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How to BBQ Sausages Without Bursting?

When it comes to BBQs, one popular choice is sausages. However, one common problem many people face is the sausages bursting while on the grill. This can lead to loss of flavor and texture, as well as a messy BBQ experience. In this article, we will explore some tips and techniques to help you BBQ sausages without bursting, ensuring that you can enjoy perfectly cooked sausages every time.

The Science Behind Sausage Bursting

To understand how to prevent sausages from bursting, it’s important to know why it happens in the first place. Sausages burst when the heat causes the water and fat inside the sausage to expand rapidly. If the heat is too high or unevenly distributed, the casing can’t handle the pressure, resulting in a burst sausage.

Preventing Sausage Bursting

1. Choose the Right Sausages: It’s essential to choose sausages with the right casing for grilling. Natural casings, such as those made from sheep intestines, are more durable and better suited for BBQs. Synthetic casings can be prone to bursting, especially with high heat.

2. Prick the Sausages: Pricking the sausages with a fork before grilling helps release any excess moisture or air trapped inside. This reduces the chance of bursting during cooking. Be sure to prick the sausages evenly to ensure even heat distribution.

3. Use Indirect Heat: One effective way to prevent sausage bursting is by using indirect heat. This means placing the sausages away from direct flames or intense heat sources. By doing so, you allow the sausages to cook more gently and evenly, reducing the risk of bursting. If you’re using a charcoal grill, consider creating a two-zone fire, with hot coals on one side and no coals on the other for indirect grilling.

4. Cook Slowly: Cooking sausages slowly over a moderate heat is another technique to prevent bursting. This way, the sausages will heat more evenly, allowing the moisture and fat inside to cook gently without causing too much pressure on the casing. It may take a bit longer, but the result will be worth it.

Expert Tips for Perfectly Grilled Sausages

To achieve the best results when grilling sausages, here are a few expert tips:

“Pre-boiling the sausages for a few minutes before barbecuing helps to reduce the risk of bursting. This allows some of the fat and water to be released, making the sausages more stable and less likely to burst.”

  1. Marinating: Marinating the sausages before grilling can add extra flavor and help keep them moist. You can try different marinades, such as beer and mustard, or herbs and garlic.
  2. Properly Preheated Grill: Ensure that your grill is preheated to the correct temperature before placing the sausages on it. This helps to sear the outside of the sausages, sealing in the juices and preventing bursting.
  3. Frequent Turning: Regularly turning the sausages while grilling promotes even cooking and reduces the likelihood of bursting. Use tongs instead of a fork to avoid piercing the sausages, which can cause them to release moisture.
  4. Resting Period: After grilling, allow the sausages to rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps the juices redistribute throughout the sausage, making them juicier and more flavorful.


By following these tips and techniques, you can enjoy perfectly grilled sausages without the annoyance of them bursting. Remember to choose the right sausages with durable casings, prick them before grilling, use indirect heat, and cook them slowly. Additionally, consider pre-boiling, marinating, using a properly preheated grill, turning frequently, and allowing the sausages to rest before serving. With these precautions and expert tips, you’ll be able to impress your guests with delicious non-bursting sausages at your next BBQ!