Chemistry 101: The Science of Grilling Sausages

Ahh, the sausage; one cannot fathom the world without this scrumptious delicacy by their side! Sadly for most, they might as well be living in such a reality, considering how poorly cooked their pork chops are.

That being said, is there a way to remedy this? Is there a way to grill a pork chop to perfection from its surface all the way to its center? The answer is yes.

Before divulging into the particulars of conjuring up the perfect sausage, here are some atrocious crimes committed to sausages around the globe. Hopefully, the perpetuators of such heinous crimes will be brought to justice and rehabilitated!

The Classic chest burster
Crime scene; the grill. Suspect has placed said innocent sausage on top of it, and proceeded to cook it with the highest heat possible. The end result? A nearly burnt to the crisp, sooty flavored, busted open sausage; one that has lost all its juicy flavor to the grill.

The science behind such a sausage is simple. Just like every other form of meat, sausages naturally contract as they cook in proportion to the temperature that they are cooked at.
Hence, a sausage exposed to extremely high heat will get hot very fast, causing the outer layers to contract at a massive rate.

In the meantime, the meat located at the center hasn’t contracted at all.
Thus, the outer layer suddenly busts open, and out comes meat juices together with liquefied fat!

Certainly a injustice to sausages; which keep in mind can be served with almost any meal, and in multiple setups.

The Illusionist
The outside is overly burnt and cracked, giving one the illusion that the sausage is edible. However, upon further investigation, turns out the innards are under-cooked.
Number one suspect? A moderately high-heated grill that cooks the exterior too fast, but has zero effect on the interior.

That being said, one can’t cook the perfect sausage without having the ideal grill in place. Heck, the Bradley Digital 4 Rack Smoker certainly meets the criteria required. Feel free to check it out!

The Unloved older relative
A classic sausage that is found in literally every fast food joint around. So this time, the sausage is cooked with minimal heat on the grill until it gets a bit of browning. There’s no bursting whatsoever, and once it’s pulled out of the heat, the sausage looks juicy and plump as ever. Boy, can’t wait!

A few moments later, it suddenly looks like a shriveled, deflated balloon!
What happened?

Well, there’s minimal heat on the exterior; so much so that by the time browning takes place, the interior of the sausage is already overcooked.

Due to the presence of steam as well as expanded muscle tissue, the sausage will appear plump at first, but shrink immediately after it cools.

The most ideal way to cook a sausage
Now that all the sausage atrocities have been highlighted, what is the best way to cook a sausage?

The simplest solution to make any sausage amazing is to cook it over a moderately heated grill, which is at about 150°F or 66°C. This will definitely give the exterior the perfect, crisp, deep brown look that is desired.

Note; the temperature here is key.

Any higher or lower, and rest assured a crime will be committed against the sausage!

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