The term sausage comes from the Latin word salsus, meaning salted or preserved. Sausage is a combination of meat products ground up and packaged. Smoked sausage has been smoke-cured using different types of wood smoke. While smoking meats help to preserve them, smoking does not add calories to the final product; however, the different types of meats used and any additional ingredients cause fluctuations in caloric content.
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History of Sausage Making
According to the North Dakota State University Cooperative, 21st century methods of sausage making are a blend of old procedures and new scientific, highly-mechanized processes. Historically, sausage was packed into a tube-shaped casing, but is now available as patties and in other shapes and sizes to meet the needs of consumers. With the discovery of spices, drying sausage became a way to preserve meat without the need for refrigeration.
Types of Sausages
Smoked sausage can be cooked or uncooked. Examples of cooked smoked sausage include hot dogs, bologna and cotto salami. Uncooked sausage includes country style, mettwurst and kielbasa pork sausage. In 2010, smoked sausage can be made from a variety of meats including beef, pork, chicken, turkey and venison. Non-meat sausage can even be made from low-calorie texturized soy protein.
Calories in Smoked Sausages
According to the USDA, 1 ounce of pork and beef sausage -- about two links -- contain 103 calories compared to just 88 calories in two links of plain pork sausage and 93 in one pork sausage patty. The caloric content of hot dogs also vary according to the meat content. A 1 1/2-oz. beef hot dog contains 149 calories, a beef and pork hot dog contains 137, and a chicken hot dog contains 116 calories. Two ounces of cooked salami has 142 calories, while dry salami contains 77 calories for just under an ounce, or about two slices. Turkey and chicken smoked sausage contain fewer calories than beef and pork due to their lower fat content. Turkey smoked sausage contains about 110 calories for a little over 2 ounces. Soy sausage wins the low-cal prize with just 60 calories in 2 ounces.
Higher Calorie Sausages
Some smoked sausage products may contain other high-calorie ingredients such as bacon and cheese. A popular jalapeno and cheese smoked sausage product contains 210 calories for one 2.5-oz. link. Other ingredients than can cause an increase in caloric content include apples, onions, sugar and additional fats.
Smoked sausage contains curing salts, which can cause water retention and high blood pressure, and sodium nitrite, which has been linked to cancer, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.