Whether it’s made from scratch or store-bought, sausage always tastes best on the grill. It’s the secret ingredient in flavorful dinners, adding a kick to everything from jambalaya to pasta. But grilling sausage isn’t as simple as it may seem. Raw sausages can be tricky to work with, because you need to make sure they’re cooked through without burning, and pre-cooked smoked sausages can dry out. These six tips will help you turn out perfectly grilled sausages like an expert, every time.

1. Simmer your sausages, then grill. The key to making sausages that don’t burst and dry out, or get leathery and wrinkled, is to simmer them until they’re cooked through before finishing them on the grill. This helps the sausage stay nice and juicy, while still getting the crispy, golden-brown char that you love from the grill. (Technique + Recipe via Serious Eats)

2. Cook sausages quickly on kabobs. If you don’t have time to simmer your sausages on the grill, consider kabobs. Just cut the links (preferably the smoked, pre-cooked kind) into small chunks, thread them onto skewers with some veggies chopped to a similar size, and grill. They’ll take less time to cook, so they won’t risk drying out without the initial simmer like a larger sausage would. (Technique + Recipe via Tried and Tasty)

3. Use foil packets for easy grilling. The benefit of cooking sausages in foil packets is threefold. It prevents your grill from getting messy, the steam keeps your sausage juicy and moist, and the steam also helps infuse any other ingredients in the packet with the smokey and seasoned sausage flavor. (Technique + Recipe via Cupcakes and Kale Chips)

4. Steam, then grill, vegetarian sausages. Vegetarian sausages can dry out and burn quickly on the grill, but there’s an easy solution. First steam them to lock in moisture, then grill briefly to add that irresistible flavor. (Technique + Recipe via Baked In)

5. Use sausage to flavor other foods. Sausages don’t have to be relegated to the world of hot dog buns and mustard. They can be used to add flavor to other dishes, from soup to stir fries to our favorite, pasta. (Technique + Recipe via Kevin Is Cooking)

6. Eat leftover sausages hot or cold. You don’t have to reheat your sausage to enjoy the leftovers — grill once, and you can eat your sausage like any other protein all week long. Slice cold sausages and serve them atop salads, layer into sandwiches, or add to a cheese and cracker board. (Technique + Recipe via Cupcakes and Kale Chips)

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