To get the most out of your charcoal or gas cooker, you’ll need to know how to grill sausages to perfection. A staple European food, sausages are also incredibly popular throughout the United States.
They can be made with almost any ingredient imaginable, and they come in both meat-based and vegetarian varieties. Some of the most popular fillings include beef, pork, veal, venison, turkey, and chicken.
Before you learn how to grill sausages, you’ll need to get acquainted with the different types that are available.
Types of Sausages for Grilling
Learn about the various kinds of sausages that you can grill at home…
Fresh Sausages are made from fresh and uncooked meats. They haven’t been smoked or cured in any way. These sausages can take longer to cook thoroughly, but the fresh ingredients allow for unique and very pleasant flavors.
Cooked Sausages (also known as pre-cooked sausages) are made fresh by a butcher or food producer and are then packaged and sold to consumers. Cooked sausages can be served cold or reheated on a grill. The benefit of cooked sausages is reduced cooking time. If you need to prepare a lot of food for a large group of friends and family, these sausages will often be your best bet.
Dry Sausages are also popular. These are sausages that have been cured through a smoking or drying process. Some popular examples include salami and pepperoni. While these aren’t often cooked on a grill, you might use these sausages to make BBQ pizza and other special dishes.
Sausage Meat is another option that you might cook on your grill’s hot plate or even in a skillet on a side burner. Sausage is ground and seasoned meat. It’s similar to what you would find in the casing of fresh or cooked sausages. It’s a popular ingredient for pasta dishes and for Italian pizzas.
When learning how to grill sausages perfect every time, you’ll typically work with fresh or pre-cooked sausages. The cooking techniques are incredibly easy to learn, and you’ll rely on them during every grilling season to come.
How to Grill Sausages at Home: The Top Three Techniques
There are three main techniques that can be used to cook fresh sausages. Each method provides a slightly different result, and the best one for you will ultimately come down to your preference. Try each method, find the one you like best, and make it your mainstay for parties, family gatherings, and cookouts with your grill.
Straight Grilling Fresh and Pre-Cooked Sausages
This one’s the easiest to learn and the most traditional way to cook sausages on a grill. You’ll simply take your fresh or pre-cooked sausages, throw them on the grill, and turn them occasionally until they’re cooked to your liking.
One mistake that every beginner makes is starting with too high of a heat setting. Because you’re learning how to grill sausage the right way, this won’t be a problem for you. Start at a medium temperature to ensure that the interior of the sausage is cooked without burning the casing. Fresh sausages will take longer, and it could take around 10 – 20 minutes to cook a batch of standard sized sausages.
The only downside to this method is that you could experience more flareups, due to the fats and juices that drip down into your grill box. Certain grill designs can prevent flareups, and some can even vaporize dripping oil and liquid to add extra flavor.
Turn your sausages every three to five minutes to ensure that you get an even char on each side. If you’re grilling pre-cooked sausages, you can use a higher flame setting, as you’ll only need to bring them up to serving temperature.
Some recipes might call for you to puncture the sausages before cooking. Avoid this, as you’ll get better flavor by keeping the casing intact. You’ll also lose less moisture, leaving you with succulent, juicy sausages that all your guests will enjoy.
Split Grilling Fresh and Pre-Cooked Sausages
Splitting your sausages will leave you with dry cooked meat that is suitable for use in other recipes, such as tossed salads or even pasta dishes.
Cut your sausages lengthwise going almost all the way through. Your sausages will open like a book, at which point you can place them on the grill at medium heat. Cook thoroughly until all sides are browned. 10 minutes will be enough for most sausages. You can use a meat thermometer to check for safe temperatures on the inside.
Sausages should have an internal temperature above 154° Fahrenheit.
Boiling and Grilling
If you want to grill fresh sausages at high heat, you’ll need to boil them first. This will ensure that they’re thoroughly cooked. This method allows you to get a darker sear without worrying about undercooked insides.
Boil water briskly in a pot (you can use your side burner if you have one) before carefully adding your sausages. Watch your sausages closely and remove them when the casing starts to tighten. Let the sausages rest for a minute, before placing them on your grilling surface.
This method creates juicy sausages with soft casings. You can be more aggressive with the heat on your grill, and you won’t have to worry about over or undercooking. When you’ve achieved the sear and color you want, your sausages will be ready to serve.
The Benefits of Grilled Sausages
When cooking sausages over a grill, you’ll cut out a lot of the fat that can remain when frying or even baking sausages. This results in healthier meals that are still packed with flavor. Grilling also helps to keep moisture inside the casing, so your sausages will be juicy and extremely appetizing.
Grilling can also char the outside of your sausages, imparting a unique smoky flavor that you simply wouldn’t get with other cooking methods.
Learn how to grill sausages and enjoy delicious home meals that are quick and fuss-free.