You can jazz up your end-of-summer grilling repertoire with sausages. Here are tips for getting them cooked through without drying out the casing or having it burst open.
If fresh (uncooked) sausages are grilled quickly over high heat, they may look charred on the outside but not be done inside. Instead, start the fire and let the coals burn until coated with gray ash before putting on the meat.
Turn the sausages frequently to ensure even browning. Don't puncture the skin; that will let the juices out and cause flare-ups. Keep the heat low and as even as possible and put out any flare-ups right away.
Fresh sausages should be grilled for 15 to 20 minutes. Cooked sausages, such as smoked kielbasa, will take 7 to 10 minutes. Use an instant-read thermometer and take the sausages off the grill when the temperature reaches 155 to 160 degrees.
Grilled Sausage and Caramelized Onion Pizza
2 fresh, hot Italian sausages
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 Spanish onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 (14-ounce) baked pizza crust (such as Boboli)
1 cup diced fontina cheese
Build a charcoal fire and let the briquets ash over or heat a gas grill to medium. Grill sausages until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Cut into 1/4-inch slices and set aside.
Heat oven to 450 degrees.
Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and let them cook, undisturbed, for 3 to 5 minutes, then stir. They should begin to caramelize. Continue to cook, undisturbed for another 3 to 5 minutes, and stir again. Repeat until the onions are an even dark golden brown. Set aside on a plate to cool.
Place pizza crust on a large baking sheet. Build your pizza starting with the sausage, then the onions, finishing with the cheese. Bake until crust is crisp and cheese is bubbly, about 15 minutes.
Cool in pan 5 minutes, then cut into wedges. Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 503 calories (39 percent from fat), 21.7g fat (9.3g saturated, 6.8g monounsaturated), 51mg cholesterol, 24.6g protein, 52g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 1,032mg sodium.