We are all trying to eat a little better these days and turkey sausage is a slightly healthier grilling option. The two drawbacks to a turkey sausage compared to a normal sausage are the texture and the lack of flavor. These are issues that are easily off-set with the proper grilling techniques that we will showcase here.
We will be grilling a Butterball Smoked Turkey Sausage which happens to be a fully cooked sausage. Be sure to check the package of your sausage to see if it is fully cooked or raw sausage. A raw turkey sausage needs to be cooked to 165 degrees while a fully cooked sausage just need to be heated through.
We start by cutting our sausage into bun length sections, then we will butterfly slice them down the middle.
To accomplish this we take the tip of our knife and stick it into the ends of the sausage about 1/2 inch from the end. Slice it all the way through the end then repeat for the other side. Now we take our knife and lightly slice across the length of the sausage connecting the two end cuts you just made. You may need to do this a couple of times until you have cut about three-quarters of the way through it without cutting the entire sausage in half.
Now take both half’s and open the sausage like a book, being careful not to break it into two pieces. If it will not stay open, flip it over and press down on the back of it. This way it should not break all the way through while flattening it as much as possible. Repeat for all of the sausages. This step will allow you to add flavor and by grilling the sausage open it will combat the odd turkey sausage texture at the same time.
Heat your grill to a high to medium high heat.
Before we grill turkey sausage we are going to spice them up a bit. For this we are using different ways to add additional flavor.
2) To add a barbecue flair. Take your favorite barbecue rub spread it across a plate and press your sausage cut side down into the rub so it sticks.
3) For a south of the border taste. First we hit the inside of the sausage with a little Tapatio Mexican hot sauce then spread some McCormicks perfect pinch Mexican seasoning onto a plate and press your sausage cut side down to coat it thoroughly.
Take your spiced up sausages out to the grill. Place the sausages cut side down directly over the flame. This step will cook your spices in and caramelize them.
Flip your turkey sausages after 2 to 3 minutes. The mustard version may stick a little bit.
Grill for an additional 2 to 3 minutes and serve.
Final thoughts: The version we did with the Tapatio hot sauce and McCormicks was by far the best tasting sausage of the bunch it was delicious.
About the author: Mike is the owner of 4thegrill.com, a Certified Food Safety Professional and KCBS member.
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