Sausage Smoking 101: Tips for Flavorful & Textured Results

Smoking sausage extends its shelf life and enhances flavor. Different sausages require varying smoking times and temperatures for optimal results.

how to smoke sausage

Millions of Americans enjoy sausage created in various forms. Typically, cooked sausages become perishable, lasting about seven to 14 days when refrigerated.

Smoking sausage can help extend the shelf life of sausage while filling it with flavor and texture. Continue reading to learn more about how to smoke sausage: 

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How long do sausages take to smoke? 

About two to three hours is needed to smoke sausage (depending on your method), significantly larger ones such as brats properly.

Smaller, thinner sausages can take between 1.5 and two hours to smoke. However, if the sausage is pre-cooked, it should only take 30 to 45 minutes to smoke. 

Can you smoke raw sausage? 

Fresh sausage is typically uncooked and uncured ground meat placed in a casing. The raw sausage can be prepared in various ways, including smoking, grilling, and sautéing. People who have smoked raw sausage have had fabulous results. 

How do you smoke sausages at home? 

A smoker is the best and easiest way to smoke sausage at home. The smoking process provides the meat with lots of juice and smoky flavors. Smoking the sausage using a smoker is simple, and the meat needs no preparation before starting. All you do is place the sausage in the smoker and let it smoke for about three hours at 225 °F.

At what temperature should the smoked sausage be at when done? 

When fully cooked, the internal temperature of the smoked sausage should be 160° F for beef and pork-based smoked sausage, and 165° F for chicken and ground turkey smoked sausage. 

What temperature do you smoke sausages at?

The ideal temperature to set the smoker at for making smoked sausage is 225 °F, but it is possible to set the smoker as high as 240 °F.

FAQs about Smoking Sausage

How do you know when the smoked sausage is done? 

The best way to determine if the smoked sausage is done is to use a meat thermometer to ensure the meat’s internal temperature is at least 160° F. It is also possible to check the inside of the meat, where there should not be any pink or blood. 

Is it possible to overcook smoked sausage? 

It is possible to overcook smoked sausage, especially if you are not paying close attention to temperature and cooking times. Keep a close eye on the sausage to ensure the temperature is not too high, and ensure you do not overcook the meat. 

The sausage is still edible if overcooked, but it might taste charred as if it were overcooked on a grill. 

Which wood is best for smoking sausage? 

The best type of wood for smoking sausage depends on your desired results. If you want smoked sausage with robust flavor, use hickory (similar to smoking brisket); if you wish strong flavor, use apple wood. People who prefer milder sausage prefer to use pecan wood. 

What can smoked sausage be used to make? 

Leftover sausage can be used in many recipes, including soups, Jambalaya, sandwiches, quiches, casseroles, rice dishes, and pasta. 

What goes well with smoked sausage? 

As listed above, smoked sausage can be used in various dishes; several side dishes can accompany the meat when smoked sausage is the main feature of the dinner.

Common items served with smoked sausage include potatoes, broccoli, eggs, potato pancakes, pasta salads, potato salad, and rice. 

How do I store leftover smoked sausage? 

If packed properly, leftover smoked sausage can last up to four days in the refrigerator. To store smoked sausage, place it in an airtight container and set it in the fridge at least set to 40 °F.

Can I freeze leftover smoked sausage? 

It is possible to freeze leftover smoked sausage where it can last for up to two months. To properly store smoked sausage in the freeze, wrap it in airtight plastic wrap, then place it into a freezer zip-locking bag. Remove all the air from the back, label it with the date, and put it in the freezer. 

How do you keep smoked sausages from burning on the grill? 

Reheating smoked sausage on the grill adds to the flavor and heats the meat for an enjoyable meal. However, since the meat is already cooked, it only needs to be reheated; otherwise, it could burn. 

When cooking smoked sausage on the grill, keep a watchful eye and consistently rotate them throughout, removing them immediately when they start to burn. 

Can I smoke sausage in the oven? 

If you do not own a grill or smoker, smoking sausage in the oven is possible. Below are the steps to make smoked sausage in your oven: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 °F.
  2. Soak the hickory or mesquite wood chips in water and drain before smoking.
  3. Place wood chips in a single layer’s bottom of a deep metal pan. 
  4. Set a wire rack in the pan over the wood chips. 
  5. Place sausage on the wire rack, ensuring they are evenly spaced out. 
  6. Cover the pan with a tent made from aluminum foil, sealing off all sides to trap smoke.
  7. Place the pan with the sausage in the oven and cook slowly for about three to six hours. 
  8. If the wood chips dry out, add water to re-wet them.
  9. Check the meat’s internal temperature, and when it reaches 160 °F, the smoked sausage is done.

Can I smoke sausage on a pellet grill? 

Pellet grills are an excellent method to smoke sausages; however, the sausage must be cured beforehand. Ensuring the meat is cured before smoking on the pellet grill helps prevent the possibility of botulism poisoning. 

Are smoked sausage and kielbasa the same? 

In the United States, kielbasa is lightly smoked, ending up turning out to be like smoked sausage. Kielbasa typically contains coarsely ground pork sausage with garlic and is lightly smoked.

This sausage is a form of smoked sausage and has become one of the more popular versions of this type of meat. 

Is chorizo a type of smoked sausage? 

Chorizo is a European smoked sausage that is fermented and cured; then, it is sliced and eaten without cooking. Chorizo is also used as an ingredient to add flavor to dishes. However, some places sell chorizo that is not fermented or cured; these sausages need cooking before consumption. 

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