Smoking sausage is probably the easiest thing that you can do on the smoker. Smoked sausage is juicy, flavorful, and filled with deep smoky flavors. There is nothing that you need to do to prepare the sausage, simply place in the smoker and give it about 3 hours. The two main decisions you need to make is the type of sausage to smoke and what kind of wood to use. If you smoke extra sausage, save it to use in many different recipes throughout the week.
Smoked sausage is something I make at least once a month. I only need to make it once a month because I smoke extra and then use it throughout the week. You can add it to breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes and all will benefit from delicious smokey flavor. Cooked sausage is also easy to freeze for later.
When deciding on meats to smoke for your next barbecue, I highly recommend sausage. There are endless varieties of sausage you can choose from, it’s effortless on your part, and it’s fast. Sure ribs, brisket, and pork are very desirable meats but all take so long to smoke. You will spend at least 5 hours on ribs, and that’s the best case scenario.
Brisket is definitely an over-night smoke so it would be a busy night before the party. I like to stick with something truly easy and delicious at the same time. No matter what sausage you choose, it won’t take much longer than 3 hours to smoke. At the most, you are looking at a 4-hour smoke.
WHAT KIND OF SAUSAGE CAN I SMOKE?
There is truly not a lot of sausage out there that will not be good after smoking. The only sausage I would probably not smoke is the one that has already been smoked in the factory and package. Some of my favorite sausage to smoke is:
Italian sausage – that includes all of them, sweet, mild, spicy, and even the cheesy one.
QUICK SMOKING NOTES
How Long Does Sausage Take To Smoke? On average, sausage will take about 2 – 3 hours to smoke. Different types of sausage can vary in time though and that is why it’s best to use instant read thermometer to check internal temperature.
What Is The Temperature Of The Smoker? I normally don’t deviate much from the magic 225°. If using a charcoal/wood smoker, try to maintain temperature between 225°-240°.
When Is Smoked Sausage Done? Sausage should be cooked to 165° internal temperature. Use an instant read thermometer and insert it through the end, towards the center.
What Is The Best Wood For Smoking Sausage? Here is where another decision comes in. Do you want a strong flavor, or a mild one, or a fruity one? For a stronger wood flavor, go with hickory. When sausage has a strong flavor, I go with fruity wood like apple. If you want a milder wood flavor, use pecan.
HOW TO SMOKE SAUSAGE IN A SMOKER
Take the sausage out of the refrigerator before starting to prepare the smoker so it warms up a bit. Much like all other meats, you shouldn’t smoke sausage cold straight from the fridge.
Prepare the smoker and preheat it to 225°. Depending on the smoker, place a pan with water underneath or near the sausage. Lay sausages on the grate and make sure they are not touching each other. Close the lid and smoke it for about 3 hours.
You can insert a digital thermometer probe into the end of the sausage, towards the center, to monitor the temperature.
NOTE: It’s best to open the smoker as little as possible so it doesn’t loose heat and lower temperature. This is especially true for charcoal/wood smokers vs electric and gas. Since it’s harder to keep the temperature
WHERE TO USE SMOKED SAUSAGE
You can use leftover sausage in many recipes. Use it in:
Sausage and rice dishes
Pasta and sausage dishes
Breakfast dishes like frittatas, quiche, and breakfast casseroles.
STORING AND FREEZING
Store leftover cooked smoked sausage in an air-tight container, in the refrigerator. Properly stored, it should last up to 4 days.
To freeze smoked sausage, wrap it air-tight in plastic wrap and place them into a freezer zip-lock bag. Get all the air out, label, and freeze for up to 2 months.
MORE RECIPES TO TRY
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- 2 lbs sausage of choice or as much sausage as you wish
Choose your wood:
- Stronger flavor: hickoryMilder flavor: pecanFruity flavor: apple
- Prepare the smoker and get it to steady 225F°. (If using gas or or electric smoker, set it to 225F° and preheat for about 20 minutes.) Depending on the smoker, place the water pan underneath or near the meat.
- Place sausages on the grate and make sure they're not touching each other. (You can insert a digital thermometer probe into one of the sausages through the end, towards the center. Or, simply take a temperature reading after 2-3 hours.)
- Keep the smoker lid closed and cook for about 3 hours. Sausage will be done once it reaches 165F° internal temperature. Note: smoking time will depend on type and size of sausage so make sure to check internal temperature.