Sausage sizzle
A sausage sizzle served with onions and tomato sauce
Place of originAustralia[1][2]
Associated cuisineAustralia, New Zealand
Main ingredientsSausage, sliced bread

A sausage sizzle (also referred to as 'sausage in bread' or a sausage sandwich)[3] is a grilled or barbecued food item and community event held in Australia and New Zealand.

A sausage (most commonly beef or pork) is served in sliced bread or a hot dog bun with grilled onions and various condiments, most commonly tomato sauce, barbecue sauce or mustard.[4] Sausage sizzles are often served at community events in Australia and New Zealand,[1][2] and have become common features in the cultures of both nations.[5] The term "sausage sizzle" came into common use in the 1980s and is used to describe either the food item itself, the barbecuing technique or the nature of the event it may be served at.[4][3]

Sausage sizzles are generally held either as free community events or as fundraisers for charities, schools, sports clubs and other organisations. As such, ingredients and equipment are cheaply purchased or donated by suppliers. Fundraising sausage sizzles have become particularly associated with elections in Australia and the hardware chain Bunnings Warehouse.


Democracy sausages at a sausage sizzle in the electoral district of Moggill at the 2017 Queensland state election

Most commonly, the main sale item at a sausage sizzle is a pork or beef sausage (often colloquially referred to as a "snag"), cooked on a grill or barbecue[4] and served on a single slice of white sandwich bread,[6] or a hot dog roll in Western Australia.[7][8][9] Tomato sauce is the most common accompaniment, and is usually available for no extra cost, although other condiments such as barbecue sauce and American mustard are regularly available. Grilled onions are often available, for free or at extra cost.

Some sausage sizzles also offer the option of a white bread roll as an alternative to sliced bread. Vegetarian or gluten free options are infrequently available, but often sold at events with more extensive menus including hamburgers or complete meals. Cans of soft drink or bottled water may also be available for purchase,[10] so as to maximise fundraising.[11]


Australian elections

Main article: Democracy sausage

Sausage sizzles have become a recognised and expected addition to polling booths at Australian elections, with sausages at these stations nicknamed 'Democracy Sausages'.[12][13][14] There was widespread media coverage of this in the 2013 and 2016 Australian Federal Elections, with the hashtag "#democracysausage" trending on Twitter.[15] Twitter also added a sausage-in-bread emoji to the '#ausvotes' hashtag on the day of the 2016 election, it was the most widely used emoji in relation to the election under that hashtag.[16] During the 2016 election, the leader of the Australian Labor Party, Bill Shorten, came under scrutiny for the way in which he consumed sausage in bread.[17]

Bunnings Warehouse

A sausage sizzle fundraising event at Bunnings Warehouse

Australian hardware chain Bunnings offers barbecue facilities at all of its stores for hire to community groups. Sausage sizzles at these locations usually occur on weekends and have become associated with the Bunnings brand.[18] In 2016, when Bunnings expanded to the United Kingdom, it brought the sausage sizzle there as well, resulting in considerable media coverage.[19][20][21]

See also


  1. ^ a b "The unauthorised history of the sausage sizzle". ABC. 14 May 2019. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  2. ^ a b "The Evolution Of The Holy Sausage Sizzle". GQ. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Sizzle, sandwich or sausage in bread? Australian language mapped". ABC Radio National. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Santich, Barbara (2012). Bold Palates: Australia's Gastronomic Heritage. Kent Town, South Australia: Wakefield Press. p. 148. ISBN 978-1-74305-094-1. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  5. ^ "Best thing since sliced bread: The genius sausage sizzle hack you need this summer". 28 December 2019. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  6. ^ "Straight or diagonal? The Sausage Sizzle debate Australia has to have". NewsComAu. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  7. ^ Liaw, Adam (27 December 2019). "Adam Liaw on the sausage in bread outcry and his favourite summer barbecue hacks". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  8. ^ "East v West: WA Bunnings Sausage Sizzle For The Win". SoPerth. 13 November 2018. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  9. ^ Butler, Gavin. "Inside the Complex and Secret World of Bunnings Sausage Sizzles". Vice. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  10. ^ "Sausage Sizzle Fundraiser". How to Fundraise. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  11. ^ "Australia Day pPay | Australia Day Play | SBS World News". Archived from the original on 19 February 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  12. ^ "Australia takes its democracy with a side of sausage". BBC News. 2 July 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  13. ^ Bourke, Latika (11 May 2019). "Aussie voters in London taste first democracy sausage". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  14. ^ Lyons, Kate (16 May 2019). "Australia election: who are the candidates, and what's a democracy sausage?". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  15. ^ "Australia takes its democracy with a side of sausage". BBC News. 2 July 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  16. ^ Sivasubramanian, Shami (2 July 2016). "Twitter releases 10 most-tweeted emojis this election day". SBS. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  17. ^ "Bill Shorten forgot how to eat a sausage and no one can cope". The Feed. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  18. ^ "49 Thoughts Everyone Has While Shopping At Bunnings". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  19. ^ "An Aussie reviews the first UK Bunnings' snags". Herald Sun. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  20. ^ Miller, Nick (6 February 2018). "Lost in translation: Bunnings UK customers split on the Australian invasion". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  21. ^ Lansdown, Sarah (February 2017). "Britain's First Bunnings Just Opened And Everyone's Confused About The Sausage Sizzle". Huffington Post. Retrieved 20 June 2020.