How to Cook Boerewors the Right Way!

If you’re a South African, picture a warm summer’s day surrounded by friends and or family, a braai aan die gang, and perhaps a couple of beers. Sounds like a dream, right? 

For our non-South African friends, a braai (aka a BBQ) is something deeply cultural to South Africans. It’s the chance to relax, socialise, have a few drinks, and eat well-prepared and delicious meat with the ones we love. 

This is why boerewors is a huge hit for braai/bbq lovers! It’s flavoursome, succulent, tasty, and it goes great by itself or in a number of different recipes! Let’s start with the basics...

What is Boerewors?

Boerewors, which directly translates to ‘Farmer’s Sausage’, is most often a mixture of 90 percent meat and fat (usually coarsely ground beef and ground pork), 10 percent spices and seasoning, like coriander, black pepper, and nutmeg, and preservatives. 

Another general rule, and South African law, is that boerewors shouldn’t contain more than 30 percent fat. This can be a mixture of meat and fat and different ratios but the main rule is no more than 30 percent fat.

What’s The Difference Between Boerewors & Other Types of Sausage? 

Well, boerewors is more chunky and has a coarser texture. Other types of sausages, like bratwurst sausages for example, are smoother and fine. 

Boerewors is also shaped in a continuous spiral, unlike other types of sausages, and is usually around 30 centimeters in length.

There’s also generally more meat in boerewors as opposed to other types of sausages, and the rules on preparation differ in that other types of sausage must contain at least 75 percent of meat. 

Thin boerewors is often stuffed using lamb intestines whereas thicker boerewors is often stuffed in pig intestines.

3 Ways to Cook Boerewors

The most popular way to cook boerewors, especially in South Africa, is to slap it on the braai/BBQ, but there are tons of other ways to enjoy this kind of meat. 

Different ways to cook boerewors include:

  • Braai or BBQ boerewors
  • Cook boerewors in the oven
  • Fry boerewors in a pan (with or without water)

1. How to BBQ or Braai Boerewors

You’re going to want to BBQ or braai your boerewors over gentle coals, placing it onto the grill in its original coil shape. Then, keep turning the meat often so as not to burn or crisp one or both sides. The trick is not to overdo it as overcooked boerewors will lack the juiciness. 

Tip: Don’t pierce the boerewors as this will leak the juices.

2. How to Cook Boerewors in the Oven

To cook boerewors in the oven, preheat the oven and a roasting dish to 175C. You can go ahead and coat the boerewors in a light drizzle of vegetable or olive oil.

For our thin boerewors you can cook it for around 5-7 minutes each side. If it is cooked too long it can dry oout and be less tasty. It is best enjoyed still being a bit soft on the centre.

For our thick boerewors you will need to cook this about 10 minutes per side also at 175C. You want the sausage casing to be cooked well so that its not chewy when you eat it.

Tip: Use a larger heat-proof dish so that the boerewors can expand.

3. How to Cook Boerewors in a Pan

Use a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and allow your boerewors to cook on a low heat. Low heat will let the boerewors cook evenly while browning each side. Around 5 minutes each side for our thin boerewors and about 10 minutes per side for our thick boerewors.

You could add more olive oil if needed, or cook for a little longer if you prefer more well-done boerewors.

Hint: if you want to cook boerewors in a pan with water, you could add enough water to cover the entire sausage and let it cook on a low temperature for 30 minutes. This will ensure that the sausage is cooked on the inside. Remember to turn the boerewors every so often. When there’s a rolling boil, you can drain the water, and then lightly cook the boerewors in your skillet for a few minutes on each side.

What to Eat with Boerewors? 4 Boerewors Recipes You’ll Love!

Boerewors is fantastic on its own, but you could decide to use it to compliment a number of recipes. For example:

  • Boerewors Rolls: Add your cooked boerewors to a soft hot dog roll, add ketchup, mustard, caramelized onions, or any other condiment or topping you fancy.
  • Boerewors & Mash: Cut your boerewors into smaller pieces and add to mash. You can spice it up with onion, gravy, or South African Chakalaka sauce.
  • Boerewors Stew: Add cut-up pieces of boerewors with sliced onions, garlic, tomato paste, chopped tomato, and beef stock in a pan. Simmer for 15 minutes and serve with mash.
  • BBQ/Braai Meat & Side Dishes: A more traditional way of eating boerewors would be to accompany it with other braai meat like lamb chops, steak, or chicken, as well as a few side dishes like salad, potato salad, potato bake or coleslaw.

Ready to cook your own boerewors? Check out our Runder Boerewors that’s made with 100 percent beef filling and no artificial ingredients! An absolute treat for the entire family.