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35 responses to “Homemade Polish Kielbasa”

  1. majigail

    It has never occurred to me that you could make kielbasa homemade. We travel all the way from St. Louis to Chicago to get the good stuff. Can’t wait to give this a try.

  2. Steve

    Sounds like another item for the To Do list. We love to eat them, why not learn to make our own. Thanks, Hank.

  3. casey

    Perfect timing Hank. I have spent the last 2 days making 5 somked/cured sausages and 3 fresh for a total of 70 pounds. I made your andouille and your kabanosy. I made kielbasa, but from another source. I’ll try yours next time. The other 2 were great!

  4. Renee Ziaya

    Hello Mr.Hank Shaw I have really enjoyed your website and recipes can’t wait to try many of them! I’m going to attempt the sausage making today! Looking over your recipe for “Polish sausage” that you call “Kielbasa” (usually kielbasa is a fresh unsmoked sausage), kind of similar to a Italian sausage without the fennel. That’s what we call Kielbasa!! & The smoked version that you have the recipe for (that looks delish!) we refer to as just Polish Sausage! My Grandmother worked for Frank Jaworski’s Sausage Co for 20 years in Detroit & I’m Polish!! LOL Our family was raised on there products (meats & sausage) now we live in Arizona and NO ONE out here knows how to make good sausage of any kind!! I can’t wait to try your recipes but I can’t wait to try yours but I can’t find one for fresh kielbasa! If you have one can you post it please I would love to try yours!! Thank you Renee!!!

  5. Lloyd

    Just to clarify, polska kielbasa is an american term for smoked sausage. Kielbasa is Polish for sausage, of which, there are dozens. And kielbasa is not necessarily smoked. Some of the most delicious and subtle are fresh (A typical polish table with all the trimmings offer both). if you’ve never had it, find a Polish deli and try theirs.

  6. Dave Wiatrowski

    My father Hank and my mother would make sausage around the holidays, both Polish and Italian. He would keep some Polish to make fresh in water and some he would hang on wax paper that he would put over the hot water heat pipes in the basement and let cure. I didn’t pay attention to how long he would let it hang, but it was long enough to dry it out and look much the way yours does with the fried eggs, which was the way we would eat it for breakfast. Of course I could kick my dumb ass for not paying closer attention to this along with the making of the sausage. I know he didn’t use the Instacure or cloves. The Italian and Polish were similar and I know he added Marjoram to the Polish and fennel to the Italian. How would this cure and not spoil while hanging?

  7. John Hartman

    This comment is for Mr. Shaw. The next time I make K I am going to use your recipe. It is very close to mine. As you mentioned it should be allowed to hang about an hour to bloom and surface dry. Blooming just means color. The cure will keep it from spoiling if placed in a cooler environment after an hour.
    For people new at this please heed Hanks advice about food safety. I would visit the web site he referenced or other authorative sources. My two cents John

  8. Daniel H.

    What wood would you recommend smoking the Kielbasa with ?

  9. Bob R.

    I have made homemade Kielbasa for years with simply ground beef and pork from the grocery store, without the nitrate or smoking, and have wrapped and frozen the links with good success. My spice mix is about the same. Another variation, I am sure, but my Polish-heritage wife approves….

    I like the idea of mixing in the very cold water and keeping the meat cold as you work with it, as it can get quite greasy-feeling. Hand mixing it all together (with very clean hands) works well, and the kids love helping at that point!

  10. Obar

    You guys should try Polish ?ur (often called ?urek) – delicious sour rye soup, which main ingredients (except ryemeal sour – zakwas in Polish) are fresh (not smoked) Kielbasa, hard-cooked eggs and potatoes.

    I will not hotlink to competition, so find a recipe by yourself. The main ingredient is ryemeal sour (Zakwas) – you can do it at home or buy in every good Polish store!

  11. J. Pirok

    What cut of pork do you use for your keilbasa?

  12. Bill

    Looks like a great recipe that I will definitely try. Stupid question though… When uou mix with the kitchenaid, do you use the dough hook, the paddle or does it matter?

  13. Bill Fosher

    I made a batch using this recipe yesterday using my heritage pork. I have to say how refreshing it is to have recipes that are precise, tested, and most importantly that work. Thank you for proving that not all food blogs are wastes of electrons.

  14. rita dobek

    What temperature do you smoke the sausage at?

  15. Bob Gimby

    I repeat the last question… “What temperature do you smoke at?”…..I have tried smoking my kielbasa using hickory….I found that smoking for more than an hour really is overpowering the flavor of the sausage….Maybe I am smoking at too high a temperature…

  16. Len

    Just made this recipe. Hung it in my WSM and smoked for an hour at 170o (I wanted 160 but just couldn’t get it low enough) then gradually increased to 180 then 190 till internal sausage temp hit 165. I three chunks of apple wood. Took about 3 1/2 to 4 hr.

    I regularly bought the more expensive Sikorski kielbasa but this recipe—WOW! My wife said it was the BEST she’s ever had. Me too 🙂

    Thanks for this one.

    On a side note, I’ve frozen it in 6″ lengths for easier access. Make sure you double bag it in the freezer. I did and I still get a strong garlic/smoke aroma every time I open the freezer door. I love it but I’m a bit concerned it’ll permeate other frozen food items.

    Guess I’ll just have to eat it faster 😉

  17. Len

    Forgot to add: I forgot to add the ice water in the mix. It was good after taking out of the smoker/cooled off but it was a bit crumbly (because of no water–some recipes use white wine. Next time).

    I read that the flavour AND texture improves after freezing.

    I took a piece out of the freezer the next day and it was even better than day 1.

    The meat was not crumbly now and if possible, the flavour was even better (more mellow as the spices had a chance to blend with the meat).

  18. sarah

    Followed your directions to the letter last spring for a venison-based kielbasa, and loved the results! I was wondering, though– I have a couple of big-ass beef hearts in the freezer which my family will not touch at any price, so since it’s so lean could I use it in place of venison for kielbasa (or maybe kosher hotdogs)? It cooks up pretty dry; maybe it would need more pork fat? Thanks!

  19. Alan


    I’m pretty new to home sausage making, but this sounds amazing… Can I use Mortons Tenderquick instead of Instacure #1? If so, would it be a 1:1 replacement? I typically use about 1/2 Tbsp per pound of meat (venison w/ beef fat), per recommendation. Can I get the right taste for Kielbasa using MTQ?

  20. Alan

    Thanks Hank! I’ve got some Instacure on order… Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  21. Jim

    I had a 2lb bag of mixed breed duck breasts in the freezer. I added a pound of ground pork from a Berkshire hog I purchased last winter along with some ground beef from a steer raised by a friend of mine and a pound of pork fat. It’s currently resting with the seasonings on the patio table(18 degrees outside). It will be ground and stuffed today and smoked tomorrow.

    Given the quality of the other recipes of Hanks that I’ve used, I’m really looking forward to tasting the results!

  22. Bob

    I’ve made this recipe several times now. It’s a great recipe. I substituted granulated garlic for the fresh garlic. My batch size is for 10 lbs. I use 1tbl and 1tsp of granulated garlic.

  23. Chris

    How do you feel about using soy protein as a binder for the keilbasa? I’ve seen some recipes use it and others not use it. Still new to sausage making. Love your website. Thanks for your hard work.

  24. Kevin sheridan

    Made these today double smoked awesome thanks for the recipe

  25. Vignette Calvin

    Hi Hank. We are just taking a batch of these (made with your recipe) out of the smoker. We can’t wait to eat them, but there are a lot of sausages here! How do you store them? Do you freeze them?

  26. Vignette

    Thanks for that. We have eaten some already – they are great. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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