NIGEL Birrell knows a thing or two about a good sausage.
The owner of Nigel's Gourmet on Tamar at Exeter, was crowed Tasmania's best continental sausage maker with his bratwurst in October and heads off to compete in the National Sausage King final in Perth, Western Australia, on February 9.
A butcher with 20-years' experience under his knife, Mr Birrell jokingly said he was chained to the sausage machine when he was an apprentice, so he has been able to perfect the craft over the years.
``I was pretty happy with the win and now to head off to Perth should be good,'' he said.
``Sausage making is starting to get a bit more recognition and is talked about.''
It is only the second time he had entered the state final but said competition is taken seriously among the butchers.
Mr Birrell said there was an art to making a good sausage.
He said the most important factor was to ensure the sausage had good texture.
The wrong texture can leave a sausage crumbly or if the binding agent is not correct, too chewy.
He said all sausages need some fat, and that ones that are too lean just end up dry.
Mr Birrell said the competition rules were quite strict for the national final, yet he will be able to prepare his bratwurst here before packing them on ice for the flight to Perth.
At the competition, the sausages are ``blind'' cooked so each is treated equally.