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Smoked sausage never disappoints. It’s juicy and full of flavor with little fuss.
Whether you’re new to the world of smoked meats or you’re an experienced smoker looking for an easy smoker recipe, everyone who has a smoker should learn the best method for smoking sausage.
Before deciding on the type of sausage you want to smoke, it’s important to distinguish between two different smoking processes for sausage:
- Hot smoking—this is when the sausage is fully cooked during smoking.
- Cold smoking—in this instance, the sausages ferment during the smoking process. Prior to cold smoking, the meat is generally cured, meaning that salts, sugars, nitrates, and nitrites to preserve and flavor the meat. In this case, the sausage is smoked as a flavor enhancer.
What Type of Sausage is Best for Smoked Sausage Recipe?
Now that you’ve decided which smoking process you’re going to use, you want to decide on the type of sausage to smoke. Various types of sausages can be smoked, including:
- Italian sausage of any variation (sweet, mild, spicy, cheesy, etc.)
- Breakfast sausages
- Chicken sausages
- Beef sausages
How to Choose the Type of Sausage to Smoke
Different dishes favor different kinds of sausages, for example:
- Italian sausages are best for meat-based sauces and kinds of pasta
- Spicy dishes do better with sausages like Chorizo or Andouli sausages
- If you’re not a fan of pork, chicken or beef sausages are great substitutes
Best wood for smoking Italian sausage?
How do you keep sausages from burning on the grill?
The biggest thing to remember is that you need to monitor the heat. If you’re cranking up the heat to cook the sausages fast, they’re going to burn time and time again.
Start with constant heat and rotate them throughout. If you notice that they’re starting to burn, you can always move them so that they’re cooking on indirect heat.
How Long Does it Take To Smoke Sausage (at 225)?
Smoking times vary based on the type of sausage you are smoking, but generally speaking, smoked sausage recipes only take between two to four hours.
This is another reason smoked sausage is such a great option if you’re interested in smoking meat—it tastes delicious and doesn’t take as long as other cuts of meat like briskets or roasts.
What Temperature Should Sausage be Smoked At?
The sweet spot for your smoker is 225°F, but the temperature may deviate anywhere from 225°F-240°F if you are using a charcoal or wood smoker.
Be sure to turn your sausages every 45 minutes to ensure the heat is circulating around the sausage evenly. You’ll know your smoked sausage is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F.
How do you know when sausages are done?
As mentioned above, you need to use a meat thermometer and check the temperature. You can also check how the inside looks to make certain that there isn’t any pink on the inside or blood.
The juices that are coming from the sausage should also be clear and not have any other coloring as well.
Can you overcook sausage?
Absolutely. You can actually overcook smoked sausage very easily. Depending on how hot your fire is, you’ll have to keep a close eye on how you’re cooking the sausage.
If you overcook they are still edible but will have a charred taste and texture.
Tips for Smoking Sausage
- When smoking sausage, time and temperature truly are of the essence. Smoking the sausage at too high of a temperature, or for too long, can lead to a dry, less than desirable flavored meat.
- Like any good thing, sausages need space. Before smoking sausage, lay them directly on the smoker grates with a few inches of space between each sausage to ensure proper circulation.
- Don’t open your smoker more than necessary. Maintaining the temperature of your smoker is important for flavor and cook. You don’t want to lose too much heat or power from opening your smoker one too many times.
Freshly ground sausage is a game-changer. If you have the appliances and the time, and it doesn’t require much, try grinding your meat and creating your own sausage links for smoking. The type of seasonings you want to use will depend on the type of sausage you choose to make.
More Smoked Recipes to Try:
How to Smoke Sausage on a Smoker
- 2 pounds sausage
- Start up your smoker and bring up to a steady 250F degrees
- Add sausage links to top grate, spaced at least an inch apart to allow for smoke circulation. Alternately you can hang the sausage links.
- Add 2-3 chunks of hickory, or wood of your choice.
- Maintain a temperature of 250F until the internal temperature of sausages registers 165F.
- Remove from smoker and rest for 5-10 minutes, then serve. If storing, plunge in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.