How To Prevent Sausage From Screaming And Exploding In The Microwave

Microwaves are among the most convenient and valuable appliances in your kitchen, capable of cooking or reheating just about anything. But those who've tried to cook sausages in the microwave have likely encountered one consistent and unpleasant side effect: the shrieking "scream" as they heat up, sometimes followed by a messy explosion. Fortunately, avoiding this hazard is easy and fast.

All you'll need to do is cut or poke one or more small holes in the sausage. The reason this simple trick works is due to the nature of how microwaves heat food. Microwaves create electromagnetic waves that penetrate the sausage and are absorbed by the water molecules inside. As these molecules heat up, they warm or cook the food surrounding them. However, if this water is heated too much, it turns to steam. This can be a significant issue with foods like apples, potatoes, squash, and, of course, sausage. Left as-is, the steam can't escape the sealed casing of the sausage, allowing the pressure to build. Any steam that does escape is forced through small holes or tears at high velocity, creating the dreaded whistling, screaming effect — or worse, it bursts open with enough force to spray the inside of your microwave with grease and juices.

However, by poking or cutting holes (or slicing your sausage into smaller pieces), you relieve this pressure and allow the sausage to cook as expected.

How to perfect microwaved sausage

Experienced cooks may be surprised to hear this suggestion because it's often recommended not to poke holes in sausage as a common sausage-cooking tip. Critics say the practice can allow too much juice to escape, leaving a dry, unpleasant final result. While this can be true, poking or cutting a small hole for steam to escape is a necessary sacrifice when using a microwave. Otherwise, you'll deal with a messy cleanup or other issues with burst casings.

Another thing to consider is all the ways you may be using your microwave all wrong. One misstep you can make when reheating or cooking sausage in the microwave is only using the highest power setting. Using lower settings allows you to extend the cooking time, ensuring the heat has the chance to transfer to the interior parts of the sausage without overcooking the outside or causing a screaming steam explosion.

Remember this trick, and you should have no trouble enjoying your favorites among the many delicious sausage recipes you need to try.