7 Best Sausages For Smoking – The Ultimate Guide

Best Sausages for Smoking: A Comprehensive Guide

Smoking cured meats is a popular cooking technique that can enhance your culinary skills and add a unique smoky flavor to your dishes. Unlike other meats that require long hours of smoking, sausages can be perfectly smoked in as little as 3-4 hours, making them an excellent choice for beginners and experienced smokers alike.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the top seven sausages to smoke, their characteristics, and how to choose the best sausage for your smoking endeavors. Get ready to embark on a flavorful journey as we delve into the world of juicy and smoky sausages.

1. Italian Sausage: A Versatile Favorite

Italian sausage is a popular choice among smoking enthusiasts due to its versatility and wide range of flavors. These sausages come in several varieties, including mild, medium, hot, and sweet, allowing you to find the perfect flavor profile to suit your taste buds.
Typically seasoned with fennel, red pepper flakes, garlic, and other aromatic herbs and spices, Italian sausages offer a delightful combination of spicy, sweet, and smoky flavors. Their high fat content, derived from fatty pork, keeps them tender and juicy throughout the smoking process.
Italian sausages can be enjoyed in many ways after smoking. They can be sliced and added to pizzas, pasta dishes or tomato sauces. They also make a delicious addition to sandwiches, whether served with fried onions and red peppers or enjoyed straight off the grill. The smoky infusion enhances the flavors and takes classic dishes to new heights.

2. Maple Breakfast Sausage or Honey Garlic Sausage: Sweet and Smoky Delights

Maple breakfast sausages and honey garlic sausages offer a unique combination of sweetness and smokiness that is truly delicious. Typically made with pork, these sausages contain a good amount of fat, which makes for a moist and juicy texture.
The sweetness imparted by maple syrup or honey beautifully complements the complex flavors created by the smoking process. Whether enjoyed on their own, added to soups or pasta dishes, or served with hash browns and eggs for a decadent breakfast, these sausages are sure to satisfy your taste buds.

3. Bratwurst: Hearty and aromatic

Bratwurst, a traditional German sausage, is a hearty choice for smoking enthusiasts. In the United States, bratwurst is typically made from a combination of pork and veal, resulting in a tender and flavorful sausage.
Seasoned with salt, ginger, nutmeg and caraway, bratwurst offers a slightly spicy and aromatic flavor profile that pairs well with the intense smokiness achieved through the smoking process. Serving bratwurst with tangy sauerkraut helps balance the richness and enhances the overall flavor and texture.

4. Chorizo Sausage: A Spicy Delight

For those who like a little heat, chorizo sausage is an excellent choice for smoking. In the United States, chorizo typically refers to a Mexican sausage made from a combination of pork, pork fat, salt, spices, and chiles.
When smoking chorizo, it is important to choose the uncured variety, as the cured versions have already had their moisture removed, resulting in a dry texture. The intense flavors of uncured chorizo hold up remarkably well to the smokiness imparted during cooking. The addition of pork fat ensures a flavorful, tender, moist, and juicy sausage.
Chorizo sausage can be used in a variety of ways, including classic breakfast pairings with eggs, as an ingredient in pasta sauces, stews and soups, or even crisped in a pan and used as smoky bacon bits in salads. Serve with Manchego cheese for an extra layer of indulgence.

5. Polish sausage (kielbasa): A Classic Choice

Polish sausage, commonly known as kielbasa, is a classic and popular smoking option. Made from pork, kielbasa offers a robust and savory flavor that pairs well with the smoky notes achieved through the smoking process.
Kielbasa’s lower smoking temperatures help prevent the casings from cracking, while the fat and juices ensure a tender and flavorful result. This versatile sausage can be enjoyed on its own, served on a bun with sauerkraut and mustard, or incorporated into a variety of dishes such as stews and soups.

6. Cheddar Sausage: A Cheesy Twist

If you’re a cheese lover, cheddar sausage is a must for your smoking adventures. This sausage combines the savory goodness of pork with the creamy and tangy flavors of cheddar cheese. The cheese melts during the smoking process, giving the sausage a luscious, gooey texture and a rich, cheesy flavor.
Cheddar sausages are incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in many ways. Serve them on a bun with caramelized onions and a drizzle of spicy mustard for a delicious twist on the classic hot dog. Or slice them up and use them as a flavorful addition to macaroni and cheese, casseroles, or even omelets.

7. Chicken or beef sausage: A Healthier Option

For those looking for a leaner alternative without sacrificing flavor, chicken or beef sausages are excellent choices for smoking. These sausages offer a healthier option while still providing a satisfying and delicious culinary experience.
Chicken sausages, often made with lean chicken and various seasonings, retain their juiciness and tenderness when smoked. Beef sausages, typically made from lean cuts of beef, offer a hearty and robust flavor that pairs well with the smoky infusion.
Both chicken and beef sausages can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, from sandwiches and salads to stir-fries and pasta dishes. Their versatility and health benefits make them a fantastic option for those looking for a lighter alternative.

Bottom line

Smoking cured meats adds a delightful smoky dimension to their already delicious flavors, taking them to a whole new level. Whether you prefer the versatility of Italian sausage, the sweet and smoky delights of maple breakfast or honey garlic sausage, the hearty aroma of bratwurst, the spiciness of chorizo, the classic taste of Polish sausage, the cheesy goodness of cheddar sausage, or the leaner options of chicken or beef sausage, there is a sausage to suit your tastes.
Experiment with different types and flavors of sausage, and don’t be afraid to get creative with your smoking recipes. With the right sausages and a little smoky magic, you’ll be able to create delicious dishes that will impress your family and friends. So fire up your smoker, grab your favorite sausages, and embark on a flavorful journey that will leave you wanting more. Happy Smoking!


What is the best type of sausage to smoke?

The best type of sausage to smoke depends on personal preference, but some popular choices include Italian sausage, maple breakfast or honey garlic sausage, bratwurst, chorizo sausage, Polish sausage (kielbasa), cheddar sausage, and chicken or beef sausage.

How long does it take to smoke a sausage?

On average, sausages take about 3-4 hours to smoke. However, the exact time can vary depending on the type and size of sausage, as well as the temperature and smoking method used.

Should I choose cured or uncured sausages to smoke?

It is generally recommended to choose uncured sausages for smoking. Cured sausages have already been treated with salt and other curing agents, which can affect the texture and moisture content during the smoking process. Uncured sausages are the preferred choice because they retain their natural flavors and textures when exposed to smoke.

What wood chips are best for smoking cured meats?

When smoking cured meats, mild to medium flavored wood chips work best to complement the delicate flavors of the meat. Popular options include fruitwoods such as apple, cherry, or maple, and hardwoods such as oak or hickory. It’s important to avoid strong or overpowering woods that can overwhelm the flavor of the cured meats.

Can I freeze smoked sausages?

Yes, you can freeze smoked sausages for later use. Once they are completely cold, place them in airtight freezer bags or containers and label them with the date. Smoked sausages can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. To defrost, simply place in the refrigerator overnight before reheating or using in recipes.