The Sausage Torture Chamber Just like other meats, sausages contract as they cook, and in proportion to how high a temperature they're cooked to. Cook a sausage over high heat, and the casing and outer layers will quickly get very hot, causing them to contract a great deal.
That said, you can still enjoy sausages from time to time. Just be sure to avoid overcooking them to reduce the risk of HA, PAH, and AGE formation. For a healthier twist, try eating sausages with vegetables to add fiber and micronutrients to your meal.
The combination of trapped steam and direct heat helps tenderize the meat; in fact, even leaner cuts of meat can be tenderized in the slow cooker. It seems almost impossible that meat could get overcooked at such low temperatures, but while it is unlikely, it is still possible.
While slow cooker recipes are designed to cook for extended periods of time, they can still become overcooked if left on the wrong setting for too long. Most slow cooker meals take eight to 12 hours on low or four to six hours on high, but there are also recipes for slow-cooked meat that take up to 24 hours.
You can determine when the sausage is done either with a thermometer, or by doing a pressure test. It should be firm to the touch, but not shriveled. Don't cut into the sausage to determine if it's done, if it isn't you'll lose all the juices inside that keep it moist. A meat thermometer is your friend here.
This tenderizes the meat and allows the fibers to separate easily. However, the muscle fibers in the meat do the opposite when cooked in moist heat; they shrink and become tougher. The higher the temperature, the more they shrink. All in all, you could end up with a mushy or tough pot roast if you cook it too long.