it has become so popular is that it lets you heat the food to a safe temperature first.

Then you can add color and finish off the cooking on a hot surface like a stove top, grill, or skillet. 

You will often see this method used when you want to cook a thick steak. For example, if you wanted to cook a 2-inch thick steak and were aiming for a medium rare cook.

This is difficult to achieve by just grilling alone.

The middle of the steak still needs to reach between 130 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit, however you don’t want to overcome the exterior of the steak either. 

However, with the sous vide process, you can bring the whole temperature of the steak to 125 degrees, and then you can finish off the steak by searing it on a hot grill.

This allows you to reach the correct internal temperature and without overcooking the outside of the steak. 

When it comes to pork sausages, it is a similar approach.

By using a water bath, you can bring the internal temperature of the sausages lower than 160 degrees and finish on a hot surface for color. 

Sous Vide Method

By pasteurizing your food, you can then safely eat the food that is cooked at a lower temperature. 

On average, a pork sausage is between 1 and 1.5 inches thick. By following the guidelines, you can cook your pork sausages in the water bath up to 140 degrees for around 12 minutes.

These sausages would then be safe to be eaten. However, the sugar will look really pale when you get them out of the water bath.

This doesn’t make the sausages very appetizing to eat. Hence, it is advised to finish the sausages off, by browning them on a hot skillet or grill to add some color. 

If you aim to cook your pork sausages in a water bath to 140 degrees, this can take 30 minutes for the sausage to reach the temperature.

Then, once they reach 140 degrees, they need to remain at this temperature for 12 minutes so that all the pathogens are killed.

Using a probe will help you keep an eye on the internal temperature of your sausages. 

Pasteurized meat is safe to eat, but it doesn’t look appealing. Therefore, that is why once they are fully pasteurized it’s best to add some color to the meat.

This is typically done by adding the meat to a hot surface for a couple of minutes. The end result is a nicely browned sausage that is still moist and juicy inside. 

Poaching Or Simmering Pork Sausages

Not everyone is able to use a water bath, but poaching or simmering has similar results.

With this method, you will simmer or patch the sausages in a skillet or pan that is filled with a little beer or water. 

By cooking the sausages first in a liquid, you have more control and can cook them a lot more evenly.

It can be difficult to get a brown and crispy exterior and a cooked and juicy interior without using these methods we have mentioned. 


It is common to simmer or poach sausages in water or even beer in a pan or skillet.

All you have to do is place your sausages in your chosen pan and add your liquid halfway up the sausages. The sausage shouldn’t be submerged in the liquid. 

It is your choice whether you can put a lid on your pan or not. By adding a lid that can make the sausages cook much quicker.

With this method, the sausages should be cooked within 15 to 20 minutes. Then once all the liquid has evaporated, the sausage will naturally brown in the pan, which will give their crispy exterior. 

The only downside of this method is that unless you are constantly watching the internal temperature you can’t be certain if the sausage has been pasteurized at a lower temperature.

Therefore, with this method, it is best to make sure that the internal temperature of the sausages reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Pork Sausage Crumbles And Patties Cooking Methods

Typically, when you cook a pork patty on a griddle in a pan, there is the chance that you will overcook them.

In this scenario, we would recommend that with the pork sausage patty, you use the water bath method. 

You can also use the simmering method. By cooking the patty in a pan with just enough water that manages to cover the bottom of the pan.

The water helps the interior of the patty rise to the desired temperature. While the exterior has direct contact with the pan, to help brown the meat. 


The Internal Temperature Of Pork Sausage When Done

We have found that when using a pan, keeping the temperature between medium to medium-low is the best option.

It is really a simple process. All you need to do is fill a pan or skillet with enough water to cover the bottom of the pan.

Then you can put your pork patty in the pan. Again, it is up to you whether you want to cover the pan, but the patties should only take 5 minutes to cook.

Then, once all the water is gone. Flip them over and keep cooking until the party reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. 

When it comes to a sugar crumble, you also add a bit of water to the pan to help with the cooking.

However, you don’t need much at all, 1/4 cup is more than enough water. However, it can be difficult to know when a crumble is cooked. 

The best way to tell if the pork sausage crumble is cooked is by taking a spoon and picking up some of the crumble.

Then, by using your meat thermometer, test the internal temperature of the crumble pieces on your spoon.

Can Your Sausages Be A Little Pink?

The best way to tell if your sausages are cooked is by using a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature.

This means once they have reached 160 degrees, they are cooked. Hence, if the sausages have reached this temperature, then they are still safe to eat even if they are a little pink inside. 

It would be impossible to tell if a bratwurst was done by looking at it. Even when it has reached an internal temp of 160 degrees, inside it still looks really pink. 

Therefore, it is ok to eat a pork sausage that is still a little pink. However, it is only safe to eat as long as you know it has reached the desired internal temperature.

It is common for people to overcook sausages if they are still pink, but for some sausages they are naturally pink all the time.

Hence, the internal temperature is the best way to know whether the sausages are safe to eat. 

Final Thoughts

There are various ways to cook pork sausages so that they reach a safe internal temperature. Ideally, you want to be aiming for an internal temp of around 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, if you use the water bath method, then your pork sausages can reach a much lower internal temperature that is still safe to eat.

This is due to the pasteurization process. However, you can also cook a pork sausage using a pan and water too. 

With these methods, they allow you to cook your sausages safely to the correct temperatures. Which then eliminates the worry of overcooking your sausages so that they are dry. 

We hope you have found this article informative and discovered at which internal temperature are pork sausages done at.

Also, you know how to cook your sausages safely to get juicy pork sausages every time. 

Thank you for reading!

Julian Wells

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