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Sausages are perfect for grilling, but different varieties tend to look fairly similar, and it’s not always clear which is which. For example, how can you tell the difference between Andouille and kielbasa or Italian sausage and bratwurst?

There are many types of sausage to choose from, and each type can be used in a variety of ways. Whether you get creative and fancy or go classic and simple, you’re sure to have a great dish no matter what. Being able to identify and prepare different sausages will make your meals that much better.

These four types of pork sausage have unique flavor profiles. If you really want to wow your guests at your next get-together, get to know these sausages and how to play to their strengths both on and off the grill.

cooked kielbasa slices in a pan

 

Kielbasa: Smokey and Versatile

Kielbasa is a fully-cooked Polish sausage that is smokey and aromatic, often seen in a rope or u-shape. You can slice it into coins for sauteing or skewering, both popular and simple preparations, or you can cut bun-length pieces for grilling.

Kielbasa has simple ingredients, making it a versatile and wholesome protein. Coleman Natural Polish kielbasa contains pork, honey, cane sugar, vinegar, salt and traditional spices.

Polish kielbasa is savory and garlicky, which is why it tastes so great with both big and small flavors. In Polish cuisine, kielbasa is often served with pierogies and sauerkraut. Because it is not heavily spiced, kielbasa can be used in many types of cuisines including Asian, African, and Mexican.

Experiment with pairings that make the bold taste of pork kielbasa shine, like this Grilled Kielbasa Dinner Packets dish. Or, try a recipe like Teriyaki Chili Kielbasa with Pineapple where kielbasa is transformed by sweet and sour flavors.

There are several ways to cook kielbasa, starting with traditional preparations such as boiling in water or broth and pan-frying in oil or butter. These are both easy and fast ways to cook a kielbasa.

Kielbasa is also excellent grilled. Quarter and butterfly a kielbasa and cook it for about 10 minutes on a grill pre-heated to medium.

Andouille: Spicy and Rich

Andouille sausage originated in France and is today commonly seen in Cajun cooking.

This sausage packs a serious punch. It ranges in spice from mild to hot but is always bursting with flavor.

At Coleman Natural, we add cayenne pepper, bay leaves, and garlic to all-natural pork to achieve that signature Andouille taste.

Because of how zesty Andouille is, it can overpower subtle flavors. Try pairing it with other bold ingredients in vibrant dishes like gumbo or jambalaya, or let it flavor a simple meal like stuffing or rice.

Andouille sausage can be prepared similarly to kielbasa, though this sausage is generally thicker than its Polish cousin and will require a little longer to cook through. This sausage tastes particularly great when blackened or charred, so don’t be afraid to let it blister.

You can’t go wrong with grilled and sliced Andouille sausage. Try this on a flatbread, bed of coleslaw, or in a bowl of cheesy grits.

jambalaya with sausage

Bratwurst: Salty and Mild

Bratwurst is a German sausage with a mild flavor that is complemented by tangy toppings and sides. Bratwurst has been around for centuries in German cuisine and adopted by regions throughout Europe and across America.

Traditional bratwurst from Coleman Natural contains pork, honey, and spices including onion, marjoram, and ginger.

When you think of bratwurst, you might automatically think of a juicy sausage on a bun, maybe with some sauerkraut or mustard and a tall glass of beer. This is a great way to eat bratwurst, but you’re missing out if it’s the only way you’ve tried the salty sausage!

Bratwurst is a thick sausage that stays juicy no matter how you cook it. To cook bratwurst, you can brown it in a cast iron skillet, boil it, bake it, or grill it. Bratwursts are best when cooked over high heat for a few minutes and low heat to finish.

Try grilling bratwurst as you would grill a hot dog (adding a few minutes to the cooking time) and serving it with caramelized onions, potato salad, or beans.

soup with bratwurst

 

It is also common for bratwurst to be cooked in beer because of how nicely these flavors play together. This is why Coleman Natural has partnered with Budweiser to create Budweiser lager beer-infused brats, so that you can enjoy the best of both worlds in one link. Coleman Natural offers the following bratwurst flavors in our Budweiser BBQ Collection:

  • Budweiser BBQ Jalapeno Cheddar
  • Budweiser BBQ Beer
  • Budweiser BBQ Beer and Cheese

Give this Bacon Wrapped Brat Bites recipe a try!

bacon bratwurst bites

 

Italian: Sweet and Flavorful

You guessed it, Italian sausage originated in Italy. This is why you’ll see traditional Italian flavorings like fennel, garlic, and oregano in an Italian sausage, like ours from Coleman Natural.

Italian sausage typically has a very sweet and bright flavor, which makes it complementary to savory things like cheese, pizza, and grilled vegetables.

Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions is an easy and classic dish that will never let you down, but you can use this sausage in any meal that could use a pop of meaty flavor.

You can cook Italian sausage by sauteing, grilling, or baking it. Fully cooked Italian sausage from Coleman Natural takes less than 10 minutes to prepare, while uncooked variations take longer. Try slicing it into coins or chunks and adding it to pasta sauce or soup.

All-Natural Sausages from Coleman Natural Foods

To feed your family better, you need better sausages.

All Coleman Natural sausages contain high quality pork that is sourced from American family farms that raise their animals humanely, never using crates, antibiotics, hormones or growth promotants.  We think you’ll agree pork sausage, made naturally, just tastes better.