A BBQ guide to sausages
Check out our other catering articles
The best way to serve a sausage is when
it has been grilled over a charcoal bbq.
With so many different kinds to
choose from how do you decide which
one is the best for you? It is said that
England alone has over 470 different
kinds of sausage. Can you imagine the
variety you can find all over the world?
A sausage is ground pork or beef and now also made with chicken which is traditionally encased using the intestines of the animal but synthetic casing is now also available. Spices , herbs , seasonings and even different types of vegetables have been placed into the ground meat to add to the flavour.
Popular sausages for the BBQ
Bauernwurst - A German sausage in fact the most popular German sausage of them all made from pork and beef with spices including mustard seeds, the bauernwurst sausage has a texture similar to the American hot dog but a lot more coarse.
Chipolata- A very thin, French originating sausage made from pork with regional herbs and spices. They are often eaten in Australia as a breakfast sausage
Chorizo, A small hot Spanish sausage, spicy, cured and ready to eat sausage
Cumberland – rope-like links which are coiled, these peppery sausages are filled with coarsely chopped rather than minced pork . Recently obtaining Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status under EU law in March of 2011 means you won’t find any substitutions baring the same name. To display this status they must be produced, processed and prepared in Cumbria and contain at least 80% meat. Although the recipe can vary from butcher to butcher under the PGI mark the sausages must be formed into a coil and include seasoning.
Frankfurter - Another German sausage it originates from Frankfurt in Germany and it is claimed to be the original hot dog sausage as we all know and love.
Glamorgan- A welsh traditional sausage is composed mainly from cheese, leeks and breadcrumbs. The name comes from the type of cheese used Glamorgan, although no longer available the sausage still retains its name.
Lincolnshire – A pork sausage mainly seasoned with sage. Trying to obtain PGI status since 2004 the group of butchers has not introduced a voluntary tax of 5p to help support a fund to obtain the PGI status.
Toulouse - A small French sausage made of coarsely diced pork flavoured with wine, garlic and seasonings.
Cooking sausages on a BBQ
The BBQ grill has come a long way over the years with such a large amount of grills on the market it's difficult to know which one is the best to buy, I'm my opinion it isn't a BBQ grill unless it uses charcoal and here are my reasons why:
1. The satisfaction of starting your own fire, it's time consuming and sometimes frustrating but once it's going it's worth the wait and effort.
2. The smell of the coals burning, a very distinctive smell you know it from being a child when one of your neighbours is having a BBQ on a hot summers day in their garden and you instantly feel hungry can you really put a price on that?
3. Cooking on charcoal is a skill mastered over the years you need to be in control, have a knowledge of cooking times for each food item and most of all be organised.
Once you have gained the experience the joys of cooking on a charcoal BBQ for family and friends is extremely rewarding.
4. A smokey taste to all the food is the main advantage of cooking on charcoal it adds so much flavour to the food and you can instantly tell the food as been barbecued, how many times have you thought mmmm that smells delicious and then realised there is not food cooking yet?
Im sure there are many people out there that think the opposite to me and enjoy cooking on gas powered griddles I know majority of caterers use gas griddles but in my opinion you might as well just cook the food in a oven and serve it because you would have the same end product.
A BBQ should be about all of the above and using a gas griddle takes away all of the above, you only ever get what you put into something and yes using a gas griddle is easy but at the end of the day is it really a BBQ?
I've gone a little bit off subject as I intended to give you some top tips about cooking sausages on a BBQ
1. Buy the best quality sausages you can find a good place to find quality meat is at local farm shops, farmers markets and high street butchers, try to avoid supermarkets.
2. Keep the sausages chilled until you are ready to cook, never cook frozen sausages on the BBQ
3. Don't cook the sausages on the BBQ flame, don't cook anything on the BBQ flame this is a common mistake it will burn the outside of the sausage and the inside will be left raw.
After you have lit the BBQ wait until the flames are gone and you are left with hot coals that are turning white.
4. Turn the sausages every 2 minutes, you want the sausages to be the same all the way around, if you notice one side is cooking rather quickly keep turning the sausages more regularly.
5. Don't prick the sausages with a fork it's not necessery the inside of the sausage will actually cook quicker in it's case, the case will also keep the moisture inside; by pricking the sausage your letting the moisture out and you will end up with dry sausages.
Be careful when turning the sausages you don't want them to snap in half.