Kielbasa Krakowska

A hot smoked kielbasa krakowska. Traditionally cold smoked, this is a lot quicker, and it’s bloody delicious. This recipe’s from the Marianski brothers’ book, “Home production of quality meats and sausages”

So for 1Kg pork shoulder I used:

  • 18g salt (sea salt, not table salt!)
  • 2.5g Cure #1 (pink salt)
  • 2g black pepper
  • 2.5g sugar
  • 3.5g crushed garlic
  • 1g freshly picked and chopped marjoram (if using dried, use less, about half)
  • 100ml iced water
  • ~6ft natural hog casings


Put your coarse mincer/grinder blades (10mm or 3/8″) into the freezer, and a bowl big enough to grind the meat into, if you have room.

Soak the casings in luke warm water for a couple of hours. Change the water periodically during this time, and then rinse the casings thoroughly under the tap, inside and out. Don’t let go of them when rinsing, they’ll slip down the plughole and disappear. You don’t want that.

Soaking the casings
Soaking the casings

When everything’s really cold, grind the meat and then mix everything together really well, it should go a bit sticky.

Grind the meat
Grind the meat

Stuff into your casings and make links whatever size you like. About 12″ is traditional.

Divided into links
Stuffed and divided into links

As you’re going to smoke these, you need a surface for the smoke to adhere to (a pellicle), so they need to hang for a while. Either hang them on smoke sticks, coat-hangers or a clothes drier at room temperature for about 2 hours, or put them in the smoker on really low heat with all the dampers wide open until they’re dry to the touch.

Then you can start to apply smoke. I used apple wood chips. Apply heavy smoke for 1 – 1.5 hours, gradually increasing the temperature of the smoker until it gets to about 170F. The sausages are done when they get to 155F in the middle (I stick my remote temperature probe into one of the sausages, set the temperature alarm and sit back with a beer)

Once cooked it’s traditional to plunge them into an ice bath or shower them with cold water to stop them cooking. I didn’t bother with this step.

Kielbasa Krakowska
Kielbasa Krakowska

That’s it. Wait until they’re cool enough to eat and get stuck in. Store any you don’t eat straight away in the fridge or freezer (vacuum sealed is best) – they’ll be good for a week(ish), but more than likely won’t last long enough to spoil.

These have a good “snap” when you bite into them, the marjoram and garlic come through nicely, and then you’re left with a heavy smokey aftertaste. Definitely will be making these regularly. Slice em up and put em on a sandwich with sauerkraut and gherkins. Mmmm.


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