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How to Grill Perfect BBQ Sausages Using Indirect Heat
Indirect heat, the secret to perfect BBQ sausages.
Smoky browned BBQ sausages are a summertime treat, and the smoky heat of the grill is one the best possible ways to flavor a fresh sausage. Sausages are a great weekday BBQ meal too, as they require so little preparation and a flavorful dinner can be on the table in literally minutes. Too often though, grilled sausages turn out dry and flavorless, due to incorrect or un careful cooking, and, people tend to cook sausages for far too long. Because a sausage is a ground meat product, it does need to be cooked thoroughly to an interior temperature of 160 degrees, but no more than that.
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, and all of those flavorful juices to run out of sausage, and onto the flames, creating troublesome flare ups.
A much better way to BBQ a sausage is through indirect heat, sort of a smoky roasting of the sausages.
Give the sausages a minute or two over high heat, with the heat cranked up, to color and start to brown the meat. After a minute or so on both sides, turn the heat down to medium on one side, and off on the other side. Arrange your sausages on the grill, as far from the heat source as possible, and close the lid, and allow to BBQ roast.
The sausages will cook in 10 to 15 minutes, depending on their thickness. It's very handy to have an instant read thermometer here, so you can get these off the grill once an interior temperature of 160 degrees is reached.
The difference between a carefully cooked, juicy and tender sausage, and a high heat grilled, split open, dry and over cooked sausage is incredible, and the indirect method is also the easier way to cook these backyard treats.
Serve with good rolls, lots of chopped onion, sauerkraut, a few varieties of mustard, and I even like a little mayo (because sausages just don't have quite enough fat!) on my monstrous sausage roll creation!
If you are looking for an even easier way to cook your sausages, that will also turn out a great perfectly cooked product, you can first poach the sausages until the internal temperature has almost reached 160, and then transfer to the grill for a last couple of minutes of high heat browning.
When poaching water, heat a large pot of water to a very gentle heat, below even a simmer, and never a boil. If you heat the water as hot as a boil, it will also cause the sausages to rupture, spill their juices, and create a dry and bland sausage. About 170 degrees is perfect. Let poach for about 8 minutes, and transfer to the grill for browning. This method is pretty good, and will allow for perfectly cooked sausages, but will not give quite as much flavor as the indirect roasting of the BBQ.
Never again a blackened, split open and dry sausage, with this easy grilling technique.