By Kent Whitaker
You can’t go to a cookout related to a sporting event such as football or racing, at least in the United States, without spotting someone grilling up some form of hotdog, bratwurst, or some other form of sausage! Cooking and grilling “links” is so popular that we’ve even attached local and regional names to chosen favorites!
We have Chicago Dogs, West Virginia Slaw Dogs, Fenway Franks, and even the bright red link served to NASCAR race fans at Martinsville Speedway which is known as the “Martinsville Dog” and there are plenty of others in between. There’s no question that franks, weiners, dogs, smoked sausages, and other links are popular – especially when grilled.
How Did A Street Sausage Become A Hot Dog?
According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDASC), the term “hot dog” is often attributed to an unknown cartoonist, many… many decades ago, who watched vendors selling “red hot dachshund dogs” on the New York Polo Grounds. But, despite the fact that was a wordy title for a street vendor dish, the mystery cartoonist was unable to correctly spell dachshund. To save time, he went with the term “hot dogs” instead for use in his cartoon.
The cartoon has not been found, so… who knows. But, many historians note that immigrant street vendors of the time often brought their “dachshund” dogs to work with them… maybe it was a hot day… and… the dogs were hot… and that’s how slang words start and legends begin! Apparently, the vendors picked up on the term customers were using to describe them so legend has it that they ran with the joke as well.
Adding Some Barbecue Flavor
Street vendors mostly, then and now, use steam to cook their hotdogs and other forms of sausage. That’s all well and good but this recipe is about grilling! So, we’re going to add some smokey and barbecue flavor to our batch of grilled smoked sausage!
The great thing is that we are going to do this with two simple methods. First, use hickory wood chips along with your gas or charcoal grill. You can use foil to lightly wrap the chips with a few holes poked in the foil. Or, use a store-bought chip holder. Both ways work as the idea is to bring the chips to a smoldering point with plenty of smoke while not letting them burst into flames.
The second part is even simpler! Grab some of your favorite barbecue sauce! Here’s all you have to do in order to serve up a tasty batch of Grilled Barbecue Sauced Smoked Sausage!
Grilled Barbecue Sauced Smoked Sausage
Think of the recipe in this manner. It’s a two-step process that repeats itself.
- 4-6 Smoked Sausages
- Your favorite barbecue sauce
- Splash of water
- 4-6 hotdog buns, large enough for your sausages
- Toppings such as grilled onions, green and red peppers, and even some cole slaw… and more barbecue sauce!
Here’s the two-step process; start grilling the smoked sausages over medium-high heat. Have a pan on the grill, over the heat, filled with some of your barbecue sauce. Grill for a few minutes then move the smoked sausages over to the sauce. Turn, roll, and coat evenly, and allow to simmer. Then, remove from the sauce and place back on the grill grates.
Repeat as needed. One note, you can move the foil pan filled with sauce to a cooler part of the grill so that it does boil too fast and burn. You can move both the sausages and saucepan away from the direct heat, close the lid of your covered grill, and enjoy the conversation with your family and friends.
What you are looking for is a nicely grilled smoked sausage covered in a warm sticky sauce served up on a fresh bun topped with my suggestions above or whatever you wish.
Author Bio: Kent Whitaker, also known as “The Deck Chef,” is an award-winning culinary writer and cookbook author. He’s also penned Young Reader, NASCAR and History titles. The former winner of the Emeril Live Food Network Barbecue Contest also covers football, motorsports, and bass fishing. Kent currently lives in East Tennessee with his wife, son, and a couple of dogs that love when he fires up the smoker or grill. You can reach out to Kent at thedeckchef.com, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.