Do you love smoked sausages?
Smoked sausages are delicious and addictive due to their smoky taste.
If you have leftover sausage, you can freeze or refrigerate them for later use.
Smoked sausages can store in the fridge for 3 to 4 days and they can last in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.
How long they last depend on how you store them or the smoking process.
They can spoil if you don’t store them properly.
For example, if you refrigerate, you should use them within two weeks if the package is unopened and one week when opened.
If you freeze your smoked sausages, the USDA recommends you use them within one to two months to preserve the quality.
You can store smoked, dry, and cured pork in the fridge for a long time.
Keep reading to know more about storing smoked sausages.
What is the Shelf Life of Smoked Sausage?
Smoked sausages can last for 3 to 4 days in a fridge.
And if they’re vacuum-sealed they can last for six days in the fridge at 38.7°F.
Additionally, they can last for several months in the freezer. But if you decide to freeze your sausages, remember to use airtight containers to prevent freezer burn.
If your sausages are not cured for preservation, refrigerate them within two hours of cooking.
However, the USDA recommends that you cook and consume raw and uncooked sausages within two days if you store them in the fridge at 40 °F.
Therefore you should keep them sealed in the fridge, so they can last for a few days. For Example, pork sausages, Mexican chorizo, bratwurst, and Italian sausage.
You see, the curing and the meat smoking recipe determines how long your sausages last.
For example, dry smoked sausages that are sealed can stay edible for up to a year in the pantry.
All types of sausages can be frozen and kept for up to 2 months.
Can You Refrigerate Smoked Sausage?
Yes, you can if the package is not open.
The USDA recommends that you store dry sausage like pepperoni and salami at room temperature for up to six weeks if unopened.
You can also store them in the fridge for longer than six weeks, if in an unopened package or three weeks if opened.
If you decide to store them at room temperature, make sure the package is unopened and check once in a while to see if mold and unpleasant odors develop. If they do discard the sausages right away.
Remember that sausages that are not dried and cured are perishable, and you should store them in the refrigerator.
Can you Defrost Smoked Sausages Out of The Fridge Overnight?
Leaving frozen sausages out overnight to defrost at room temperature can cause harmful bacteria to grow and lead to a stomachache when consumed.
When you’re ready to use the frozen sausages, you should leave them on their packaging or place them in a bowl on the lowest shelf of the fridge and wait for them to thaw.
When you defrost meat in the fridge, it remains cold and safe from bacteria growth.
But if you’re in a rush and don’t want to wait, you can always defrost in the microwave.
Consuming bad beef or pork sausage can cause an upset stomach and diarrhea.
Is Smoked Sausage Cooked?
Smoked sausage is cooked but may require further cooking.
To know whether your meat is cooked, check to see if it’s hot smoked or cold smoked when purchasing from the store.
Hot smoked sausage is ready to eat, while cold-smoked pork requires further cooking. And this is because the meat has not been cooked under high heat and temperature.
So, if you purchase cold-smoked meat, cook or smoke it before eating.
It’s not advisable to eat cold-smoked sausages unless the meat goes through the curing process.
Curing salt prevents your meat from contamination by pathogens that cause food poisoning.
So, before buying or consuming smoked sausages, check the label to see if the meat is safe to eat.
Can you Cook Smoked Sausages?
Yes, you can cook if the sausage is cold smoked.
But if the sausage is cured, you don’t need to cook.
Also, if you want to preserve the leftovers for a long period you can cure them with sodium nitrate or nitrite.
Some great examples of these sausages are summer sausage, salami, chorizo prosciutto, and others.
Curing is good and it helps to preserves and protect your meat.
Smoking and cooking your sausages with hot smoke at 140-180°F ensures that are ready to eat.
If you prefer to buy sausages from the store, read the label.
Check for words like “cook before eating”, “uncooked”, or “needs to fully cook”. This way you will know whether the sausage needs further cooking.
Some sausages are precooked like hot dogs, wieners, frankfurters and bratwurst.
Fresh sausages like Mexican chorizo need cooking.
How to Know If Smoked Sausage is Cooked?
To know if your sausage is ready, use a meat thermometer.
Sight and smell alone cannot reveal if meat has reached the right temperature.
But if you have experience smoking sausages, you can tell if it’s cooked by looking at the outer layer of the meat.
If the sausage is cooked it should be charred but not burned, and the core should be steamy and pink.
But to be safe, check for an internal temperature of 160ºF at the center of your sausages. It would not be a good experience if your guests or family were to get sick.
Ensure that you cook delicate sausages like smoked turkey and chicken sausages at an internal temperature of 165°F.
You can also set your cooking time so as not to overcook or undercook your sausages.
Grilled sausages cook fast and take about 6 to 12 minutes.
If you grill, cook on the grill’s ‘hot zone’.
If you plan to bake the sausages, cook for 20 and 25 minutes.
How to Store Smoked Sausage?
You can store different types of sausages in the freezer or fridge in airtight plastic containers or dry packaging.
You can also store dry smoked sausages for a long time at room temperature.
But once you open them, keep them in the fridge to prevent bacteria growth and preserve quality and taste.
Pre-cooked sausages can also be kept in the freezer for one to two months and two weeks in the refrigerator.
Sausages are great for barbeques or other meals of the day. They are the tastiest meats to try out there.
There are different types of sausages, and you can enjoy them as you travel the world without having to repeat any of them.
If you smoke sausages at home, you should learn how to handle different sausages like raw sausages, dried, fresh, salt-cured, and precooked sausage.
Doing this can protect your loved ones from foodborne illnesses.
The good news is, refrigeration technology and food knowledge about bacteria can help you to keep your family safe by cooking and storing food at the right temperature.
Also, you should treat smoked sausages as you would other meat to avoid consuming bad sausage and getting sick.
Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)
You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!
You can read more on our About Us page.
Hungry For More?