Cooking sausage on the barbecue

Dettweiler's Smoked Pork Sausage is your all-season sausage. Here are a few tips which will make for the best possible outdoor grilling experience:

First of all, if you have a large gas-powered grilling area, put it on the section of the grill with the heat on the lowest setting. If you are cooking only sausage, or only meats and vegetables that benefit from having the lid of the bbq closed, then you might use the indirect heat method which involves having the sausage on a part of the grill without any flame below it. Sausage benefits from being cooked slowly via indirect heat. With a low to medium heat (300 to 350° F) and the grill covered, it might take about 15 minutes to cook your sausage optimally. Pork sausage should be cooked to an internal temperature of 72°C (160° F). Many find they prefer a few additional degrees than this lower safe limit. I'd strongly recommend not overcooking our sausage, though, as above 80° C internal temperature, I find the sausage starts to lose on flavour.

If you have a charcoal grill - these are some additional grilling tips for you: I recommend using hardwood charcoal, not briquettes. I put my sausage on the side of the grill away from the intense heat produced when charcoal is immediately below the sausage. Again, if you don't also have something on the bbq that requires the grill to be uncovered (steak) then put the lid on (but with the vent holes open and perhaps the lid propped up an inch or so - not fully closed (for benefit of sustaining the heat of the charcoal). I have hardwood chips that I'll soak in some water beforehand. I use applewood chips, one of the best smoking woods commonly available. Most often I will wrap the soaked wood chips in a bit of aluminum foil and then place the package on top of the hot charcoal. If you have the lid on your barbecue you can produce a good amount of smoke with a handful of soaked wood chips. Smoke will be pouring out of the vent holes of the lid. If you cook your sausage slowly enough (which means low heat, so don't fill the barbecue with charcoal) you should notice a distinct pink colour when cooked around the outside of the sausage, just under the skin (casing). The slower you have cooked your sausage (less charcoal) the more the pink will extend toward the middle of the sausage.

400smokeBBQ

If you have one of the now commonly available backyard smokers you should be able to get this pink colour right through to the centre of the sausage. Remember, the more heat you have in your smoker the less your meat will be smoked thoroughly. The reason for this is that when meat reaches a certain temperature where it cooks, the proteins bind together sealing out the smoke from passing through the meat. The pink colour in smoked meat comes from nitrites in the meat. Dettweiler's Sausage does not include sodium nitrite among our ingredients so the colour of the pork when cooked would only be a pink colour if you have succeeded in introducing the nitrites that are a component in wood smoke into your sausage while cooking it. More than cosmetic, the nitrites from properly-smoked meat give it that smoked flavour that many of us love.