Sausages are the staple of any outdoor barbecue. A perfectly grilled Bratwurst served on a toasted bun with lots of onions, sautéed pepper, topped with some Dijon mustard and maybe a bit of mayo makes a heavenly treat. But getting that perfectly seared, brown on the outside, juicy on the inside sausage requires some pro tips.
Overcooked sausages are every host’s nightmare. A few minutes of inattention or careless cooking renders them dry and flavourless. Cooking sausages over direct high heat, causes the juices inside to quickly reach their boiling point. This ruptures the outer casing of the sausage and lets the flavourful juices drip down onto the flames, often creating flare ups and burns.
Here are our tips for grilling sausages right
1. Use tongs, not forks. You do not want to inadvertently poke the casing and lose the juices.
2. Grill the sausages a minute or two over high heat. This gives them the nice brown colour.
3. After that you need medium heat to slow cook the inside of the sausage. Either reduce the flame to medium or move them over to the unused burner and use the indirect heat.
4. Depending on the thickness 10-15 minutes of slow cooking with the lid closed should be ideal.
5. The trick is to wait until the inside temperature of the sausages reaches 160 F.
6. Remove from the grill and serve
Another crowd favourite is Poach and Grill, where the sausages are partially poached, often with additional flavourings, before putting them on the barbecue to finish.
1. Take a large pot of water and beer, preferably in equal measure. Adding beer enhances the flavour and gets the sausages partially cooked.
2. As the liquid comes to a boil, add the sausages. Wait long enough for the sausage skin to tighten. You are aiming for an inside temperature of about 160F when the fat inside is starting to liquify.
3. Transfer the sausages to a hot grill over a medium low fire.
4. Once you have the brown colour, it is time to serve.
Whoever said there are just grilled sausages for entrée did not obviously look around. Here are some classic and offbeat recipes to go with grilled sausages.
Mixed grill with Balsamic Mustard Vegetables
In a large bowl mix oil, vinegar, shallot, Dijon mustard, pepper and salt to make up a marinade. Add vegetables such as corn, zucchini, squash, mushroom, bell peppers, eggplant, onions to the marinade and let it stand for an hour. Once the sausages are cooked and transferred to the cutting board, grill the veggies until tender and lightly charred. With a couple of turns in between, it should take 8-10 minutes. Serve with the reserved marinade on the side or drizzled over the platter.
Raspberry BBQ Sausage Bites
In a food processor puree raspberries, maple syrup, vinegar, mustard and paprika. Over a small pan cook the puree over medium heat with constant stirring. In about 3-4 minutes you should have a thick and shiny sauce. Add it to sliced grilled sausages. Skewer with toothpicks this sweet, savoury and smoky treat.
Grilled Cajun Jambalaya
In a medium saucepan, toast rice over a teaspoon of oil for about 2 minutes. Add water, cover and cook for 45 minutes. Skewer sausage, bell pepper, onion, okra and shrimp and tomato halves over medium high grill. Add 2 teaspoons of oil and Cajun seasoning, 1 teaspoon of celery and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Grill until the shrimp turns opaque (~5 mins) and veggies turn lightly charred (~10 mins). Add in the chopped tomato to the rice along with ½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning and ¼ teaspoon of celery seed and pepper. Serve the rice topped with the grilled sausage, shrimp, and veggies.
Go on, call your friends, and get that barbecue fired up. Hot juicy sausages are on their way!