Curly-Q Grilled Sausages

14 Reviews 6 Pics
  • Prep

    10 m
  • Cook

    15 m
  • Ready In

    1 h 25 m
Chef John
Recipe by  Chef John

“Giving a sausage a cool, coiled shape isn't just fun or frivolous; it's also fully functional. The extra surface area picks up additional delicious smoky, caramelized flavors from the grill. You could brush barbecue sauce on an un-helixed Italian sausage, but here you're literally flavoring the sausage inside and out. I served them on buns with homemade basil-garlic mayonnaise.”

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Adjust Servings

Original recipe yields 2 grilled sausages



  1. Place sausages into a skillet over medium heat and pour in water. Add a large pinch of salt to the water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes per side.
  2. Remove sausages from pan and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour. Insert a metal skewer the long way through each cooled sausage.
  3. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate. Pour barbeque sauce into a small bowl.
  4. Place a sausage on a work surface and start making a knife cut about 3/4 inch from the end, holding the knife blade at a slight angle and cutting down to the skewer. Slowly rotate the sausage and continue cutting in a spiral until sausage is cut to about 1 inch from the other end. Gently spread the sausage apart on the skewer to create about 1/2 inch of space between the curls.
  5. Place sausages onto the preheated grill and cook until browned and meat is no longer pink inside, about 6 minutes; turn occasionally.
  6. Brush sausages with barbeque sauce using a pastry brush when sausages are nearly done. Cook, continuing to turn sausages, until sauce has caramelized onto the meat, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a plate and let sausages cool for about 30 seconds before removing skewers for serving.

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Reviews (14)

Rate This Recipe
Faith N

Faith N

Like Deb C, I didn't cut the spirals close enough. However, that did not matter! These were amazing. I fixed 10 using Mild & 4 Cheese Johnsonville Italian Sausage. Between 3 adults and 2 kids, there were gone in a few minutes (I am not ashamed that I ate two and my six year old declared they were better than hotdogs!) Had my first with mustard but realized they are perfect even without toppings. My husband said we'd definitely make them again and I'd like to experiment with various sauces on them while cooking. Thank you for another no fail recipe Chef John!

Baking Nana

Baking Nana

Chef John, I am going to eat my words. This technique is awesome but when I saw bbq sauce and italian sausage, I cringed. (I am not a fan of BBQ sauce) Never the less I pressed on and did a package of Johnsonville Brats and one of Italian sausage. They were a HUGE hit. This a fun technique and the BBQ sauce glaze is really great! Thank you for a fun dinner! (Tip - watch the video!)

Deb C

Deb C

Unfortunately, I didn’t cut the spirals close enough, however I still got the delicious smoky, caramelized flavors from the grill so aptly described by Chef John. I never cared for sausage until I used Johnsonville sausage so that is what I used. I added grilled onions, grilled red peppers, and provolone. Yummy!

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Amount Per Serving (2 total)

  • Calories
  • 227 cal
  • 11%
  • Fat
  • 17.1 g
  • 26%
  • Carbs
  • 5.5 g
  • 2%
  • Protein
  • 12 g
  • 24%
  • Cholesterol
  • 36 mg
  • 12%
  • Sodium
  • 1041 mg
  • 42%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet



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Chef John's Grilled Jerk Pork Tenderloin


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Grilled Sausage with Pepperonatta