BBQ’d sausages are one of the best summertime treats. It’s a really easy way to rustle up a great meal, as they require very little preparation. There are many forms of BBQ cooking, but most BBQs are now gas (either direct where the flames are diffused by a baffle or Infra-Red where the flames heat a system of plates), both types work well. Gas BBQs are quick to heat up, the heat is infinitely controllable and there is generally less mess. For Eco warriors it is probably the most eco-friendly way of cooking outside with notably less emissions than cooking with charcoal.
Too often though, BBQ sausages turn out dry due to incorrect cooking; we have some top tips to get them right every time.
They will be succulent, juicy, and perfect to use in many ways. Served in a crusty baguette they are simple satisfying grab and go food – with no washing up. It could not be simpler, food in one hand, drink in the other. Look for a sausage in a natural casing as it will not burn so badly and retain the succulence. Go for a meat content of between 70% and 80% to ensure you have the meat juices. Any higher meat content can be disappointing as the rusk helps to retain the juices to give that succulence that is so satisfying. As to recipe, we all like the big flavours like Cracked Black Pepper, Cumberland or Lincolnshire but do remember these might not be to everyone’s taste so a plainer sausage like our Honey Roast recipe works well and you can always add your sauce of choice or make up something special in the kitchen.
BBQs often can give rise to disputes as a moment of distraction can lead to a burnt offering as result of a flare up. A much better way to BBQ a sausage is through indirect heat; it’s sort of a smoky way of roasting the sausages. If you cook a sausage over direct heat, the heat of the flames will quickly bring the juices of the interior of the sausage past the boiling point, and this will cause the sausage to split. However, it is essential to ensure that even in poor light the food is properly cooked and not raw; it needs to be cooked to an interior temperature of 72 degrees Celsius. The right equipment to hand helps. Good tongs with nice long handles are essential, and we like using frying pans with holes (now widely available). We recommend that you defrost sausages before cooking and do not try to cook the sausages too fast, if you have a flare up have a plant sprayer filled with water (or beer/cider/wine) to hand to kill the flames quickly (and season at the same time).
-Give the sausages a minute or two over high heat. This is to brown them.
-After a minute or so on both sides, turn the heat on your grill down to medium (or if you’re cooking on coals then move them to the cooler side).
-Allow the BBQ to roast the meat. The sausages will cook in 10 to 15 minutes depending on their thickness.
-Remove the meat from the grill once they reach an interior temperature of 72 Celsius.
BBQs can be any time of day, and are great for a brunch event, for this it might be better to offer Chipolatas or Hogs Pudding these both cook perfectly in the frying pan with holes. Also try experimenting with the pre-cooked sausages (as above) they can be cut into chunks and used on kebabs. A great kebab can be made with prawns and chunks of precooked Cumberland sausage. Wrap the prawns around the chunks of sausage and thread them onto a meat skewer allow 4 Prawns per kebab. Glaze with a little garlic butter and some chopped flat leaf parsley. As with any meal think about the side dishes and drinks that you will accompany the meal, a little extra thought will make all the difference. Having said that a well-made sausage cooked on the BBQ served in a slice of fresh plain white bread in the fresh air will always hit the spot when you are hungry.
Keep suitable bread rolls and sausages ready in the freezer so if the weather looks good, or plans change you can take them out to defrost in plenty of time. Do not forget to have a spare gas bottle. Put the beers in the fridge. Keep an interesting selection of sauces and pickles in the cupboard. BBQs are about confidence and having fun, being prepared will enable you and your guests to enjoy the event to the full.
Have a great summer and if you have a chance, we would love to see your pictures and hear of your ideas.