Smoked Bologna – A Step-by-Step How To Guide
An Introduction to Bologna
Bologna was named after a city in northern Italy called Bologna or Baloney. The United States refers to this meat as baloney. Bologna is made from meat including beef, chicken, veal and pork. Some bologna contains some or all of these meats. Bologna also has a nice blend of spices including salt, pepper, coriander, sugar, celery seed and paprika. Sometimes myrtle berry is included as well.
When you think of bologna, you may picture cold, thin slices in a sandwich. Whole smoked bologna and smoked spam have a unique depth of flavor that is absolutely delicious. Even though the meat is unable to absorb a lot of smoke, cooking the whole bologna over slow heat will provide you with a smoky and incredibly crisp treat with more texture and flavor than you can imagine.
Pro Tips: The best place to purchase an entire roll of bologna is at a deli. Most grocery stores only offer pre-sliced bologna. Make certain you remove the red wax or any exterior packaging from your bologna. Before you smoke your bologna, score your meat with the tip of a sharp knife. This will enable your smoke and seasonings to penetrate your bologna much better.
We recommend slathering your bologna with mustard prior to smoking. This will not add a heavy mustard taste. The mustard will enable your rub or barbeque sauce to stick to the exterior of your bologna. The smoothness of the exterior will hold your sauce better. After you have sprinkled on your rub, do not press it down with your hands or spread it around.
You need to sprinkle your rub onto your meat evenly. Take care when moving your bologna from your kitchen to your smoker. Jarring your meat can dislodge your rub. If you plan to serve your bologna hot right after it has finished smoking, cut it using a sharp knife. The ideal slices for a meal or a sandwich are nice and thick.
You can cut your bologna and insert toothpicks for a delightful appetizer. If you want to enjoy your bologna cold, chill your meat in the refrigerator overnight. The next day you can slice it for sandwiches.
Homemade Smoked Bologna Recipe
You will need either wood chips or charcoal for smoked bologna. The type you need to purchase will depend on what type of smoker you have. When you are smoking meat, we recommend wood chips with an apple-wood or hickory flavor. If you prefer charcoal, you can find it with the same flavors. This will be an excellent complement to the flavor of your smoked bologna.
We have included a recipe for both a rub and a spicy barbeque sauce below. You can also use your favorite. For our rub you will need:
- One-quarter cup brown sugar (dark)
- Two teaspoons onion powder
- Two teaspoons smoked paprika (mild or hot depending on your preference)
- Two teaspoons cracked black pepper
- One-half teaspoon cayenne pepper
- One tablespoon sea salt (coarse)
- One teaspoon ground mustard
- Two teaspoons garlic powder
Use a small bowl for mixing all of your ingredients. Mix everything together thoroughly. You can store your rub in an airtight container. This way, you can continue using your rub for up to a full month. Another great accent for homemade smoked bologna is our spicy barbeque sauce. You will require:
- One can containing fourteen ounces of crushed tomatoes
- One-half cup apple cider vinegar
- Three-quarters cup brown sugar
- One teaspoon onion powder
- One cup ketchup
- One teaspoon chili powder
- Two teaspoons ground black pepper
- One-half teaspoon red pepper flakes
- One-half cup molasses
- One tablespoon of smoked paprika (mild or hot depending on your preference)
- One tablespoon salt
- One teaspoon garlic powder
- One-half teaspoon ground mustard
Use a whisk and a medium saucepan for mixing all of your ingredients. Bring everything to a boil over medium heat. Now lower the heat so your barbeque sauce can simmer. Continue simmering for about twenty minutes. Take your pan off of the heat and let your sauce completely cool. Now you can pour your barbeque sauce into an air-tight container.
Although you can use your sauce immediately, we recommend putting it in the refrigerator overnight to enhance the flavor. If you keep your sauce in the refrigerator in your air-tight container, you can keep using it for two weeks.
How To Smoke Bologna
You will need just over three hours to cook your whole bologna roll. You will be able to serve twelve people or have enough left over to make sandwiches the next day. To make our delicious smoked bologna you will need:
- One whole bologna roll (Three pounds)
- Three-quarter cup brown sugar
- Wood chips such as hickory or apple
- One-quarter cup yellow mustard
- Brown ale
- Two tablespoons cracked, fresh black pepper (season to your taste)
Start by getting your smoker ready. Place your wood chips into the side tray. Your water pan needs to be filled half-way. Use a combination of your favorite brown ale and water. Make sure your top vent is fully open and preheat your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
You will be preparing your smoked bologna while your smoker is getting hot. Mix your black pepper and brown sugar together. Take off the plastic or wax wrapper on your bologna. Use a sharp knife to score your bologna. Make certain your cuts are a maximum of one-quarter inches deep. If you prefer, you can also score your bologna into one-inch squares or one-inch diamonds.
Take your mustard and completely coat the entire roll. Pat your pepper and sugar rub into your mustard. You need to make sure your bologna is coated completely. Once your smoker has finished heating, put your entire bologna right on your upper rack. You will need to replenish the liquid in your water pan and your wood chips about once every hour.
If you are using our spicy barbeque sauce, this is what you will use to coat your bologna roll instead of the rub. You will still need to use your mustard first. Your smoked bologna will need between three and four hours to cook depending on the weight. You will know your meat is done when the exterior is a little crispy and nicely caramelized.
If you want to make sandwiches, you will need to slice your bologna into pieces one-half of an inch thick. They should look like burgers. If you want to make an appetizer, cut your bologna into bite-size pieces. Insert toothpicks into the pieces to serve. We recommend serving your appetizer with our simple barbeque sauce for dipping. You will need:
- One and one-half cups high-quality ketchup
- Salt (to taste)
- One teaspoon or more of Worcestershire sauce (to taste)
- One-quarter cup yellow mustard
- Black pepper (to taste)
- One-quarter cup maple syrup or honey
Our recipe makes enough to serve twelve. Start by adding your ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and maple syrup in a sauce-pot. Cook over medium heat for five minutes and stir consistently. Add salt and pepper to your taste. Continue cooking until your sauce is gently simmering. Serve in a bowl while still warm with your bite-sized pieces of bologna and toothpicks.
If you want to use your smoked bologna for our special sandwiches you will need:
- Twelve slices of smoked bologna (thickly cut)
- Twelve kaiser rolls (cut them in half)
- Brown mustard for your rolls
- Twelve slices or either Monterey Jack or provolone cheese
- Pickle chips (bread and butter)
- Barbeque style potato chips
- Twelve fried eggs
Take the bottom half of each roll and spread your mustard. Your slices of smoked bologna go on top followed by your cheese slices and then your pickles. Cook twelve eggs until your yolks are just a little bit runny but have started to set. Place your eggs on top followed by the top of your rolls. Serve with some of your barbequed potato chips and plenty of napkins.
The Best Drinks and Side Dishes to Serve with Your Bologna
The best drinks to serve with smoked bologna are apple juice, cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, club soda and beer. Some of the more exceptional side dishes you can serve include:
- Smoked Chantilly potatoes
- Baked beans
- Classic potato salad
- Lemony roasted potato salad
- Creamed corn and smoked sausage
- Collard greens
- Stuffing balls
- Sweet and tangy southern style coleslaw
- Grilled corn with cojita cheese and bacon butter
- Smoked macaroni and cheese
- Grilled watermelon salad with lemon vinaigrette and fennel
- Savory southern corn pudding
- Southern potato salad
- Fire-roasted Brussels sprouts with prosciutto and fennel
- Pickled onion and tomato salad
- German potato salad
- Traditional coleslaw
- Corn on the cob
You will be amazed how easy it is to follow our recipe for smoked bologna. Whether you choose to serve your masterpiece as a meal, sandwiches or appetizers, we are sure you will be delighted with your results.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do you smoke ring bologna?
Most bologna — including ring bologna — is precooked, so you don’t have to worry about ending up with a raw product. You do want to infuse the maximum amount of smoke into the sausage, though. Anywhere from three to four hours should be just fine if you’re smoking at 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
How long does smoked bologna last in the refrigerator?
Most smoked meat lasts three to four days in the refrigerator. If you want to extend the life of the smoked meat, you can wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer. Frozen smoked bologna will last from two to three months in the freezer.
What do you eat with bologna?
Most people associate bologna with cold cut sandwiches, but you can do so much more with smoked bologna! It’s an excellent product to slice and sear because the outside caramelizes nicely and forms a crisp crust. You can use seared bologna for hot sandwiches or breakfast dishes like eggs benedict or hash. Bologna tastes great in all kinds of casseroles, too, and you can use it instead of ham when making pork and beans. The possibilities are endless!
What kind of meat is bologna?
Bologna is usually sold as a mixed-meat sausage, using both beef and pork. After the meat is ground, it’s mixed with several spices and stuffed into large sausage casings. The sausage can be smoked or baked in the oven in a water bath. We like to smoke bologna at home (especially if it was originally cooked in the oven) to infuse it with extra smoke flavor.
How do you spell baloney?
Bologna may be pronounced buh-LOAN-ee but it’s spelled using the traditional Italian spelling, using a “gna” at the end. It’s named after an Italian city (pronounced boh-LOAN-ya). The sausage originally came from this region of Italy, which is how it got its name and bizarre spelling.