We all had these situations when we wanted to BBQ sausages but they were frozen. Do we need to wait until they thaw completely? Or can we BBQ them when they are still frozen? Let’s find out!
Do You Need to Defrost Sausages Before Cooking?
For the best results, I would recommend defrosting the sausages first, but if you’re limited on time, you can start grilling the sausages on the BBQ directly from the freezer without thawing them initially.
The tricky part is that when you will start grilling the sausages, the temperature in the middle of the sausages will be lower than on the edges. So, if you plan to bbq the frozen sausages, there are a few things that you should make differently as if you will grill the fresh sausages on the BBQ.
If you’re looking for a homemade recipe for sausages, I highly recommend checking my recipe for authentic homemade Sicilian sausages. I did 3 variations here, so you can pick the one that you will like the most. Is not as complicated as you may think.
So, How to BBQ Frozen Sausages?
- Preheat the BBQ to low heat.
- Put the sausages on the BBQ and leave them on low heat for a few minutes until they will thaw. For the best results, rotate them often.
- After the sausages will defrost, you can raise the grilling temperature on the BBQ and cook them as usual.
What to Pay Attention to When Grilling Them From Frozen?
To avoid undercooking the middle of the sausages and overcooking the edges, I will recommend putting the frozen sausages initially on indirect heat, or if you’re using an electric grill, cook the sausages on low heat for a few minutes to let the inner temperature of the sausages to increase and to start the thawing process.
Quick Note: If you put the frozen sausages at a medium or high temperature, you will roast the exterior, but the inner meat from the sausages will remain frozen.
Pro Tip: To defrost the sausages evenly on a BBQ, I recommend rotating them every minute or so.
After the sausages thaw, you can put them back on direct heat (or high heat on an electric BBQ grill) without overcooking on the edges and undercooking in the middle.
How to Defrost Sausages Quickly?
Use a Microwave (Quickest)
One of the quickest methods to defrost the sausages and later grill them on the BBQ is to use the defrost option on your microwave. Yes, this method is the quickest, but the downside of it is that the sausages will not thaw evenly. The meat from the outside of the sausages will defrost sooner than the meat from the middle.
Defrost Sausages in Hot Water (Favorite Method)
Usually, when I need to grill the sausages on the BBQ and they still are frozen, I defrost them in the hot water. Yes, this method will take you a little bit more time than just putting the frozen sausages in the microwave, but it will get you better results because the sausages will thaw evenly and you don’t have the risk to start the cooking process as in the microwave.
Quick Note: If you plan to defrost the sausages in hot water, don’t leave the sausages for more than 30 minutes because you may risk forming different bacteria in the sausages. To make sure that the defrosting time will be shorter and you don’t risk forming different bacteria, I recommend using a larger amount of hot water or to use a smaller amount of meat. You can divide the sausages into a few pans with hot water if needed.
Pro Tip: To avoid washing the original taste from the sausages, you can use a plastic package or even better a zip-top bag that you can seal.
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Also worth mentioning is that if you are using this method of defrosting the frozen sausages in hot water, you should cook the sausages on the BBQ immediately. In that way, you will avoid any bacteria growth.
Quick Note: If you put the thawed sausages in the fridge, you may give a chance for bacteria to keep growing.
Thawing in the Fridge (Safest, Longest)
Thawing the sausages in the fridge is the safest but also the longest method. If you have time, or you plan ahead to cook the sausages on BBQ for the next day or weekend, put the sausages on a plate and leave them in the fridge a day before you plan to BBQ. The sausages will thaw slowly and evenly without risking forming any bacteria in the meat.
If you are defrosting a larger amount of sausages, make sure to pick a deep plate to avoid the juices dropping out of the packages.
As this method is the safest and best if you have time, it will take you some time. If you plan to BBQ frozen sausages in the next hours, this method will not work for you.
Thawing at Room Temperature (Not Recommended)
You may have the idea to defrost the sausages at room temperature, or even worse, to leave them outside in direct sunlight. I don’t recommend doing that because the bacteria will form quickly in the sausages, they will go bad, and you may risk your health.
If you’re often in a situation when you need to BBQ the sausages from frozen, I will recommend opting for the pre-cooked sausages. In that way, you will avoid situations with undercooked meat in the middle.
Even if you cook them for less time, they will be safe to eat.