Grilled Kiełbasa: the BBQ Queen!


PL: Kiełbasa z grilla / z rożna

It’s getting warmer and the grilling season has officially begun. It’s time to take our BBQ equipment out, cracking open cold beers and invite our family and friends!

Here’s my recipe for a perfect barbecue party:

Let the meats & sides be plentiful, but let them be simple. After all, we want to have fun and not spend ages in the kitchen meticulously prepping the food, right?

Fun fact: In Poland, we kick off the bbq/picnic season during Majówka (pronounced: my-oof-kah). It’s a long May weekend: the 1st (Labour Day) and 3rd of May (Constitution Day) are public holidays.
Many of us take the 2nd of May as a day off as well. This way – if we’re lucky – we get a nice, long break.

There are certain well-loved classics that everyone expects to see at a summer party and one of them is our beloved grilled Polish sausage.

How to Select the Best Polish Sausage for Grilling?

Polish Kiełbasa Sausage on a grill with onions, bell peppers, garlic and bell peppers. View from the side

While you could go for a fresh sausage, smoked kiełbasa is a more popular choice. It has already been cooked, so you don’t have to worry about cooking the meat to a certain temperature. Our only goal is to heat it through and give it a nice char.

Ideally, it’s best to buy high quality kiełbasa at a trusted butcher’s. That way we know that it’s fresh and sourced locally.

While it would be amazing to shop at a speciality meat store every day, that’s often not realistic. So if you’re heading to your local supermarket or a Polish store, keep these things in mind:

  • Look at the price. If it’s suspiciously low, it means the meat content is low as well and it’s full of nasty artificial adjectives. In Poland, aim at a price point of 20-25 złoty per kilo.
  • Natural sausage casing is preferred.
  • Read the label! Kiełbasa shouldn’t be too lean or too fatty – which is why pork sausages fit the bill the best. Those with some added veal are great too. Aim for 20 % fat content (or a bit more).
  • Popular sausage choices for grilling are: śląska, toruńska, podwawelska, rzeszowska, biała.

Once we have the sausages ready, we can start grilling!

Polish Kiełbasa Sausage on a grill with onions, bell peppers, garlic and bell peppers. View from above.

How to Grill Kiełbasa?

Should you prick the sausages before cooking them? Or cut a slit every inch or two? The jury is still out:

Most pro chefs would discourage you from pricking sausages. This practice makes them too hard and dry.

On the other hand – almost everyone does the exact opposite, and the sausages are still delicious! If you enjoy a crispy kiełbasa, go on and make a few slit cuts before placing it on a grill.

Next, transfer them onto a hot barbecue (over a moderate heat). Since the sausages are smoked and already cooked through, they’ll need only a couple of minutes on a grill. It’s enough to get a light char and golden colour on the outside.

What To Serve With Grilled Kiełbasa?

They’re the staple sides you can never go wrong with, such as a Potato Salad, corn on the cob or dill pickles.

In terms of dips, mustard and ketchup fits the bill. Sauces based on garlic or horseradish are also great.

Should you happen to have any leftovers (though if you have hungry guests, you probably won’t :-P), keep them! Chop the kiełbasa into pieces and throw it into scrambled eggs for breakfast or toss it into pasta for lunch the next day.

Smaczego & enjoy your majówka!

Grilled Kiełbasa (Polish Sausage) with grilled onion, cherry tomato and bell pepper, served with mustard. On a white plate, on a white wooden table. Shot from above.
Grilled Kiełbasa / Polish Sausage

Grilled Kiełbasa / Polish Sausage

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

You'll see that sausage really does taste better when it's cooked on the grill!


For the sausage

  • 14 oz (400 g) Pork Kiełbasa Sausage

For dipping

  • 1 tbsp Mustard


  1. Heat up the grill. If it's electric/gas, set it on medium/high.
  2. (Optional step) Place kiełbasa on the cutting board and slit the casing on both sides.
  3. Grill kiełbasa, turning halfway through, until lightly charred. This can take anything from 5 up to 10 minutes.
  4. Serve with bread and a dip of your choice.


Alternatively, serve with tomato ketchup, garlic or a horseradish sauce.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 291Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 239mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 28g

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Grill Party table: Polish Grilled Kiełbasa Sausage on a white plate served with fried onions, cherry tomatoes and mustard. Dill pickles and Potato Salad. On a white wooden table, shot from above.

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Kasia Kronenberger
Cześć, I’m Kasia.

Here at Polonist I’m spreading the love for the wonderful Polish food. >> Learn more

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