Quick Sausage Making Questions



TVWBB Super Fan
This afternoon I'll finally start grinding my venison/fat for sausage.

1) I've got recipes that call for pink salt and smoking to 150*. I gues I can try to set up my 22" bullet to run around 200* -- does anyone know how long the smoking takes? Am I looking at 2 hours? 5?

2) In the alternative, can I just put the sausages in the oven until they're at 150? Of course, I lose the smoke flavor.

3) Or, in the alternative, can I just use regular salt instead of pink salt and not smoke at all? Just refrigerate and/or freeze like fresh sausage?
You can set up your 22 to go far below 200*F if you want to by using the fuse/snake/"C" or whatever you want to call it. I've gone as low as 150*F by loghting one end this way. I do this to smoke/dry jerky. Not sure how long it'll take to get your sausage to 150*F.
This sounds similar to my bacon making technique. I think they are looking at the 150F to be extra sure of killing any bacteria without rendering out too much fat. But you will lose some even at 150F. Since the sausage is made with pink salt (#1?) you are not quite so vulnerable to the safety zone in terms of time and temperature. What I do is smoke my bacon on my Weber (Grill not WSM) at 175F or so - but I don't try to get the bacon (or sausage in your case) to the 150F, I just want to get smoke on it. Then I finish it in my oven to an internal 150F with a good digital probe.

How long to smoke? Depends on your approach and how much smoke you want on your end product. Because I have chips, I use them. They get put into aluminum foil pouches and I do three or four of them per session. If you have chunks then the smoke may be a bit more constant. If you are doing pouches, give it twice as long, since you have to change them out and likely won't be watching them all the time. If you use chunks so there is a constant smoke, cut the time down by half or one third.

I'd be using 4 hours as my max using pouches and 2 or 3 hours using chunks if they are providing a fairy constant smoke. Keep your internal temp low and you can finish in the oven if you want. If I finish in the Weber Grill - it normally takes a bit longer and be careful not to run it too hot you will render much of the fat your want in your finished sausage.
Stone - I think he is talking about a modified Minion method - lay the charcoal out in circle or C shape (so you can start one end). This lets you have lower temps and a longer burn. Often used with wood chunks placed every few inches so they will smoke and by the time one chunk is consumed, the charcoal has burned on to the next chunk. See the first photo in Dwain's link, a perfect example of the "C" or "Snake' or "modified Minion method".

By the way Dwain, that jerky do look superb.
Last edited:
Stone, there is quite a bit to sausage making if you get into that as I enjoy doing. I hunt wild boar and deer, and make my own sausages...both smoked and fresh.

Smoked is challenging in that you want to smoke very slowly so you don't render out the fat and lose moisture. If you cook too hot/fast, the sausage will be dry and crumbly. Because you cook slowly, you'll run the risk of bacteria contamination, so sodium nitrates/nitrites (pink salts) are used to inhibit problemamatic bacteria growth.

Since you want to get the sausage to the 155ish degree range internal, and since you don't want to melt out your added fat, you need to smoke at very low temps, such as in the 165-175 degree range. Obviously your target meat temp is not much difference than your cooking temp, so yes this is a pretty long process.

All of this is answering your question...how long will it take to smoke? Depends on the size of your sausage: A slim jim size snack stick only a couple of hours, a kielbasa size maybe seven hours, a large summer sausage...quite a long smoke maybe overnight.

A quick tip is to low temp smoke until you get a good smoke flavor, then take inside to your oven or dehydrator which is what I do in a time rush. Some folks cut corners and add liquid smoke, then into the oven, but I can tell a difference. Done the right way, sausage making is very rewarding and tasty.