Sausage is one of my favorite foods to smoke. It’s super easy, quick to cook, and is always popular with crowds. In this article we’re going to teach you how to smoke sausage that will have your friends and family drooling.
Smoking sausage is so easy to do. There’s literally no prep required, just open the package and place the sausage right on the grill. In just a couple of hours you’ll have juicy and delicious smoked sausage full of flavors you can’t beat anywhere.
Cook up some smoked sausage at your next BBQ party and you’ll be a hero. Even people who don’t normally like sausage will love it.
And if you somehow cook too much and have leftovers (not likely) there are plenty of ways to use it in different recipes throughout the week.
What’s The Best Sausage To Smoke?
Honestly, just about any kind of sausage is delicious when smoked. You might want to be careful with sausage that comes already smoked from the factory as the smoky flavors could be overpowering, but I’d still try it. I make an amazing double-smoked ham that is out of this world, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
My personal favorite is Premio Sweet Italian Sausage, but choose whatever sausage you like best.
Some of the best sausage to smoke is:
- Italian sausage (sweet or spicy)
- Breakfast sausage
- Hot dogs (yes, they are technically sausage)
- Beef sausage
- Chicken sausage
- Lamb sausage
- Specialty sausage (my local butcher makes a chicken parm sausage which sounds weird but is absolutely delicious)
- Homemade sausage
What’s The Best Wood To Smoke Sausage?
Try smoking sausage with just about any of kind of wood including hickory, oak, cherry, apple, or pecan. Sausage is so versatile that it goes well with just about any wood, so just pick your favorite and use that.
What Temp To Smoke Sausage
Aim for a steady temp of about 225° F to 250° F. If you have the type of smoker where you just program the temperature and leave that’s easy, but if you’re smoking over charcoal you’ll have to keep a closer eye on it.
How Long Does It Take To Smoke Sausage?
Many recipes and bloggers will say that sausage needs to smoke for 3 or even as much as 4 hours. I think that’s crazy.
I’ve been smoking sausage for years, and in my experience it will be ready in about 1 ½ to 2 hours max. Anything more than that and you risk overcooking it and being left with dry sausage that no one enjoys.
Now, if you’re cooking some super-thick Godzilla sized sausage then maybe it will take a bit longer, but for any sausage I’ve smoked 2 hours has been plenty of time.
The best way to tell if your meat is cooked is not by time, look, or touch. Invest a few bucks in a decent instant thermometer and you’ll know for sure when your sausage is ready.
How Long To Smoke Sausage At 225 Degrees
Preheat your smoker to 225° F and place the raw sausages right on the cooking grate. Smoke them with the lid closed for about 1 ½ to 2 hours (turning occasionally to ensure even smoking) or until they reach an internal temperature of 165° F.
How To Tell When Sausage Is Cooked
Eating undercooked sausage can result in food poisoning, signs of which include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.
You can’t tell for certain that sausage is cooked just by looking at it. Even if the outside is nicely browned and it looks done, the inside could be raw.
The vest way to tell when sausage is cooked is to check the temperature with an instant thermometer. Use a pair of tongs to remove a sausage from the grill and insert the thermometer probe in one end until it reaches the center of the sausage link. The internal temperature needs to be 165° F to be safe to eat.
A good instant read thermometer doesn’t cost much and it’s an essential item in any barbecue tool kit.
If you don’t have an instant read thermometer, another trick is to take the thickest sausage and slice it completely in half to expose the center. If the thickest one is fully cooked then the rest should be too, but you never know for sure so be careful.
Can You Overcook Sausage?
Absolutely, if you cook sausage for too long or at too high of a temperature you’ll be stuck with a dry, tough piece of meat that no one will want to eat.
How Long Does Smoked Sausage Last In The Fridge Or Freezer?
Smoked sausage is perishable and it needs to be stored in the fridge. If properly stored, it can be stored in a fridge for about 3 to 5 days.
If you have more leftover sausage than you can use, you can store it in the freezer for about 3 months before it starts losing quality.
Be sure to store your leftover smoked sausage in an airtight bag or container and squeeze as much air out before sealing.
How To Heat Up Smoked Sausage
The key to heating up sausage that has already been cooked is to keep it from drying out. The best way to do it is to place them in an oven at a mild temperature of 300° degrees until they are warmed through (about 15 to 20 minutes). This low and slow method will warm them up without drying them out.
I wouldn’t recommend the microwave as they will overcook very quickly.
Of course you can always just slice them and serve them cold as an appetizer. Smoked sausage makes a great finger food.
What To Do With Leftover Smoked Sausage
There are so many ways to use leftover sausage. Some of my favorites include:
- Mixed into homemade mac and cheese
- As a pizza topping
- Diced and added to an omelet or frittata
- Tossed in a pasta dish
- Served with a side of perogies
- On a roll with peppers and onions
How To Smoke Sausage
- 2 pounds sweet Italian sausage (you can use whatever type of sausage you prefer)
- Prepare your smoker and get the heat to a steady 225° F. Consult your smoker's instruction manual for specifics on your model.
- Remove the sausage from its packaging and place directly on the grates. There's no need to poke holes in them, that will just allow all the delicious juices to escape.
- Close the smoker lid and let them smoke for about 1 ½ to 2 hours, turning them occasionally so they smoke evenly.
- Use a digital thermometer to check the temperature by inserting the probe in one end until it reaches the center.
- When the internal temperature reaches 165° F remove the sausage and serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 169Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 646mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 18g