How to Smoke Sausage Temperature Guide and Recipe

smoked sausages
Setting your smoker temperature between 225°F and 275°F will yield a juicy sausage that is full of smoky flavor. It takes between 2 and 3 hours to slow-smoke sausage until it reaches the ideal internal smoked sausage temperature of 160°F.

Smoked Sausage Temperature Guide

Compared to other meats, sausage takes on smoke quickly. Smoking time depends on several factors, like the size of the sausage, the temperature you’re cooking it at, and the temperature outside the grill.

TemperatureSmoking Time
225°F2 to 3 hours
250°F1:30 to 2 hours
275°F30 to 45 minutes

Step-By-Step Guide for How to Smoke Sausage

Smoked sausage starts with seasoning ground meat and then stuffing it into a sausage casing. The casing is made from animal intestines or synthetic materials and is smoked over wood pellets or wood chips (for electric grills). The result is a delicious BBQ treat perfect for summer family gatherings and tailgates.

Pick the Best Wood for Smoking Sausage

If you want a strong flavor, opt for hickory; if you want a more fruity flavor, give applewood or cherry a try. Another option is pecan wood which offers a subtle and nutty flavor.

Preheat the Smoker

You must get your smoker preheated before placing the sausage inside. You’ll want to set it to a temperature between 225°F and 250°F.

Ready the Sausage for Smoking

Now that your grill is ready, it’s time to get your sausage ready to smoke. Pre-made sausages don’t require preparation other than removing them from their packaging. If you have made your own sausages, ensure they are ready to go once your smoker is preheated.

Smoke the Sausage

Place sausage links on top of the grate with enough space between each link for airflow around each piece. Smoke the sausages over low heat until they are browned outside and reach an internal temperature of 160°F.

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Smoked bratwurst

Ultimate Smoked Sausage Master Recipe

  • Author: Alexandra
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes


The humble sausage, when smoked, becomes something entirely new. It’s not just a smoked sausage—it’s a salty, smoky, juicy treat, and I bet you can’t eat just one!


Units Scale
  • 3 pounds fresh sausage links

Equipment Needed

  • Meat thermometer
  • Pellet smoker or electric smoker
  • Wood pellets/wood chips


  1. Preheat your smoker to 225°F.
  2. Place a casserole dish full of water in the smoker on one side.
  3. Take your sausages and place them in the smoker, ensuring there is enough space between them (roughly 1 inch on each side).
  4. Throughout the cooking process, leave the lid of the smoker closed. The first time to check them is at the 90-minute mark.
  5. Insert a meat thermometer into one of the sausages. They’re ready when they reach an internal temperature of 160°F which will take about 2 to 3 hours. The outside of the sausage should darken considerably while smoking.
  6. When they’re finished smoking, take them out of the smoker and allow them to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Rest Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours


  • Serving Size: 2 ounces
  • Calories: 180
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Sodium: 490mg
  • Fat: 15g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 35mg

What Temperature Do You Sear Smoked Sausage?

After smoking the sausage, you can place them on the grill afterward for searing. You should set your grill to a medium-high temperature (around 350°F) and place them directly over the fire while they form a dark crunchy exterior. Remove them when they reach your desired doneness.

What is the Best Temperature to Smoke Sausage?

The recommended temperature for smoking sausages is 225°F. Most people would agree that smoking low and slow gives the best smoke flavor and tender interior that makes sausages so tasty.

How to Tell When Smoked Sausage is Done

You will know that the sausages are done when they reach the USDA recommended internal temperature of 160°F. Always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.

What Not to Do When Smoking Sausage

Picking pre-cooked sausages instead of raw ones.

It might be tempting to buy a pack of pre-cooked sausages. It is important to know that most pre-cooked sausages will be dryer than fresh ones and don’t have the right texture for smoking. They’ll be rubbery instead of moist and tender—and that’s not the kind of sausage you want to eat! Choose raw sausages made from high-quality meat instead.

The exception to this rule is kielbasa and hot dogs which have been infused with enough fat and are made for smoking or grilling.

Incorrectly spacing the sausages while smoking.

Make sure that your sausages are spaced far enough apart from each other that they don’t touch when they’re smoking—if they do touch, they’ll stick together and make it difficult to separate them later. This also means they may not cook as evenly and the smoke may not be perfectly distributed through the meat.

Not checking the internal temperature of the sausages.

This mistake can mess up your whole batch of sausages if you’re not careful!

You must keep an eye on the internal temperature when smoking your sausages. Temperature significantly affects their texture, flavor, and appearance. Always check that they reach 160°F by using a meat thermometer.

Setting your smoker to a much higher temperature.

You can cut the cooking time by setting your smoker at a higher temperature, but this may backfire. Sausages cooked at higher temperatures tend to overcook and char quickly.

Not keeping the lid of the smoker closed.

Ensure that while your sausages are smoking, you keep the lid of your smoker closed. That way, all the delicious wood smoke stays inside – where it belongs.

What Are the Best Sausages for Smoking?

Sausages can be sweet or spicy, and they can be made with a variety of meat types. There are beef sausages, chicken sausages, and even lamb sausages!

Here are the best sausages for smoking:


The word bratwurst means ground meat sausage in German. The most common variety contains a mixture of fresh garlic, salt, pepper, and marjoram. The meat used can be pork or a combination of veal and pork or beef and pork. 

They are traditionally boiled or grilled but brats are amazing when smoked, making an excellent addition to any smoker’s repertoire. You can serve brats on a toasted, buttered bun with mustard or sauerkraut (pickled cabbage) for a great meal!


There are two types of chorizo: Spanish chorizo (typically used in charcuteries) and Mexican chorizo. Chorizo is a Spanish dry-cured pork sausage seasoned with garlic and paprika. Both types of chorizo are excellent choices for smoking!

Italian Sausage

Italian sausage typically contains fennel seeds, red pepper, and sometimes breadcrumbs. This type of sausage is known for having a sweet flavor due to the addition of fennel seeds and is excellent when smoked.

How to Store Smoked Sausage

You can place your sausages in an air-tight container in your fridge and store them for up to 7 days. If you want them to last longer, you can freeze them for up to 2 months in a vacuum-sealed bag or air-tight container.


Alexandra is a passionate writer who loves everything related to food: from buying local produce and sourcing the best ingredients to finding the perfect spice mix and sauce to complement each dish. She loves getting together with friends near a campfire and grilling up some barbecue goodness while having quality conversations - no screens allowed.

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