How many cookouts have you been to this summer?
One. Two. Three Hundred and Two?
There is a good chance if you are a meat eater than you have eaten your weight in hot dogs and hamburgers this summer. And I get it. They are easy to put on the grill and a cheap way to feed a crowd.
But come on, you've got to be getting tired of the same hot dogs and burgers by now. Are you at the point where you can't imagine stuffing your face with another dog?
Do not worry. I am here with this month's Costco Food Finds post to help you find alternatives to hot dogs and hamburgers - spoiler the answer is sausage. Sorry to my vegan and vegetarian followers, I can make it up to you next month!
A Summer of Sausage
When it comes down to it, sausage is just better than hot dogs. Sausage has more flavor! Hot dogs are just hot dogs, it's not that I don't like a good hot dog. But in my world this is always true - sausage > hot dog
I was pretty blown away during my last Costco trip to see the amount of sausage offerings in the store right now. So many good choices to choose from. Some I have seen before and a few of them were brand new to me. Here are the options and brands I discovered. For each brand I list where they are headquartered.
Greenridge Farm Naturals - Elk Grove Village, Illinois
Greenridge Black Forest Sausage | $9.59 for 48oz | 722354
I am a fan of black forest ham, but I've never seen it as a sausage option. What is black forest? That definition is quite muddled. I have researched the subject and the best I can come up with is that the name comes from an area in Germany where the forests are so thick, the people call them black.
In Europe, the law says that only pork coming from the Black Forest region in Germany can be labelled as black forest. In the U.S. that does not apply, so the words have pretty much become more marketing ploy that having any actual meaning.
The best way I can describe what to expend is that black forest meat usually has a smokier flavor and at the very least will appear darker on the outside. Sometimes certain spices are used. Greenridge uses actual spices from Germany. Juniper berries are one of those spices common to Germany and German cooking.
Amylu - Chicago, Illinois
Sausage by Amylu does not contain added nitrites, nitrates, MSG, preservatives or anything artificial. Their chicken sausage is low fat, but not in flavor with several flavorful options. I have seen Costco cycle through different flavors. Here are the ones Costco had during my July visit:
Amylu Andouille Chicken Sausage | $13.99 for 48oz | 1140738
Andouille is a French name. Andouille is a spicy sausage that has become popular in Creole cooking. There is some amazing Andouille made in Louisiana. Any of the Andouille I have had has been less spicy than Mexican Chirzo sausage.
Amylu Apple & Gouda Chicken Sausage | $13.99 for 48oz | 1140740
Apples add a bit of natural sweetness and gouda gives the cheese element. I think it's a wonderful combo in a sausage.
Amylu Bison Sausage | $17.99 for 1.7 pounds | 1252824
Something new from Amylu is their bison sausage. I believe this is the first time I have seen a 100% bison sausage at a major grocery store. How cool. I am a big bison fan - of the meat and seeing the animal itself. I like the flavor of bison, which is richer than beef. Bison tends to be healthier in many regards in comparison to beef, one reason being that bison is leaner than beef (source)
Gilbert's - Wheaton, Illinois
Gilbert's has only been around for 10 years. It was started by two buddies that were into craft beer and wanted to bring that same passion to meat. They spent years selling at farmer's market and festivals but have obviously grown to the point now where Costco is one of their customers.
Gilbert's sausage comes individual wrapped for your convenience. On this Costco trip, they only had the one flavor in stock:
Gilbert's Cheedar Chiicken Sausage | $12.99 | 1146755
Kiolbasa - San Antonio, Texas
The next brand has been around a bit longer than Gilbert's. Kiolbasa has been doing the sausage biz since 1949. They create their sausage in small batches without MSG or fillers. The sausage is smoked over Texas hardwoods.
On the back of every package it says "Yes! If it is not the best sausage you have ever eaten, I'll give you your money back". It then lists a phone number for Michael Kiolbasa. I am kind of curious what I would find if I just called that number.
The two flavors being offered by my Costco right now are:
Kiolbasa Roasted Garlic Smoked Sausage | $4.99/lb | 44201
Kiolbasa Beef Sausage | $8.99/lb | 47073
Teton Waters Ranch - Denver, Colorado
If you want 100% Grass Fed beef for your sausage then turn to Teton Waters Ranch. This is my first time seeing them at Costco, so I was interested to learn more about the company.
Teton Waters beef is certified humane by the Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC). They care about the well being of their cows. Teton Waters Ranch aren't trying to jam the cows into feedlots, giving them a diet of grains and soybeans that fatten them up fast, but can be difficult for the cows to eat. When you take proper care of the animal, the meat it produces will be superior. It's a win for everyone.
Costco had their Beef Polish Sausage in stock.
Teton Grass Fed Beef Polish Sausage | $13.79 for 36oz | 1124028
Share Your Sausage Finds
Are you finding different brands of sausage in your Costco store? Share your finds in the comments section below.
I don't want to leave the burgers out of this post. Here are a couple different options if you are looking to change up your normal hamburger routine.
Amylu Organic Kale Mozzarella Chicken Burger | $13.99 for 8 patties
The kale is there to make it more healthy! I have no issue with shamelessly adding veggies to my burger, whether in the meat, like in this case, or on top of the meat (and no I don't mean iceberg lettuce).
Butterball Organic Ground Turkey | $4.99/lb | 46870
Make your own turkey burgers. They can be just as delicious if cooked properly. I like adding egg to my turkey burgers, this will help keep them moist and delicious. Check out my turkey burger recipe that I shared earlier this year.
I hope you found something helpful in here to sub out for your next cookout this summer. Costco has so much great sausage, it would be a shame not to give some a try.
We Want to Hear From You!
What are you finding at Costco this month? Leave a comment below.