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posted December 07, 2022

Smoked Summer Sausage

This smoked summer sausage makes for a delicious appetizer, snack, or side anytime you’re craving some tasty smoked meat. It pairs beautifully with cheese, nuts, and fruit on a charcuterie board for a perfect party platter.

Slice of smoked summer sausage on cheese and crackers with text overlay - Smoked Summer Sausage.

Smoked Summer Sausage

Summer sausage is a snack board staple when we’ve got friends or family around who like to munch while they visit. Smoky, savory, perfectly spiced beef is so good sliced thin and served with yummy mustard, cheese, and crackers.

This recipe for smoked summer sausage is made with ground beef and a happy little combo of salt, pepper, and seasonings to give the meat a fantastic flavor. Once smoked, it’s delicious on a charcuterie board or sliced up for a quick snack whenever you need a little BBQ meat treat.

Ingredients for smoked summer sausage in a glass mixing bowl.

Ingredients for Smoked Summer Sausage

The ingredients for this smoked summer sausage are fairly simple, and you’ll likely find most of these in your pantry. Here’s what you’ll need to make this sausage.

  • 1 pound 85/15 ground beef
  • 1 Tablespoon Morton’s Tenderquick
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole celery seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Summer sausage being rolled in plastic wrap.

Summer sausage loaf being rolled up on a work surface.

How to Smoke Summer Sausage

Let’s make ourselves some delicious summer sausage, shall we? Here’s how to smoke summer sausage.

  1. Make the sausage. Combine all ingredients for the summer sausage in a mixing bowl. Massage the meat well to thoroughly mix the seasoning into the meat.
  2. Form the loaf. Dump the meat out on two large sheets of plastic wrap. Roll the meat into a long cylinder shape (about 2 inches in diameter). Press all the air out of the meat and roll it tightly. Twist the ends of the plastic and place the whole thing in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Smoke. Preheat the smoker to 180 degrees F. Remove the sausage from the plastic wrap and place it directly on the grill grates of the preheated smoker. Close the lid and smoke for 6-8 hours. Remove the sausage when it reaches 160 degrees F.
  4. Rest. Rest the sausage for 1 hour.
  5. Store and enjoy. This sausage can be enjoyed right after the rest time, or you can store it in the refrigerator for 2 weeks until ready to use.

Smoked summer sausage sliced on a wooden cutting board.


How Long to Smoke Summer Sausage

With your smoker preheated to 180 degrees F, it takes 6-8 hours to smoke summer sausage.

This is a fairly wide span of time, and for a good reason. Summer sausage needs to be cooked to a temperature of 160 degrees F, and it may take anywhere from 6 to 8 hours to reach this temperature. Instead of watching the clock, invest in a reliable meat thermometer, and smoke the meat until it hits that final target temperature.

Summer sausage loaf on the grill grates of a smoker.

Tips for Smoking Summer Sausage

Don’t let smoking your own cured meat scare you away from the process. It’s pretty straightforward and easy. Here are some tips for smoking summer sausage.

  • Use a different meat base. This summer sausage base is SUPER versatile. Swap the ground beef for your favorite game meat to use that venison, elk, or buffalo grind.
  • Try a jerky cannon. Want to make snack sticks instead of one large sausage? Easy! Use a jerky cannon to press your sticks and smoke for 2-3 hours instead of the 6-8 needed for the larger sausage.
  • Plan ahead. Morton’s Tenderquick cure isn’t always readily available at grocery stores, but a curing agent is requisite for this sausage to prevent spoilage during the cooking time and to help you achieve that signature pink color. It is easy to order online and have delivered so you can get the results you want. There are other types of curing agents, but Tenderquick is particularly great at these dry mixed/quick cured sausages.

Sliced smoked summer sausage on a cutting board with crackers, grapes, and fruit.

More Sausage Recipes

Looking for more sausage recipes to try out on your smoker or grill? These are a few of my favorites to try out today.

Smoked Summer Sausage Recipe

This recipe was created for you, backyard griller! Here at Hey Grill Hey, we’re in the business of helping you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a backyard BBQ hero. You can find more of my smoking and grilling recipes here on my website (browse the Homepage for inspiration) on Instagram, YouTube, or our Facebook Page.

Slice of smoked summer sausage on cheese and crackers.

Smoked Summer Sausage

Susie Bulloch
This smoked summer sausage makes for a delicious appetizer, snack, or side anytime you're craving some tasty smoked meat. It pairs beautifully with cheese, nuts, and fruit on a charcuterie board for a perfect party platter.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time : 15 mins
Cook Time : 6 hrs
Marinade Time : 4 hrs
Total Time : 10 hrs 15 mins
Servings : 4 people
Calories : 253kcal


  • 1 pound 85/15 ground beef
  • 1 Tablespoon Morton's Tenderquick
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • ½ teaspoon whole mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon whole celery seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes


  • Mix the sausage. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and massage with gloved hands until the seasoning is completely mixed into the meat.
  • Mix the sausage. Lay out 2 large sheets of plastic wrap. Dump the meat mixture out onto the center of the plastic wrap. Fold up the long sides of the plastic wrap and roll the meat into a cylindrical shape, about 2 inches in diameter. Use pressure when rolling to remove air bubbles and create a tight roll. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap to complete the shape and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  • Smoke. When you're ready to smoke, preheat your smoker to 180 degrees F with your favorite hardwood. I like hickory for this summer sausage. Remove the sausage roll from the plastic wrap. Set the sausage on the grates, close the lid, and smoke for 6-8 hours, or until the sausage reads 160 degrees F internal temperature.
  • Enjoy. Rest the sausage for at least an hour before slicing and serving. If refrigerating, cool to room temperature before wrapping tightly in plastic wrap and storing in the fridge. Smoked summer sausage will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge.


Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 1241mg | Potassium: 369mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 43IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 3mg
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