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
Carolina Style Smoked Pulled Pork
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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.
Keith Lipp says
dO YOU HAVE AN ACTUAL RECIPE OF THE MARAGADE USED ON THIS WEBSITE. iF SO WHERE. tHANKS
Hi Keith! I’m sorry, I don’t think I understand what you are asking. Could you clarify?
I am looking for learning that how to smoke sausage in the steamer…?
Hi! I’m not sure what you meat. Do you mean you want to steam the sausage?
Bob Gray says
How did you make the maragade?
Hello, Bob! Do you mean a marinade? There is no marinade on the sausage, are you thinking of another recipe?
Jan Sossar says
I presume the temperatures are in F, not C? Should be specified
Yes, Jan, it is in F. It would be quite hot in Celsius to cook for this long 🙂 I will make sure to add it to the recipe!
Diane Meyerink says
I make smoked sausage but I find that the casing is very tough.What can I do?Diane
Hi Diane! So the casing can be tough because of the kind of sausage it in, the kind of casing they used, the amount of salt in the sausage, if the sausage was left of the fridge without air-tight covering, and a few other factors. Most likely, it is the type of sausage you got that had tough casing. If you want to keep smoking this sausage, make sure to let the sausage warm up a little before placing it on the smoker. So pull it from the fridge about 30-45 minutes before placing it on the smoker. I really hope this helps!
Robert Steen says
My neighbor just cut down a huge maple tree and l plan on using some of this wood to smoke ltalian sausage, is this a good wood to use. By
Hi Robert, yes, maple would be good to use. You will just need to make sure the wood is seasoned (nice and dry) before using it for smoking. You don’t want to use freshly cut wood. The drying could take 6-12 months.
Yes… the last hr(of the 2.5-3 hrs) of smoking at 225 -250, I’ll put the sausage on a cookie grate … put a small amount of water(8th of a cup) in a pan… put the sausage/grate in the pan… seal it off with aluminum foil and put back in the cooker or your oven(so you can begin smoking more sausages on your smoker) lol ! This will assist you in your casing dilemma, plus give your sausage a more juicy and still adequately smoked.
I will definitely try this next time, Vic! Thank you!!
I cut the casings off of the pork sausage links before putting them in the smoker. This allows more smoke to enter the meat and for more fat to drip out. Not a fan of eating casings even if not tough.
That’s a great tip, thank you!
What is the process for double smoke sausage…is it just smoking it for a longer period of time?
Hey Robert! I’m assuming that when companies label their sausage as double smoked, it might be a marketing term because they never actually say what is the process they follow to get more smoked flavor. Personally, I wouldn’t attempt to just smoke longer because it will start to dry out and might get dry and chewy, depending on the sausage. One way that you can double smoke sausage, and I’d only recommend it for homemade sausage, is to do a cold smoke first and then do a hot smoke.
Billy Vic says
Too much smoking could make your meats bitter. So on sausage 1.5 to 2 hrs of smoking works nicely. Never cold smoked, so have no idea about cold smoking prior to hotter smoked meats. Competition cooked for 12 years, with 4 invites to the Jack Daniels World Championship BBQ invitational… and this is the 1st I’ve heard of ‘double smoked’. So I would have to agree, that it is most likely a marketing ploy. Cheers !
Yes, I’m leaning towards a marketing tactic.
Vic, cold smoking is basically curing the meat and then exposing it to smoke but only at low temperatures, usually below 90°. It’s usually done either or though, like cold smoking or hot smoking. I was just trying to think of what the company could possibly mean by “double smoked.”