Thuringer vs Summer Sausage: How Can You Tell The Differences?

Many people confuse Thuringer vs summer sausage because of their similar appearance and flavor. Yet, you can distinguish them by checking some features. 

In this article, Health’s Kitchen will compare the two popular kinds of sausages side by side. Are you ready for this food battle? Let’s follow our post! 

What Is Thuringer Sausage? 

Thuringer sausage has some different names, like Thuringer bratwurst and Thüringer sausage. It first appeared in Germany in the 15th century. 

Thuringer bratwurst is one of the oldest types of sausages. It illustrates the lifestyle of German people in some aspects.

For example, the Germans like to add some mustard to their cuisines, making this food spicier than other sausages. 

People in the USA call this food “Thuringer cervelat,” with cervelat being a kind of semi-dry sausage. Cervelat has a similar taste and preparation process to the summer sausage. 

Summer Sausage Origin? 

Summer sausage is the traditional sausage in Europe. It got the name because European people discovered this recipe to make food that won’t spoil.

Three preservation methods are applied in the production process: smoking, curing, and lactic acid fermentation. They boost the flavor of the meat and make it retain its quality under hot weather conditions.  

You can find many kinds of these foods. Manufacturers change a few of their recipes and cooking processes to make new food, like trail bologna and salami

People cook summer sausages and store them in their refrigerators for months. The curing process allows them to remain edible after a long storage time. 

Differences Between Thuringer Vs Summer Sausage 

These sausages have different tastes because of their preparation process and spices. The following information will show you more about their differences. 


Often, people use pork, venison, or beef to make summer sausage. You can also find a beef-only sausage. 

The pork-to-beef ratio varies depending on your taste. The ratio of 7:3 or 3:7 is the most popular choice among cooks. 

Thuringer also comes from beef or pork fat. It often combines pork and beef, making it another version of beef sausage. 


Although the primary meat ingredients for these sausages are similar, their seasonings and spices make them taste differently. 

The seasonings and spices for Thuringer sausages are salts, pepper, marjoram, lemon zest, nutmeg, and caraway seeds. With such spices, these sausages are spicier than their counterparts. 

Besides, people use garlic, black pepper, and mustard seeds to make summer sausages. Some variations have ginger and coriander to enhance the final flavor. 


The most significant difference between the dishes is their preparation.

While grilling can bring out the best taste of Thuringer sausage, smoking is the best summer sausage preparation.

  • How to cook Thuringer sausage?

Thuringer has a unique taste that derives from the cooking process.

German people used to cook it over a fire on a grill coated with bacon grease to enrich its flavor. 

Any grill can still work if you can’t prepare a wood fire. Please note the fire should be moderate enough for the meat to achieve a dark crust. 

In this instance, dark does not imply burning. This hue is common for your sausage to be coated with beer. 

Meanwhile, the inside should be cooking when the outside starts to cool down. 

  • How to cook summer sausage?

People use different methods to prepare their summer sausages, such as baking in the oven or cooking in the casserole. Yet, smoking is the best way. 

Use a grill or smoker if you want to keep the temperature low. Otherwise, an electric smoker is better at achieving and maintaining high temperatures.   

The best cooking temperature for your food is about 120°F. Then, you need to increase it gradually to 160°F and eventually 190°F.

If you cook the dish in the oven, set it at 170°F, then raise it to 190°F. Yet, the ideal temperature for your recipe should be around 160°F.

Side dishes

Thuringer sausage is the best when served with potato salad. 

Germans like to add mustard to their sausages, which you can try for a new experience. You will also bring your meal to a higher level with some beer. 

Meanwhile, people eat summer sausage with wine. They also like to use this sausage as a snack or a dish for their BBQ party. 

It would be best to serve them with cheese, crackers, and sandwiches.

Best served

Try to enjoy your Thuringer sausage hot or warm. You will have the best meal when you take it from the grill and eat it immediately. 

On the contrary, many people choose to store their summer sausages for a long time. Then, they can serve them both cold or warm. 

Comparison table

We have compared the two famous dishes in significant terms. This comparison table will help you summarize their differences. 

Criteria Thuringer SausageSummer Sausage
MeatBeef, pork fatPork, venison, beef
TasteTangy and spicyTangy
PreparationGrilled Smoked
Side dishesMustard, beer, potato saladCheese, wine
Best servedWarmWarm or cold

The Bottom Line 

Both Thuringer and summer sausages are pork or beef. Yet, they come with different seasonings and have different preparation processes, so each dish’s experience is not the same. 

Hopefully, you will find this article helpful. If you need any further information about these sausages, please feel free to ask. 

Are you satisfied with the above article? Don’t forget to share your thoughts and experiences! Thank you for reading, and see you in the next post!

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