From summer BBQs to tailgating at the game, bratwurst sausages make a great meal.
They’re quick and easy to prepare.
Oftentimes you may find that you’ve cooked your bratwurst for the allotted time and it is still pink in the center.
It is generally thought that there should be no pink on the inside of bratwurst and if you eat a bratwurst that is pink, you will get sick. So is that true?
Bratwurst is Pink Inside
Bratwurst can be pink inside for several different reasons, and much of it is still safe to eat. A pink middle can come down to the method of cooking that you used for your bratwurst or it can even come down to the mix of different percentages of fats in the pork. On the other hand, a pink bratwurst that is not at the correct temperature is undercooked and not safe to eat.
Can You Eat Bratwurst That is Pink Inside?
You may have been taught the same thing that I was; never eat sausage that is still pink.
However, this is not always the case, there are several instances where your bratwurst is fully cooked and will still be a little bit pinkish when your cut into it.
As long as your bratwurst is cooked to the correct temperature, which should be at least 160°F, you can safely eat bratwurst that is still a little pink in the center.
There are a few reasons that bratwurst may still be pink inside after you’ve cooked it.
How Meat Preparation Affects Color
Brautwurst is made up of minced and ground meats inside of a casing.
Because of the fact that they are individual cuts of meat all packed together, it can be easier to spot color differences.
Oftentimes your bratwurst will be a mix of ground pork that is of different fat content.
This is done to ensure that your bratwurst does not dry out when cooking.
The different levels of fat mean that they will all cook in different ways.
The parts of your bratwurst that have higher fat have more moisture and are more likely to retain a pink color after cooking.
How the Method of Cooking Affects Color
You can prepare bratwurst in several different ways, including, grilling, stovetop, boiling, or in the oven.
Because each method cooks the bratwurst differently, some methods are more likely to produce a pink center than others.
The method in which you are least likely to see a pink center, and if you do it may be faint, is if you boil your bratwurst.
This is because immersing your bratwurst in boiling water will cook it evenly inside and out.
You’re more likely to end up with a sort of greyish color.
When grilling, heating on the stovetop, or in the oven, you are more likely to see hints of pink inside your bratwurst when you cut it open.
This is due to the way that the meat cooks while you rotate it. It also means that the mince can cook to temperature, while still retaining moisture.
If you cook your bratwurst with these methods, don’t cut it open to see if they are done.
Feel them to see if they are firm and if you have any questions, use a meat thermometer.
Once you cut into your breast you will lose a significant amount of moisture by leaving all of those natural juices from the mince out.
When Not to Eat Pink Bratwurst
A pink center can also be an indication that your bratwurst is undercooked.
You want to avoid eating undercooked pork at all costs.
There are a few ways to tell if your bratwurst is too pink to eat.
The easiest, of course, is to take the internal temperature of the meat.
Otherwise, you can usually tell by feeling the bratwurst.
If the sausage still feels mushy or is cold to touch, this pink center is a sign that your sausage is undercooked and should not be consumed.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bratwurst Pink Inside – Why? Is it Safe to Eat?
Does brautwurst have nitrates? Is that why my bratwurst is still pink in the middle?
Nitrates are often used in processed meats to prevent them from spoiling and giving them a longer shelf-life. Nitrates also preserve a slightly pink color within the meats after they’ve been either smoked or cooked. However, bratwurst and other fresh sausages do not contain nitrates, the pink color comes down more to the texture and fat content of the pork.
How can I be sure that my pink bratwurst is safe to eat?
If your bratwurst is a little pink inside and you are worried if it is safe or not, the best way to determine if it is, is to check the temperature. Bratwurst should be 160°F as an internal temperature. If it is anything below that, put your bratwurst on for another minute or two before checking the temperature again.
What happens if I happen to eat an undercooked bratwurst?
If you eat an undercooked bratwurst, you put yourself at risk for food-borne illnesses. As opposed to beef, you are more likely to get ill from raw pork. This is caused by Trichinosis, which is especially common in pork that is infested with a type of larvae. Cooking the pork eliminates this issue.
If you find that your bratwurst is a little pink on the inside, that does not necessarily mean that it is not safe for you to eat.
Bratwurst can be pink for several different reasons.
This can include your method of cooking and the fat content in the bratwurst.
To be on the safe side and protect yourself from food-borne illnesses, you should always check to see that your bratwurst is at a safe internal temperature before consuming it.