What Are the Different Types of German Sausages?

David Bishop

The country of Germany is well-known for many types of hearty dishes, including its wide variety of sausage meats. German sausages have become a popular food in different countries around the world and are often served during Oktoberfest celebrations. Some of the more famous types of sausage include bratwurst, frankfurters, liverwurst and knockwurst. There also are a number of lesser known varieties, such as blutwurst, rohwurst and sommerwurst.


Frankfurters may be the most famous type of German sausages. The name comes from a town called Frankfurt, where these sausages originated. Variants of this sausage have become popular as hot dogs in the United States. Frankfurters are often served on a bun along with various condiments.

A variation of the German frankfurter has become known as the hot dog.
A variation of the German frankfurter has become known as the hot dog.

The term bratwurst describes a family of German sausages made from beef or pork. There are many recipes for this sausage in Germany, and they can be prepared using several methods, including grilling and poaching. Brats, as they are popularly known, also can be served as a main dish along with traditional German side items or on a bun with condiments.

Liverwurst is a well-known type of German sausage.
Liverwurst is a well-known type of German sausage.

As the name implies, liverwurst is a German sausage made from liver and other ingredients. The liver used generally comes from a pig and usually is mixed with other cuts of pork or beef. Liverwurst is primarily eaten as a sandwich meat or as a spread.

Knockwurst is another variety of German sausages made from pork and veal. The name comes from the cracking sound this crispy sausage makes when eaten. Most knockwurst recipes call for the meat to be mixed with seasonings and aged for several days before being smoked. This sausage is often reheated on the grill or in a pan on the stove.

Blutwurst, also known as black pudding or blood sausage, refers to a group of German sausages prepared by mixing dried blood and other fillers. Blutwurst fillers may include organ meats, extra fat and seasonings. These sausages may be reheated in warm water or served cold as a sandwich meat.

Unlike many of the previously mentioned German sausages, rohwurst refers to a family of fresh, raw sausage products. These can be hard or soft, depending on the process used to cure and ripen the meat. Rohwurst recipes may include different types of meat, such as beef, pork or lamb, along with spices.

Better known as summer sausage in the U.S., sommerwurst is a type of hard rohwurst that is popular in several European regions. Sommerwurst is generally cured and either smoked or dried. This preparation is intended to help preserve the meat during the warmer summer months.

Bratwursts are German sausages made from beef or pork.
Bratwursts are German sausages made from beef or pork.

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The sausages were a great luxury because these are made of the finest mincemeat.

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