Grilling sausage is not only a simple and quick way to prepare a meal, but it also delivers incredible flavor that will keep you coming back for more. Whether you’re a busy cook or just looking for a hassle-free dinner option during the summer months, grilled sausage is the answer. In this article, we’ll explore the art of grilling sausage, sharing tips and tricks to achieve perfectly juicy sausage with a charred and crispy exterior. So, let’s fire up the grill and get cooking!
The Best Sausage for Grilling
Before we delve into the grilling process, let’s talk about the star of the show – the sausage! This grilling technique applies to any variety of fresh sausage, such as chicken sausage, pork sausage, brats, Italian sausage, chorizo, and more. As long as it’s a fresh sausage in a casing, you’ll be able to grill it to perfection.
If you’re working with pre-cooked sausages like chicken sausages, smoked sausage, or hot dogs, the grilling process is even simpler. Just fire up your grill for medium-high direct grilling, place the sausages over the heat, and flip them occasionally until they are heated through or charred to your liking.
How to Grill Sausage: The Zone Grilling Method
Grilling sausage may seem like a straightforward task, but doing it well can be a bit trickier. To ensure the best results, we recommend using the zone grilling method, which involves creating two zones of heat on your grill. This technique allows you to first cook the sausage with gentle indirect heat before finishing it over strong direct heat for that perfect charred finish. Here’s how it works:
Zone Grilling 101
The secret to grilling sausage perfectly every single time lies in zone grilling. By creating two zones of heat on your grill, you can control the cooking process and achieve fantastic results. Zone grilling is a versatile technique that can be used for various dishes, including grilled buffalo chicken wings, grilled BBQ chicken, Wisconsin-style beer brats, and more.
If you’re new to zone grilling, don’t worry – it’s quite simple. On a gas grill, you can prepare by turning 1-2 burners to their highest heat setting and 1-2 burners to their lowest heat setting. This creates a zone of strong direct heat and a zone of gentler direct heat. On a charcoal grill, you can achieve the same effect by arranging the majority of the charcoal on one side of the grill and leaving the other side with less charcoal.
Grilling with Indirect Heat
Using zone grilling and indirect heat is the key to achieving perfectly grilled sausage. Begin by arranging the sausages on the indirect heat side of the grill. Close the lid and cook for about 8-10 minutes, flipping them halfway through. The indirect heat will gently cook the sausages, allowing them to retain their juices and flavors.
Finishing with Direct Heat
After the sausages have cooked with indirect heat, it’s time to give them a delicious charred finish. Transfer the sausages to the direct heat side of the grill and grill them for 2-3 minutes per side until they develop a desirable char. This final step adds incredible flavor and texture to the sausages.
That’s it! With the zone grilling method, you can achieve perfectly grilled sausage every single time. It’s a simple technique that yields outstanding results.
Tips and Tricks for Grilled Sausage Success
- Timing: When using the zone grilling method, the sausage will typically grill for about 12-15 minutes in total. Cook the sausage for 8-10 minutes with indirect heat, and then finish it over direct heat for 4-5 minutes or until it reaches your desired level of char.
- Temperature: For zone grilling with indirect heat, your grill should be quite hot, between 500-600 degrees Fahrenheit. The internal temperature of the sausage will vary depending on the type of sausage you’re using. Pork-based sausage is safe to eat at 160 degrees Fahrenheit, while chicken-based sausage should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure the sausages are fully cooked.
- No need to boil: Unlike some recipes that call for boiling sausage before grilling, the zone grilling method eliminates the need for this step. By using indirect heat first, the sausages cook thoroughly and remain juicy and tender without the extra effort of boiling.
Serving Suggestions: Toasted Buns and Tasty Toppings
To complete your grilled sausage experience, be sure to choose the right bun and toppings. A good bun is essential for enjoying the full flavor of the sausage. Look for buns that strike the right balance between softness and sturdiness. Brioche buns are a fantastic choice, as they are soft and sturdy enough to hold up to the sausage without breaking apart.
For an extra special touch, toast your buns on the grill. Brush them with a bit of oil or cooking spray and place them on the grill grates for a minute or two while the sausages finish grilling. The toasty and slightly crisp buns add a delightful texture to your meal.
As for toppings, the possibilities are endless. Stick with classic options like ketchup, mustard, and mayo, or get creative with tangy slaw, sauerkraut, pickle relish, grilled peppers and onions, esquites-style corn, or even a Chicago-style combination of mustard, sweet relish, onion, tomato, dill pickles, and celery salt. Let your taste buds guide you and customize your sausage to your liking.
Perfect Side Dishes to Accompany Grilled Sausage
To round out the meal, pair your grilled sausage with delicious side dishes. Here are a few suggestions:
- Classic summer sides: Potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, or broccoli salad are all excellent choices. You can either prepare your favorite homemade recipes or grab them from the deli for an easy and convenient option.
- Cold salads: Grated zucchini salad or falafel-ish quinoa salad are refreshing options that complement the grilled sausage perfectly.
- Grilled veggies: Corn on the cob, peppers and onions, asparagus, sweet potatoes, or even grilled fries add a delightful touch to your plate.
- Pasta salad: Sundried tomato pasta salad or creamy Southwest pasta salad are fantastic options for a summertime feast.
- Panzanella: This bread salad, which can be prepared using the grill you already have fired up for the sausage, is a delightful addition to your meal.
Once you’ve gathered your toppings and sides, plate everything up with the grilled sausage, and dinner is served in less than 15 minutes.
We hope you try this grilled sausage recipe as soon as possible. It’s the perfect solution for quick and delicious weeknight dinners. If you do give it a try, let us know! Leave a comment with a star rating below, or snap a photo and tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. We love hearing about and seeing your PWWB creations. Happy grilling! ♡
This article was written with Family Cuisine in mind. For more easy and modern recipes, visit Family Cuisine.