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What Internal Temp Do You Take Your Sausages to?

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    What Internal Temp Do You Take Your Sausages to?

    I'm getting ready to do another 3 chicken/36 sausage (hot Italian sausages) cook in my PBC this afternoon. Read: full rebars. I can hardly wait! But I have a question about smoking sausages of the dimensions of hot Italian sausages (like Johnsonville, etc.)

    The first time I smoked hot Italian sausages in my PBC I was distracted by the other meat I had going at the same time in the PBC and let the internal temp get away from me.

    I had intended to take them to 165 degF internal as recommended by Meathead on his magnetic temp guide and then put them in a warming oven while I got the rest of the meal organized.

    Instead, by pure negligence, I took them to 185 degF, then put them in a 170 deg F oven for about half an hour until the rest of the meat finished cooking. I was afraid they'd be sausage jerkey, but boyohboy, those were some juicy sausages, with skin that popped with each bite. They were as close to perfect as I could have wished for. Our guests took home all the leftovers, much to my husband's dismay!

    So here's the question: Did I just luck into this sausage nirvana by my mistake, or do most people cook sausages as thick as Italian sausages to 185 degF or more?

    Thanks in advance,

    I don't have an answer for you Kathryn, but it's hard to argue with success. Italian sausages have plenty of fat in them and I don't see why they can't do 185°F very nicely. But I can't tell you the difference between that and 165°F.



      Every thing I read in my sausage making books and stuff says 145 but that is not commercial made, it is fresh ground and stuffed, so I would say 165 should be safe and if plenty of fat 185 should not be a problem. but than again maybe the sausage Gods were with you


        Interesting question, I just cooked sausages today! I wanted to try some sausages from a local butcher so I got 2 pounds of Andouille and 2 pounds of Hot Italian. I cooked these on the kettle at around 280 with Apple. I also threw onion, peppers, and garlic on there and pulled half off at 165. The Andouille was really good, I mixed it with the veggies and made Jambalaya. The sausages still seemed a little odd-textured to me, too stiff and fat, so I decided to leave the other sausages on for a bit. At 185 they had plumped up and to me were perfect, crisp bite with a consistent chew and outstanding flavor.

        Long story short, I will be doing mine to 185 (at least the ones from this butcher).


          I smoke my own sausage, but prefer to get it to at least 165 before consuming. On the grill, who knows how hot them suckers get.
          Last edited by Jerod Broussard; January 18, 2015, 02:38 PM.


            158F and above provides an instant 7 log reduction of salmonella and is considered ready to eat. That being said, when I grill or smoke sausage, I like it a little crispy so I am well above the safe temp.


              Thank you, everyone, for your input. Yes, I'm not as concerned about the safe temp since I wouldn't eat a sausage that was not taken at least to 165 deg F per Meathead's guidelines.

              That said, I just finished cleaning up after my 3 chicken/ 36 sausage cook, and I tested the sausages at 165, 175, and 185 deg F internal. Far and away, the 185 deg F sausages were the favorite with my guests and husband. The flavor does not change much between those temperatures, but the snappy skin texture is much better at 185 deg F internal, hands down.

              So I'm sticking with 185!




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