Smoked Italian Sausage

Sometimes I am in the mood for some smoked meat and I want something quick and easy. On those days I go to the supermarket and pick up a few pounds of fresh Italian sausage. Smoking these produces amazing results and they only take 3-4 hours. Sometimes when I am smoking something that takes all day, I will throw a bunch of Italian sausage on a rack for a mid day snack.

I smoke Italian sausages a lot and over the years have used them in different recipes. Here are a couple great recipes to use this sausage in:

  • Smoked Sausage Gumbo – While I love to use andouille in my gumbo, that can be hard to find in Canada. Sometimes I just use some of this smoked Italian sausage and it works great!
  • Smoked Sausage Minestrone – The smoky flavour from the Italian sausage really enhances the taste of this minestrone soup.

I have tried various flavours of Italian sausage: hot, mild and honey garlic and all of them were outstanding. Smoked honey garlic sausage was the most popular variety among the entire family and the kind I make more frequently.

Lay the sausages on the smoker racks. Make sure that they are not touching each other.

Smoke in a smoker set at 250F. Any wood will produce great results but I usually use hickory for smoking sausages.

After about 3 hours the sausages should reach 165F and will take on a wonderful reddish colour and be slightly shriveled. Once you try these you will no doubt make them again soon, but with twice the quantity of sausages! Trust me on that fact.

These sausages are great on their own. They are also great in a bun, or sliced and used in soup, jambalaya, chili and so many other dishes!

4.8 from 5 votes
Smoking store bought fresh Italian sausages in a Bradley Smoker
Smoked Italian Sausages - Hot, mild or honey garlic!

Simple instructions for hot smoking store-bought fresh Italian sausages in their casings. Easy to do in a Bradley, Big Green Egg or any other smoker.

Course: Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: Smoked
Servings: 4
  • 2 pounds (or more) of fresh Italian sausage in casings
  • wood of choice (I used hickory)
  1. Set the smoker for 250F and get it smoking with the wood chips/pucks.

  2. Place the Italian sausage on smoker racks at least a 1/2 inch apart.
  3. Smoke for 3 hours or until the internal temperature is 165F.


  1. Wow… smoking the sausage makes it even better looking. It looks amazing. 🙂

  2. First of all, thanks for this wonderful post. Just LOVE smoked food and smoked sausages!! I have a question for you: Doesn’t it leave marks on the sausage when you place them on a rack? That was I was always told. The advice I received was to always have them hanging freely and ensure they were not touching each other. Look forward to your reply?

    • Hey Ray. Thanks for the kind words. Yes placing them on a rack does leave some marks, although they are not all that bad. I find that I can smoke more sausage when they are on racks, particularly when I do storebought fresh Italian sausage like these. I suppose if I was selling them, I would make sure that they were all hanging so they looked better. Hope you enjoy them!

  3. I’ve read a few sites that call for a low smoke of 160, but I find that it is hard to maintain smoke over 3-4 hours with an electric smoker. I like your results pictured at 250. Quick question. Do you bathe them in cold water right after take them off and let them dry at room temp to avoid shrinkage?

    Also, I think I can maintain smoke with my Masterbuilt at 200. Same theory as long as it gets to 155-160 internal?

    Great post, I look forward to your reply and additional tips.

    • I do not bathe the sausage in cold water, as we often eat them right away. I also freeze some for future meals as well. I find that they do not really shrink at all

    • I would NOT smoke the Italian sausages at 160 degrees UNLESS you have made them yourself and included CURE or know that the sausage you were using contained it!

      • I agree. 160f would take too long to come up to the required internal temperature so a cure would be needed in the meat. Typical storebought Italian sausage would not contain cure. That is why I smoke at 250f.

    • You can buy a smoke generator off amazon for around $50. That way you can set your smoker to any temp. and still have smoke.

  4. I smoke mine for 2 hrs @ 200 tops just to get the flavor, then finish on a charcoal grill, the char becomes amazing. You can also broil them to finish. I serve them with a smoked tomato chili sauce.
    ALSO try smoking brats in the same way served with currywurst.



  5. Thanks for the post. I smoked hot Italian sausage for the first time last weekend on my new smoker. They came out good, but they reached an internal temp of 160 in an hour at 225 degrees (according to a Maverick digital thermometer on the same rack as the sausages). They were cooked and juicy. How are you and others smoking them for 3 hours to get to 160 at 225? Unless my thermometer is way off, I do not understand how you do not overcook them is you smoke for 3 hours.

    I noticed that after smoking the sausages, the skin seemed to be thick when eating compared to if I just grilled them. Is this normal or was it maybe just the brand of sausage I used?

    I appreciate anyone’s help!

    • Hey Michael – what kind of smoker do you have?

      Since writing this recipe post, I have made this many many more times, and I have noticed that the total smoking time required really varies compared to how much meat is in my smoker. If I put in one rack of sausages and place them lower, closer to the heat, they get to temp much faster. I have also smoked sausages with whole chickens in the smoker and I find that the smoking time is longer then. I may need to adjust my directions to make it clear that 3 hours may not be necessary.

      Regarding the skin, mine do not come out very thick. They might not have the same snap that grill sausage casings have, but they are still fairly similar.

      Hope this helps!

      • I have a Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24″ gas smoker. I will try a different brand of sausage to see if the casing comes out thinner. Thanks!

  6. Oh my god! Thank you! I’ve searched all around the internet for a picture and a taste summary of a HOT smoked sausage! There is absolutely no way for me to acquire curing salts where i live.
    A couple of questions – some people say that at the tempretures that you cook at, the fat drips out of the sausage and it gets really dry? Is there any truth to that? How do they taste cold?
    Again – thank you

  7. Looks amazing

  8. Hey I’m new to smoking, and am looking to do some sausage. I’m going to try the method of 250 for 3 hrs. Do you leave your vent open or closed? I have a masterbuilt 30 in electric smoker. Thanks!

  9. I recently acquired a Bradley Smoker and the first thing I smoked was the Italian Sausage. I put them in for in for three hours on the low rack using alder pucks ( because that is all that was available at the store). I set the temperature on high and left them alone for three hours. Came out perfect. Thanks.

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