How long and what temp do you smoke summer sausage?

In preparing summer sausage, one of the many questions you may have is: how long and what temp do you smoke summer sausage? Of course, the answer to this, and other questions are going to differ based upon who you ask, how you smoke the sausage, whether it is over an electric or another type of smoker, and whether you are using other cooking and preparation methods.

So in determining the answer to these questions, it is important to understand the preparation of the sausage. In using an electric smoker, these are a few tips to keep in mind for the perfect texture, internal temperature, and of course the desired taste and consistency in flavor when you are smoking on the grill.

Venison: Making Summer and Smoked Sausage

Procedure for Making Summer Sausage Safely From Game Meat

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water before working with meat, after changing tasks, and when finished.
  2. Start with clean equipment – sanitize surfaces with a solution of 1 tablespoon chlorine bleach per gallon of water or follow directions on container.
  3. Select only fresh, high quality meat and other ingredients (spice, cure, etc.)
  4. If using frozen meat, first thaw in refrigerator.
  5. Follow the recipe exactly for the proper lean-to-fat ratio to ensure good texture and binding properties.
  6. Keep the temperature of the meat as cold as possible (below 40 degrees F) during grinding and mixing.
  7. Mix the dry ingredients in water to dissolve the curing ingredients and allow for even distribution throughout the product during regrind.
  8. If you have the grinding equipment, coarse-grind the meat, then add the rest of the ingredients and regrind.
  9. If stuffing sausage, choose only high-quality hog casings that have been salted.
  10. Soak casings in clean water 30 minutes before use, and rinse them in cold water to remove excess salt.
  11. Wash grinding and stuffing equipment with hot soapy water. Then sanitize with solution of 1 tablespoon chlorine bleach per gallon of water when done or 1 teaspoon chlorine bleach per quart of water.
  12. Use food thermometers to ensure cooked sausage products have reached the proper internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

Venison Summer Sausage Recipe

Note: Sausage is quite spicy. If you like less spice, cut down proportions of spices.


  • 15 pounds venison
  • 10 pounds pork trimmings (5 pounds lean trimmings, 5 pounds fat trimmings)
  • 7 ounces (2/3 cup) salt
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) commercial cure
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) mustard seed
  • 3 ounces (1/2 cup) pepper
  • 3 ounces (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 1/2 ounce (3 tablespoons) marjoram


  1. Mix salt and cure with coarsely ground venison and pork trimmings. (Cure is optional. It is used to develop the characteristic pink color, improve flavor and inhibit the growth of clostridium botulinum.)
  2. Pack in shallow pan and place in refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. Smoke sausage until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F as measured by a food thermometer.

 By Suzanne Driessen in

Read more: Best sausage stuffer 2017 and reviews

Internal temperature for preparing sausage

Regardless of the chosen preparation and cooking methods, if you want to prepare summer sausage for the best flavor and temperature possible, it should reach an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees F prior to removing it from the grill and consuming it. Not only so you know the meat isn’t raw, but this is also going to allow the flavor combination to penetrate the sausage, and for any rubs or seasoning to fully immerse into the meat you are cooking.

Oven preparation cooking option

If you are smoking summer sausage in the oven, you can simply set the temperature to 160 degrees F. It is a good idea to wrap the meat in aluminum foil or to prepare it over a water bath, in order to allow condensation to help the flavors penetrate into the meat as it is cooking.

How long and what temp do you smoke summer sausage in Electric Smoker

As is the case with nearly any other meat you are going to prepare on an electric smoker, the longer you allow the sausage to sit in a dry rub or other flavor seasoning blend, the more it is going to penetrate as it is cooking on the electric smoker.

So if you are preparing it in advance, you should do so a few hours prior, 4 to 6 hours, in order to allow the flavors to blend into the meat prior to placing it on the grill.

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When you are ready to cook the meat, you should set the temperature to about 250 degrees F on the smoker. This is going to allow for a slower cook time, and it is also going to afford you the opportunity to add seasoning, add rub, or turn the sausage on the smoker as it is being cooked.

When placing the sausage on the rack, allow for at least .5 inches in between each; this will ensure they don’t burn or get stuck together on the grill, and will afford you sufficient space for flipping or turning them when you are smoking them for several hours at a time.

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The cook time is typically going to run from 3 to 4 hours with a temperature of 250 degrees F; if you wish to set it at 225 degrees, you can also allow the sausage to sit for between 4 to 6 hours if you have the time and patience to do so. At these temperatures, you are going to allow the sausage to cook until it reaches an internal temperature of about 160 degrees F.

There are many types, and brands of thermometers on the market. You can use one of the best smoker thermometers to check the temperature.

After cooking is complete


Once the sausage has reached the desired internal temperature, you are going to allow it to sit for several hours before serving. As is the case with other meat, the longer you allow it to sit, the longer the flavors are going to penetrate into the sausage, and the richer the flavor profile is going to be when you are finally ready to consume it.

If you have space, hanging the sausage to cool for a couple of hours, is a good way to allow for cooling, and also allows the flavor profile to blend together.

Of course, preparation, seasoning, and flavor blends are going to differ for each individual who is preparing the summer sausage on a grill. But, as is true with any other cut of meat you are smoking, you want to give it as much time as possible, in order for the flavor to blend into the sausage and to ensure it reaches the proper internal temperature for safe consumption as well.