How to pre-cook sausages before the barbecue?

How to Pre-Cook Sausages Before the Barbecue

Sausages have always been a favorite choice of meal for weekend barbecues or outdoor parties, but many people struggle with getting them cooked evenly without overcooking them. This is where pre-cooking comes in handy as it helps to partially cook the sausages before they go on the grill. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about pre-cooking sausages before your barbecue.


Pre-cooking sausages ensures even cooking and reduces the chances of flare-ups caused by dripping fat from uncooked sausage links. However, pre-cooked sausages do not taste as good as those that are cooked entirely on the grill. It is important to take appropriate measures to ensure that partially cooked sausages do not dry out or lose flavor.

Choosing Your Sausages

Not all types of sausage are suitable for pre-cooking; some may turn out mushy, while others may end up dry and tough. On the other hand, some sausages like bratwurst or hot dogs are excellent candidates for pre-cooking since they require less time on the grill. Here are some things to consider when choosing your sausage:

  • Choose fresh and high-quality sausages.
  • For best results, choose medium-sized sausage links between 3-5 inches long.
  • Some great options include bratwurst, kielbasa, chorizo or hotdogs.

Pre-Cooking Methods

There are several methods of pre-cooking sausages; below are three popular options:

Boiling Method

Boiling sausages before grilling is a quick and easy way of pre-cooking them. Here’s how:

  1. Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the sausages.
  2. Bring water to a boil.
  3. Add salt or other seasonings to the water as desired.
  4. Reduce heat and add the sausages to the pot.
  5. Simmer for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Remove sausages from the water and place them in a bowl of ice-cold water for at least a minute until they cool.


  • Boiling is a fast method of pre-cooking.
  • It ensures that sausages are cooked through evenly.


  • The boiling process can result in a less flavorful sausage than those cooked entirely on the grill.

Oven Method

Cooking sausages in an oven before grilling or barbecuing is another method that guarantees even cooking. Here’s how:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the sausages on it.
  3. Bake for around 15 minutes, turning them frequently until lightly browned on all sides.
  4. Once done, remove from the oven and let them cool down.


  • Baking produces a more evenly cooked and juicy sausage .
  • It also removes any excess fat that might cause flare-ups if placed directly on the grill.


  • Oven-cooked sausage has less flavor compared to those grilled entirely over charcoal or gas.

Grill/Broil Method

Pre-grilling or broiling partially cooks sausage so that butterflying allows them to cook faster than grilling uncooked sauage while still ensuring indirect low heat will not burn or dry out your meal during long periods under high heat.

Here’s how:

1) Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat it 2) Cook your sausages over medium/low indirect heat 3) Turning occasionally, cook them partially but make sure they remain raw in middle – do NOT overcook. 4) Take sausages out of grill and let them cool down till they can be touched without burning 5) Butterfly one side by slicing from the top to the bottom so that you can spread it out exposing the inside. 6) Place sausages directly on grill grates over medium-high heat or direct heat (this is what the technique is useful for). Cook 1–3 minutes per side until flames start coming and skin crisps up. Transfer to indirect low heat.


  • This method produces a better flavor than pre boiling or oven cooking.
  • It reduces cooking time required on the grill.


  • This may lead to unevenly cooked sausages if not turned regularly, resulting in some parts being burnt.

Tips and Tricks

Here are some ways to make your pre-cooked sausages taste their best:

  • Add seasonings like black pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika before or during pre-cooking sausage methods
  • Brush lightly with olive oil before placing them on the grill to keep them moist.
  • If using a marinade, add some apple juice or beer as this will infuse flavors in your sausage.


  • Do not leave partially cooked sausage at room temperature for more than an hour before barbecuing. To avoid bacteria growth, ensure that precooked sausage is refrigerated immediately after pre-cooking.
  • Never consume raw or undercooked sausage since you risk food poisoning from harmful bacteria such as Salmonella.

Storage and Reheating

Cooked sausages can remain stored safely in refrigerators for up to three days. Beyond this period, dispose of them .

The preferred method for reheating precooked sausages is grilling until they are heated all way through, generously coating with butter and seasoning compound meat provides rich flavors.

Preheat grill on high heat; then reduce it to medium-high and place the pre-cooked sausages about 8 inches away, brushing them with a buttered BBQ sauce mixture. Grill the sausage links over indirect heat for approximately ten minutes.


Pre-cooking sausages before barbecuing is a smart way to ensure even cooking and prevent flare-ups caused by drippings. It also saves you time since they take less time on the grill, which is beneficial if you plan on cooking other foods as well. However, different methods of pre-cooking have specific advantages and disadvantages which we have explored in this article. With these tips in mind, you can now make perfectly pre-cooked sausages that will leave your guests amazed at your barbecue skills.


  1. Q: What is the best way to pre-cook sausages before a barbecue? A: Boiling sausages in water or beer for about 10-15 minutes is an effective way to pre-cook them before grilling. This helps ensure that the sausages are cooked evenly and are fully cooked without being burnt on the outside.
  2. Q: How long should I pre-cook sausages before the barbecue? A: The time it takes to pre-cook sausages before a barbecue depends on the type of sausage you’re using and how thick they are. As a general rule, boiling them for 10-15 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 160°F should be enough.
  3. Q: Can I pre-cook sausages in a pan instead of boiling them? A: Yes, you can also pre-cook sausages in a pan with some oil over medium heat until they’re browned on all sides. Just like boiling, make sure you don’t overcook them as this could result in dry, tough sausages.
  4. Q: Do I need to let the pre-cooked sausages cool down before putting them on the grill? A: It’s not necessary to let the pre-cooked sausage cool down completely, but allowing them to rest for a few minutes can help prevent flare-ups and improve their overall texture when grilled. Simply transfer them from the pot or pan directly onto the hot grill for a few minutes on each side until charred and heated through.

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