Smoked Kielbasa is a tasty appetizer perfect for game day and parties. Juicy kielbasa sausage is slow-smoked to perfection and finished with BBQ sauce. It's a great sausage recipe for an electric smoker or pellet grill like Traeger.
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Why Smoked Kielbasa Is the Best Way to Serve Kielbasa
Mouthwateringly juicy with a satisfying snap, few sausages can compare with kielbasa. Combine that incredible texture with an intense yet not overpowering smokiness, and you have the ultimate game-day snack. Whether you grill them up and serve them as a kielbasa appetizer with grain mustard or use them in the best cabbage and sausage soup you ever had, smoking kielbasa at home is the way to go.
Why You Should Try This Smoked Kielbasa Recipe
Do you like to keep things simple? Then this is the smoked kielbasa recipe you want to try. With just three ingredients and a few hours, you can transform the taste of store bought kielbasa. If you are new to smoking or just need a dependable recipe, go with this one.
But wait, what is the difference between smoked sausage and kielbasa? Isn't all kielbasa already smoked? No, while smoked kielbasa is the most common variety in most stores, you can find unsmoked kielbasa or fresh kielbasa, as it is sometimes called. That is the type you want to use for this recipe.
Smoked Kielbasa Ingredients
For smoking store bought kielbasa, you'll need:
- Kielbasa, unsmoked
- Barbeque sauce
Opt for high-quality unsmoked kielbasa. Finding kielbasa that hasn't been smoked may be challenging. Some brands label their unsmoked variety as 'fresh kielbasa,' so you will want to keep an eye out for that.
Although kielbasa is traditionally all pork, today, you can find it made with beef, lamb, veal, chicken, or turkey. This recipe is best for pork kielbasa, but you can experiment using other varieties.
Use your favorite type of BBQ sauce in this recipe.
How to Make Store Bought Kielbasa in the Smoker
To hot smoke kielbasa:
- Preheat the smoker to 225°F and add the wood chips or pellets of your choice. See below for more information about selecting the type of wood for this recipe.
- Add the unsmoked kielbasa to the smoker.
- While the sausages are in the smoker, mix the BBQ sauce and water in a bowl.
- After two hours of cooking, use a silicone brush to coat the sausages with the BBQ mixture.
- Return sausages to the smoker and continue to smoke them until they are fully cooked.
How Long to Smoke Kielbasa
Since all smokers and sausages are different, the smoking time isn't set in stone.
Instead, remove the sausages from the smoker when their internal temperature reaches 165°F. That may be anywhere from two to three hours. Start checking with an instant-read thermometer after about two hours and 15 minutes.
What to Serve With Kielbasa
Add your smoked kielbasa to soups and stews or grill them up and serve them as the star of the show. Here are just a few suggestions for quick and tasty side dishes:
- Sauteed peppers and onions. This is the perfect last-minute meal, but it is so tasty you'll want to have it every night of the week. Just slice a mix of bell peppers and onions and saute them in olive oil. Add red pepper flakes, salt, fresh ground pepper, and a splash of red wine vinegar to the pan, along with sliced kielbasa right off the grill. Toss and serve.
- Any type of potatoes. Potatoes and grilled or fried kielbasas pair wonderfully together. Serve the sausages with your favorite mashed potatoes, a classic potato salad, or these Easy Potato Pancakes.
- Cabbage dishes. Kielbasa loves cabbage. Try making Luby's famous Skillet Cabbage, a delicious combination of cabbage, bacon, and tomatoes, your favorite coleslaw recipe, or just open a packet of quality sauerkraut.
This is more of a method for how to smoke kielbasa on pellet grill than a strict recipe. There is a lot of room for creativity. Try a few BBQ sauces to see which ones you like the best. You may want to use a different type of wood, try, or even another kind of sausage entirely!
What Type of Wood Is Good for Smoked Sausage
You have a lot of choices when selecting the wood for smoking kielbasa. Perhaps the most popular wood is oak because of its mild earthiness.
Traditionally Polish people added small pieces of juniper wood to the fire to impart some of the wood's unique flavors, but it can be a little overpowering. Other wood options include hickory, cherry, and apple.
How to Store Smoked Kielbasa
Cool the smoked sausages before storing them inside a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week. Freeze the sausages in a freezer-safe bag for up to three months.
What's the Best Way to Reheat Smoked Kielbasa
Thaw frozen kielbasa overnight in the fridge. Once thawed, you can cook the smoked kielbasa as usual.
- 1 pound kielbasa sausage
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- 2 tablespoons water
- Preheat smoker to 225°F.
- Smoke the sausage for 2 to 2½ hours or until the sausage has reached 165°F.
- About 10 minutes before the kielbasa is done cooking, mix together the BBQ sauce and the water.
- Brush the sauce onto the sausage and allow the BBQ to caramelize the sausage.
- Remove the sausage from the smoker and slice it.