I want to smoke sausage !!!

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Original poster
Jan 1, 2014
Littleton Colorado
I have gone to Sprouts couple times since owning my MES to purchase sausages to smoke. I usually buy pork sausages such as Hot Italian, Andouie's etc. When Ive cooked them they have come out just a little dry. I have cooked them at 250 for about two hours. What is the best way to smoke these along with the chicken sausages??
I was thinking about this the other day. I have never smoked sausages before. Seems real easy though. My butcher has these chicken, brocolli and cheddar sausages along with all the typical italian pork sausages that have my name on it real soon. was thinking about the drying out part myself. Instead of throwing in the smoker right on the grill, I was thinking of throwing the whole ring or a bunch of links in a foil pan. This way it cooks in the rendered fat keeping the sausages moist. Figured it cant take too long, probably gonna be one of the easiest smokes that I will do in the future.
Fresh sausages are not the best to smoke. The fat tends to render and make them dry and crumbly. For smoked sausages the mixture should have cure and be smoked at around 160degrees for around 6-8 hours or until the temp reaches mid 150s. Alternately, you can smoke them until 130it and poach in 170 degree water to mid 150s.
Food Safety side you want to cook any ground meat to 155 for all but poultry and that is 165, unless cure #1 and cure #2 are involved. But that is another story, we are talking fresh sausages, so 155 for all but poultry and then 165.

Most fresh sausages are cooked hot and fast on grills and skillets, so they don't lose much fat. As pointed out earlier, when smoking fresh sausages they are cooking a lot longer, so they will lose or render out their fat and seem dry. If you cook at a lower temp to get the smoke penetration then finish in a pan or on a grill to get a bit more color if desired. I would not boil after smoking, you will lose a lot if not most of the smoke flavor. Unless they have either cure in them, they need to go to 155 for all but poultry and then it is 165.
Hot smoke fresh sausage (without cure like johnsonville brats)) at 180 to 220 degrees and take them to 160. They will get done in 4 hrs following the 4 hr rule (40 to 140 in 4 hrs) Like jarjar said you need cure to cook at lower temps and longer periods of time for smoked sausage to prevent food born illnesses. Cooking sausage in fat will not make them moister. Overcooking and low fat content will cause them to be dry
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I tend to cook sausages at a higher temp for less time. I'm a 225/250 for 2 to 2-1/2 hours kinda guy. Things like fat content, meat type, and casing type can add a few variables that can make all the difference in how your sausages turn out. I buy pork sausages in a natural casing. 250 degrees for 2-1/2 hours usually turns out a really juicy sausage with a "pop" when you bite into the casing.
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Thanks everyone for the great information. I have cooked them couple times at 250 for about 2 -2.5hrs and they come out pretty good. Eventually I would like to make my own sausage and smoke them but I am limited on time right now !
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