Polish Krakowska

Let’s have some sausage fun. Today we decided to make a sausage (kielbasa) that comes from Krakow, Poland (also known as Kielbasa Krakowska).

This sausage is generally sliced thin and served as cold cuts but can be sliced thick and pan fried. It has a light smoky flavor and a beautiful texture. The texture comes from the unique method of preparation as this sausage utilizes several sausage making techniques.

If I had to sum up the Krakowska I’d say it was large chucks of cured ham mixed with coarsely ground pork shoulder all held together by a delicately seasoned emulsified farce. It’s takes a little planning to prepare this sausage and does require some patience but the end result is scrumptious.

The first thing you’ll notice about this sausage is that the meat is cured before processing. The curing process preserves the color and gives our Krakowska a “hammy” flavor. We will be using 3 different types of meat for this recipe so it’s important to keep each group separated as they are curing.

Once your meat has finished curing you’ll be processing each group separately. Group one you’ll leave whole, group 2 you’ll course grind, and group 3 you’ll emulsify. The trickiest part of this process is the third group. To create a good emulsion you need to start with very cold meat and very sharp blades on your food processor. If your meat is too warm you won’t extract enough protein to bind the fat with the water. This is why we add ice through the chopping process. If your food processor blades are dull you’ll be “whipping” your meat in essence creating a meat mousse. This will give you a very “pillowy” and “soft” texture that just doesn’t work for this sausage. In addition to all that it’s important for oyu to know that chopping cold meat in a food processor can be very taxing on the motor. If you are using a commercial food processor like the Robot Coupe R2 then you have nothing to worry about but if you plan on using a residential model for emulsifying meat then you’ll want to be sure that the motor is strong enough to handle it (that’s my disclaimer for the day).

This sausage is stuffed into a 3″ – 4″ casing and because this sausage contains large chunks of pork I generally just spoon it into the casing. Once it’s stuffed into the casing I’ll twist the casing as tight as I can to compact the meat. Finally I’ll prick out all of the air pockets with a sausage pricker.

This next step is optional but really adds a nice flavor. We will be cold smoking our Krakow sausage for 2 hours with a mix of pecan and apple wood. We use a cold smoker from Smokin-It called “Bella’s Cold Smoke Generator” and this little unit can generate cold smoke for up to 9 hours once filled.

Once our sausage has been cold smoked it’s time to cook. I like cooking these types of sausages in a water bath with an immersion circulator. The precise temperature control allows you to cook your sausage at a much lower temperature which keeps your sausage from over cooking and drying out. I like to cook this sausage at 145F for 2 hours.

We are in the age of sous vide cooking and that means that your options for inexpensive immersion circulators have greatly increased. I like this little powerful unit by InkBird “WiFi Sous Vide Cooker”. It gets the job done with a bonus app for your smart phone..

As soon as our Krakowska has finished cooking take it out of the cooking water and cool it down in some ice water. Refrigerate overnight and allow the flavors to really come together. The next day slice it thin and enjoy the fruits of your labor!!

Here are a few things you might find useful when making sausage

Enjoy the video and the recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask away. If you make this at home I’d love to hear about how it came out!!

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This recipe is an adaptation from: Krakowska Sausage (Kiełbasa krakowska) (meatsandsausages.com)

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5 from 5 votes

Polish Krakowska

A delicious smoked sausage from Poland
Prep Time5 d
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time5 d 4 hrs
How much do you want to make? 2000 grams


Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Seasonings (add at the end)


  • Start by cutting your lean pork (group 1) into large chunks (1" x 2"). Add the salt and the cure to the meat and place in a zip lock bag (with all the air removed)
  • Next take the pork should (group 2) and cut into medium size cubes. Add the salt and the cure to group 2 and place in a zip lock bag (with all the air removed)
  • Finally take the fatty pork shoulder (or belly) and the lean beef (group 3) and cut into small cubes. Add the salt and the cure to the meat and place in a zip lock bag (with all the air removed)
  • Label the bags and place them in the refrigerator to begin the curing process. Each day flip the bag and massage the meat. This will need to cure for 5 days.
  • Once your meat has finished curing you can remove it from the refrigerator. Take group 2 (pork shoulder) and grind on a 10mm or 12mm plate. Make sure your meat is chilled before you grind it. Set this to the side.
  • Next take group 3 (lean beef and fatty pork shoulder or belly) and grind it on a 3mm plate Make sure the meat is chilled before grinding. Take this chilled ground meat (group 3) and place it in a food processor. Begin to chop your meat for 30 seconds adding the crushed ice as it's being chopped. After 30 seconds add the rest of the seasonings and continue chopping your meat. Do this for 60 – 90 seconds more. Your meat batter should not exceed 55F. Set this to the side
  • In a stand mixer add the lean pork meat from group 1 and the coarsely ground meat from group 2. Begin to mix with the paddle attachment till the ground meat gets very sticky. Once you can grab a little handful of mince meat and it sticks to your hand you can stop mixing.
  • Combine the emulsified meat batter with the rest of the meat you just mixed and begin to mix everything well to combine.
  • Stuff your farce tightly into your casings and prick out any air pockets
  • Cold smoke for 2 hours
  • Cook in a water bath 145F for 2-3 hours. Once cooked, cool in ice water, and refrigerate overnight
  • Slice thinly and enjoy!!

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10 thoughts on “Polish Krakowska

  1. Dave

    5 stars
    Looks fantastic! Can this be sliced and frozen after completing?

    1. Eric

      Yes. We normally make a large batch, slice it, then freeze it for later. Comes out great..

  2. Newell

    5 stars
    Thank you for this great video and recipe!
    I have tried making something like this. and I will try this one next. As you mentioned in your video, my farce meat is very “mousse” like and it completely ruins the finished product. I have tried several emulsion sausages like bologna and hot dogs but way too much air gets in. I am using a large ninja with three blades and I used ice water instead of ice. I have also used a round food processor with identical mouse like results. Any tips for getting a nice dense emulsion?

    1. Eric

      The “mousse” like consistency has to do with the blades whipping the meat. Either the blades are dull or the meat is being chopped too long. If you plan on making a generic emulsified sausage I would grind the chilled meat and fat separately several times on the smallest plate you have (check out my frakfurter recipe: http://twoguysandacooler.com/frankfurter/). Season only the meat part with the salt and cure and let it refrigerate overnight. After at least 12 hours rechill the meat and chop for 60 seconds. At 30 seconds add crushed ice. You want to keep the meat below 45F. After the meat looks chopped add the fat, the seasonings, any binder you might be using (non fat dry milk powder), and more crushed ice and chop another 60 seconds. The amount of ice or ice water shouldn’t exceed 30% of the total weight of the meat and fat. The entire batter should stay under 55F by the time you are finished.

      If you plan on making this recipe just follow it like I have written. The trick is to create an emulsified farce without having to chop your meat for too long.

  3. Satbir

    4 stars
    Hello, tried it exactly as per your recipe, cooked in water bath till internal temp 155 F in about two hours cooled it immediately, etc….The next morning it had come together well however the mouth feel was very dry leather type, and flavor not so strong, somewhat bland. Trying to see where I went wrong, only thing i can think of is during the emulsifying process did not add enough ice / cold water.

    1. Eric

      Hard to say. Generally a low moisture content could cause the end product to taste some what rubbery..

  4. Rodica

    5 stars
    Any chance to make this recipe all beef?

  5. Nader

    5 stars
    Hi Eric.
    I made your recipe with all beef (Lean Beef, Beef shoulder, fatty beef shoulder) and ready bought “Kielbasa” spices, and because this spices had salt in it, I used 1/3 of salt suggested by your recipe. The result was fantastic, even I made this 4 times up to now. My question is if I wanted to smoke the same product in the smoke up to the end, how would I do it? I will be very grateful of any suggestion from you as an expert. And thank you for your awesome videos. I learned allot from you

    1. Eric

      Just do it low and slow. I would add a water pan in the smoker to keep the humidity high. Start at 125f and gradually increase the temp till you end up with an internal temp of 140f

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