Versatile, easy to make, and packed full of flavor, this Smoked Italian Sausage recipe will be on the dinner table pleasing your family and guests for a long time. With no prep required, you can cook up some Traeger smoked sausage in a little more than an hour.
Are you looking for a new way to cook your sausage? Traeger sausage is the perfect addition to any meal. You can use it as an appetizer, main dish, or side dish – whatever you want!
Best of all, it needs no prep and you can smoke it in just an hour and twenty minutes.
Sausage: I chose to smoke four Italian Sweet Pork Sausage links. They were only about a pound and a quarter. I was making a lighter dish for just two of us, but you can easily do two to three pounds or more of sausage to go with peppers and onions for a larger gathering or game day party.
Wood: I smoked the sausage using hickory pellets in my Traeger Grill. If I like the flavor of hickory. It will add a nice level of complexity to sausage. You could also use fruitwood or a combination of wood chips to get your desired flavor.
Smoker: I used my Traeger pellet grill. I already had it running for the day, tossing four links of sausage in there took no space at all. It was easy to do. I could have easily done these in my charcoal smoker, wood smoker, or gas smoker as well.
Expert Tip: If you have your smoker going for the day with a pork shoulder or beef brisket, you can easily just toss some sausage in there for the last 80 minutes or so and they will all finish about the same time. Sausage does not take too long.
How to Smoke Italian Sausages
Step One - Preheat smoker to 225° F. Once the smoker reaches temperature, place links directly on the smoker racks or grill grate. Insert an instant read meat thermometer or the temperature probe on your Traeger and let them smoke at 225 degrees for about one and a half hours or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.
Step Two - Once the smoked italian sausages is cooked, remove them from the smoker and let rest for a couple of minutes before slicing it into them. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.
Why Smoke Sausage
Cooking sausage can make a mess if you fry them in a skillet. I have lost a nice shirt or two to the olive oil and grease that splatters from the pan. I must admit, I have also started smallish fires on the grill. But finding a way to cook sausage that not only makes less of a mess but also adds great flavor is key.
The beauty of smoking is you add flavor and avoid the mess and flare-ups because the smoking process uses indirect cooking. When you have sausage over a direct flame, any fat or grease drippings will quickly cause a flare-up and potentially burn your food and ruin your meal.
What Types of Sausage Can I Smoke?
There are so many various types of sausages you can choose your favorite. If you think it will taste good with a smoky flavor give it a try. You can get Italian sausage, Mexican chorizo, polish kielbasa, summer sausage, German bratwurst or brats, American breakfast sausage, dare I say smoked hot dogs, and the list goes on.
Additionally, you can have ground pork sausage, beef sausage, chicken sausage, turkey, and on and on. The flavors and combinations are endless. For this recipe, I used a sweet Italian pork sausage but you really can use any type of sausage that comes raw. If you use a precooked sausage it won't absorb the smoke. There isn't any more prep than taking it out of the butcher paper or packaging.
How to Serve Smoked Sausage
In general, sausage is a heavier meat. It has a higher fat content than chicken, turkey, or other cuts of pork. For this reason, we generally serve it with lighter side dishes like seasoned vegetables. I normally serve it with sides like roasted veggies and a green salad. Some other good choices would be steamed green beans with a drizzle of butter, roasted broccoli, or a tomato-onion salad. If you are having an Italian meal, try serving this with homemade Smoked Tomato Sauce.
The veggies in the photos with our Trager sausage are just roasted bell pepper, zucchini, onion, and carrots tossed with some garlic, oil, parsley, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
Ways to Use Leftover Smoked Sausages
Gumbo - You can use your Trager smoked sausage in a gumbo. For that usage, I would not choose Italian-flavored sausage. You want a more mild-flavored variety so the spices don't overpower the gumbo.
Pizza - If you want to you can slice up some smoked Italian sausage and use it for a pizza topping.
Appetizer - For an easy app, slice the smoked pork sausage and layer a piece between a slice of tomato and cheddar.
And don't forget dessert! While that smoker is on make a tray of Smoked Brownies!
Smoked Italian Sausage Recipe
- Traeger Grill or other smoker
- 1.5 lbs sausage links
- salt & pepper to serve
- Preheat your smoker or pellet grill to 225.
- Place the sausage links directly on the grate. Cook for 80 minutes or until the internal temp is 160 degrees f.
- Let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Originally Published January 6, 2022. Revised and Republished December 20, 2023.