Smoked sausage is tender on the inside, and slightly crisp on the outside. Pick your favorite or favorites and use the smoking wood of your choice. You are going to wish you had done these sooner.
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- Smoke and forget, put the sausages on the grill grate, and let the BBQ or smoker do its magic.
- I use a remote thermometer on this type of cook. So I can let the smoke do its work and not open the BBQ or smoker to check the temperature.
- Water in the drip pan brings added moisture to the cook.
- Keep the temperature of the BBQ or smoker under 250 degrees F. If the internal temperature rises too fast it can lead to the casing cracking. Then you lose all the moisture to keep the meat tender.
- Make extras, having some of these in the fridge or freezer can turn any meal into something special.
The smoking wood brings another flavor and smoothness to the sausage. For this cook, I chose maple for its sweetness and how well it blends all the flavors of both the bratwurst and Italian sausage. It is a subtle smoke, like cooking on a campfire, so the sausage flavors are still the star of the show.
You can surely choose different woods. It can be sweet like apple wood which brings a fruity and mild smoky flavor. Apple wood has a slightly more intense flavor than maple. Or go for the traditional hickory that has a classic intense smoke. It delivers sweet and savory aromatics with just a hint of bacon. Have fun picking any wood that makes your taste buds sing. If you are still not sure what to choose, go with oak. It is right in the middle for smokiness and it delivers a very mild taste.
How to Smoke Sausage
This is a great first-time smoking recipe. It is simple to do and does not require much work on your part. Preheat your BBQ or smoker to 225 degrees F. and smoke for a few hours. It is really that straightforward.
If you are worried about how long to smoke the sausage, The Kitchen Bucket List has you covered. I have used two methods: timed and a remote thermometer. Timing is about 2 – 3 hours for bigger sizes (5 – 6 oz) sausages and smaller ones 1 – 1 ½ hours. I advise checking at the halfway point. Once I bought a remote thermometer, it made the cook so much easier. It takes the guesswork out. Here is a quick breakdown of the recipe. You can head down to the recipe card for all the details.
1. Prepare BBQ or smoker – Preheat to 225 degrees F. and BBQers set up for indirect cooking. Add a drip pan under the grill grate with water in it.
2. Smoke and forget – Put the sausages on the grill and close the lid. Cook for about 2 – 3 hours.
3. Serve and Enjoy – Pull the sausages at an internal temperature of 165 degrees F., then serve and enjoy!
- BBQ or smoker
- Indirect cooking method (BBQers)
- Drip pan
- Smoking wood (Maple for this cook)
- Remote thermometer or instant read
- BBQ tongs
Storage / Leftovers / Rewarm
Storage: Let the smoked sausage cool. It will store up great for 4 days in the fridge or 2 – 3 months in the freezer, per USDA.
Leftovers: I hope you made a few extra because I have some great leftover sausage recipes you can add them to:
- Air Fryer Nachos, Just dice them up and add them to the nachos.
- Scrambled Eggs on the Griddle, One of my favorites to add the sausage to or just rewarm on the griddle with fried eggs.
- Fried Rice, Give that fried rice a sausage twist. Heck, throw in some of our caramelized onions and mushrooms too.
- Quesadillas, These are so fun to make with the leftover sausages.
Rewarm: You have a couple of options here. In the air fryer for 3 – 5 minutes at 350 degrees F. I like to use the griddle or a cast iron pan while it is warming up. I’ll slice the sausage in half or you can keep them whole. For a regular pan use medium heat for about 3 – 5 minutes.
This is a straightforward cook that does not have you doing much other than putting the sausages on and off the grill. No need to flip them or move them around.
Oh, that is a tough one. The extra smoky magic adds such a wonderful flavor to all of the sausages I have done. If I had to pick one, I’d say bratwurst. Since this was for the family I added mild Italians as well. Each of them has great flavors on their own and the maple wood aromatics highlight all those flavors.
It was easy. I have a roasting/rib rack that I use a lot on the BBQ. I just flipped it over to give me a base for the cast iron skillet and potatoes. It worked perfectly but give them a head start. I think next time we’ll try a dessert that way.
For this cook, I did eight (5 – 6 oz) on an 18-inch grill grate. 12 – 14 is doable and any more you would want to use an elevated rack for an additional 4 – 6.
Okay, you nailed the smoked sausage. How about one of these recipes?
Why stop at the smoked sausage? Cook up one of these or add the onions and mushrooms in a bun with your favorite smoked sausage, yum!
We want to hear what type of sausage you smoked and what wood you used. Let us know in the comments below.
- BBQ or Smoker
- Smoking wood, maple
- Instant read thermometer or remote thermometer
- BBQ tongs
- 4 Bratwurst sausages, 5-6 oz (each)
- 4 Mild Italian sausages, 5-6 oz (each)
Prepare BBQ or smoker
- Preheat the smoker or BBQ to 225 degrees F.
- BBQers, prepare BBQ for indirect cooking and add smoking wood.
- Place a drip pan under the grill with water.
Smoke and forget
- Once preheated, place the sausages on the grill grate. If you have a remote thermometer, place the probe in one of the sausages to gauge the temperature.
- Close the lid and smoke for approximately 2 – 3 hours or until the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees F.NOTE: If you are using timing for doneness, check about ½ – ¾ of the way through your estimated time. See, "How to Smoke Sausage", for specifics.
- Once the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees F., pull the smoked sausages off the grill.
- Serve and Enjoy!