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I hear that when cooking sausages, you shouldn't poke holes in them as it will allow the flavour to spill out.

But whenever I don't do that with fat sausages, I end up getting the outside charred but the inside uncooked.

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Poking holes in sausages is generally done to allow the steam to escape, to stop them splitting. – Orbling May 1 '11 at 5:37
@Orbling nevertheless, for at least some types of raw sausage, it's quite important to not pierce the casing until the sausage is finished cooking. I've had the texture on Italian sausage come out more mealy if the casing was pierced, and the flavor was not as good either. If you're piercing that type of sausage to keep it from exploding, then the exploding is likely a sign that you're cooking them too hot. The target temperature is below the boiling point, so it's not necessary to get the sausages so hot that they would explode if not pierced. – Theodore Murdock Dec 11 '12 at 23:17
@TheodoreMurdock: I was thinking more of British sausages, which are a fairly different affair and my understanding of the word. – Orbling Dec 12 '12 at 15:31

If you are charring the outside then you are cooking the sausages too fast. Sausages are best when cooked relatively slowly: on a low pan, or under a medium grill. 20-25 mins in a 200C/400F oven usually does the trick as well.

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I just had an experience with that last weekend.. The BBQ was too hot and we had charred sausages which felt cold on the inside.. :( – notthetup May 4 '11 at 9:17
Yup, you have to be careful with that. BBQ season is food-poisoning season - undercooked food and cross-contamination left, right and center! – ElendilTheTall May 4 '11 at 10:37

I find that boiling the sausages first (in beer or water) until they are cooked, then lightly searing the outside with a little oil in the pan is the best way to cook sausages without splitting the casing.

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