Three Taranaki butchers put their sausages on the line in a beach barbecue battle yesterday.
At the grassy area by New Plymouth's Wind Wand, Buzz The Butcher's Murray "Buzz" Sattler, The Kiwi Butcher's Stephen Morrison and The Fridge's Mark Wormald each fired up a barbecue and cooked their trademark sausages before a hungry audience.
The cooked bangers were subjected to a taste test by the public, who voted for their favourite.
The "battle of the butchers" was part of Puke Ariki's KiwiPrefab: Cottage to Cutting Edge exhibition now on display on the foreshore.
Mr Morrison's sausage was a 100 per cent pork sausage with secret spices.
Mr Sattler went with his 100 per cent lamb and mint gluten-free sausages while Mr Wormald cooked chicken, rocket and roasted cashew nut sausages.
With 250 public votes cast, Mr Wormald's offering was named the best sausage.
During the cook-off the butchers shared plenty of tips on how to cook the perfect sausage.
Mr Morrison said making sure the barbecue plate temperature was not too hot was essential, "otherwise they'll burst out the end".
Cooking on an unfamiliar barbecue was a bit of a challenge, Mr Morrison said.
"But you can't blame your tools so you just soldier on anyway," he said.
The Kiwi Butcher's pork sausages had previously won a gold medal at the 2005 New Zealand Sausage Competition, Mr Morrison said.
He said he only pricked his sausages before cooking if they had been made fresh that day.
"They seem to retain a lot more moisture when you cook them from fresh."
That said, sausages tasted best a couple of days after being made, he said.
He also said he never pre-cooked his sausages before putting them on the barbecue.
Mr Wormald said because sausages were dense in meat, it was best to cook them slowly without too much rotating.
"Preferably don't play with them too much," Mr Wormald said.
Mr Sattler said he did not use any tomato sauce on his sausages, to ensure the flavours could speak for themselves.
"This is one of our biggest sellers," Mr Sattler said of his lamb and mint bangers.
He also agreed that cooking a sausage slowly was the best method.
"Take your time, there's no hurry," he said.
"Good things take time. You can't rush some things."
Mr Morrison said he preferred cooking his sausages on the hot plate first, and then moving them to the grill at the end.
Sausages were ready to be served up when they were nice and firm to the touch, he said.
This usually took at least 15 to 20 minutes to achieve, Mr Wormald said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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