As we embark on yet another summer season, most Americans are dusting off their favorite barbecue grills. Roughly 70% of adults in this country report owning a grill or smoker of some kind. And while many of these grill owners will be dreaming of cooking a hamburger or hot dog, we’ll be dreaming of preparing a perfectly cooked German sausage.

There’s nothing quite like one of the several varieties of German sausages with the flawlessly impressed grill marks sandwiched in between a nice soft bun.  If you aren’t quite familiar with the experience or need a reminder, keep reading as we provide you with a guide to the exciting world of German sausage.

Bratwurst

A bratwurst typically doesn’t need much of introduction since it’s arguably the most famous German sausage. A brat is typically made up of pork, beef, and/or veal.

Now most Americans are under the impression brats come in one size. However, bratwursts come in numerous sizes as there are currently over 40 different variations of this particular sausage.

Although not every German or German-American will frown if you put ketchup and/or relish on a brat, the traditional condiment or topping of choice has been mustard or sauerkraut.

Knackwurst (Knockwurst)

The knackwurst generally has a more robust flavor than the other sausages mentioned here. While also made of pork and veal, it is aged and infused with a strong garlicky flavor. So it may not be for those that tend to caution toward milder flavors for their meat.

Again, mustard is king when thinking how to top a knackwurst off.

Thüringer Rostbratwurst

This type of sausage is usually hailed as German’s oldest sausage. Its origins date back as far as the early 15th century. It’s carefully made of minced pork, beef, and on occasion veal. Interestingly enough, in order for a sausage to be classified as a Thüringer rostbratwurst, 51% of its ingredients have to come from the German state of Thüringia.

Similarly to the first two sausages mentioned, the usually preferred condiment for a Thüringer rostbratwurst is mustard.

Ringwurst

Consider this sausage to be the German first cousin of Bologna sausage. It’s made of both beef and pork. While this sausage can be eaten cold and sliced, it tastes even better if grilled.

And yep you guessed it, it goes down better with the old trusty condiment mustard.

In a Culture of Hot Dogs, Try a German Sausage

While American culture will stress to you the importance of picking up packs of hot dogs this summer, we urge you to be one of the people picking up different kinds of German sausage. It’s a choice we know that will make you shine among your neighbors this grilling season.

And don’t forget to purchase your VIP tickets for the annual Nashville Oktoberfest. There will be plenty of German sausages to try along with a wide variety of imported beers directly from Munich.