Skip to Content

Can Italian Sausage Be Pink?

Can Italian Sausage Be Pink?

Yes. An Italian sausage that is a bit pink inside is perfectly fine to eat, if it has otherwise been well cooked (to a temperate of around 160F).


The main reason your Italian sausage may still be pink after cooking it is the nitrates or salt. The salt will cause the sausage to stay a bit pink.

Another reason is that pork inside the sausage casing is minced. Minced meat tends to have a pink hue even after it’s properly cooked.

Sausage often has red pepper flakes and paprika in it, so that’s another reason why your meat may be pink. As long as your sausage is fresh and you have cooked it to an internal temperature of 160 degrees, a little pink is harmless.

Why Is Your Italian Sausage Pink Inside

What Are The Best Ways To Properly Cook Italian Sausages?

If you’re looking for a surefire way to cook your sausages all the way through without drying them or burning them, we’ve got you covered. But first, let’s begin with what not to do. You should not cook it:

  • too fast
  • too hot
  • unevenly

These 3 things can cause your sausage to be dry and singed on the outside and still be raw on the inside.

Another thing you should never do is poke holes in it. It is sometimes recommended that holes need to be poked into the sausage casing to reduce cooking time. It does not help them cook quicker. But it does allow all the juices to escape, which will dry out the meat.

The purpose of the casing is to keep the meat and its juices in. So here are some great ways to cook your sausage.

1. Stovetop


-Put your sausage in a skillet with water.

-Bring to a slow simmer, cover, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes.

-Uncover and allow any water to evaporate, while continuing to cook and turning frequently until browned evenly on all sides.

2. Oven

-Place links on a foil-lined baking sheet.

-Place sheet in a cold oven and turn to 350 degrees.

-Cook for 25 to 35 minutes or to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

3. Grill


-Place on a 375-degree grill and close the lid for about 3 to 4 minutes.

-Turn every few minutes until all sides are evenly brown (about 15 to 20 minutes).

How Can You Tell If Your Italian Sausage Is Spoiled?

Not much smells worse than rotten meat. So if your sausage smells like anything other than the spices it contains, chances are it’s bad. Sausage will also start to turn green and grow mold if it’s spoiled.

Can You Eat Sausage That Has Turned Brown?

When the sausage starts to turn brown it could be a sign that it’s getting old. The reason could also be that it had prolonged exposure to oxygen (much like what happens to an apple when it’s cut).

It does not necessarily mean the sausage is bad. As long as it has no other signs of spoilage, it is OK to consume it. However, it may be dry and not as flavorful.

Is Expired Sausage OK To Eat

Usually, sausage is safe to eat for 3-4 days after the date on the package. As long as it’s been in the refrigerator since you purchased it. It will be OK to eat for up to 2 months after the package date if it’s been in the freezer since it was purchased.

How Should You Store Your Raw Sausage?

Sausage can be stored in the fridge or the freezer, depending on when you plan to cook it. If you are going to eat it within 2-3 days, then keep it in the refrigerator. If not, then it’s best to freeze it, where it will stay for up to 2 months.

When freezing, keep them in the original package and then wrap in foil to prevent freezer burn. Cooked sausage will last 3-4 days in the fridge and 2 months in the freezer.