Like "Ueck" says, "When you want the best, you want Usinger's. America's finest sausage since 1880, and proven once again. Milwaukee Magazine conducted a taste test for their October issue, to determine the best brat between Usinger's, Johnsonville and Klements. Managing editor Howie Magner fired up his grill and and cooked (no parboiling, it just masks the real flavor). When all was said and done, the winner was 135 year-old Usinger's. It stood out for balanced spices and considerable juice. Are you surprised?
To read the story look for "The Sausage Taste Test" in Milwaukee Magazine's October 2015 issue. Courtesy of Milwaukee Magazine/photo by Adam Ryan Morris.
Oktoberfest is the world's largest outdoor party. It’s celebrated all over the world, including right here in Milwaukee, but the main event is in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. The 16-day festival runs from late September to the first weekend in October. They’ve held it there since the early 1800’as and it’s an important part of the Bavarian culture. Wiesn, as it’s referred to in Bavaria, is short for the grounds it’s held on. Munich’s Oktoberfest averages about 6 million visitors per year! Most other Oktoberfest celebrations are patterned after Munich’s, they’re just a little smaller.
If you like to eat German food, Oktoberfest is a party you don’t want to miss. Here’s a sample of what you can try, Hendl (roast chicken), Schweinebraten (roast pork), Schweinsh axe (grilled ham hock), of course they’ll have plenty of Würst (sausages) along with Brezen (pretzel), Knödel (potato or bread dumplings), Käsespätzle (cheese noodles), Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes), and Sauerkraut. Several of these dishes may sound familiar because they are served at Milwaukee’s Germanfest.
Along with Bratwurst another popular wurst traditionally served at Octoberfest is Weisswurst (a short, stubby link with a light, fluffy texture, white in color, speckled with fresh parsley and a hint of onion).
In Milwaukee, we too love an outdoor party. Host your own Octoberfest celebration with Usinger’s Weisswurst and Bratwurst. Hand crafted in our sausage kitchen on Third St. in downtown Milwaukee, they are spiced perfectly and great on the grill.
Enjoy the season, Prost!
In the era of "Bird Flu", "Mad Cow", and "Chronic Wasting", people want to know where the food they're eating comes from.
It's a very good question, one that you should ask yourself, and one that I received recently.
Here at Usinger's, we do not "harvest" animals, never have. We buy only the preferred cuts from USDA inspected packinghouses located in Wisconsin and other Midwestern states to make our sausages.
Because our suppliers are under continuous inspection by USDA Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS), they must comply with Federal Regulations related to animal welfare, animal health, proper sanitary conditions and that the entire process is conducted humanely. Federal Law requires that FSIS personnel be present during hours of operation at these establishments to validate compliance.
We have always believed in using only the freshest and highest quality ingredients. We do not use imported frozen meat in any Usinger products. Fresh, Midwestern pork and beef that is delivered daily to our Third Street sausage kitchen is what you will find in our products. It's the only way to make America's finest sausage.
Now that grilling season has returned, it’s time for a little review of some of our favorite grilling links and ways to prepare them. While they all taste great, there are subtle differences in the way you may want to prepare them.
Usinger Cooked Brat - The white brat. Bavarian style made with finely chopped Pork and Veal. These are the type served all over Germany. When grilled they actually swell and get plumper as they are cooked. Grilling gives them a crispy outer skin and smooth flavorful center.
Usinger Fresh Brat - My method for grilling a fresh brat is "low and slow". It's the opposite of grilling a steak, which you sear right away to seal in the juices and then cook them at a lower temperature. With a fresh bratwurst it has to acclimate to the heat slowly. Too much heat too quickly can cause the brat to swell so much that it will break the casing, which is what you are really trying to avoid. If the casing breaks, all of the juices and spices wind up in your grill.
Usinger Natural Casing Beef Frankfurters - These are meaty, juicy and have more than a hint of fresh garlic. Grilling enhances the "pop" when you bite into the natural casing.
Usinger Smoked Andouille Sausage - This is a great sausage with lots of complex flavors. Spicy, smoky and tangy all at once.
Usinger Jalapeno Cheddar – A hardwood smoked, fully cooked bratwurst that is ready to heat and eat. Made from coarsely ground premium pork, Jalapeno peppers, cheddar cheese and our apple wood smoked bacon for extra smokiness. One of my favorites.
Additional tips - Personally, I'm not a fan of parboiling. It can change the texture of the casing and dilute the flavor of a perfectly spiced sausage. If you're short on time, the pre-cooked are quick and don't require the care of grilling fresh meat.
If you like Kraut, try our Festival style sauerkraut. It's pre-cooked also and may be the only condiment you need.
Simply put, Oktoberfest is the world's largest outdoor party. It’s held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. The 16-day festival runs from late September to the first weekend in October. Many of the locals refer to it as Wiesn, which is short for the grounds it’s held on. Having been held since the early 1800’a it’s an important part of the Bavarian culture. Most other Oktoberfest around the world have been patterned after Munich’s, they’re just a little smaller. Munich’s averages about 6 million visitors per year!
If you like to eat German food, you’ll love Oktoberfest, check this menu out. Hendl (roast chicken), Schweinebraten (roast pork), Schweinsh axe (grilled ham hock), of course they’ll have plenty of Würst (sausages) along with Brezen (pretzel), Knödel (potato or bread dumplings), Käsespätzle (cheese noodles), Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes), and Sauerkraut. If you’ve been to Milwaukee’s German Fest this may sound familiar. One of the sausages served at Oktoberfest is Weisswurst (a white sausage containing veal). This delicious sausage literally melts in your mouth and is one of my favorites. We make it at Usinger’s and ours is equally as delicious.
Oktoberfest brats are also a seasonal favorite. They are just a bit longer than regular brats and spiced perfectly. If you’re celebrating Wiesn stateside this year, put some Weisswurst and Oktoberfest brats on the grill and it’ll go a long way toward giving you the taste of Munich’s Oktoberfest.
Enjoy the season, Prost!
Fritz talks about the the past, present and future of the sausage business and Usinger's.
Follow these easy tips to become the Grilling Guru of your neighborhood this summer.
When preparing sausages on the grill follow these steps to earn expert status and avoid incinerating your sausage links.
The links you will be grilling should come from the refrigerator, not rock hard directly from the freezer. All sausage should be thawed in the refrigerator prior to use.
The grill. Gas or coals, the plan is the same. Low and slow to avoid temperature shock to the links because they will split and lots of the flavorful juices from inside the sausage will be lost. Use the grill cover to keep in the heat during the beginning.
For a gas grill, warm it up on high, then just before placing the links on the grill turn the heat to low. Start the sausages on low and every few minutes turn the links and increase the heat just a little bit. Follow this sequence for about 10 minutes. Then the next 5 minutes is where the real cooking begins and you need to baby that sausage. Bring the heat up to high, you want to brown the link and “crisp up” the outside casing and cook the link to the center.
Charcoal grill. The coals need to be completely white, then you can start. Spread the coals out. Start the links on the outer perimeter where there is less heat. Turn the links often and gradually move them to the center of the grill. Follow this sequence for about 10 minutes. The center of the grill should be the hottest and this is where “crisp up” happens during the next five minutes until the sausages are cooked through.
Once the links are well browned, you hear them hissing and sizzling they are ready to enjoy.