How To Smoke Sausages On The Grill


Grilled sausage is easy to prepare and at the same time has the original taste of wood and smoke. Our complete guide tells you everything you need to know, including the best woods, times and temperatures, and the step-by-step recipe. This is how you smoke sausages.

how to smoke sausages

Barbecue smoking is the best way to cook meat. Nothing compares when it comes to infusing your food with the rich, natural flavors of wood and smoke. The best news is that it’s easy to make at home, and with a little patience, anyone can do it.

Sausages are often neglected in favor of meats like brisket or ribs, but today I’ll show you why they deserve their place on the grill table.

Smoked sausage takes a similar approach to other classic grilled meats. What makes it a great appetizer meat is that it doesn’t require much prep before smoking.

Let’s take a look at what to buy, how to cook it, and how to grill it.

Smoked grilled sausage

What is the best sausage for grilling?

There’s good news, pork fans. Almost all types of sausage can be smoked. Different butchers around the world & making different types of sausages, experimenting with different meats and ingredients to stuff them in casings. Some of the best sausages used for grilling today are:

  • Hot dog
  • Breakfast sausage
  • Boerewors
  • Hot dog
  • Bratwurst(see our recipe for smoked bratwurst)
  • Italian sausage
  • White boudin
  • Kishka
  • Swedish potato sausage

For best results, get to choose meat that has not been pre-cooked. However, kielbasa and hot dogs are good exceptions and can actually be made better with a touch of smoke topping.

Like Long Roast

The smoking time takes into account the type of meat you choose, as well as its size and thickness. For example, Italian sausages take about three hours to smoke properly. The turkey and chicken sausages, on the other hand, take a little less time. On average it takes between 1.5 and 3 hours. Just make sure you turn every 45 minutes or so.

Smoke temperature

The ideal temperature for smoking sausages is between 93 and 121 °C. Within this range, you can roast it for up to 3 hours. For this reason, I choose the standard temperature of 225°F that we use for most cured meats.

If you want to fry faster, you can increase the temperature to around 149°C. The trick is to constantly monitor the internal temperature of the sausage.

The criterion is the internal temperature. Use a smoking thermometer to monitor the progress of your sausage so you don’t have to open it again.

Aim for an internal temperature of 71 to 74°C(160 to 165°F). The sausage will be cooked and ready to be heated, ready for you to remove from the smoker and serve.

The best wood for smoking sausages

One of the reasons we love smoked food is that it has a distinct flavor that you just can’t get with a regular stovetop or oven. The vapors are gently worked into the food, sending your taste buds on a journey worth the wait. Grilling sausages is no different.

The wood you use makes a difference. Instead of throwing every piece of wood you can get your hands on, you need to choose the best wood for the job.

The best woods for smoking sausages are cherry, hickory, and apple. Which one you choose should depend on how intense you want the meat to be. For example, hickory is particularly pungent, while applewood is milder and slightly sweet.

I use applewood in this recipe. Its delicate, fruity notes pair well with almost all types of pork, making it a great woody base for almost all types of cured meats. If you want something sweet but want a little more punch, try the walnut.

How to grill sausages

Start by lighting your smoker. Our goal is a temperature of 107°C. If you are using a charcoal smoker this can take up to 30 minutes. When using your grill, be sure to set it to 2-zone cooking so you can use indirect grilling.

The following steps have evolved based on the type of grill you have, but most apply generally. Fill a pan with water and set it on the racks near the meat(without touching it). If you don’t have a water bowl, you can use a pain. The next step is to place the sausage on the grill. Make sure there is some clearance between each piece and the water pan. It is important to ensure that none of them touch each other.

Depending on the size of your smoker, you may be able to have more than one sausage rack in it. Once all the racks are in, close the smoker and let the magic happen. Be sure to turn the sausages about every 45 minutes.

If you’re using a regular grill, set it up for 2-zone cooking and set the hot coals aside under the grate. Once it is 225°F, place the sausages on the racks on the other side of the grill. Add a few pieces of applewood to the coals for a little extra flavor.

Make sure the intake and exhaust vents are fully open to start, then half close them during cooking. This should control the airflow and heat well, but may need an adjustment if you’re getting the best results. This may take a little practice, but be sure to use your incense thermometer as a guide.

The sausages should be ready in about 2-3 hours.

How to store leftover smoked sausage

After all that sausage, you probably had a lot left over. The good news is that it’s easy to store safely and has a shelf life long enough to stay fresh and edible for some time.

It is best to vacuum. This involves getting a vacuum sealer, but if you’re looking to start smoking meat then this is one of the best investments you can make( I got these from Amazon ). Once smoked, simply allow the meat to cool before vacuum sealing and refrigerating. Make sure it is completely airtight and that no moisture seeps into the seal.

More tips:

Only use cold or chilled sausages. Smoke is attracted to cold surfaces, so cold cooking gives you the best chance of getting a nice smoky flavor.

I’m trying to end up with a serf. If you like those iconic grill marks on your sausage, simply crank up your grill to sear. Once the sausages have reached 160°F, transfer them from the smoker to the grill and brown them for 30 to 60 seconds on each side.

Use a charcoal fireplace. If you are new to grilling, one of the biggest challenges you could face is learning the best and easiest way to light your coals. It’s a frustrating part of grilling, but one of the best ways to do it is by using a charcoal fireplace. These little contraptions pack all your embers into one small container, limiting exposure to air and making it easier to light. A charcoal fireplace is one of the smartest investments you can make today(plus, they’re not expensive!)

Smoked grilled sausage

Easy to smoke homemade sausage, slow cooked over applewood. It works with almost any type of sausage and requires almost no meat preparation. Perfect for grilling beginners!
Appetizer course , main course, side dish
American cuisine , BBQ
Cooking time 3 hours
Total time 2 hours
Serving 4


  • Apple Wood Shavings
  • water bowl
  • roasting thermometer


  • 2 pounds of fresh sausage , pg. Italian, bratwurst, breakfast sausage


  • Heat smoker at 225°F. When using the grill, set the grill to cook in 2 zones.
  • Once the smoker has reached the desired temperature, YOU place the sausages on the smoking racks. Fill the tray with water and place it next to the meat on the smoker. Leave space between each sausage and the pot of water. Put wood in the firebox, close the smoker lid and roast.
  • After 45 minutes, open the smoker and apply the sausages. Repeat this every 45 minutes. Check the water level in the water pan. Fill in if necessary.
  • Cook until the internal temperature reaches 71°C.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have burning questions? Our FAQs will help you with this.

Do you have to hang sausage up to smoke it?

no For simple hot smoking, it is sufficient to place the meat on the smoking roast. Hanging is best for cold smoking , which is typically used for curing meats and not for cooking .

Can you grill already smoked sausage?

Ha. You can smoke pre-made or pre-cooked sausages. In fact, many store-bought sausages are enhanced with an extra layer of smoke that IS added at home.

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