Smoking Store Bought Sausage

Who says you have to go to a restaurant to enjoy a savory smoked sausage dish? Or even make the sausage yourself to be able to smoke it?

Smoking store bought sausage can make for a really delicious family dinner. And if you’re looking for advice when it comes to smoking sausages at home, you’ve come to the right place.

Here I’ll show you just how to go about smoking sausage you bought from the store, highlighting some tips on the right temperature and timing to use based on the type of sausage you’re smoking.

different types of sausage in meat counter

How to Smoke Store Bought Sausages

Below, I’m going to give you a general recipe for smoking store bought sausages.

However, for specific sausage types, please refer to the table at the end of this article. Some sausages will need more time to smoke or a higher internal temperature than indicated in the general recipe.

Ingredients

You can buy any sausage. Some of the best include Italian, kielbasa (Polish sausage), andouille, brats (German sausage), or summer sausage.

Instructions

  1. Place the fresh sausages next to each other on a smoker rack. The sausages shouldn’t touch each other, so make sure there’s some space between them. Ideally, you should leave them ½ inch (1.30cm) apart.
  2. Light the smoker with wood briquettes (I recommend hickory – it works best for all sorts of meat). Wait until the temperature rises to 250°F (120°C).
  3. Put the sausages in the smoker, then cook them until they reach an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C).

It’ll usually take from one to four hours to smoke the sausages. The time depends on the size and thickness of the sausage. See my table below for suggested cooking times based on the sausage type.

fresh italian sausage in packaging

Here are some more tips you can apply when smoking sausages:

  • Make sure to turn them every 30 to 45 minutes
  • If you’re short on time, you can raise your smoker’s temperature to 300°F (149°C). However, keep checking your sausage’s internal temperature, as this is the key element in knowing when the sausage is ready
  • Get a smoker thermometer to avoid cutting the sausage open
  • Choose hickory, cherry, or apple for your smoking wood
  • For a more unique taste, don’t smoke the sausages on the same smoker next to other meat or vegetables
  • Give your sausages a hot water (or beer) bath after taking them off the smoker

In the table below, you’ll find useful information for different store-bought sausage. It includes the sausage type, overall cooking time, the smoker’s desired temperature, and the sausage’s internal temperature to know when it’s smoked.

Sausage TypeCooking TimeSmoker TemperatureSausage Internal Temperature
Italian3 hours250°F (120°C)165°F (73°C)
Kielbasa3 hours225°F-250F°
(107°C – 120°C)
140°F (60°C)
Andouille4 hours1st hour: 130°F (54°C)
2nd hour: 150°F (65°C) 3rd hour: 170°F (77°C)
4th hour: 190°F (88°C)
165°F (73°C)
Brats45 minutes225°F (107°C)152°F (67°C)
Summer sausage2 hours130°F(54°C), gradually rise to 190°F (88°C)160°F (71°C)

If you’re smoking uncured sausage and want more information, check out my article here.

In Summary: Spicing Up Store-Bought Sausage

There’s nothing wrong with grilling your sausages, but smoking them is a much better option to bring in new flavors (if you have the time and resources).

That’s why I’ve provided you with easy-to-follow steps that will help you smoke store-bought sausages like a pro. For the best results, follow the exact cooking time and temperatures as suggested in the table for each sausage type.

If you want to learn more about cold smoking sausages instead of hot smoking them, check out my article here.