Grilling sausage is an essential skill for every grill master. Especially me. My Dad is from Wisconsin, and I was born there. Knowing how to cook bratwurst is a family requirement. Grilling sausage is not easy. Cooking a sausage all the way through before it burns on the outside is tricky, and flare ups from dripping fat make it even harder…if you cook them over direct heat. Sausages are a prime candidate for sear-roasting on the grill. Start them over indirect heat, and leave them there until they are cooked through. Then, brown the sausage quickly over direct heat to finish.If the grill is hot enough, you can skip the browning step – on my charcoal grill, 20 minutes of indirect heat is enough time to brown the sausage AND cook it through.
This is a weeknight grilling recipe, but just barely. It takes 30 to 45 minutes, end to end, counting preheating the grill. Half of that time is hands off – the indirect cooking part – and you can get other parts of your dinner done while the sausages are grilling. Also, because sausage is already stuffed with flavor, there is no other prep work. I take the sausage out of its packaging and put it directly on the grill.
Basic Technique: Grilled SausagesAdapted From: Stephen Raichlen’s BBQ USA
- Grill (I use a Weber Summit. Here is the current version of my grill.)
Print Indirect – over the drip pan Cooked through Over the fire to brown
Serving suggestions: *On a bun with peppers and onions and brown mustard (or pickles or relish or sauerkraut or sliced jalapenos or…)
…Oh, wait, you want more? I so rarely get past that one…
Cut sausages into 2 inch pieces and toss them with pasta (Add some fresh diced tomato, minced garlic, basil leaves and olive oil, and you have a perfect recipe for the height of summer)
Cut the sausages into 1 inch pieces, and serve as an appetizer with pickles and a variety of mustards (Particularly good with the wood smoked variation, below)
Variations: *The big variation is the choice of sausage. In the last year, I’ve used it with:
- Italian sausage (sweet and hot)
- Merguez sausage (lamb, from Great American Lamb)
- Bratwurst (Johnsonville, my favorite)
- Hungarian sausage
- Sicilian sausage (from DeVitis)
- Chorizo (Spanish, uncooked style)
- Chicken sausage (from Mustard Seed Market)
A great addition to this recipe is wood smoke. This works best on a charcoal grill. I soak a fist-sized chunk of hickory (or other smoking wood) in water for an hour. Then I drain it and put it on the lit coals, right before I add the sausage.
Notes: When serving sausages on buns, I like to open up the buns and toast them on the grill for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Be careful if you do this, though; bread goes from toasted to burnt in a flash.
*Leftover sausages are great to have in the refrigerator. Slice them up, then use them in pasta (see the variations), or in a soup, or with beans.
What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? How do you like to serve sausages – any other suggestions? Leave them in the comments section below.
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Click here for my other grilling recipes
Did I mention this goes well with: Grilled Peppers and Onions
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For more information, please see more information about Temperature for sausages on grill