7 Best Sausage for Smoking: Best Type for Smoke

7 Best Sausage for Smoking: Best Type for Smoke 

Today I will show you what is the best type of sausage for smoking.

Smoking meat, especially sausages, can be a ritual for some. It’s the main attraction at many family gatherings, especially when people prepare their meat from their animals.

Creating the perfect smoked sausage can be a delicate process with many things to consider, such as choosing the wood for smoking, setting the right temperature and time, storing them, and some more.

But overall, the most important part is the sausage itself, which you choose to smoke. Most seasoned home-smokers have their own recipes, tried and tested. Here are some tips to help you build your personal go-to sausage smoking method.

There are better sausages for smoking?

Smoked sausage

As with most foods, there are better ingredients to prepare them. The same goes for sausages.

You need great quality ground or minced meat, bold, balanced spices, and added ingredients to make a delicious sausage. Smoking is not necessary to make sausage but adds a richness of flavor. Most people prefer smoked sausages, and most dishes are better with them.

For smoked sausage, you need uncured, unsmoked, and uncooked meat. You can not double smoke sausage; it will taste terrible and dry out completely. You can smoke sausages made from any type of meat: chicken, lamb, beef, turkey, and even meatless ones.

How should a sausage be like for smoking?

Chorizo sausage

You can create a smoked sausage from practically any kind of meat, but there is a good reason why you don’t find many chicken or turkey sausages.

To make moist, tender, good-quality smoked sausages, you need high-fat content meat to do so.

The reason for that is it takes 3-4 hours in many cases for the sausage to be cured with hot smoke entirely, and low-fat content meat will dry out during these long curing times and start to crumble. 

When choosing the appropriate seasoning for your sausage, keep in mind what kind of dish you will incorporate it into. Try to match the flavor profile of your most frequent dishes. You should also avoid smoking already smoked meat. There is no such thing as double smoking; you will only ruin the meat. 

The best sausage selection for smoking: 7 Types of sausages

The best sausage selection for smoking

There are hundreds of options to choose from, but these are the most popular kinds of sausages to smoke. Different meats and flavors go with each dish.

Italian sausages go well with meaty dishes, pasta, and sauces, Chorizo and Andouille pair with bold and spicy meals like chili. Polish and Bratwurst sausages go amazingly with eggs or plant-based dishes.  

1) Bratwurst

German Bratwurst
German Bratwurst

In Germany, all sausages are called Bratwurst, but in the US and most Anglo-Saxon countries, Bratwurst refers to veal and pork sausages seasoned with marjoram, caraway, nutmeg, salt, and ginger.

It’s usually tender and moist and is available smoked or uncured in supermarkets. These mildly spicy sausage pairs are great with tangy side dishes such as sauerkraut, mustard, onion-heavy, and plant-based meals.

It takes around 45 mins to an hour at 200°F for Bratwurst to be smoked. You can increase the richness of Bratwurst’s flavor profile by adding a good rub before smoking. The best spices to use for this are cumin, sage, coriander, ginger, ground paprika, and caraway.

2) Chorizo

Chorizo
Chorizo

Chorizo is probably the most well-known sausage of all. It has a deep, spicy, smokey, heavy flavor, but it is very luscious at the same time.

Smoking chorizo takes around 2 hours at 200°F. Always double-check not to buy already smoked Chorizo and double-smoke it at home. These amazing sausages with high-fat content will be moist and tender when smoked properly.

Chorizo, especially in the US, but in many other places too, means a pork sausage with significant fat content, salty, with cinnamon, chili, achiote, vinegar, and peppercorns traditionally. This is the Mexican version of the chorizo and is considered the best one for breakfast, paired with eggs or potatoes.

This version is sold mostly raw and has to be cured. The Spanish version is ready to be served, especially on charcuterie boards, already smoked, bright red, and made of pork.

3) Italian Sausages

Mild Italian Sausage
Mild Italian Sausage

Italian sausages have a much milder flavor profile than Chorizo and are usually made from chicken or pork with Italian seasoning.

You can smoke Italian sausages at 200°F for about 2-4 hours. By giving it a good rub, you can enhance the flavors.

Seasonings that are usually found in Italian sausages and so are paired with them: garlic, red pepper, chili, salt, onion, oregano, sugar, fennel, parsley, and paprika.

Italian sausages are great for inexperienced meat-smokers, even first-timers. They have plenty of pork fat, so not too prone to drying out during the long curing hours.

4) Andouille

Andouille sausage
Andouille sausage

Andouille sausage originated in France and is an extremely popular delicacy there. You could say it is a staple in many French dishes.

Andouille is very distinct in flavor and texture because it’s made from chopped pork, not ground. This sausage is bold, smoky, coarse, rustic, made from the pig’s digestive tract. 

They are seasoned heavily with onions, garlic, cayenne, black pepper, and thyme. It needs to be smoked at 200°F for 4 hours. It’s best to start the smoking at a lower temperature and slowly increase it, namely from 150°F to 200°F, only reaching the highest temp in the fourth hour.

5) Breakfast Sausages

Breakfast Sausage
Breakfast Sausage

Breakfast sausages are made with honey, garlic, or maple syrup. They are sweet, smoky, flavorful, and have a complex taste profile.

It’s best to smoke them at 200°F for 2 hours. They are most commonly made from pork and tend to be fatty, so they easily stay moist during the two-hour curing process. As the name suggests, they are amazing for breakfast, but also tangy dishes, potatoes, eggs, and soups.

6) Boudin Blanc

Boudin Blanc
Boudin Blanc – Imagem from: MeatsandSausages

Boudin Blanc was originally a French delicacy and is enjoyed in the Cajun, Louisiana Creole, Belgian, and Luxembourg cuisines as well.

The Boudin Blanc (Blanc meaning white in French) refers to the pale color of the sausage because there is no blood in it. Boudin blanc in the US usually refers to pork sausage with long-grain rice, liver, and spices.

Due to the rice, this delicacy dries out easily when smoked. Keeping it moist and smoking at a low temperature is crucial for amazing taste. The best woods to smoke it with are oak, pecan, or similar mild ones.

7) Polish Sausage (Kielbasa)

Polish Smoked Sausage
Polish Smoked Sausage

Kielbasa is a Polish sausage that is best smoked at 200°F for 3-4 hours. It has a distinct garlic flavor and is quite spicy, with some marjoram and pepper.

Strong smokiness goes well with it, and it’s an excellent choice for new sausage smokers.

The US version is slightly different than the Polish one. In the states, it usually refers to a pork sausage with bold garlic, marjoram, and juniper flavors.

What is the best temperature to smoke a sausage?

Ready to eat sausage

Curing a sausage with hot smoke rather than direct heat or grilling takes longer, usually between 2-4 hours at 200-250°F, but results in amazing, complex, and deep smoked flavors that elevate most dishes.

Avoid smoking at high temperatures because the sausages will break, and the fat will escape from the meat, resulting in a dry mess. 

A consistent temperature is important for a good sausage to avoid cooking unevenly or drying out. Use a thermometer to regularly check the temperature, and avoid relying solely on cooking time.

The internal temperature of any sausage must reach 165 Fahrenheit to be safe for consumption. It’s best to turn the sausages in every 45 minutes.

What is the best way to smoke sausage?

Smoked sausage

You can choose to hot or cold smoke the meat. Cold smoking is generally not recommended to do at home for food safety reasons. Hot smoking is much more popular, easier to do, and gives a more intense flavor. The burning wood fills the meat with deep flavors, depending on the wood type you use. 

If you still prefer cold smoking, you must salt, ferment, and cure the meat beforehand; otherwise, you risk getting botulism and food poisoning. Hot smoking is much safer and gives a much bolder flavor.

First, choose the wood: cherry, applewood, pecan, hickory, or anything else. Soak the wood chips in the water before smoking for at least one hour.

Always rest the sausages for 20-30 minutes after smoking before serving. Cutting them too fast will let the natural moisture run out, making them brittle.

You can also soak them in cold water right after and let them dry.

Merge the wood or wood chips in cold water for an hour beforehand and drain them. Place them on a baking tray in the oven.

Place a rack on them.

Preheat the oven to 200-250 Fahrenheit.

Place the sausages on the rack, and for the first half of the cooking process, cover them with foil. Add some water to the wooden chips if they dry out during the smoking process. Once the internal temp of the sausages reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit, they are done.

Final words

Smoked sausages are a great addition to breakfasts, egg dishes, quiche, casseroles, pasta dishes, soups, rice meals, stews, and sandwiches. They are easy to store for a very long time, up to months. You can eat them plain with some mustard, ketchup, or any other condiments. They play a major role in many popular recipes.

Choosing the most suitable meat and sausage is probably the most important part of smoking. Choose meat you love or frequent.

Try to match the seasoning and type of meat to smoke for the recipes you frequently make. Avoid opening the smoker or oven frequently, since having a steady temperature is essential for a great smoked sausage.

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