Are you running out of ideas on what to serve for dinner? I find that smoked sausages taste great, no matter what time of day you eat it. They work well with bread, pasta, or even eaten alone. In fact, it’s such a favorite in my household that I often get requests to cook a batch almost every month!
You, too, can be an expert on how to smoke sausages that are to die for. And you don’t need to take formal cooking lessons to do it. Just follow these 5 easy steps and you can whip up a perfect batch of juicy sausages right in your own home.
Things You Need
If you want to make your own sausages, Steve from Steve’s Kitchen has an excellent video on how to make homemade sausages in 16 easy steps. Watch the video here:
1 medium bag of cherry or any fruitwood chips, soaked in a bowl of water for 30 minutes.
I love using cherry wood when smoking sausages because it gives the meat a distinct, fruity taste. Other fruitwood varieties work well, too, but cherry wood is a personal favorite.
If you want a stronger flavor, you can also use hickory or mesquite wood. Just be very careful not to oversmoke your meat because the sausages might come out tasting bitter.
- Cold water
- Large bowl or container
- Electric smoker
- Oven thermometer
- Meat thermometer
- Dry your sausages
Dry sausages are easier to cook in the smoker. The sausages also come out with a nice, rich brown flavor, which makes them more appetizing.
To dry your sausages, place them on the smoker’s rack. Make sure that there is enough breathing room between the pieces so that the air can circulate well in between them.
Put the rack in a well ventilated area, and let the sausages rest until their skin have become dry to the touch. If you want the drying process to go faster, you can place an electric fan beside the rack and set it to low breeze.
- Prepare your smoker
Set your smoker between the 160 to 165°F (71-74°C) range. Add the soaked wood chips in the tray and let them smoke for a few minutes before you put your sausages in the smoker.
To monitor your smoker’s temperature, you can place an oven thermometer inside the smoker and check the readings after 10 to 15 minutes.
Make sure that your smoker’s temperature does not exceed 165°F. Otherwise, the fat in your sausages will melt and drip out of the casings. Without the fat, your sausages will come out crumbly, dry, and less flavorful.
- Place the sausages in the smoker and monitor their internal temperature
When your smoker has reached the ideal temperature, you can now start cooking your sausages. Place the rack back into the smoker and leave your sausages to cook for 3 to 4 hours.
After 3 hours, you can start checking the temperature of your sausages. To do this, simply stick your meat thermometer into one of the pieces. The sausage meat should have an internal temperature of 152°F (67°C).
Once you reach the ideal temperature, you can now take the sausages out of the smoker. If not, close the smoker and check again after 30 minutes to an hour.
- Remove the sausages from the smoker and soak in cold water
Once your sausages are done, remove them from the smoker and submerge them in a bowl of cold water as fast as you can. I like to place the bowl in the sink and open the faucet so that tap water will run and keep the sausages cool.
If you smoked a big batch of sausages, you could opt to use a kitchen or garden hose instead. Place the sausages in a large container, and sprinkle cold water on all the pieces. Just make sure each sausage gets thoroughly drenched during the shower.
While some people skip this part, I prefer doing this because it prevents the sausages from shrinking and their skin from shriveling. I highly recommend that you do this, too.
I love serving sausages with a side of potato salad or baked beans, so there’s a good balance of protein and carbohydrates on my plate. You can also add coleslaw or steamed vegetables if you want a bit more color.
Sausages also work well as sandwich fillings. I like placing a huge piece in a hot dog bun, and then I add a spicy sauce made of kidney beans, tomato sauce, and bell peppers. And voila! My very own version of chili sausage dog.
Storing Your Sausages
If you have leftover sausages, you can refrigerate them overnight and just reheat a new batch the following day.
First, you need to air-dry the sausages at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. Then, wrap them in wax paper and store them in the refrigerator. The sausages should keep well for the next 3 to 4 days, as long as you keep them refrigerated.
Just follow these super easy steps I listed above, and you’re sure to cook a batch of the most succulent smoked sausages that you can serve any time of day. I guarantee this!