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Traditional homemade Hungarian sausage hanging on a smoker dowel.

Traditional Hungarian Sausage

Course: dinner, lunch, Sausage
Cuisine: European, Hungarian
Keyword: hungarian sausage, kolbász
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 4 hours
Curing/resting time: 1 day 16 hours
Total Time: 1 day 23 hours
Servings: 12
Calories: 386kcal
Author: Victor
Print Recipe


  • 4 1/2 lbs pork butt
  • 1/2 lb back fat or pork belly
  • 2 1/4 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Cure #1 level
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp sweet paprika
  • 2 1/2 tsp hot paprika
  • 3 cloves garlic pressed
  • 3 tsp caraway seeds ground
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup ice water


  • Cut the meat, and the back fat, into 2" (5-6 cm) pieces, mix with salt and Cure #1. Place in a container, cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  • Grind the pork and the pork belly/back fat (partially frozen for 20 min in a freezer) through a medium-size plate - 1/4" (6mm). You can also chop the meat and the fat finely with a knife.
  • Mix the ground meat with the seasonings, adding a cup of ice water. Mix well until the meat becomes sticky.
  • Stuff into hog casings (28-32 mm), making 1-foot lengths and tying them into rings. Prick any visible air pockets with a needle.
  • Hang the sausage to condition in a cold room at 33F - 38F (like an unheated garage in winter) or refrigerate overnight. Do not let the sausages freeze.
  • Dry for about 60 minutes in the smoker at about 110F - 130F without smoke. The sausages should be completely dry before applying smoke.
  • Smoke at around 130F for 2-4 hours or until the casings develop a nice brown color. Use oak, beech, cherry, hickory, or pecan wood.
  • Next, poach at 161F - 165F for 25 - 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 154F -158F.
    Alternatively, bake in an oven with convection, with a hot water pan below the sausages, at 175F for about 30-50 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 154F - 158F.
    You can also finish cooking the sausage in the smoker/smokehouse by gradually increasing the temperature in the smoker to 165F-175F-185F and up to 195F. This method is not as easy and may take a long time depending on weather conditions and humidity inside the smoker.
  • Cool the sausages down in an ice bath or shower them with cold water and dry them with paper towels. If you have access to a fairly cold room, again, like an unheated garage in winter, just hang them there to cool down.
  • Optionally, hang the sausage in a cool room or a curing chamber for 5-7 days to dry at about 55F and 75% relative humidity. This will prolong the shelf life and intensify the flavor of the sausage.
  • Store in a refrigerator.


Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 1374mg | Potassium: 632mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 742IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg