How to Cook Boerewors

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how to cook boerewors

Are you wondering how to cook boerewors and other South African cuisines? Are you ready to embark on a culinary adventure and tantalise your taste buds with the rich flavours of South African cuisine? Look no further than boerewors, a beloved traditional sausage that captures the essence of South African gastronomy. 
This guide will delve into the secrets of cooking boerewors, exploring the techniques, ingredients, and cultural significance that make it a true delight. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, this article will equip you with all the knowledge you need to create an authentic boerewors experience in the comfort of your home.

The History and Cultural Significance of Boerewors

Before diving into the cooking process, let's take a moment to appreciate boerewors' history and cultural significance. Originating from the Dutch words "boer" (farmer) and "wors" (sausage), boerewors reflect the heritage of South African farming communities. Traditionally made with a combination of beef, chicken, and lamb, boerewors symbolises unity and diversity, mirroring the multicultural tapestry of South Africa.

Let's Get Cooking

Here's the step-by-step guide to cooking boerewors.
  1. Begin by chilling the meat and fat in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Cold meat is easier to grind and handle.
  2. Once chilled, cut the meat and fat into small cubes and pass them through a meat grinder with a medium-sized plate. This step ensures a consistent texture throughout the sausage.
  3. In a mortar and pestle, crush the coriander seeds. Add the ground black pepper, salt, allspice, nutmeg, thyme, and rosemary. Grind the spices until well combined.
  4. Combine the ground meat, spices, vinegar, and water in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. This is an excellent opportunity to get your hands dirty and connect with the food you're preparing.
  5. Soak the hog casings in water for 30 minutes to remove excess salt. Rinse them thoroughly to ensure a clean surface.
  6. Attach a sausage stuffer to your meat grinder and thread the soaked hog casings onto the sausage stuffer's nozzle. Slowly feed the meat mixture into the casings, being careful not to overstuff them.
  7. Once all the sausages are stuffed, twist them regularly to create individual boerewors links. You can adjust the length of the sausages to your preference.
  8. To enhance the flavours, allow the boerewors to rest in the refrigerator overnight, allowing the spices to meld and develop.

South African sausage

Cooking Methods

There are various ways to cook boerewors, each offering a unique flavour profile. The three popular methods are braai, pan-frying and oven-baking. Here's a quick look to briefly explain each method.

Braai (South African Barbecue)

Fire up the grill and cook the boerewors over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until they are browned and cooked. The smoky flavours imparted by the grill add a delicious depth to the sausages.


Heat a skillet over medium heat and add a drizzle of oil. Cook the boerewors in the skillet, turning them occasionally, until they are browned on all sides and cooked through. This method is perfect for those who want to enjoy boerewors when a grill is unavailable.


Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the boerewors on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake them for about 20-25 minutes until they are cooked and browned. This method ensures even cooking and is convenient when cooking more significant quantities.

Serving Suggestions

Now that your boerewors are cooked to perfection, it's time to savour the flavours of South Africa. Here are some serving suggestions to enhance your boerewors experience:

Boerewors Rolls

Serve the grilled boerewors in soft rolls, commonly known as "boerewors rolls." Top them with your favourite condiments, such as chakalaka (a spicy vegetable relish) or tomato and onion relish for a burst of flavour.

Pap and Boerewors

Try pairing your boerewors with "pap," a traditional South African staple made from maise meal. Combining the juicy sausages and the creamy pap creates a hearty and satisfying meal.

Boerewors Potjie

Prepare a traditional South African potjie, a slow-cooked stew, using boerewors as the star ingredient. Combine the sausages with vegetables, spices, and broth for a comforting and flavoursome dish.

How Do You Cook Boerewors in a Frying Pan?

Cooking boerewors in a frying pan is a simple and convenient method that yields delicious results. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to cook boerewors in a frying pan:

  1. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add a drizzle of oil to the pan and let it heat up.
  2. Place the boerewors in the hot frying pan, ensuring they are not overcrowded. It's important to leave enough space between the sausages to promote even cooking.
  3. Cook the boerewors for 10-15 minutes, occasionally turning them with tongs. This will ensure they cook evenly on all sides and develop a nice brown crust.
  4. Adjust the heat as needed to prevent the sausages from burning. You want them to cook through while maintaining their juicy texture.
  5. To check if the boerewors is cooked, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the sausage. The internal temperature should reach 160°F (71°C) for pork and beef or 145°F (63°C) for lamb.
  6. Once the boerewors is cooked to perfection, remove them from the pan and let them rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a moist and flavorful sausage.
  7. Serve the pan-fried boerewors as desired. They can be enjoyed independently, served in rolls with condiments, or paired with traditional South African side dishes like pap (maise meal) or chakalaka (spicy relish).

Pan-frying boerewors is a versatile cooking method that allows you to enjoy this South African speciality without needing a grill. It's quick, easy, and delivers fantastic flavours. So, grab your frying pan, fire up the stove, and savour the mouthwatering taste of boerewors in your kitchen.

boerewors on grill

How to Cook Boerewors on Grill?

Grilling boerewors is a popular and traditional way to cook this South African sausage, imparting a smoky and charred flavour. Follow these steps to cook boerewors on a grill.

Prepare Your Grill

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. A charcoal grill ensures the coals are hot and covered with white ash. Preheat the burners for about 10-15 minutes for a gas grill.

Oil the Grill Grates

Lightly oil the grates to prevent the boerewors from sticking to the grill. You can use a brush or a folded paper towel soaked in oil. Be cautious and use long tongs to avoid burns.

Place the Boerewors on the Grill

Carefully place them on the oiled grill grates, ensuring they are evenly spaced apart. Avoid overcrowding the sausages to ensure proper heat circulation and even cooking.

Grill With Care

Close the lid and cook the boerewors for about 12-15 minutes, occasionally turning them. Use tongs to flip the sausages gently, ensuring they cook evenly on all sides. The exact cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the links.

Check for "Doneness"

You can use a meat thermometer to determine if the boerewors are cooked. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the sausage, avoiding contact with the grill grates. The internal temperature should reach 160°F (71°C) for pork and beef or 145°F (63°C) for lamb.

Rest Before Serving

Once the boerewors reach the desired temperature, remove them from the grill and rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute and ensures a tender and flavorful result.

Boerewors with dips and sauce

Serve and Enjoy

Now it's time to savour the grilled boerewors! Serve them on a platter alongside your favourite side dishes, salads, or condiments. Boerewors pairs exceptionally well with chakalaka, tomato and onion relish, or even a squeeze of lemon juice.
Grilling boerewors infuse the sausages with a delightful smoky flavour, giving them an appealing charred exterior. Enjoy this South African speciality straight from the grill, and immerse yourself in the authentic flavours of boerewors.

Final Thoughts

You have now mastered the art of cooking boerewors, a South African culinary gem. From the rich history and cultural significance to the meticulous preparation process, boerewors encapsulates the spirit of South African gastronomy. Whether you choose to grill, pan-fry, or bake your sausages, the flavours and aromas of boerewors will transport you to the vibrant landscapes of South Africa.
So, gather your friends and family, ignite the grill, and indulge in the delectable flavours of boerewors. Explore the diverse culinary world by embracing the tastes and traditions of different cultures. Food can bring people together, foster connections, and create unforgettable memories.
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