Smoked Pigs on the Beach – Shrimp & Sausage

The subtle flavor of smoked shrimp combined with the rich flavor of the smoked sausage comes together with a huge flavor burst in your mouth with this wonderful duet of an appetizer.

I asked my Facebook fans to help me name this appetizer and while we had more than 800 suggestions, I could only pick one of them.

The winning name for this smoked shrimp wrapped around a sausage round is… {drum roll}… “Smoked Pigs on the Beach“.

Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
  • Smoker Temp: 225°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: n/a
  • Recommended Wood: Mesquite
What You'll Need
Prepare the Shrimp

If the shrimp are frozen, place them in a colander and run cold water over them for a few minutes until they are thawed.

Place the shrimp on a cookie sheet or flat surface and sprinkle my rub all over them.

Note: I decided to use my new Texas style rub recipe on the shrimp and the original rub recipe on the sausage pieces.

The new Texas style rub is now included when you purchase the original “Jeff's rub recipe” either by itself or in combination with the sauce recipe.

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Once they were seasoned real well, I scooped them all up and put them into a bowl.

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The shrimp are ready to meet piggy.

Prepare the Sausage

Cut up the smoked sausage into circles that are about ½ inch thick

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Make them the same thickness as the shrimp. If your shrimp are a little bigger or smaller, you may want to cut them to a different thickness than I did.

Note: When I first made these I waited until the sausage and shrimp were toothpicked together before I put my rub on the sausage. I later discovered that it is easier to place some rub into a plate and pat the flat surfaces of the sausage pieces onto the rub to coat it.

Piggy Meet Shrimp

Place the shrimp onto a flat surface and lay a sausage round right in the center of the natural “C” the body of the shrimp makes.

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Push a toothpick through the shrimp, through the sausage and through the shrimp again to hold it all together nicely.

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As I said earlier, when I first did this for the pictures, I sprinkled rub onto the sausage after it was poked through with a toothpick.  It is much easier to do this right when you are cutting the sausage into pieces.

What can I say.. I'm a little slow at figuring things out sometimes ;-)

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Repeat this process on all of the shrimp and sausage.

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You will notice how my rub sort of melts onto the meat once it's been there for a few minutes.

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The shrimp are ready to cook in the smoker now.

Ready the Smokers, Gentlemen! (and ladies of course)

Setup the smoker for cooking low and slow at about 225°F.

If you have an electric smoker, that is perfect for these.

You want to get the heat perfect and get the smoke to going before placing the shrimp in the smoker.

Once the heat and smoke is good, the shrimp are ready to put in the smoker.

Smoke the Pigs on the Beach

In case I did not mention this before (I certainly have in past recipes where shrimp are involved), the shrimp get done in around 30 minutes. More or less depending on factors such as:

  • How cold they are when they go into the smoker
  • How big they are
  • How hot the smoker is
  • How many times you open the door to check on them

So how do you know when they are done?

They will turn from grey to a pinkish color and the meat changes from translucent to opaque.

Once you've done enough of them, you get to where you can just sort of tell.

Until then, watch for the pink.

I recommend using mesquite so you can get plenty of good robust smoke flavor on the shrimp and sausage in a very short period of time. Hickory or pecan are also fairly strong woods that will also work fine.

These are really great for cooking when you have other things already going. Put them in and in about 30 minutes you have amazing appetizers while you wait for the rest of the food to get done.

Finishing Up

When you think they are done, grab one and pop it into your mouth. Give it your nod of approval and get them into the house for everyone else to try.

If they need a little longer, let them go another 4-5 minutes then try another one.

Just for the record, I usually have to eat 3-4 to get a good read on whether they are officially done and ready to take into the house for everyone else ;-)

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Notes/Comments:
  1. You will notice that I left the tails on these. After thinking about it, it would probably make sense to remove the tails for easier and more hassle free”popping” into the mouth.
  2. A Facebook fan suggested using scallops instead of sausage rounds.. sounds GOOD to me! (although it would make the “pigs” part of the name null and void.
  3. You could easily turn this into an entree by using longer toothpicks i.e. skewers and placing about 6-8 on each one. Lay a couple of them over a bed of rice or pasta for a great meal.
  4. When I made these, the family was quick to let me know that I should have made more. Consider doubling or tripling the recipe.
  5. My original “Jeff's rub recipe” works great on these shrimp as well. If you want even more intense flavor, place the shrimp and sausage into a ziploc bag and pour in a little olive oil to coat with about ¼ to 1/3 cup of my rub. Mix it around and let them marinate in that for a few hours before placing them on toothpicks. Delicious!
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Jeff’s Smoking Meat Books

smoking-meat-book-coverSmoking Meat: The Essential Guide to Real Barbecue – The book is full of recipes and contains tons of helpful information as well. Some have even said that “no smoker should be without this book”!

With more than 1000 reviews on Amazon.com and a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, it comes highly recommended and is a Bestseller in Barbecuing & Grilling books on Amazon.

AmazonBarnes & Noble | German Edition

smoke-wood-fire-book-coverSmoke, Wood, Fire: The Advanced Guide to Smoking Meat – Unlike the first book, this book does not focus on recipes but rather uses every square inch of every page teaching you how to smoke meat. What my first book touched on, this second book takes it into much greater detail with lots of pictures.

It also includes a complete, step-by-step tutorial for making your own smoked “streaky” bacon using a 100 year old brine recipe.

Purchase at Amazon

Printable Recipe

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Smoked Pigs on the Beach - Shrimp & Sausage

The subtle flavor of smoked shrimp combined with the rich flavor of the smoked sausage comes together as a huge flavor burst in your mouth with this wonderful duet of an appetizer.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Servings: 4 -6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of shrimp (((22-26 pieces)))
  • Jeff’s rub
  • 2 links of smoked sausage
  • Toothpicks

Instructions

Prepare the Shrimp

  • If the shrimp are frozen, place them in a colander and run cold water over them for a few minutes until they are thawed.
  • Place the shrimp on a cookie sheet or flat surface and sprinkle my rub all over them.

Prepare the Sausage

  • Cut up the smoked sausage into circles that are about ½ inch thick

Piggy Meet Shrimp

  • Place the shrimp onto a flat surface and lay a sausage round right in the center of the natural “C” the body of the shrimp makes.
  • Push a toothpick through the shrimp, through the sausage and through the shrimp again to hold it all together nicely.
  • Repeat this process on all of the shrimp and sausage.

Smoke the Appetizers

  • Setup the smoker for cooking low and slow at about 225°F.
  • Place the shrimp and sausage appetizers directly onto the smoker grate for about 30 minutes
  • They will turn from grey to a pinkish color and the meat changes from translucent to opaque when they are done cooking
  • Use mesquite so you can get plenty of good robust smoke flavor on the shrimp and sausage in a very short period of time.

Finishing Up

  • When you think they are done, grab one and pop it into your mouth. Give it your nod of approval and get them into the house for everyone else to try.
  • If they need a little longer, let them go another 4-5 minutes then try another one.
  • Serve immediately!

 

7 Comments

  1. Ryan December 22, 2015 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    These look like an amazing appetizer that I would like to do for Christmas. My only issue is that dinner is not at my place. Any recommendations on a quality way to reheat these a few hours after they are done in the smoker?

  2. Bill July 31, 2014 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Tried the meatloaf logs this past weekend and what a great hit! There actually hasn't been one of your recipes, from your newsletter or book that has not been a huge hit!
    I also have the same question about your Texas rub; I previously purchased your rub/sauce recipes (which are fantastic)!
    Thanks Jeff!

  3. Tyra Somers July 31, 2014 at 9:19 am - Reply

    Hello.
    I bought your rub and sauce recipes. I get two copies of your newsletter for some reason and they both still have the ads in them. Maybe you could fix this.
    Also, since I bought the original rub recipe, how do I get hold of the Texas version?
    I'm glad I discovered your barbecue world, it's been great.
    Thanks
    Tyra

  4. Brendan July 31, 2014 at 9:15 am - Reply

    Did you smoke the sausage yourself, or just use store bought precooked sausage?

  5. donald July 31, 2014 at 8:13 am - Reply

    Jeff
    I am trying this but instead of Shrimp I am using Crawdads (crayfish to the Yankees in the crowd). You meatloaf logs I made last week were GREAT!

  6. Doyan July 31, 2014 at 7:23 am - Reply

    the meatloaf logs where great everyone loved them

  7. Bill Keiser July 31, 2014 at 6:41 am - Reply

    Considering that shrimp cooks so much faster than anything else, would it help to precook the sausage a bit first? (Although it is precooked sausage already, right?)

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