How Long to Smoke Sausage

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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 really 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 at your disposal for all types of dishes!

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 really tricky to smoke. It’s easy to overcook them and just as easy to undercook them. Finding the right happy place in the middle is going to be key to success when smoking sausage. 

Sausages do take a little bit of 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!

Choosing 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, there are a variety of sausages that go best with different meals, so there are plenty of options to choose from!

Type of SausageFlavorBest served in
Kielbasa Smoky, Mild, SweetEuropean/Polish dishes
AndouilleSpicy, Garlicky, SmokyCajun/French dishes
BratwurstSalty, Ginger, MildGerman dishes
Italian SausagesSpicy, Garlicky, SweetItalian dishes 
Chorizo Spicy, Garlicky, Peppery Mexican 

Kielbasa

This sausage is going to 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 to it that has a sweeter more mild tone to compliment it nicely. 

Andouille

A sausage that is commonly used in the Deep South of Louisiana for many cajun cuisines. It has a strong savory flavor that is surely going to heat up 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. 

Bratwurst

A staple in the German culture that holds true to the test of time. Even here, in the United States, it holds up against the notorious All-American hot dog. Bratwurst typically has strong ginger nodes to match the already salty sausage.  

Italian 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.

Chorizo

Potentially one of the most versatile sausages. This more-spicy Mexican sausage can be used in a number of traditional Mexican dishes because of how well-rounded the flavor profile is. It can be used for meals of all hours from breakfast all the way to dinner in a number of 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 simply can’t go wrong with sausage. They can be involved in almost every dish just so long as your imagination will allow!

Preparing and Smoking the Sausages

Smoking sausages is a tedious process and is best executed with the right tools. Obviously 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.

It’s the temperature that effectively kills off any harmful bacteria frequently found in sausages, while not overcooking and drying them out.

An overcooked sausage can lack texture, flavor, and overall be extremely dry due to the fat being burnt off, no one wants that!

  1. The first step in getting your sausages ready is actually more about the wood chips. Soaking your wood chips in cold water is going to activate more smoke than if they remained dry.
  2. Next, you are going to preheat your smoker. The minimum temperature you should smoke at is 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. After you’ve begun the preheating process, add the soaked wood chips to the smoker. Make sure they’re in the proper wood chip tray and not the bowl of water!
  4. 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 each other to ensure each sausage gets a proper amount of smoke. 
  5. Cook the sausages until they reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit internally. 
  6. Once pulled, you’re going to start the cooling process. The first step in cooling them is placing the cooked sausages in a cold bowl of water. If you would rather not put them in a bowl of cold water, simply pouring cold water over them will suffice. 
  7. Shortly after they’ve been cooled 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 1-inch of separation in between each sausage when inside the smoker. This will make sure each sausage is not only cooked evenly but gets the right amount of smoke on it.
  • Change the wood chips out every hour and a half. This will ensure that you are constantly pumping 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 smoke sausages unless you are completely comfortable with it. Otherwise, it could be a potential health risk. Cold smoking is the process of smoking food items at a low temperature to merely just 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 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 choosing the type of wood chips you are going to use. Different wood chips have different tastes that they leave on food items, so finding the right wood chips for your sausages can really make a difference.
  • Lastly, don’t be in a rush! If you want the best tasting sausages then it’s best that they don’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 to cook the sausage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Way to Smoke Sausages?

The best way to smoke sausages is through a simple, but careful method. It’s important you are using only cured meat and each one is properly cooked through. 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 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 Sausages at 225 Degrees Fahrenheit?

While smoking sausages at 225 degrees Fahrenheit, it should take about 3 hours. More importantly, they will take however long it takes to reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. 

How Long to Smoke Sausages at 250 Degrees Fahrenheit?

Smoking sausages at 250 degrees Fahrenheit will take approximately 2 hours to completely smoke through. The higher the temperature, the faster it will take, but the higher risk you run of them coming out dry. 

How Long to Smoke Sausages at 275 Degrees Fahrenheit?

Smoking sausages at 275 degrees Fahrenheit will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Though it is best to not run sausages at such high temperatures unless time is a real concern. 

Smoking sausages at a high temperature runs the risk of all the fat being 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 perhaps turn them halfway, or when the internal temperatures reach about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. 

This will allow them to reach at least an even smoke all the water through, but again keep an eye on them. It is just as easy to undercook them as it is to overcook them! 

How Long to Smoke Sausages in an Electric Smoker?

Modern electric smokers are designed to perform just like their other variants. Smokers who prefer electric smokers are often those who 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 are wanting 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 will monitor your sausages for you so you can simply 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.

After the 20 minutes is up and your sausages are in, you should expect them to take about 3 hours for the best results. 

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. 

Conclusion 

Smoking sausages is a great way to bring new flavor and excitement to your plate. Whether you are looking to round off a meal or make them the main course, they are pretty versatile meat that goes great with almost anything. 

They can be a little difficult to smoke because they require a little extra attention than some other meats. Sausages are easy to overcook and even easier to undercook for those fearing them to come out dry. Simply follow the steps laid out and use a careful hand and detailed eye to monitor them and properly care. 

It doesn’t have to be a scary process if you just allow yourself the proper amount of time and have all the right tools. Having access to a food thermometer is going to be your greatest ally, but not totally necessary.

Just make sure to carefully inspect each sausage prior to being removed for the smoker will be the key to make sure they are completely cooked. 

Sausages will make a great addition to your plate and open up a whole new world of flavor for your tastebuds!