Best Sausages to Smoke

Milton Greenaway

With a decent amount of fat, you can chuck almost any kind of sausage in the smoker and get the desired smokey taste. Still, some are better than others, and with plenty to choose from, we’re going to take you through the best sausages to smoke so you can make your bangers a hit at your next get-together.

Whether it’s game day, Sunday, or smoke day, we have you covered.

Best Types Of Sausages For Smoking

Smoked sausage can be a simple upgrade to virtually any meal. The smokiness from your setup will turn an ordinary sausage into something worth talking about, so smoking them at home is always a great idea.

You want sausage with a decent fat content as lean meat will end up dry and crumbly when smoked. With too little fat, you may find that the casing shrivels up and may taste great, but the texture isn’t quite the same.

Although some would say that there is no such thing as a bad sausage to smoke, here are some of the best:

  • Italian sausage 
  • Bratwurst
  • Kielbasa
  • Chorizo
  • Beef Sausage
  • Chicken sausage
  • Breakfast sausage
  • Hot Dogs

Any meat-based sauce will greatly benefit from a smoked Italian sausage and there are plenty to choose from. All of the sweet, mild, and spicy types are perfect.

Dishes that require a particularly smokey flavor such as chili are complemented well by good chorizo.

German and Polish sausages are great for smoking then sticking in a bun so get your fix of bratwurst and kielbasa and you can’t go wrong. 

How Long Does It Take To Smoke Sausages? 

Give yourself up to 4 hours to smoke sausages at a temperature of around 250 degrees F. You don’t want to go too high or run the risk of breaking their casings. Too low and you’ll be dealing with chewy casings. Cook from raw and turn every 45 minutes for best, smokey results. 

Wait until you are three hours in before you start checking the internal temperature. It should be 165F and evenly browned. At this point, you know your sausages are good to go. Always be sure you have an accurate reading before eating the sausages as they can still contain bacteria that may cause food poisoning if not properly cooked.

You don’t want to smoke your sausages to the point that they are dried out to the point where the fat has disappeared. 

Smoking Polish Sausages

Known for its strong smoky flavor, kielbasa is on the spicy side and full of garlic and seasoning. They aren’t difficult to make at home and are great for smoking once you have mastered the making.

Cook them in a smoker heated to 150 degrees F and cook them for 3 hours, turning every 45 minutes. When you have passed the 3-hour mark, turn the smoker up to 200 degrees F, and keep checking the internal temperature of the sausages, and remove them once they get to 160 degrees F.

When Is Sausage Ready To Eat?

A sausage should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees F before it is ready to eat. Use an internal thermometer and insert it towards the end of the smoking process, after it has had 2-3 hours in temperatures of 225 – 240 degrees F.

What Is The Best Wood For Smoking Sausage?

This is a big decision not to be taken lightly by smoker fans – you can go strong smokey goodness, something a bit milder, or even fruity.

Strong wood flavors are universal and would work well with any sausage. If this is your desired taste, opt for hickory. If your sausage already has a strong flavor such as chili-infused sausages, then try something fruity like apple. 

Those who want something more subtle can use pecan wood chips as these provide a milder taste. 

How To Use Leftover Smoked Sausages

The smokey goodness can be moorish, but even the most well-planned smoke outs can leave you with leftovers. If you find yourself with excess sausages, try and make the most of them. The delicious smoky flavors taste great in the following dishes:

  • Pasta and sausage dishes
  • Sandwiches
  • Casseroles
  • Soups
  • Jambalaya
  • Sausage and rice dishes
  • Frittatas
  • Or – leave them for breakfast, delicious!

How To Store Leftover Sausages

Use an airtight container to store cooked sausages and keep them in the fridge. They should last up to 4 days.

When freezing sausages, use a plastic wrap before putting them in a ziplock, freezer-friendly bag. 

Label them with the date and use them within 2 months. 

Smoking Sausages In A Smoker 

Heat the smoker to 200F and as it’s heating up soak your wood chips.

Drain the water from the chips and place them in the designated tray. Put this in the smoker or directly over the charcoal. 

Next up comes the sausages. Place them on the rack in the smoker, or if you have prepared them on the rack outside of the smoker, put this in and leave the vent up a quarter. 

Cook them for two hours, or until they get to 165 degrees F and you should be left with delicious, smoky sausages.

Smoking Sausages On A Pellet Grill

Pellet grills are a simple way of smoking sausages and work in a similar way to cooking ham. 

Be sure to cure your sausages first and bear in mind that they burn hotter than a lot of the alternative methods, and can create a more intense smoke. The temperature is easier to control so you should have no problem getting the sausages nice and smoky before reaching the internal temperature of 165 degrees F.


Whilst there is no such thing as a bad sausage to smoke, there are some that taste far better after a good smokin’.

Next time you have a big smoke planned, be sure to add a tray of sausages into the mix, and enjoy the fruits of your labor!