Fresh Grilled Kielbasa

Grilling CAN be really healthy. Skinless, marinated chicken with a fresh vegetable salad, for example. We had that last week. It was good. And good for us!

But this is likely not the best meal to make if you are counting calories. Why? It’s chock full of meat. And, yes, the proper way to say it is KEEL-BAAS-AHHH.

This was prepared fresh by the butcher and then frozen by me. It's much better to skip the freezing, but what are you gonna do?

This was prepared fresh by the butcher and then frozen by me. It's much better to skip the freezing, but what are you gonna do?

I come from a VERY Polish family. I’ve been eating kielbasa, like, all my life. It’s the best sausage around. Over the years, I’ve had it prepared many different ways. My favorite is in the Crock Pot. A close second is on the grill.

First things first. Unless you have a bangin’ grocery store (and I mean better than Wegmans) you are not going to find fresh, uncooked kielbasa. You need to seek it out at a butcher. They are pretty much the only people who have it fresh anymore. Even then, where my family gets it in Kalamazoo, Mich., it’s only prepared at Christmas and Easter.

If you’re planning to cook some fresh kielbasa, there are a couple of things you have to know. It’s not just a matter of tossing links on a grill, after all.

I am using links. The other style I have gotten fresh kielbasa in before is one large coil. Both are good for grilling, but if you have the coil, it is important to try and not break it up. Don’t cut it or slice it. Handle it as a coil the entire time. This keeps all the wonderful flavors inside and not going to waste on top of your hot coals.

Next point: FRESH KIELBASA NEEDS TO BE BOILED FIRST! Once it’s defrosted, you need to boil the sausage in a deep frying pan or pot for about 15 minutes. I’m not exactly sure why. You just need to do it. Trust.

Fresh kielbasa is usually a healthy pink color. When they are done boiling they should be kind of dingy and colorless.

Fresh kielbasa is usually a healthy pink color. When they are done boiling they should be kind of dingy and colorless. Tasty!

NOW you can throw them on the grill. For kielbasa, you want a direct fire and you will be cooking over high heat. If your kielbasa came in a coil, use a pair of thongs to maneuver it around.

I cooked them for about 10 to 12 minutes total, turning once or twice.

I cooked them for about 10 to 12 minutes total, turning once or twice.

Really, the kielbasa is already cooked after the boiling. Grilling just gives the links some smoky flavor, a nice color and an unbelievable snap when you bite into them. Feaston suggests serving this with with sauer kraut, spicy mustard and some red skin potato salad.

And what the hell — maybe even a beer!

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Fresh Grilled Kielbasa

  1. Gramma Kneffel would be so proud of you….. : 0 )

  2. dave

    It’s not “keel-baas-ahhh.” In Polish, it’s more like “kee(y)abahsuh.” The l is pronounced sort of like a consonant y in English.

  3. michaeltbuck

    Thanks for the tip, Dave. Admittedly, I wrote that phonetic spelling out in a hurry. Mainly because people from the Pennsylvania heartland tend to call/say it kill-baa-see. I dun like it.

  4. Dave

    I wasn’t sure how long to boil it, now I know.

    We have Wegmans, but there is a Polish Deli in Runnemede, NJ on the Black Horse Pike that has all varieties of kielbasa, fresh and smoked and they have it all year round, and of course they have anything and everything Polish, pierogis, kishka, babka…

  5. rick

    I was wondering why mine kept coming out dry. Now I know. Grill the whole loop in one piece and boil it first. Thanks.

  6. Pingback: Polish kielbasa and sauerkraut « G.I. Crockpot

  7. Maura

    I don’t what what you are talking about when you say it is so difficult to buy fresh keilbasa. I can buy it whenever I want at more than 2 dozen polish delis in the Philadelphia alone not to mention the surrounding area. I also know there is a very large Polish enclave in the Chicago area as many of my Polish friends travel there to see families. They have taught me to just place a small amount of saurkraut in the bottom of the crockpot. Add the uncooked keilbasa cut into 4″ pieces. Place just a little more saurkraut on top. Peel and cube an apple and place on top. Slow cook for 4 hours and then add remaining saurkraut and cook for another hour as the kraut tends to become mushy if cooked too long.

  8. Well, Maura, it’s very nice that you have all those Polish delis available to you, but some of us don’t. Try living in Florida! They can’t make a decent cheesesteak let alone a fresh kielbasa.

  9. Greg

    You don’t need to boil it first. I often leave it in a coil and slap it right on the grill. The salty, garlicky flavors are more intense without boiling. Cook it until the juices are yellow or not bloody.

  10. Bob

    Anyone know what the internal temp should be?

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