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What is the Difference Between Sausages and Smokies?

This post is a side-by-side comparison between how different smokies are from sausages, also similarities between these products will be outlined as well.

We all have this age-old question as kids, and probably too afraid to ask. Still as adults, no straightforward answer…well, probably until this post?

The short answer is that; smokies are technically a type of sausage.  Yes, they are sausages but with different ingredients and are smoked unlike regular sausages,( that is why they are called smokies), and are ready to eat straight from the packet. 

 Sausages on the other hand are raw and need to be cooked to be edible.

For the long answer, you gonna have to read to find out. Let’s start by the similarities and a summary of differences will be at the end of this post.


Similarities between Smokies and Sausages

  1. Both are processed meat products
  2. Both have the same meat content of 60%
  3. Both stored in the same refrigeration conditions
  4. Both have the same shape and size
  5. Both have edible collagen casings
  6. They use the same ingredients; wheat rusk, corn starch, beef, same preservatives and antioxidants too
  7. Both contain the same allergens: soya, gluten, and sulphites

Overview: Sausages vs Smokies

Smokies are exclusively beef, while sausages offer a whole array—pork, beef, or chicken. 

Beef Smokies( Farmer's Choice)
Beef Smokies

 Sausages again branch out into more sub-types: regular or spicy versions, some meant for specific purposes like dried aged ones, and others tailor-made for grilling and whatnot. Meanwhile, smokies keep it simple—they’re one type, one variety, end of story.

Beef and Pork Sausages( Farmer's Choice)
Beef and Pork  Sausages

Pricing 

Smokies are relatively cheaper for the same product weight, sausages. Smokies are 30-40% cheaper than the equivalent sausages option.

Currently, a Kg of smokies is KSh 530 while sausages are at 695

If you are a budget shopper, then forget about sausages and settle for smokies as you will get a better value for your money with these. This is why smokies are 10x popular and adopted than sausages, sausages are just a luxury.


Packaging & Appearance

So, sausages and smokies are like night and day in how they’re packed and what they look like. 

Smokies are these individual, dry, firm guys with that cool brownish-red color. 

 Sausages, though, are in a strip of pieces, they’re more delicate-looking, a bit wetter, and sometimes you’ll see little blood droplets. They’re usually paler and milder in color.

Now, when it comes to packs, smokies have two sizes: a 400g pack with 10 pieces and a 1kg pack with 22 pieces. 

But sausages? Oh, they come in various sizes starting from 250g with 5 pieces, 500g with 10 pieces, then a 1kg pack with 22 pieces for catering, and another 1kg pack with 26 pieces for those looking for a good deal.

The catering sausages are like the big shots used in hotels ’cause they’re larger individually. Value pack sausages have more pieces, but each one’s a bit smaller.


Ingredients

Ingredients are more of the same with most shared between the products

Smokies' Ingredients( Farmer's Choice)
Smokies’ Ingredients

Smokies Ingredients: ●60% Beef, ●Wheat Rusk, ●Corn Starch, ●Soy Protein, ●Salt, ●Spices, ●Sodium Phosphates, ●Dextrose, ●Sodium Nitrite(Preservative), ●Ascorbic Acid(Antioxidant), ●Sodium Ascorbate, ●Food Coloring(45430, 1971), ●Collagen Casings.

Sausages Ingredients ( Farmer's Choice)
 Sausages Ingredients

Pork sausages have a higher meat content at 65% while beef averages 60%


Cooking Methods

Smokies offer a simpler preparation compared to sausages—they’re a ready-to-eat product, so you can enjoy them straight from the packet. They’re versatile, from microwaving them for a quick warm-up to preparing them as you like.

In contrast, sausages are raw and need thorough cooking before they’re safe to eat, unlike smokies which are good to go as is. 

To warm smokies, following the packet’s instructions usually involves tossing them in a pan for about 5 minutes for a nice, warm serving.

 Sausages, on the other hand, can be cooked in various ways—grilling, frying, baking, or boiling—depending on the type and personal taste. Smokies are just about warming them up, that’s all there is to it.

To always get the perfect sausages, fry in the lowest heat possible, or avoid using a pan if possible to minimize the risk of them burning, 

Burnt Sausages
Burnt  Sausages

If you have an airfryer then they will turn out better, with no chances of burning; here are some sausages I grilled in the airfryer. 

Airfryer Grilled Sausages
Airfryer Grilled Sausages

The presets are the grill function for 10 minutes, you can go higher or lower depending on the doneness you want.

For smokies, just add them to hot water to defrost, when soft and rubbery pan fry them on the lowest heat setting for not more than 5 minutes and serve.

Cooked Smokies, Farmers Choice
Pan Fried Smokies

Taste & Flavor

Steamed Smokies
Steamed Smokies

Most people love the taste of smokies over sausages, honestly, I’m with them.  Sausages are just meant to be complex and are sometimes gluey when hot which is kinda disgusting, 

Smokies have a smoother texture and are more homogeneous, sausages just have alot going on and have a complex taste profile. 

There is a reason smokies are sold on the streets and not sausages, yes one factor is price but again I feel like people will opt to pay more to get the simple comforting taste. 

 Sausages are richer and more flavorful while smokies have that one flat taste with no varying notes.

On the sausage vs sausage war, personally, I prefer the taste of pork. It is better than beef in a way I cannot explain. 

Chicken sausages are probably the worst and I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone, texture itself is normally off. They are even priced lower than pork and beef sausages which just cost the same.

Yes, smokies are better for a simple taste and they cost less.

 Sausages are better if you want that varying profile, with more textures and flavors.


Texture

When uncooked, smokies are solid, while sausages are soft and squashy. Once cooked, both become firm, but smokies maintain their original shape.  Sausages, however, have a semi-solid filling that expands while cooking, causing them to grow in size, and become rounder, softer, and plumper.

However, as sausages cool down, their initially appealing plumpness diminishes. The filling contracts within the casing, causing the expanded skin to shrink back, resulting in a wrinkled appearance after cooking. (Check the image above for reference). 

Smokies, on the other hand, don’t change—they retain the same shape and size before and after cooking.

Smokies have a uniform texture, the same thing, meaning the taste can be boring if repetitive over and over; it is just too predictable, you know what your next bite gonna taste like.

 Sausages meanwhile have layers of textures, and sometimes might bite something coarser or smoother, if you love texture then sausages are your best bet, they are more complex than smokies from that perspective.


A Summary of Differences Between Smokies & Sausages

 Sausages and smokies are both types of prepared meat products, but they have several differences in terms of ingredients, preparation, and characteristics. Here are some key distinctions:

  1. Smokies are precooked while sausages are raw products, meaning you can warm smokies in hot water till soft and consume them, while sausages need actual cooking
  2. Smokies are firm while sausages are soft when both are raw
  3. Smokies have a uniform flavor and smooth texture while sausages have varying layers of tastes and textures with each bite
  4. Smokies are prepared in 3-4 minutes while sausages take longer; 6-8 minutes if you shallow fry both on a pan
  5. The ingredients in both are virtually the same for the most part, however, smokies use more types of food coloring. Also, sausages have MSG in them while smokies don’t

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