Kielbasa is a delicious Polish sausage that can be enjoyed in many meals and recipes.
Of course, you can always make it yourself at home for the best, most authentic kielbasa.
However, if you don’t feel up to grinding meat, stuffing sausage, and curing kielbasa at home, you can buy excellent kielbasa at the store.
But what are the best brands of kielbasa, and what do you look for when choosing kielbasa?
Read on as I discuss some of the best brands like Alex’s Meat Kielbasy Krestyanskie, Konopelski Polish Kielbasa, and some others.
What To Look for When Buying Kielbasa
When looking for the best brands of kielbasa, read the label carefully.
Here are some of the key things to look for when choosing kielbasa:
A Short Ingredient List
Look for kielbasa without a lot of additives and preservatives.
Traditional kielbasa has only meat, fat, salt, garlic, and seasonings. Kielbasa is often seasoned with caraway, marjoram, or black pepper.
American and Hungarian kielbasas are often seasoned with paprika, but that is not a traditional Polish seasoning.
If kielbasa has a long, complicated list of ingredients, it’s probably not a great brand.
High Meat Content
Meat and animal fat should be the first and second ingredients on a kielbasa label, and the more meat, the better.
For example, in Poland, kielbasa is made with pork, but it is often made with beef, turkey, or other meats in America.
As you read the label, you may notice that many great kielbasas list sugar in their ingredients.
The presence of sugar can be surprising and may be frustrating for people who are on a keto diet or who restrict sugar for other reasons.
The sugar in kielbasa does not make it sweet in flavor; instead, sugar helps balance some of the excess saltiness of cured meats.
It also acts as a natural preservative and helps to promote browning during cooking.
Sugar is a fairly common ingredient in kielbasa and does not need to be avoided unless you strictly watch your sugar intake.
With those things in mind, here are some of the best brands of kielbasa.
What Are the Best Brands of Kielbasa?
Traditionally made in the US with pork and beef, seasoned with spices and garlic, Alex’s Meat makes an excellent kielbasa.
Konopelski has been making traditional Polish kielbasa from a family recipe for over 100 years.
Their kielbasa is made in small batches, using traditional seasonings, smoked with fruitwoods.
Wardynski Meats makes traditional Polish sausages in New York as they have since 1919.
Their kielbasa is made with marjoram like in the old country, but you can request a version without it.
This kielbasa is made the old-fashioned way, and the pork is raised humanely and animal welfare certified, without hormones or antibiotics.
The label also includes the specific herbs and spices used to make the kielbasa, full of fresh and natural ingredients.
This Russian sausage is seasoned and prepared like a kielbasa, with beef, pork, and garlic.
Comparison Table: Brands of Kielbasa
|Primary Meat||Additional Meat(s)||Primary Seasonings||More Info|
|Alex’s Meat Kielbasy Krestyanskie||Pork||Beef||Garlic||Unspecified spices|
|Konopelski Polish Kielbasa||Pork||Beef||Spices including garlic||Unspecified spices, includes dry milk|
|Wardynski Smoked Polish Sausage||Pork||Beef||Spices including garlic powder, paprika, optional marjoram||Unspecified spices, includes dry milk|
|Pederson’s Farms Old World Kielbasa||Pork||White pepper, coriander, nutmeg, garlic, celery powder||Animal welfare certified, raised humanely without antibiotics or growth stimulants|
|Moskovskaya Sausage||Pork||Beef||Garlic||Unspecified spices|
How to Order Kielbasa Online
Many kielbasas are classified as perishable foods, which means they’re only eligible for expedited shipping.
In addition, many of the best kielbasa brands are made by hand in small batches, not stored in large quantities in warehouses, ready to ship.
To make sure you get great kielbasa when you order online, here are some suggestions:
Check Whether the Kielbasa Is Shipped with a Cold Pack
Sellers will happily answer this question before you order.
When you order online and choose express shipping, you may be expecting your item the next day.
However, because kielbasa may be made by hand and to order, it may not be possible to receive it as soon as you like.
In fact, some of the best kielbasa brands explain on their websites when they make the sausage and what day you can expect to receive it.
Great kielbasa is worth waiting for.
Accept the Delivery In Person
If possible, arrange to be home to accept the package when it arrives.
Even if the kielbasa has shipped with a cold pack, it should be refrigerated or frozen right away and not wait on the porch in a box for several hours.
Choosing a great brand of kielbasa is easy if you look for natural ingredients and a product that has been prepared the old-fashioned way.
However, because there are various spices and seasonings in kielbasa, you may need to try a few brands to find your favorite.