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Cooking With Fire: Full English Breakfast

Justin Cary

Breakfast in America seems more of a nuisance than a celebrated meal, with quick microwaved sandwiches, frozen waffles and bowls of sugary cereal being common… this is a far cry from our friends across the Atlantic who take breakfast to new heights with their traditional English Fry Up or Full English Breakfast, as it is also known.

If you have never seen a plated up full English breakfast, let me break it down for you…

The plate includes back bacon, eggs, British sausage, also known as bangers, baked beans, fried tomatoes, fried mushrooms, black pudding and both fried and toasted bread.

Of all of these items, it is bangers that stand out the most. Contrary to popular belief, bangers are not a single type of sausage, but instead a term used to cover the whole of British sausage links. Regional varieties abound with Lincolnshire, New Market, Oxford, and Cumberland bangers being just some of the types.

Despite these regional varieties, bangers are typically made from ground pork, though pork and beef mixtures certainly do exist. But where did the name bangers come from? Well, the team at the English Breakfast Society explain that during World War I when meat rations were at their heaviest, sausages in Britain contained a large amount of fillers. These fillers would cause the sausages to explode when cooked if the outer skin wasn’t pierced. Soldiers and civilians alike began calling the exploding breakfast links bangers and the name simply stuck.

In this episode of Cooking with Fire, we feature a recipe for homemade bangers and more history of the Full English Breakfast.

English Sausage Bangers


  • 5 lb pork butt, cubed
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried ground sage
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground mace
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground dried ginger
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • natural hog casings


  1. Place the cubed pork shoulder in the freezer. When the pork is half frozen, remove and grind using a coarse (10 mm) die.
  2. Combine the salt, white pepper, thyme, sage, onion powder, mace, nutmeg and ginger. Mix well. 
  3. Combine the ground pork and seasoning mixture and mix by hand to evenly distribute the seasonings. Grind the pork a second time through a fine die (5 mm).
  4. Transfer the sausage to the bowl of a stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, mix on medium speed to form the primary bind, about 60 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a sausage stuffer.
  5. Feed your soaked and rinsed natural hog casings onto the horn of the stuffer. Lay out a sheet pan with water on it under the stuffer. Stuff the casings. Tie off the end. Twist sausages, if desired, using the pinch - pinch - twist method. Store in the refrigerator until ready to grill. 
  6. Grill the sausages over high heat (400ºF+), over indirect heat until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF.
Josh Cary may be the eCommerce Director at All Things Barbecue during the day, but at night he takes on the mantle of an award-winning Pitmaster, who has cooked on the competition barbecue circuit under various team names including ATBBQ, Yoder Smokers and the Que Tang Clan.
All Things Barbecue Staff Chef Tom Jackson is a Kansas native, born and raised in Wichita. In 2008 he and his wife moved to Portland, Oregon, where he attended Oregon Culinary Institute. Tom studied both general culinary skills as well as baking and pastry while working as a cook in a variety of restaurants. After graduating from Oregon Culinary Institute he began working as a bread baker and pastry chef at the renowned Ken’s Artisan Bakery in northwest Portland. He spent more than four years honing his skills under James Beard Award winning chef and owner Ken Forkish. In that time he and his wife had their first child, and the draw of home and family grew stronger. Longtime friends of the Cary family, owners of All Things Barbecue, they returned to Kansas to help All Things Barbecue continue to excel in their cooking classes. Tom has been further developing and building cooking classes and private events at All Things Barbecue since March 2014.