How to cook sausages?
Perhaps it’s the ‘refreshments’ that normally accompany a BBQ, but we have a terrible sausage cooking history. We’ve been burning them and butchering our snags for years, pun attended! At The New Zealand Casings Co, we believe that sausages should be treated with the same care as a good steak. So we’re going to tell you how to do it.
Never prick your sausage:
The first rule of cooking sausages is to never prick your sausage and if there are any that are still joined together, don’t cut them. Not many people realize how important a sausage casing is on a sausage. Your sausage casing is what keeps all your carefully chosen ingredients, flavors and juices in and it also dictates the texture and eating experience of your final sausage. A natural casing will also absorb all of your beautiful BBQ flavors, so you get a tastier sausage. So, if you prick your sangers, your precious juices will escape out of these holes, meaning your sausage will be dry and far less tasty. So, again, DON’T PRICK YOUR WIENER.
Defrost & remove from fridge:
Just like a good piece of steak. You need to make sure your sausages are completely defrosted and take them out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before you want to cook them. This allows the internal temperature of the meat to lift and means the sausage will cook-through more evenly.
Have your heat on a low-medium setting:
The next fatal mistake many wielding a pair of tongs make is to have the pan or BBQ far too hot. There are two problems here. First, a BBQ or pan that is too hot will split your casing which means all of our flavors and juices run away (as a side note, collagen casing are far more prone to splitting than natural casings). Secondly, the outside of your sausage burns before the inside is cooked. Most sausage cooking problems stem from having the heat too high. So, turn your BBQ on to a low-medium heat setting. About 3-4 out of 10 or 30%. Definitely no more than half heat. This will gently melt the fat, giving you a juicy middle and crisp, golden outside.
Some people do say that sausages are best cooked in the oven or on a fry pan. This does allow better heat control, and it's therefore easier to get a more even cook. However, there is nothing better than the smell and taste of a BBQ so we think sausages cooked on the BBQ win hands down every time.
Cook low and slow:
Our advice is to cook your sausages low and slow. You need to allow a good 20-30 minutes to cook the perfect sausage (maybe more for a really fat one). Move them around the pan or hot plate and turn them occasionally so that you get an even cook and lots of golden, crispy caramelization (and no charcoal!). For those using a thermometer, take the sausage off when the internal temp reaches 65.6°C or 150°F (note the temp of your sausage will keep rising after you take it off the BBQ/pan).
Don't forget to rest:
Take them off the BBQ or pan and rest them for 5-10 minutes, if your kids will wait that long, which will help the meat re-absorb their juices and remove the risk of burnt diastemas. Now get stuck in. Enjoy.