Smoked Sausages

marek the butcher

June 18th, 2012

Marek the Butcher made a fresh batch of Klobásy Sausages this weekend and we experimented with smoking them. Traditionally food was smoked to make it last longer before refrigerators were invented. Our aim here wasn’t to produce dried, cured sausages, instead, what we wanted was to enhance them with a smokey flavour.

klobásy saysages

Klobásy Sausages are made with pork, caraway seeds and paprika – these ones had a special, extra ingredient – Calabresa chillies from Brazil, otherwise known as Cayenne pepper.

Having looked up quite a few smoking methods, all of them recommend that you cure meat or sausages first. Warm, smokey, humid conditions are perfect for the development of botulism which can kill you. Two common cures for making sausages are Prague Powder and Morton Tender Quick – both contain salt, sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite. Salt is a preserving agent and sodium nitrate and nitrite prevent the growth of botulism. The instructions for use should be followed closely – only a few grammes are added to the sausage mixture per kilo of meat. When curing a large piece of meat, like a ham, it’s brined (soaked) in a salt solution with the addition of salt peter or sodium nitrate and nitrite.

apple wood chips

The good way of creating smoke for a home smoker is to burn sawdust. If you try this at home do make sure you are using sawdust from a tree that gives a nice tasting smoke and one that does not contain any preservatives. Some woods can make meat taste of paint stripper (pine) – see here for some good recommendations.


Sausages should be air dried or they can be smoke dried at a low temperature (below
37º C) before the proper smoking process commences.

We used a barbecue with a lid and air vents to draw the smoke through. The apple wood chips are in the aluminium parcel on the right (the parcel was full of holes to let the smoke out). The ideal way to light the sawdust or chips is to use a blowtorch. When the sawdust starts to produce lots  of smoke, put the lid on, but do make sure that any vents are open or the sawdust will stop burning. A large handful of sawdust or chips will burn for an hour or two as long as air is allowed to circulate.


The smoker should be kept at a constant temperature of 71 – 73º C. You can smoke sausages for several hours, but too much smokey flavour will overwhelm everything else and ruin the taste. Sausages should be removed and are officially done, when they reach an internal temperature of 67º C. We thought that one hour of smoke was enough, so at that point we increased the temperature until the inside of the sausage was 67º C. Do use a meat thermometer to check. If you are going to fry grill or barbecue the sausages straight after smoking, don’t worry about this last temperature bit – they’ll get to that temperature during cooking.

testing the sausages

Finally we cooked up a smoked and unsmoked klobásy for a taste test. The smoked sausage was definitely the winner without reservation. The smoke tasted good and it seemed to enhance the other flavours. One hour of smoking was about right – if the sausage had tasted any smokier it would have been too much.

For further info on smoking and curing see here:

Cured Meats
Wedliny Domowe

About Mad Dog
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28 Responses to Smoked Sausages

  1. I don’t have a smoker or I would try these. I can’t imagine anything better than homemade sausage then smoked for additional flavor!!

  2. I want to give this a go! Sounds like a fun and tasty experiment…will have to wait until I get home though as am tied up here in London being a good Nurse/Friend this week 🙂

    • Mad Dog says:

      I just ate some more and they are definitely fantastic – the smoke and the extra kick from cayenne pepper is amazing. If I lived near you I’d be asking all the locals if I could watch (join in with) their matanzas, chorizo and morcilla making etc.
      Do let me know if you have time to go out for a drink or dinner and best wishes to your friend 😉

  3. ChgoJohn says:

    I’m the proud owner of a small smoker, purchased a couple of months ago. I’m still learning how to use it and trying to get the timing right. Smoking sausage sounds like a delicious way to prepare them. Drying them though, especially now, is the problem. Our temperatures have sky-rocketed and things won’t be cooling down now until the Fall. That’s OK. I’m planning on trying my hand at making duck prosciutto then. A few sausages hanging alongside shouldn’t pose a problem, eh? 🙂

  4. The botulism bit doesn’t sound too good to me and the sausages in frame 5 look like botoxed lips taking me back to botulism! I think I’m going to leave it to the pros. Nice post.

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Roger – you don’t have to worry about botulism if you use the curing salt and if you smoked sausages immediately before cooking them there would be no risk. It’s only dangerous to smoke things without curing salt and the correct temperature if you intend to keep the resulting food for a long time, as per bought smoked food.

  5. Those look awesome dude, and so good smoked 🙂

  6. zestybeandog says:

    Love making sausage, it’s such a pain in the a** but so rewarding at the end! 🙂 Looks great!

  7. I love the idea of sausages with caraway seeds and smoking them must make them even more delicious!

  8. Conor Bofin says:

    This reminds me of my late father trying to smoke some trout he had caught. The smoker did not work and he only managed to spoil the fish and lose his temper. I would not have been as restrained.
    The sausages look great.

  9. Those look delicious!

  10. Audrey Evermore says:

    Just when everyone else is giving up smoking ! The Mad Dog starts up with a vengeance. my mouth is watering just reading your post …. are you selling any produce yet . I am first in the queue.

    • Mad Dog says:

      It gives, going out for a smoke, a whole new meaning! I believe Marek has sold a few orders of his Brazilian sausages – they were so popular I didn’t get a sample 😉

  11. You guys are just too cool….I want to hang with you! I’m sending this to my dad to see if I can entice him on yet another culinary project…..

  12. Karen says:

    You can’t believe the size of the smokers that some people in Texas use where I grew up. If you were a neighbor you could have lovely applewood for smoking.

  13. Pingback: Linguiça Calabresa | Mad Dog TV Dinners

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