Sausages! They are one of the most versatile meats available!
They are truly a delicious addition you can add to your night’s meal. They are jam-packed with so many flavors and spices they can bring even a bland meal alive!
You can put them in practically everything because they are so well-rounded. It doesn’t matter if you’re preparing a Mexican, Italian, or even a French dish; sausages are available for all dishes.
You should generally plan on smoking sausage for about 1-2 hours. After that, you can remove the sausage from the smoker and enjoy it.
Smoking sausages is notoriously an amazing way to have sausages cooked. It can activate a new level of flavor with the combination of the sausage and the smoke.
But, just as amazing as they are, sausages can be tricky to smoke. It’s easy to overcook them and just as easy to undercook them. Finding the right happy place in the middle will be key to success when smoking sausage.
Sausages take a little time, but following the necessary beginning, middle, and ending steps will surely allow a seamless process.
This doesn’t have to be a difficult process. In fact, by following just a few steps, you can be the sausage-smoking champion of your home!
How to Choose the Right Sausage?
What makes sausages so great is there are almost endless ways you can serve them because of the different types of sausages available.
The decision is ultimately yours on what will be best for the night’s dish. Fortunately, various sausages go best with different meals, so there are plenty of options.
|Type of Sausage||Flavor||Best served in|
|Kielbasa||Smoky, Mild, Sweet||European/Polish dishes|
|Andouille||Spicy, Garlicky, Smoky||Cajun/French dishes|
|Bratwurst||Salty, Ginger, Mild||German dishes|
|Italian Sausages||Spicy, Garlicky, Sweet||Italian dishes|
|Chorizo||Spicy, Garlicky, Peppery||Mexican|
This sausage will be best served as the main focal point of the meal. It can be best served with traditional European sides like sauerkraut or boiled potatoes. It will have a naturally smoky flavor and a sweeter mild tone to complement it nicely.
Andouille is a sausage commonly used in Deep South Louisiana for many cajun cuisines. It has a strong savory flavor that will surely heat any dish with the rich spices it contains. It is most commonly used in dishes like jambalaya and typically comes already cooked, so eating cold is welcome, though it tastes much better smoked.
A staple in the German culture that holds to the test of time. It holds up against the notorious All-American hot dog in the United States. Bratwurst typically has strong ginger nodes to match the already salty sausage.
A true champion of Italian dishes that everyone loves. This type of sausage can go in an array of Italian dishes, either as the side pairing or the main course itself! It has a strong sense of spice and garlic that we love about Italian dishes.
Potentially one of the most versatile sausages. This more-spicy Mexican sausage can be used in some traditional Mexican dishes because of how well-rounded the flavor profile is. It can be used for meals of all hours, from breakfast to dinner, in several different dishes. It has a spicy kick with a garlicky and pepper taste that will leave you anticipating each bite.
For another breakdown of the different types of sausages available, check out this YouTube video.
No matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong with sausage. They can be involved in almost every dish just so long as your imagination allows!
Preparing and Smoking the Sausages
Smoking sausages is a tedious process and is best executed with the right tools. Smoking sausages requires having a smoker with wood chips, but also, to get the best result, having a meat thermometer is best.
160 degrees Fahrenheit is the ultimate temperature your sausages can have.
The temperature effectively kills off any harmful bacteria frequently found in sausages while not overcooking and drying them out.
An overcooked sausage can lack texture and flavor and be extremely dry due to the fat being burnt off. No one wants that!
- The first step in preparing your sausages is more about the wood chips. Soaking your wood chips in cold water will activate more smoke than if they remained dry.
- Next, you are going to preheat your smoker. The minimum temperature you should smoke at is 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
- After the preheating process begins, add the soaked wood chips to the smoker. Please ensure they’re in the proper wood chip tray, not the water bowl!
- After the wood chips have been placed and your smoker is getting warmer, place the sausages on a metal rack inside the smoker. Ensure that each sausage is at least one inch apart from the other to ensure each sausage gets a proper amount of smoke.
- Cook the sausages until they reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit internally.
- Once pulled, you’re going to start the cooling process. The first step in cooling them is placing the cooked sausages in a cold water bowl. If you would rather not put them in a bowl of cold water, simply pouring cold water over them will suffice.
- After cooling them with water, air-dry them for roughly 2-3 hours.
Key Reminders for Smoking Sausage
- Make sure all the meat you use is cured. You run a very high risk of not having all the potentially harmful bacteria cooked out. For more information about curing meat, refer to this YouTube video.
- It’s important that you pre-soak your wood chips. If you don’t do this, then you run the risk of them not producing enough smoke.
- Make sure the internal temperature of the sausage reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit to make sure they are safe to eat.
- Allow for at least a 1-inch separation between each sausage inside the smoker. This will ensure each sausage is cooked evenly and gets the right amount of smoke.
- Change the wood chips out every hour and a half. This will ensure that you constantly pump out the best smoke possible in the smoker. Otherwise, your sausages may not get smoked evenly or get the true benefits of using a smoker!
- Do not cold-smoked sausages unless you are completely comfortable with them. Otherwise, it could be a potential health risk. Cold smoking is the process of smoking food items at a low temperature to get the taste of smoke on the food. Temperatures shouldn’t be exceeded higher than 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
For a quick guide on cold smoking, watch this YouTube video.
- Make sure to turn the sausages in every 45 minutes for even all-around smoking.
- If you don’t have access to a meat thermometer, that’s okay too. It just makes the cooking process more seamless. Another indicator to look for is the consistency of the natural juices of the sausage. If they are breaking through the casing, then that’s another sure sign they are done.
- Take some time to choose the type of wood chips you will use. Different wood chips have different tastes that they leave on food items, so finding the right wood chips for your sausages can make a difference.
- Lastly, don’t be in a rush! If you want the best-tasting sausages, then they shouldn’t be rushed! Smoking anything can be quite a timely experience, so if you are in a hurry or on a time crunch, then smoking may not be the best option for cooking the sausage.
How to Smoke Kielbasa in Electric Smoker?
Smoked kielbasa is a delicious and hearty treat that is perfect for game day or any other time you’re looking for a tasty snack. Luckily, it’s easy to smoke kielbasa in an electric smoker, and the results are sure to please.
Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit and then prep your kielbasa sausage by removing it from the package. You can poke holes in it with a fork at this point, but it’s unnecessary.
Then, all you need to do is place the kielbasa in the smoker and let it cook for 2-3 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the kielbasa is cooked, you can serve it in hoagie rolls or dice it up and serve it as part of an appetizer platter.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Best Way to Smoke Sausages?
The best way to smoke sausages is through a simple but careful method. You must use only cured meat and that each one is properly cooked. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting sick.
Simply soak your wood chips in cold water and preheat your smoker to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. While your smoker is preheating, place the sausages on a rack, at least 1 inch apart for even smoking, and then place them in the smoker.
Place your soaked wood chips in the wood chip tray and then allow your sausages to cook. Once the internal temperature of the sausage reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit, take them out and either place them in a cold bowl of water or pour cold water over them.
Cold water will stop the sausages from shrinking further. Then allow them air-dry for 2-3 hours before serving!
How Long to Smoke Sausage at 225 Degrees Fahrenheit?
Smoking sausages at 225 degrees Fahrenheit should take about 3 hours. More importantly, they will take however long to reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
How Long to Smoke Sausage at 250 Degrees Fahrenheit?
Smoking sausages at 250 degrees Fahrenheit will take approximately 2 hours to smoke through completely. The higher the temperature, the faster it will take, but the higher risk you run of them coming out dry.
How Long to Smoke Sausage at 275 Degrees Fahrenheit?
Smoking sausages at 275 degrees Fahrenheit will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour. However, it is best not to run sausages at such high temperatures unless time is a real concern.
Smoking sausages at a high temperature increases the risk of all the fat is cooked out and the sausages coming out dry. If this is a personal preference, or time doesn’t allow, then it’s best to keep a close eye on them and turn them halfway, or when the internal temperatures reach about 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
This will allow them to reach at least and even smoke all the water through, but again keep an eye on them. It is just as easy to undercook them as to overcook them!
How Long to Smoke Sausage in an Electric Smoker?
Modern electric smokers are designed to perform just like their other variants. Smokers who prefer electric smokers often don’t wish to go through the process of heating coals or are looking for a more expedited way of smoking food.
Smoking can be a lengthy process regardless of the type of smoker. But if you want an alternative smoker that lets you be a little more hands-off, then an electric smoker might be for you, especially if you intend on smoking sausages.
With sausages being a little more sensitive meat, they can easily overcook and dry out with minimal effort on your part. Most electric smokers come with technology that monitors your sausages so you can set and forget.
When using an electric smoker, you should turn the temperature of the smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit and let it preheat for about 20 minutes.
Depending on the sausages you pick, larger sausages, like brats, will take approximately 2 to 3 hours to smoke. Thinly sliced sausages will take 1 1/2 to 2 hours to cook. Only 30 to 45 minutes should be spent smoking cooked sausage from the prepared meats section since they’re already fully cooked.
Remember to go through the proper cooling process just as you would with any other smoker. The cooling process will ensure your sausages keep their shape without shrinking and finish cooking properly.
Smoking sausages is a great way to bring new flavors and excitement to your plate. Whether you want to round off a meal or make it the main course, they are versatile meat that goes great with almost anything.
They can be difficult to smoke because they require more attention than other meats. Sausages are easy to overcook and even easier to undercook for those fearing them coming out dry. Follow the steps laid out, use a careful hand and detailed eye to monitor them, and take proper care.
It doesn’t have to be scary if you allow yourself the proper time and have the right tools. Access to a food thermometer will be your greatest ally, but not necessary.
Ensure to carefully inspect each sausage before being removed, for the smoker will be the key to ensuring they are completely cooked.
Sausages will make a great addition to your plate and open up a new world of flavor for your tastebuds!