For a perfectly grilled sausage, preparation is key

Grilling sausages - what you should know


Best equipment to make charcoal barbecuing easy

“The authenticity is great: it’s going back to the roots of grilling,” says Martin Baudrexel. As one of Germany’s top television chefs with credits across the nation’s most important networks, Baudrexel knows his wieners from his wursts. It’s an art as well as a science. Many cultures across Europe have age-old traditions and regional specialities when it comes to preparing, grilling and serving sausages.

Baudrexel offered up his top tips on making the most of your grill. “With sausages, you should start with low heat, and then end with a higher heat that will leave a nice sear for taste and colour,” he advises. “Ignite a few briquettes and let them gradually light the surrounding briquettes, like a domino effect. Minimise the amount of air you let into the barbecue, as too much air will push up the temperature.”

The secret to a perfectly barbecued sausage

"Call me traditionalist but I love the smoky flavour of grilling on briquettes”

The secret to a perfectly prepared sausage starts with the set-up. Many crave the nostalgia of old-school charcoal, and high-quality briquettes offer a longer-term burn that distributes the heat evenly without compromising the fresh, smoky flavour of a spicy merguez or a hearty kielbasa.

From England to Italy and from Poland to Spain, the appeal of a charcoal barbecue is universal. Baudrexel confirms, “You have wonderful gas grills these days which deliver amazing results, but I prefer the smoky flavour which grilling on briquettes imparts to the sausages.”

“I like to use a chimney starter when getting my briquettes ready, because it is so fast and effective,” he says. The aerated chamber in the Rapidfire Chimney Starter keeps the fire burning below your briquettes as they heat up, and the sturdy handle protects your hands while transferring the coals from the cylinder into the barbecue. “If you want to do longer cooking sessions like smoking these sausages, you need to use good-quality fuel that burns steadily over a longer period of time,” says Baudrexel. Now let’s get grilling!

Popular sausages around the world

Out of the huge range of the continent’s sausages, we picked the best of the best.z

NÜRNBERGER (DE)Meat: Pork Spices: Marjoram Serve with: Lightly fried sauerkraut

CHIPOLATA (FR)Meat: Pork Spices: Salt, pepper and herbs Serve with: Potatoes and salads

SALSICCIA (IT) Meat: Pork Spices: Fennel and occasionally chilli flakes Serve with: Potatoes or sauerkraut

RØD PØLSE (DE) Meat: Mostly beef, though some may include mutton for additional flavour Spices: Pepper, nutmeg and allspice Serve with: Hot dog bun with sliced pickled cucumber, mustard and remoulade

CUMBERLAND (UK) Meat: Pork Spices: Sage, thyme and cayenne Serve with: Creamy mashed potatoes and gravy

KIELBASA (PL) Meat: Varies by region, but traditionally pork Spices: Smoked with garlic, pepper and allspice Serve with: Pan-roasted potatoes and fried onion

BOTIFARRA (ES) Meat: Pork Spices: Lightly peppered, sometimes with a dash of truffle Serve with: White beans dressed in oil and sautéed garlic