Smoked sausage has been made and enjoyed around the world for centuries. Originally, smoking sausage was to preserve meat for a longer period of time, but with the invention of freezers and refrigerators, smoked sausage has become a delicacy purely for its smoky flavor and these days is often served as a snack by itself, or as an ingredient of stews, soups, and other meals. Though smoked sausage is widely available in stores, many hunters and chefs prefer learning how to smoke sausage themselves to create unique flavors.
Getting Started: Start with a stuffed casing at room temperature, then dry your sausage before smoking.
You can achieve the drying by placing the sausage in your smokehouse with the damper open at about 140-150° for one hour
Top 5 Reasons for Drying Sausage:
Smoking can be achieved by placing a pan of sawdust/chips in the smoker on the burner. The sawdust/chips must be soaked in water at least one hour. Soak in half the volume of water that you have sawdust/chips. (4 cups sawdust/2 cups water) Heat the smoker to approximately 170⁰ to ignite the sawdust/chips to achieve smoke. Close the damper to half open at this point.
As the sawdust/chips burn, the water will evaporate and a dry heat will set in. The dry smoke will set the smoke in the sausage. After most of the sawdust/chips have burned, remove the pan from the smoker and let the pan cool for 5-10 minutes. After this time, fill the pan half full of water and return to the burner. Close the damper and turn the temperature to approximately 180-190⁰, this will cause a high humidity to cook the sausage. High humidity will cook the sausage very quickly as well as tenderize the casings; especially natural casings. High humidity also helps to cook the sausage without drying it out too much. Cook sausage until the internal temperature of 165⁰ is reached.
Proper cooling is important for the safety of the product as well as the desired look of the finished product. Remove the sausage from the smoker and place in cold water to stop the cooking process. The cold water will start the sausage cooling and keep the casing tender. After cooling in the water bath place the sausage in the refrigerator. If the product will not be consumed within 2 weeks, properly wrap and put in the freezer.
Still deciding which Casings to use for your sausage? Download our handy chart on Choosing the Perfect Casing .
Need more information on Casings and why to use them? Learn more about Sausage Casings here.
Make Homemade Sausage Learn How to Make Your Own Sausage
Need help troubleshooting problems with Casings? View Troubleshooting Casings here.