I will have to agree with the others, Hickory wood is great for summer sausage and gives a nice smokey flavor. But, in the end it is all personal pref. and what you like to eat. I used a combination of hickory, pecan, and apple for my venison snack sticks and I thought it could use just a bit more smoke taste but, thats just me. They were good with a hint of sweetness to them. I think summer sausage will be able to handle the strong hickory smoke just fine, you can always mix it up a bit and use 75% hickory and 25% apple, oak, or pecan. It's all up to you, which every way you go I'm sure you will be happy and enjoy the eat!