posted October 11, 2022
Smoked bologna makes for a surprisingly tasty afternoon sandwich. Let go of your childhood ideas of bologna and get ready for a fun and flavorful smoky twist on cheap and easy deli meat.
Homemade Smoked Bologna
If you’re looking to upgrade your favorite childhood lunchtime sandwich to an adult-approved version, look no further than this smoked bologna. It’s a sweet and smoky flavor mash-up that will make your bologna sandwich dreams come true.
Whether you’re cooking this bologna for a little snack or you plan to make some awesome sandwiches, you want to buy the whole bologna. Hit up your deli counter to buy bologna as a whole chub, as opposed to pre-sliced. We’re smoking the whole shebang today, so aim for around a 3-pound whole chub of bologna.
How to Smoke Bologna
Ready to get into this recipe? I think you’ll find it’s very easy to make this meat. Here’s how to smoke bologna.
- Preheat. Fire up the smoker to 225 degrees F. My favorite wood is typically oak or hickory because the bologna won’t be on the smoker for too long so I try and choose something a little bold.
- Prep. Remove the bologna from the packaging and remove any red wax from the outside of the bologna.
- Score. Use the tip of a sharp knife to cut slits across the surface area of the bologna. This allows the seasoning and smoke to penetrate the bologna.
- Season. Rub the bologna with yellow mustard then season on all sides with Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub. Once you sprinkle your rub on, resist the urge to spread it on or press on it with your hands. Just sprinkle it on evenly and then transfer it carefully to the smoker.
- Smoke. Place the seasoned bologna on the grill grates of your preheated smoker. Smoke the bologna with the lid closed for around 3 hours.
- Sauce. Slather the chub with Everything BBQ Sauce (or your favorite BBQ sauce). My Kansas-City BBQ Sauce is also great on this bologna. Continue to smoke for around 30 minutes to allow the sauce to tighten on the meat. Continue to cook until the meat is at least 145 degrees F.
- Enjoy! Remove the meat from the grill and slice and serve.
How Long to Smoke Bologna
Since bologna is already cooked, you don’t need to follow a certain temperature protocol, but I do always try to get the interior temperature above 145 degrees F (be sure to use an instant-read thermometer to get an accurate reading) so the bologna isn’t sitting in the food bacteria growth danger zone when serving.
Plan for about 3-4 hours of smoke time for optimal smoke flavor without drying out the bologna.
Tips for Smoking Bologna
Hold tight for just a second! Before you jump into making this recipe, I’ve got a couple of tips for you when you’re making this smoked bologna.
- Don’t be afraid of the mustard slather. It doesn’t add a super “mustardy” flavor, but you need a binder to get the Sweet Rub to stick to the smooth exterior of the bologna.
- Enjoy hot or cold. If you’re eating your bologna hot off the smoker, use a sharp knife to cut thick slices for awesome sandwiches or cube it and serve with toothpicks. If you’re eating your bologna cold, chill it completely (usually overnight) before slicing it thin the next day.
- Have your sauce and rub ready to go. We sell some awesome rubs and sauces in the Hey Grill Hey Store. You can buy Sweet Rub and Everything BBQ Sauce pre-made and shipped straight to your door. It’ll save you a lot of time from making them yourself. (If you do want to make the rub and sauce from scratch, you can use my recipes for Best Sweet Rub for Pork and Chicken and Kansas City-Style BBQ Sauce).
More Smoked Sandwich Recipes
There’s something extra special about a sandwich made with smoked meat. In fact, we have a plethora of awesome smoked sandwich recipes ready for you to sink your teeth into below.
Smoked Bologna Recipe
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This post was originally published in March 2018. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.
- Preheat. Turn on your smoker and allow it to preheat to 225 degrees F. I like hickory or apple wood for this recipe.
- Prep. Remove any exterior packaging or red wax from the outside of the bologna.
- Score. Using the tip of a sharp knife, score the bologna about 1/8th of an inch thick in a diamond pattern on all sides of the bologna.
- Season. Slather the bologna chub with yellow mustard and then sprinkle on all sides with the Sweet Rub, opening the slits slightly with your fingers to get the seasoning into the cuts you just made.
- Smoke. Place the seasoned bologna on the smoker, close the lid, and smoke for at least 3 to 4 hours. Bologna is pre-cooked, so heat the bologna to around 145 degrees F until the color on the outside of the bologna is to your liking.
- Sauce. During the last 30 minutes, brush on all sides with Everything BBQ sauce.
- Serve. Slice warm into small cubes and serve as an appetizer or chill completely and slice as thin or thick as you like for smoked bologna sandwiches.
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