A while back, right around the time I was at Kingsford University, I was approached about reviewing another Johnsonville sausage offering. Since we were a part of their bloggers panel, and I’m willing to try anything that they stamp their name on, it was a no brainer to give this particular product a whirl.
Disclaimer: We were given samples of the Johnsonville Pizza Sausages free of charge. This in no way affected our evaluation of the product, nor did it affect the objectivity of this review.
When these were initially offered to me they were described as “Pizza” smoked sausages with real tomatoes and cheese. I happen to like italian sausage on a pizza, but I’ve never had smoked sausage on a pie, so I had no idea of what to expect.
Additionally I’ve never done a product review on a food item like this, so I wasn’t entirely sure of the protocol other than to do a standard routine and tell you my thoughts and if the product has a place at a tailgate party.
The directions on the package were pretty straightforward. Basically the only thing I had to do was to heat them up in some way. Now that I have moved into a house, which was the cause for delay in doing this review, and subsequently have the ability to grill outdoors whenever I want, I jumped at the chance to fire up my Weber Q and get cooking.
On a side note, I really like Johnsonville’s precooked sausages for tailgating because I think they’re more forgiving for the hurried tailgater. Uncooked meats need to be cooked to various internal temperatures to ensure that they’re safe to eat, and rushing that cooking process can mean burnt food, whereas precooked items simply need to be heated through. It’s one of the main reasons that when I’m short on time at a tailgate I look for precooked. Additionally they tend to have much longer shelf lives which means you can get a few packs to keep in the fridge for those impromptu events.
After the grill was nice and hot I placed 3 of the Pizza sausages on the grill and cooked them over medium high for about 10 minutes, all the time turning them often enough to avoid total charring, but infrequently enough to get some great grill marks. During the cooking process I could see some of the cheese starting to leak out of the sausage, so I knew that their claim of real cheese was accurate.
Since I wanted to get the best flavor profile without masking any of the flavors from the Pizza sausage I went with a simplistic approach to tasting, eating them plain on a bun. I was thankful that I did because these things are big on flavor. The 1st thing you get is that familiar smoked sausage taste and texture, with that familiar snap of the casing when you bite in. I could also taste the familiar flavors of pizza with a subtle, yet balanced, tomato and cheese flavor. A quick peek at the cross section of the sausage showed that there were not big chunks of anything visible, which I think lends to that balance as the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Johnsonville hasn’t let me down yet, and these only further solidified that fact. They were quite tasty and definitely “Tailgate Approved.” I would have no issues with these showing up at my tailgates, nor would I turn one down if I ran into them in the lot. If you’re looking for a neat change of pace from the usual I would highly suggest giving these a try.