Summer sausages have long been a staple of backyard barbecues, picnic baskets, and outdoor feasts. But with a myriad of options available in the market, finding the perfect sausage can sometimes feel like a culinary quest.
Fear not! Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or a BBQ newcomer, this list will guide you to the top 8 sausages for 2023, ensuring your BBQ sessions are nothing short of delightful.
1. Old Wisconsin Premium
Check on Amazon Check on Walmart Check on eBay
This sausage is a blend of the finest quality beef, seasoned with a unique blend of spices, and smoked slowly over hardwood fires, which is a treat for your taste buds. It contains a high amount of proteins. Its gluten-free composition and absence of MSG make it a healthier alternative, ensuring you can savor every bite without any guilt.
|Size||8 Ounce (Pack of 1)|
|Ingredients||Beef, Salt, Spices, Dextrose, Lactic Acid Starter Culture, Monosodium Glutamate, Sodium Ascorbate, Sodium Nitrite.|
|Storage||No refrigeration is required until after opening|
2. Hickory Farms Sausage & Cheese Collection
Check on Amazon Check on HickoryFarms
I can genuinely attest to this sausage’s delightful flavors. Upon unboxing, I was immediately drawn to the diverse selection of gourmet treats.
The sausage boasted a robust and savory profile, which was beautifully balanced by the creamy cheeses. The sweet and hot mustard provided a tangy contrast. The sea salt caramels and sour cherry candies were the cherry on top!
- 5 ounces of farmhouse summer sausage
- 4 ounces of smooth and sharp blended cheese
- 1.25 ounces of sweet and hot mustard.
- 1 ounce of golden toasted crackers
- Strawberry Bon Bons.
Also, Hickory farms are not only concerned with the quality of their beef but also about the environment so the packaging is environmentally friendly.
|Packaging Information||Basket, Box|
|Flavor||Beef, Sweet, Cheddar, Cheese, Strawberry|
|Item Weight||2.25 Pounds|
3. LEM Backwoods Cured Kit
Check on Amazon Check on Kiky Check on LEM Products
The moment this product arrived, I could tell that this was a premium product. The packaging was robust, and the instructions were clear and easy to follow. It contains jerky-making equipment, meat grinders, vacuum sealers, and other needed suppliers for home meat processors.
I decided to mix it with some wild game meat I had in the freezer. The seasoning blend was spot on, giving the meat a rich, savory flavor with just the right amount of kick. The pre-measured cure packet ensured that I got the process right. The end product was some of the best homemade sausages I’ve ever tasted. It was a hit with my family!
|Product Type||Sausage Seasoning Kit|
|Package Weight||15.2 Ounce|
|Coverage||Seasons up to 20 Pounds of Meat|
4. Stonie’s Summer Sausage With Cheese and Jalapeno
Check on Amazon Check on eBay
When I first sliced into this product, I was met with an enticing aroma that promised a flavorful experience. And it did not disappoint! The combination of cheese and jalapeno complemented the rich taste of the sausage. Each bite is a perfect blend of smoky, cheesy, and spicy flavors.
|Size||12 Ounce (Pack of 1)|
|Item Weight||12 Ounces|
5. Dan the Sausageman’s Smoked Summer Sausage and Wisconsin Cheeses
Check on Amazon Check on Dan the Sausageman
This package includes roasted garlic red pepper sausage, which has a specialty of sweet N’ hot mustard that is complemented by the cheeses. It is the best add-on to your gift and picnic baskets. It’s evident that a lot of thought and care went into curating this box
|Main Components||Smoked Summer Sausage and Wisconsin Cheeses|
|Special Feature||Professionally Packaged with Gift Messaging Available|
|Brand||DAN THE SAUSAGEMAN|
|Rating||4.4 out of 5 stars (based on 900 ratings)|
6. Klements Summer Sausage
Check on DvaSata Check on Klements Check on Walmart
This product is a 100% beef-made sausage that is perfectly seasoned. The texture is firm yet not too hard, making it perfect for slicing and pairing with cheeses or crackers. The hardwood smoking process is evident in every bite, giving it that traditional European taste that I’ve come to love.
|Product Type||Summer Sausage|
|Specialty||Natural, No MSG Added|
7. Backwoods low sodium
Check on Amazon Check on LEM Products Check on Walmart
The first thing that caught my attention was the “Reduced Sodium” label. The seasoning blend was aromatic and flavorful, and it perfectly complemented the meat. I used it on a mix of beef and pork, and the results were outstanding. While I primarily used it for sausages, I found it equally delightful when sprinkled on grilled meats and even in some of my stew recipes.
|Product Type||Backwoods Reduced Sodium Summer Sausage Seasoning|
|Weight||20.5 Ounce Packet|
|Usage||Seasons up to 25 Pounds of Meat|
|Special Feature||Pre-Measured Cure Packet Included|
There are a lot of manufacturers, which promise high-quality healthy summer sausages. However, with so many brands coming up in the market, it gets difficult to choose the best summer sausage. When purchasing, you must consider the factors given below:
Opt for the healthiest low-fat option to avoid unnatural additives. The summer sausages must give you a treat to your taste buds, and they must be safe for your body. Avoid unnatural fillers like Premio and MSG.
Try to purchase summer sausage, which has features like no artificial ingredients, low trans-fat, and free of fillers, and MSG. It should be free from gluten and other kinds of allergies so that all your family can enjoy a healthy meal.
Examine the condition of your sausages. If it has a greyish color or slimy coat, then you probably don’t want to use that kind of summer sausage. Before you use the summer sausage, you might want to smell it.
The healthy uncooked sausages must have a pinkish color and should not have a weird sour smell. You must inspect the product before you place it in your griller.
3. The Casing
Always opt for natural casing. Machine-made summer sausages are made of synthetic skin, which is a lot cheaper but not the best quality. They use the skin that is chewy and tough.
The casing of the product also impacts its fullness. You don’t want your summer sausage to be too filled, as it’s more likely to split while cooking, which will result in the lost flavor. Using natural casing sausage will help you to avoid the problem.
- The cut of your best summer sausage should be dry, even, and smooth, and it should not have veins.
- The casing of the summer sausage must be wrinkled because of the lack of moisture.
- The elastic casing is a sign of too much water.
- The ingredients should contain no more than meat and spices. Shorter the list to better the product.
- The smell of the sausage is not supposed to be strong. If it has a strong fragrance, then the flavor might be added to the summer sausage.
- If you see ingredients that you have never heard of before, then it is advisable to stay away from the summer sausage.
What is the best summer sausage brand?
Dan, old Wisconsin, Hickory Farms, and Elements are some of the best and leading brands when it comes to the best summer sausage.
Why is it called “summer sausage”?
It’s because it was traditionally made during the summer months when the weather was warm and the conditions were ideal for preserving meat. Before modern refrigeration techniques, it was common for farmers and butchers to make large batches of sausage in the summer to preserve the meat and ensure a supply of protein throughout the year.
What is the difference between summer sausage and beef summer sausage?
Summer sausage and beef summer sausage are both types of cured sausage, but the main difference between the two is the type of meat that is used.
Summer sausage is typically made from a combination of beef and pork, while beef summer sausage is made exclusively from beef. This difference in meat can result in a slightly different flavor and texture between the two types of sausage.
Another difference between summer sausage and beef summer sausage is the seasoning and spices that are used in each. While both types of sausage may include similar ingredients such as garlic, pepper, and mustard seeds, the specific blend of spices and seasonings can vary depending on the recipe and the individual producer.
Can I eat summer sausage raw?
No, it is not recommended to do so as it is a type of cured sausage that is typically made from a combination of beef and pork, and it may also contain other ingredients such as spices and seasonings. While summer sausage is technically safe to eat without cooking, it is generally recommended to cook it before consuming it to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
Cooking summer sausage can help to kill any harmful bacteria or pathogens that may be present in the meat, such as E. coli, Salmonella, or Listeria. It is recommended to cook summer sausage to an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) before consuming. You can cook summer sausage by grilling, baking, or frying it.
Can summer sausage be fried?
Yes, it can be fried, baked, and smoked according to your preference.
Finding the right sausage for your BBQ can make all the difference. With so many options, it’s essential to choose one that’s both flavorful and healthy.
The sausages covered above not only boast exceptional taste but also exhibit the perfect balance of seasoning, texture, and juiciness. Whether you’re planning a backyard bash or a quiet evening on the patio, adding any of these top contenders to your grill will undeniably elevate the experience.
So, fire up those barbecues, invite some friends, and enjoy. Cheers to a season filled with flavor, fun, and unforgettable BBQ memories!