Summer Sausage vs Thuringer: What is the main difference?

If you have recently purchased a pack of Thuringer cervelat sausages, you might be wondering how they are different from good old summer sausage.

Summer sausage is a type of sausage made with beef, veal, pork, and sometimes chicken. Check this article to learn more about what summer sausage is made of.

Summer sausages are often served grilled on top of soft buns as opposed to hard bread. 

Thuringer is a type of Bavarian sausage that is made with ground beef, pork, bacon, and sometimes veal. 

Thuringer has a spicy flavor and is usually served with mashed potatoes.

It is essentially summer sausage’s cousin and looks quite similar to it.

Thuringer should be cooked on a grill and enjoyed immediately, whereas summer sausage can be served either warm or cold.

In this Thuringer vs summer sausage breakdown, I am going to answer any questions you might have.

I will give you everything you need to know about what meat types go in each, how they are made, and some common serving suggestions.

What Is Thuringer?

Thuringer sausage, also known as Thuringer bratwurst, is a German sausage from the state of Thuringia.

One of the oldest sausages is from the fifteenth century. This sausage is a way of life in the region where it came from.

Some Germans like to mix it up with mustard, while others don’t like mustard at all.

Cervelat is a type of semi-dry sausage that is usually seasoned or smoked very similar to summer sausage, which is why it’s called “Thuringer cervelat” in the US.

What is Thuringer Sausage made of?

In Germany, they make this sausage out of pork and beef and then season it with pepper, salt, and caraway seeds.

It is possible to increase the flavor even more with variations such as Nutmeg, Coriander, and Lemon Zest.

This sausage is around seven inches long and is usually spicy. They usually sell this sausage in raw form.

The Thuringer sausage is traditionally made in the US of beef, salt, some curing ingredients, spices, and the lactic acid starter culture. Dry mustard is the most common of the spices.

More and more recipes and butcher shops make Thuringer with a mix of pork and beef, which is a variation on the beef sausage.

This usually consists of lean meat parts and pork fat from the back.

How Can I Cook Thuringer Sausage?

Thuringer has a lot of taste that comes from how it is cooked. Germans used to do it on a bacon-fat-greased grill over a wood fire.

If you don’t have a wood fire grill, any other will work just fine. The fire shouldn’t be too hot, just enough to give the sausage a dark crust.

Dark doesn’t mean burnt in this case. It is common for the sausage to be brushed with beer while on the grill.

The inside will still be cooking even though the skin will cool down slightly.

What pairs well with Thuringer?

In the US and Germany, this sausage is typically served with potato salad. Most of the time, the most essential garnish would be mustard.

This is not the type of sausage that you want to cut cold, but rather the one that you eat immediately after it warms up.

Beer is the drink of choice when it comes to the drink of your choice.

What Is Summer Sausage?

Summer sausage is an old European sausage that has been around since before refrigeration technology.

The Sausage got its name because people were able to make a sausage that wouldn’t ruin over the summer months.

Combining a few preservation methods at the same time was how they did it. There are many different types of summer sausages.

Some people compare it to other types of sausage such as trail bologna.

What Meat Is Used to Make Summer Sausage?

The sausage is usually made of beef and veal or pork. There is a beef-only summer sausage available.

Mustard seeds, garlic, and black pepper are a few of the common spices. Variations of ginger and Coriander are very popular.

Being one of Americans’ favorite meat delicacies, summer sausage is often made at home. The beef-to-pork ratio depends on the person you are.

If you were to make these sausages on your own, you would make sure to use 70% beef, 30% pork, or both.

The chuck is one of the best cuts for beef. It’s possible to go with pork butt or shoulder cuts.

How to Cook Summer Sausage?

You can cook summer sausage in your casserole, smoke it, or bake it in the oven. If you want to make the most of the taste, you should smoke it.

If you want to keep the cooking temperature low, you should use a smoker or grill. However, If you want to keep the cooking temperature high, you should use an electric sausage smoker.

You want your smoker to be set at around 120F and then gradually increase to 160F and finally to 190F.

If you want to cook the summer sausage in the oven, you need to start at 170F and then increase it to 190F.

The internal temperature for sausages during the summer season is 160F.

What Pairs Well With Summer Sausage?

The majority of American families prefer this sausage as a snack on a Sunday picnic or as part of their charcuterie board.

Summer sausage can be used on sandwiches, casseroles, or with a glass of wine and cheese or crackers. It is possible to eat this meat delicacy at room temperature.

Thuringer vs. Summer Sausage: Similarities and Differences

Thuringer sausage is also referred to as Thuringer cervelat, which is very similar to summer sausage.

This might raise some questions about the differences between the two and how they are alike.

To illustrate the point, I have prepared a table to summarize everything we have covered and highlight the differences and similarities between these two popular sausage types.

 MeatTastePreparationPairs Well WithBest Served
Summer SausagePork, venison, beefTangySmokedCheese, wineWarm, cold
Thüringer SausageBeef, pork fatTangy, somewhat spicyGrilledMustard, potato salad, beerWarm

The main difference between these two sausage types is the preparation process.

Thuringer Cervelat is best eaten on the grill, while the summer sausage needs a few hours on the smoker.

Thuringer pairs better with beer and summer sausage is better with wine.

If you want to enjoy your summer sausage both warm and cold, you should only eat Thuringer off the grill.


If you are going to switch from summer sausage to Thuringer on your next Sunday get-together, you will make no mistake.

Thuringer is an equally delicious sausage that will work great as a summer sausage replacement.

It’s a good idea to throw it on the grill and give it a nice beer bath every once in a while. I hope that I have painted a clear picture when it comes to Thuringer cervelat.

There is sausage during the summer. Both are similar in taste, so if you are a fan of one, you are bound to be a fan of the other.

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