Grill Tips: 7 Steps to Sausage Grilling Mastery

19 August, 11

Most back yard grillers can be classified into two groups. The “Hurry and Let’s Eat” griller and the “Slow--It Will be Ready When it’s Ready” aficionado. Both strategies have merit. For the time starved and hungry, the home grill can be fast and easy. For the passionate-chef inspired, the grill is an opportunity to create. What if you can have the best of both; speed, incredibly delicious food and inspired family gathering experiences?

Great sausage grilling begins with simple basics and time honored techniques. This is not complicated yet it does require some planning and perhaps a slight shift in your thinking. The shift I am talking about is your attitude towards grilling and the bounty you will produce from your grill. What if rather than just cooking on a grill you make the grill the centerpiece of the gathering. Create the right conditions over and over so when guests come to your home, they know and anticipate the meal because you are known for your grill mastery. Grill mastery can be as simple as this;


7 Steps to Sausage Grilling Mastery

  1. The sausages you select matter. Quality varies greatly. Reputation matters. Queen City Sausage is the leader in Cincinnati. Best ingredients. Small batch production. Real hickory wood smoke. Hand mixed spices. Craft sausage makers specializing in mettwurst and bratwurst.
  2. Serious grillers use natural casing sausages. The natural casings hold in the flavor and juiciness of each sausage. 
  3. Make the grill the center of attention. Let your guest know upon arrival what is on the menu and what sausages they can look forward to.
  4. Toppings: Toppings simply make grilling more exciting. Onions, peppers, sauerkraut, and coarse ground mustard are my favorites. These key toppings naturally compliment the grilled sausages flavor.
  5. Build anticipation. My secret? I start cooking the onions and pepper topping first. I don’t just heat them up, I use a small pan and sauté them with my favorite Italian dressing and Worcestershire sauce. This sends an aroma throughout the party and out into the neighborhood. This smoky, onion infused aroma is a signal that a wonderful meal will soon be served.
  6. Get the Queen City sausages ready. The trick? Parboil with your favorite full bodied beer. Simmer the links for about 5 minutes. The links will swell and heat evenly from the beer.
  7. Don’t spoil the party! Slow down. Now add the sausages to the medium heated grill. Use tongs. Forks pierce the sausages and cause flare-ups which result in dry-burnt sausages. Turn often. Natural casing sausages burst open when at their grilled perfection. Remove from the grill, platter up and serve.

These are my grill tips. I have an advantage. I work for the Queen City Sausage Company. I know and see great sausages being made daily. I see the knowledge, passion, recipes and best ingredients that go into every sausage.


One more tip; The Cincinnati region is well known for brats or bratwurst. No, Cincinnati brats are not the raw sausages you find outside the area. Instead Cincinnati brats are slow cooked (steamed) pork and are whitish in color and fully cooked. Simply grill and serve. The taste? Wow! Want some? Visit and click on BUY. Here you will find our best selling sausages. Additionally Queen City Sausages are available in the Greater Cincinnati area at Kroger, Meijer, Remke/biggs, Findley Market , independents and the Cincinnati Reds.

Mark Balasa

Farewell to a Great Friend

10 June, 11


Eddie Kohl 1941 -- 2011

We can consider ourselves very fortunate in life when we can say we have learned great things from great people. These special people seem to enter our lives with great skills and knowledge that we happen to need, just at the time of their arrival. Eddie Kohl was just such an individual for Queen City Sausage Company.


Back in 1982 Queen City Sausage was in need of a sausage maker when Eddie Kohl showed up. Our needs required someone whose experience and knowledge would ensure the best and most consistent products. Eddie actually grew up in his father’s sausage business, Kohl’s Sausage. Eddie Kohl took us to the next level. He made the art of sausage making look easy because he could simply glance at a product batch and know if it was right. His standards were high and he helped make sure our products were exceptional. Elmer Hensler always had a knack for finding and trusting in good people. Eddie was proof of that.


Eddie had many interests, including a love for flying. He was knowledgeable in many subjects and raised 5 great kids. 


It is just not quite the same at the sausage factory without Eddie Kohl. Sure, Eddie’s friend and our plant manager, Mark Rodgers was well trained by Eddie and will continue Eddie’s standards.  There is just a piece of the daily routine here that is missing. That piece is Eddie.


Mark Balasa

Queen City Sausage  Company          


It’s All About Story Telling

7 April, 11

Stories are as old as time

Stories are memorable.  Stories are sticky.  Stories are an opportunity for your company and products to travel, in conversation, social media, and in the various media.
Every company has a story to tell.  Some stories are certainly better than others but we all have them and they need to be told.  Stories are an important way for companies and individuals to distinguish themselves.

Our company, Queen City Sausage has been in business since 1965.  Our owner, Elmer Hensler is still very active in the business.  Elmer’s story is the all-American story.  Humble beginnings in Cincinnati, risk taking by starting a business will lots of product knowledge but little capital, and dedicating his life to the success of the business.  Elmer’s story has another aspect, an uncompromising commitment to making the best sausage possible. This story unfolds throughout our new

What’s Your Story?

Is your story being told in all the right places?  Start with your website.  Avoid the mistake of creating an on-line brochure.  A website should compel you to review all of your marketing, find your story and proclaim it.  Great product imagery is a must!

Mark Balasa

Reach Out and Feed Someone

7 April, 11

Relationships begin with an introduction! Product Sampling is a Start!

What if you are a small business with such a great product but limited marketing resources?  What if you know in your heart that if people would just try your product they would be so impressed that you would have them hooked for life?

What if the solution is so simple that most businesses often fail to see it?

What if you could put big smiles on people’s faces, watch their immediate reactions to your offering, and support the community and charities at the same time?

Sampling is a great introduction!

I am talking about product sampling, and food sampling in particular.  Our company, Queen City Sausage is very fortunate.  Our brats and smoked sausages are already the best selling in the Greater Cincinnati region.  This is not something we take for granted or sit back and enjoy.  Instead we are constantly looking for simple, genuine and effective ways to connect with current customers and attract new customers.  Sampling is a great introduction, and a great opportunity for a relationship to begin.

Take the First Step

Think about it.  Something happens when you initiate the first step by giving something of value to someone.  Value can be as simple as a compliment, or in our experience a “free” generous sample of our sausages.  Giving gets even better when you are not demanding anything back in return.  You simply give with the hope that you are making new friends.  Real friends and relationships take time to nourish and develop.  However, once developed, real friendships are supportive.  Loyal friends become evangelists for your brand, company and products.

Telling vs. Showing

Queen City sausages are made without compromise.  We are craft sausage makers using only authentic German recipes, hand mixed spices, real wood smoke, and the best meats.  While we can “tell” this message in various ways such as print, social media, and radio, it is  even more genuine and from the heart when we take our weekend time off and attend charity events such as the Heart Mini Marathon and the Komen Race for the Cure. This action is “showing.” Once at these events, newbie’s and regulars alike will flock to our booth for delicious samples of our sausages and goetta.

By the way.  A committed sampling program is also attractive.  Not only do you show up at events with your dynamic booth, get noticed by the thousands who attend, but maybe you will receive some great press by the local media!

Sampling demands great products, cheerful staff, time, and a long term commitment to show up at selected events year after year.  By giving, we receive.  Why not set up your own sampling booth, support local charities, and grow your business?  One well attended event will compel you to the next.  Take the first step!  Make new friends.  Grow your business.

Mark Balasa

More Posts
Buy It NOW!

Official Bratwurst and Mettwurst of

Some notification text