I started out trying to use my UDS to smoke sausage, but with charcoal as my heat source. Too variable and like you, found that getting some distance between the heat and sausage was going to be a problem. I can only imagine that small electric smokers have the same problem trying to do 1 foot and longer summer sausages. Not enough hanging room. Works great for smoking stuffed sausage, etc. but I have my doubts about SS.
I had access to a second drum, so I built a propane smoker. The hanging racks for that look like this:
Those are 1/8" x 1 1/4" flat steel, with tabs bent on the end for bolts. These same brackets will also support a grill. Actually, less expensive and more versatile than using the stainless U bolts I put in my other UDS.
Prior to that, I used these hanging sticks to get some separation:
These rest on the lip of the drum and the lid sets on top. The offset in the stick lets the meat hand down just a little so the lid doesn't touch. Also works with SS, which is hung by a string. The problem with this is the elevated lid lets out too much heat.
On your UDS, if you don't mind the marks, lay your SS horizontal on your cooking grill. Also, put in some kind of baffle between the heat and meat. If yours is a 55 gallon drum, try a lid off a 30 gallon drum. Heat and smoke goes around the edges to disperse into the top.
I put my thermometer level at the middle of where the sausage hangs.