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Best sausages for your bank holiday barbecue

We've given premium pork sausages a thorough grilling in our latest taste test

Best sausages for your bank holiday barbecue

Sausages are a British favourite and will rightly occupy pride of place on many barbecues over the upcoming bank holiday weekend. If you’ll be cooking for friends and family, we’d recommend plumping for our new Best Buy premium pork sausage – a banger so tasty it’ll leave your guests queuing for seconds.

To find the best premium pork sausages that you can buy from major supermarkets, we asked a panel of food experts to blind taste 14 widely available varieties. We found substantial differences between the best and worst, from succulent sausages packed with flavour, to dry, tasteless bangers wrapped in artificial skins.

The very best sausages were praised by our judges for their excellent texture, appearance and taste. Those in second and third place were also commended, but they weren’t rated highly enough to be Best Buys.

All the sausages we assessed were cooked by expert chefs at an award-winning restaurant, but some still failed to impress. Some were too dry, while the worst was gristly and had a strange chemical taste.

Find out the best premium pork sausages.

Our sausage taste test

We asked a panel of four experts to rate and assess 14 premium pork sausages that you can buy in the supermarket.

The sausages were assessed raw and cooked, and were fried by our chefs before our experts blind tasted them.

The brands we tasted were:

  • Aldi Specially Selected Traditional Pork Sausages
  • Asda Extra Special 10 Classic Pork Sausages
  • Co-op Irresistible Outdoor Bred Pork Sausages
  • Debbie & Andrews Perfect Pork Sausages
  • Heck 97% Pork Sausages
  • Iceland Luxury 10 Outdoor Bred Pork Premium Sausages
  • Lidl Deluxe Freedom Food Pork Sausages
  • M&S British Outdoor Bred 97% Pork Sausages
  • Morrisons The Best Thick British Pork Sausages
  • Porky Whites Premium Surrey Pork Sausages
  • Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference British Pork Sausages
  • Tesco Finest British Pork Sausages
  • The Black Farmer Premium Pork Sausages
  • Waitrose 1 Free Range Pork Sausages

Does meat content matter?

All the sausages we rated were made up of at least 82% pork, but you can buy ones that contain far less. In fact, pork sausages only need to have a pork content of just 42% (and non-pork sausages can contain even less meat – 26% chicken or 30% beef/lamb).

These low-meat-content pork sausages are cheaper, but our experts were adamant that the trade-off in quality isn’t worth it. When they tasted a 42%-pork sausage they were disappointed with its ‘puréed’ texture, which one described as being like ‘paste in a skin’. And the sausage that contained 70% meat left a pool of fat in our pan when we cooked it.

If you’re looking for the tastiest sausage, we’d recommend that you choose a ‘premium’ version. However, even within the premium bracket, a high meat content is no guarantee of quality. In fact, the best and worst premium sausages both contained 97% pork.

A higher meat content won’t break the bank

Premium sausages may be more expensive, but the differences can be less than you’d expect. Lidl’s 90% pork sausages (£1.95 for 6) cost £4.88 per kg, whereas Richmond 42% pork sausages cost £4.41 per kg.

When you consider how much more meat you’re getting, rather than cheaper fillers, they’re arguably far better value. And, as they contain more protein, they should keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Extras for the best barbecue ever

If your barbecue has seen better days, find a new one for the last days of summer with our Best Buy barbecue guide. And to help your party go with a bang, check out our reviews of the best red wine and prosecco or, if you’re happy to push the boat out, our round-up of the best Champagne.

Finally, if the sun does come out over the bank holiday, don’t forget to slap on some Best Buy sun cream.

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