The temperature of your smoker has a direct effect on the total cooking time. That’s true no matter what you put on the smoker.
Since sausage links are much smaller than cuts like pork shoulder, it doesn’t take as long for them to reach the optimum temperature. But it’s important not to cook them for too long, or they’ll dry out and have an unpleasant texture.
Let’s talk about how long to smoke sausage at 275 degrees.
How Long To Smoke Sausage at 275 Degrees
When the smoker temperature is set to 275 degrees Fahrenheit, the sausages should cook to 160 degrees in 45 minutes to 1 hour. They won’t have a ton of smoke flavor, but if you’re in a hurry, this is an acceptable temperature to use. To ensure even cooking, try turning the links over after they’ve been in the smoker for about 20 minutes.
About Smoking Sausage
When you’re smoking sausage that’s already cooked, all you really need to do is reheat it. The smoker might not be the best option in this case, because you won’t be using it long enough to make a big difference in terms of flavor.
On the other hand, if your sausages are fresh—that is, uncooked—you can use the smoker to boost their flavor. Smoking them at a low temperature will give them an unmistakable woodsy flavor and a juicy texture.
You’ll need to cook fresh sausages to an internal temperature of 160 degrees before removing them from the smoker. That’s the only way to be sure that any potentially hazardous bacteria have been eradicated.
Sausages are made from ground meat, usually pork or beef. That means that they have to be fully cooked through in order to be safe to consume. Don’t make the mistake of undercooking your sausages, or you could end up getting sick.
On the other hand, it’s critical not to overcook the links. Doing so will cause them to toughen up and lose some of their flavor.
After you’ve removed the sausages from the heat, they should rest for about 5 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. During this time, their residual heat should bring the internal temperature up to 165, which is considered the safe temperature for ground meat.
How Long To Smoke Sausage at 275 Degrees
Generally speaking, it takes 45 minutes to 1 hour to smoke sausages at 275 degrees. If you’re in something of a hurry, this can save you time.
That said, we don’t recommend smoking sausage at a temperature this high. The links will cook through too quickly, so they won’t be as flavorful. What’s more, you’ll run the risk of overcooking the meat, so it might be too dry by the time you’re finished.
If you insist on using this temperature, be sure to keep an eye on the sausage to ensure that it doesn’t cook past 160 degrees. Of course, this means you’ll have to open the smoker periodically, which will also have an adverse effect on the flavor.
One option might be to turn the links over after 20 minutes or so. At that point, they should be cooked to about 80 degrees. Turning them over will help them cook more evenly.
Remember that thicker sausages will take longer to cook through than thin ones. Try not to set the smoker temperature too high for thin sausages like hot dogs. Read on for more information about the various types of sausage you can choose for the smoker.
Popular Sausage Types
The word “sausage” can mean different things depending on where you are in the world. If you’re lucky enough to have access to a variety of them, try experimenting to find out which ones you prefer.
The Polish word for sausage, kielbasa is a blanket term to describe the type of sausage that’s ubiquitous in that region. It’s made from pork and is typically shaped like a U or horseshoe, with a sweet and slightly smoky flavor.
Andouille sausage may have originated in France, but you likely know it as a staple of Cajun cuisine. It has a spicy flavor and a slightly crumbly texture when smoked. If you’re making jambalaya, etouffee, or gumbo, andouille makes an excellent addition.
Chorizo is a wonderfully versatile sausage that adds peppery zest to dishes like queso fundido and breakfast hash. It’s available either precooked or fresh, so make sure you’re buying the right type for the recipe you have in mind.
Hailing from Germany, this sausage has been around for generations, though it comes in a few different varieties. Flavored with ginger, nutmeg, and caraway, it has a mild flavor that pairs well with sauerkraut. The base for the filling usually contains pork and veal.
Sweet and Hot Italian Sausage
Italy is known for its delicious sausage, which turns up in everything from pasta dishes to pizza Boscaiola.
Sweet Italian sausage seasonings include garlic and anise seed, while the hot variety uses red pepper flakes to jazz things up. Though it’s a staple of many Italian recipes, you can easily enjoy it on its own.
This is what most Americans think of when they hear the word “sausage.” This blend typically uses pork as its base and is flavored with pepper and sage. Sometimes, maple syrup is added to make it a more appealing breakfast ingredient.
Breakfast sausages aren’t usually smoked, so keep that in mind if you’re making your own. The flavor might differ from what you’re used to if you put them on the smoker.
Tips On Smoking Sausage
In addition to making sure the sausages cook to 160 degrees, here are a few other guidelines to keep in mind.
—Be sure to space out the links so that the hot air can circulate around them. Leave at least 1 inch between each one.
—Add more wood chips or pellets as needed. This may not be necessary if the smoking process takes less than 1 hour, but for longer periods, the wood may have burned itself out.
—Cold smoking is a method best reserved for products that don’t need to cook through, such as cheese and precooked sausage. If you’re smoking fresh sausage, an extremely low temperature may not be sufficient to kill off any potential bacteria.
—Use a water pan. This isn’t necessary when you’re smoking pork butt or beef brisket, but since sausages are smaller, the added moisture can prevent them from drying out. What’s more, you don’t need to worry about ruining the bark when smoking sausages.
—Be sure to place the sausages directly on the cooking grate so that they absorb as much smoke flavor as possible.
—Test the internal temperature of the sausage using an instant-read meat thermometer. Choose just one sausage to test—you don’t want to poke holes through all the links, or the juices will run out.
The Bottom Line
We prefer to use a lower temperature when smoking sausage. That will imbue them with more smoke flavor while they’re cooking to the proper temperature. But if you have to crank the smoker up to 275, keep an eye on the links so that they don’t dry out.
Best of luck, and happy grilling!