Again in full disclosure, this cook was the result of how to light a charcoal grill.
I can’t count how many times I’ve been to a cookout, and received a sausage (brat, Italian, etc….) that was burnt on the outside and totally raw on the inside. Not only is it unapatizing, but it is also DANGEROUS. People this needn’t be! I believe the most common mistake people make is trying to cook raw sausages like hot dogs. Directly over the flame. Then deciding that they are “done” when they looked done. You can get away with that IF your either using precooked sausages or if you boil or cook them before grilling. Now there’s a good idea (note tone of sarcasm). NOT! Go ahead and boil them, see all that grease in your boiling water? Well there’s your flavor and moistness, that your about to wash down the drain.
Now let’s do these babies right! Sausages are the one thing I have cooked 1,000s of. I have spent literally years perfecting my technique. And I must say, we have it down pretty close to pat.
First let’s look at sausage selection. I have cooked many different “brands” of sausage, as well as fresh stuffed sausages from all the local butchers. At this point ONLY Johnsonville hits my grill. Although I’m always willing to try any new comers.
Now that we have our sausages, it’s time to set the grill up. In my humble opinion there’s only one way to get the perfect sausage. Low and slow. So, for that we will be setting up our grill for indirect cooking. We will also toss a few nice wood chunks on there, may as well guild the lily while we’re at it.
Now just oil your grate, add the sausages, and let your grill do the work while you enjoy some time with your family or guest. After all that’s what we’re really here for, right?
Be sure to flip them end for end, about every 10 minutes until they’re done. Your looking at about 20-30 minutes cook time. Yea, that may seem a little long, but trust me, it’s worth it.
Are they done yet? Are they done yet? Are they done yet? Don’t ask me, ask your sausage. No seriously ask them, then listen to the answer.
No, I’m not crazy. When you take them off the grill and they’re done, you will be able to hear them sizzling. That’s the grease boiling on the inside. Too soon and they’re raw, to long and they start drying out.
Take a look at that. Nice color, not burnt and you can bet your life they’re done. Think about it, you are betting your life, well sort of.
Your first bite will tell you everything, you need to know, about how you did. The casing should have an almost audible crack, when you bite through it, yet shouldn’t be tough. You should notice a definite amount of juiciness. In fact more often then not, we will get a squirt when we bite in to one. On more than one occasion I’ve had to clean my glasses. Lastly you should be able to taste the spices and smoke.
Now that you’ve taken a bite, take a look. What do you see? You should see a nice juicy, gray center, with a pink ring around the outside. Oh, I probably should tell that little pink ring is your smoke ring. It’s impossible to get it cooked inside and raw outside, so relax, it’s not raw.
So if the next time I’m over to your house, and your direct grilling brats, please don’t be shocked if I just opt for a salad. Come on people stop the madness, slow down, and enjoy your grill time. Slow cook those sausages, you’ll be glad you did.