The Tasty Reason You Should Be Boiling Sausage

If you're a meat eater, it's hard to think of a tastier form to enjoy proteins as varied as pork, beef, chicken, and turkey than in sausage. Typically a mix of ground meat, plenty of fat, and seasonings such as salt, pepper, and dried or fresh herbs (via The Culinary Pro), sausages are beloved around the globe and present in almost every world cuisine. There's Korean sundae (pronounced soondae), a mix of blood and noodles stuffed into cow or pig intestines; Vinegar-laced South African boerewor, served on a bun with mustard; And Algerian lamb merguez, deeply spiced with cumin and chili pepper, to name just a few (via Insider).

Flavorful and juicy with fat, sausage makes its way into any number of dishes, from chorizo-strewn seafood paella to andouille-packed Louisiana gumbo. But very often, when staring down a sausage link, many of us will simply toss it on the grill and enjoy it alongside other cookout favorites such as coleslaw and potato salad. Few of us will think to boil sausage, but as it turns out, this straightforward cooking method really helps certain types of sausages shine.

Emulsified sausages take extremely well to boiling

While it might be standard BBQ practice to throw some Italian sausage or kilebasa on the grill alongside the burgers, it might be time to consider boiling your sausages instead — depending on the type. According to Bon Appétit, fresh (ie, not previously cooked), emulsified sausages should be boiled to truly showcase their deliciousness. An emulsified sausage, the outlet explains, is a sausage packed in a casing that includes finely ground meat, fat, and water in a paste-type filling; Common examples include German bratwurst and knockwurst and Polish seldelki, as well as regular ol' hot dogs (known in Germany, where they originated, as frankfurters).

Why boil these types of sausages, as opposed to grilling or pan-searing them? As Bon Appétit explains, the star of these links is the fat inside, which will inevitably render out when cooked over direct heat. When boiled (or, more appropriately, simmered), all the fat will stay inside, lending the cooked sausage a moist and succulent texture. The idea makes sense when you consider that street carts selling hot dogs typically boil, not grill, them.

If you want to simmer sausages at home, Bon Appétit recommends using a flavorful liquid — not water — as a way to boost flavor. Think of the tailgate favorite beer-boiled brats, for instance (via Culinary Hill), or reach for stock, wine, or tomato sauce. With their lush, juicy texture, boiled sausages just might surprise you.