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Bacon Wrapped Kielbasa – Brown Sugar and Beer Glazed

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Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of these bacon wrapped kielbasa appetizers lovingly glazed with a mixture of brown sugar and beer with pepper flake heat. Pop a few in your mouth and you’ll be saying “wow”!

Of course I use my original, one of a kind original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) to give these a massive kick of flavor that won’t stop until the cows come home!

Helpful Information
  • Hands-on Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Smoker Temp: 240°F (116°C)
  • Meat Finish Temp: N/A
  • Recommended Wood: Cherry
What You’ll Need
Purchasing Ingredients

The kielbasa I purchased had 2 links per package and I ended up getting about 14 pieces of kielbasa per link. As you will see below, I slice them in half lengthwise then about 1-inch wide.

There were 17 slices of bacon in the pound of bacon I purchased so it was pretty thin which is what works the best for things like this in my opinion.

If you find a package that has at least 14 slices, cut into thirds, that will give you 42 slices together with about 3 links of kielbasa, will give you 42 of these appetizers.

Step 1: Prepare the Kielbasa and the Bacon

Place a link of kielbasa on the cutting board and with a sharp knife split it in half lengthwise.

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Then, while holding the halves together, further cut it into 1-inch pieces.

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Cut the bacon into thirds.

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Step 2: Season and Wrap

Lay a piece of bacon on the cutting board with a piece of the kielbasa at the edge of  a piece of bacon.

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Sprinkle some of my original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) on to the bacon and the sausage.

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Wrap the piece of bacon around the piece of sausage and place the wrapped sausage on a Bradley rack, Weber grill pan or whatever you are using to carry the appetizers out to the smoker.

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Step 3: Season Outside of Wrapped Appetizers

When you are finished wrapping all of them, give them another good sprinkling of my original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub)

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Let them sit there get happy while you go get the smoker going.

Step 4: Smoke ‘Em Up

This is a great recipe for almost any smoker or grill as long as you can maintain a good smoking temperature and provide some smoke.

Over the last year or two I have become extremely partial to pellet grills as they are just so versatile, easy to use and it’s really nice knowing that you are cooking over real wood!

I particularly enjoy using the Camp Chef Woodwind as it has some extra features that many of the others at the same price point do not have such as easy ash cleanout, hopper cleanout chute, and the optional sear box which can reach temperatures as high as 900°F when you really need to put a sear on something.

Regardless of the smoker or grill you are using, maintain about 240°F for approximately 1.5 hours or until the bacon gets nice and brown and has a good “bitethrough” to it.

Step 5: Make the Brown Sugar and Beer Glaze

I recommend making the glaze while the appetizers are in the smoker cooking.

Place 1 cup of brown sugar into a small to medium size pan. Add ¼ cup of beer and 1 tsp of red pepper flakes for some heat.

Use low to medium heat so the brown sugar will melt and the red pepper flakes will leach a little heat into the mixture. It’s ok for it to simmer lightly but it should not boil. About 15 minutes should be plenty of time for this process.

Making this ahead of time will allow more of the red pepper flake heat to get into the glaze.

Step 6: Brush on Glaze and Finish

When the apps are almost done, you can brush on the beer and brown sugar glaze to give them an extra layer of flavor. It does not hurt to brush them a couple of times with about 10 minutes between each to allow the glaze to set.

Step 7: Serve

Serve these appetizers just as soon as they get done and watch peoples eyes roll back in their heads as they taste them.

Comments

I recommend serving these right out of the smoker however when I brought these home, they had been in the fridge for a few hours and were cold. Folks were grabbing them and eating them cold and still commenting on how good they were.

Things like this work great for when you are serving dinner late and guests arrive early.

Print

Bacon Wrapped Kielbasa – Brown Sugar and Beer Glazed

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of these bacon wrapped kielbasa smoked perfectly and then lovingly glazed with a mixture of brown sugar and beer with pepper flake heat. Pop a few in your mouth and you’ll say wow!

  • Author: Jeff Phillips
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Ingredients

Scale
  • 34 links of kielbasa
  • 1 lb of bacon ((cut into thirds.))
  • Jeff’s original rub recipe ((get the recipes here))
  • Brown sugar ((I prefer dark but light will work))
  • Beer ((I use a dark ale))
  • Red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Lay a link of kielbasa on the cutting board and slice it in half lengthwise. Then, while holding the strips together, cut it into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Cut the bacon into thirds.
  3. Lay a piece of kielbasa on the ends of a strip of bacon, season it with Jeff’s original rub and then wrap the bacon around the piece of kielbasa.
  4. When you are finished wrapping all the pieces and they are on a Bradley rack, Weber grill pan or whatever you are going to use to transport them to the smoker, sprinkle them generously with more of the original rub.
  5. Smoke the appetizers for about 1.5 hours or until they are sufficiently browned and the bacon has a good “bitethrough”.
  6. While the apps are cooking, place 1 cup of brown sugar, ¼ cup of beer and 1 teaspoon into a small to medium sized pan over low to medium low heat. Let the mixture simmer lightly for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. When the appetizers are almost finished cooking, brush the glaze onto the pieces a couple of times. Let it set for about 10 minutes before adding a new coat.
  8. When they are completely done, remove from the smoker and serve immediately.

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18 Comments

  1. Tried it with hot links and it was well received. I liked it too. The added heat didn’t stop anyone from grabbing seconds. The only problem I had was the bacon coming apart in prep, as I wrapped it. Had to add toothpicks for serving. Maybe next time I won’t use bacon my wife got at the bargain store…?

  2. Jeff,

    Have you ever done this on a grill at higher heat? Need to cook these faster for an event at church. Any suggestions/tips?

    1. I have not done these on the grill but shouldn’t be a problem. Just watch them to make sure the sugars don’t burn. When the bacon has a good bite through and the color is good, they’re ready to eat.

  3. I made these last night for a card party. They were a hit. I used a dark beer and was surprised how easy they were to make up and cook. Didn’t need a toothpick at all. The wrapping of the bacon worked well with the rub.

    1. Maintain 225-240 for about 1.5 hours or until the bacon gets done. The package will usually tell you to make sure the kielbasa is cooked to 160 so you can use that as a guide as well if you like. In my experience, this will normally occur before the bacon gets done.

  4. I made these last night for Christmas guests. I used linguica instead; also only had thick bacon so I cut into fourths and used toothpicks. It took a little more time but it was worth it! They were delicious. Everybody raved over them. Thanks!

  5. Making these for a party the night before so I have room to smoke a butt day of. We used uncooked kielbasa and low sodium bacon. Takes a while longer in our smoker to cook the bacon crispy. But these are yummy, hot or cold or reheated. Second time on this one. Used the brown beer as suggested. Got 100 pieces in the smoker right now

  6. I had quite a few cut pieces of bacon after making these, so I put your rub on them and cooked them in the microwave for about 2 1/2 minutes. OH MY! They were delicious!!!!!

  7. I made these the other day and came out pretty good, but next time I’m going to try using organic uncured bacon that is not as salty. Between the kielbasa and the bacon the sugar didn’t counter the saltiness of the meat.

  8. [email protected]
    These were awesome! I made them on st paddy’s day while we were waiting for the corned beef to cooked! They were a real crowd pleaser! I will Definitely be doing these again! Thank you Jeff for your continued support!

  9. Do you think the Bacon Wrapped Keilbasa would carry over after cooking for a party if they were reheated in the oven?

    1. Absolutely– I have had them cold, heated in the microwave and heated in the oven, all were very good. They tend to reheat very well.. I would place them in a foil pan and leave them uncovered during the reheating to help re-crisp the bacon a little. other than that, you can’t really mess these up ;-)

  10. Hey Jeff. I noticed that you didn’t use toothpicks. Do they stay together enough without using them? Thanks!

    1. I have all but stopped using toothpicks for most of my bacon wrapped items.. the bacon tends to stick to itself pretty well and I have not had any issues with it coming unwrapped. These are no exception.. I tried to make sure the wrap stopped on the bottom but it stuck well and did not unwrap at all.