Recipe: BBQ Sausage

This recipe won FIRST PLACE at the Great Lenexa BBQ Contest a few years back, and it knocks peoples’ socks off every time they try it! It’s not only a great tasting sausage, but it is unique and very fun to make! I guarantee your BBQ Rock Star status will go up with this sausage!

Sausage Seasoning

  • 1 Tbs ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ Tbs salt
  • 1 Tbs paprika
  • 1 Tbs sweet Italian sausage seasoning (I get it from Planter’s in KC)
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground sage
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp ground thyme
  • ½ tsp ground celery seed
  • ½ tsp MSG (Accent)


  • 6 lb Raw sausage – not smoked (such as uncooked Johnsonville bratwursts)

Combine all dry ingredients to make the sausage seasoning. Divide the number of sausages equally and remove casings so you have two mounds of 3 lbs of raw sausage. Spread the raw sausage out to about 1/2″ thick and evenly sprinkle half of the sausage seasoning on each of the flattened sausage mounds. Using your hands, massage and mix the meat so that the seasoning is distributed throughout.

Form each of the two mounds into two separate large sausage logs, about 2 to 2 1/2″ in diameter and 8 inches long. Make no comments in mixed company.

Place two 24″ long sheets of clear plastic wrap on a flat surface. Starting at one end, place a sausage log near the end of the plastic wrap and begin to roll the log, trying to keep it tight but no squashing it, making a kind of casing. When the log is rolled completely with the wrap, twist each end to create an air-tight casing. Repeat with second log and place in refrigerator/cooler until ready to cook.

Place both logs in brown paper bag like a lunch sack; this is so the plastic wrap doesn’t stick to grate. Place bag of sausage logs in smoker and cook until cooked through, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours at 250°. Note that because the sausages are wrapped in plastic you do not need to introduce smoke at this point, so just charcoal will work (smoke to come later). You will know when they are done when they feel pretty firm to the touch.

Remove the sausages from the smoker by sliding the entire bag onto a baking sheet as some grease probably escaped from the plastic casings and made the bag susceptible to tearing. Now, CAREFULLY remove from plastic casings (grease will be hot!) so that you have cooked, naked sausages. Gently return sausages to smoker.  Now, add a little wood for smoke (I use apple, but any fruitwood probably works great) and cook until crust forms on exterior, probably another hour or so.

Using a sharp knife, I like to slice the sausage on a bias to make pieces about 1/8″ thick. If in a competition (or to impress your family and friends!) fan the slices for presentation. This sausage doesn’t need any sauce, but if you’re so inclined, go for a tangy sauce rather than a heavy sweet sauce.

I would love to hear how you like this, so please leave a comment or hit me on twitter, @BBQPhil!

Philip Allen