Trail Bologna vs. Summer Sausage: What’s the Difference?

Sausages are unquestionably a staple of American cuisine. However, with so many options now available, distinguishing between them can be difficult. You’ve come to the right place if you’re curious about the distinctions between Trail bologna and summer sausage.

The critical distinction is that trail bologna can only be prepared with beef, but summer sausage can be made with nearly any animal (but mostly pork, venison, or beef). Summer sausage can also be served warm or cold, although trail bologna is typically served cold.

In this trail bologna vs. summer sausage comparison, I’ll show you how these two meat delights compare. I’ll describe what they’re composed of, how they’re prepared, and what foods they go with.

Similarities and differences between Summer Sausage and Trail Bologna

To make it easier for you to tell the difference between Trail bologna and summer sausage, I’ve put together a table that summarizes everything we’ve spoken about so far.

 meattastepreparationPairs withBest served
Summer sausageBeef, pork, venisontangysmokedCheese and wineEither warm or cold
Trail bologna sausagebeefsmokyCold smokedCheese and eggscold

There are a few notable changes between these two sausage types, as you can see. The Trail bologna is made entirely of cattle, unlike the summer sausage, which is created from three different types of meat. The latter is cold smoked and best served cold, whereas summer sausage is eaten warm or cold.

Summer sausage

Thuringer vs. Summer Sausage

What Is Summer Sausage, and How Do I Make It?

Summer sausage is a traditional European sausage that dates back to before refrigeration. Summer sausage got its name because of the folks who made it desired to eat it even during the hot summer months. The key is to cure the meat, which is preserving meat that extends its shelf life.

Summer sausage is becoming a popular dish in the United States. Salami and Thuringer’s cervelat is two sausages that are incredibly close to it.

Meat is used to make summer sausage.

Beef, venison, and pork are the most popular meat types utilized in summer sausage. The pork will add a little fat to the link, making it less dry. There are various beef-only sausages available for individuals who want their meat dry. Garlic, mustard seeds, and black pepper are commonly used to season summer sausage. Coriander, ginger, and allspice are used in some variants.

Many Americans enjoy making their sausage. When it comes to meat, beef chuck and pork hind cuts work well together. Furthermore, the ratio is determined by your particular preferences. You can make your summer sausage using 75 percent beef and 25% pork if you want it to be less greasy. If you wish for a juicier, fattier summer sausage, you may use 60 percent pork and 40 percent beef.

Cooking summer sausage

When it comes to making summer sausage, there are a variety of possibilities. This classic can be grilled, smoked, or baked. In addition, when added to a casserole or any other baking dish, summer sausage dramatically enhances the meal’s flavor.

It’s preferable to smoke it to get the most out of its acidic flavor. You should use electric sausage smokers or smokers that can maintain a lower temperature. If you want to prepare summer sausages properly, one of the most important factors to consider is the temperature. The internal temperature of the link should be 160°F, and it is smoked for at least three hours.

Set the smoker to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, gradually increase to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and finish at 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Use an oven instead of a smoker if you don’t have one. It should be preheated to 170°F and then gradually increased to 190°F.

The best Summer Sausage pairings

Summer sausage is delicious whether served warm or cold. As a result, it’s a popular choice for charcuterie boards and languid Sunday feasts. It also combines well with green salads, cheese, and crackers and gives your sandwiches a terrific flavor. Summer sausage goes well with a beautiful bottle of Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir when it comes to drinking.

Bologna sausages

Trail Bologna vs. Summer Sausage

What is a trail in Bologna?

Trail bologna is a well-known Midwest sausage that comes from the tiny Ohio town of Trail. The trail is an Amish country hamlet whose ring bologna has made it famous across the United States. This Bologna is distinct in that it does not contain the standard fillers used in commercial bologna manufacture.

The leanness of this ring bologna sausage distinguishes it from other bologna sausages. Trail bologna is made with thinner meat in the smokehouses, but it still has a firm texture.

Meat is used to make bologna sausage.

If you’ve had other bologna sausages, you’re probably aware that they’re usually prepared with pork. Trail bologna, on the other hand, is composed entirely of beef. One reason is that it’s made in Troyer’s Genuine Trail Bologna factory, which specializes in all-beef goods.

Trail bologna sausages with cheddar, on the other hand, are available. Since most Americans eat Bologna and other sausages with cheddar, the company decided to innovate.

Cooking Trail Bologna: steps

Trail bologna is usually sold pre-cooked and ready to eat. It is generally cold smoked for two to three days by the makers. If you don’t like the all-beef texture of regular Trail bologna sausage, you may manufacture your own by making a few changes. Combine the ground beef with some fatty pork.

It’s preferable to use 70% beef and 30% hog shoulder or other fatty portions in this recipe. Spices such as white pepper, paprika, garlic, cardamon, and others are added as well. It’s ideal to start smoking these sausages at 140°F and progressively raise the temperature every hour until they reach 170°F. After that, cook the sausages at 180°F until they get a temperature of 155°F on the inside.

The best Trail Bologna pairings

Although this sausage is typically served with cheese on charcuterie boards, it is capable of much more. When you’re too wary of cooking, use it to build a sandwich. Even though it arrives wholly cooked and ready to eat, you can fry Trail bologna sausage with eggs for breakfast. You may also use it to make sauerkraut soup or a bologna salad with mayonnaise and pickles.

Frequently asked questions

At what ratio am I supposed to mix pork with venison when making the summer sausage?

If this is your first time making deer summer sausages, start with a 2 (venison) to 1 (pork) ratio. So you can add 2 12 pounds of pork to 5 pounds of venison. That is the safest and most fair bet you can make. You can decide whether you prefer a fatty or leaner taste for your summer sausage after experiencing this choice.

The venison flavor will be the prevailing tone with the 2:1 ratio, while the pork will perfectly compliment it. In this scenario, you’d obtain a spice mix for seven and a half pounds of summer sausage if you had 5 pounds of venison and 2 1/2 pounds of pork.

However, you may be concerned that the 2:1 ratio will not be as fatty as you like. In that instance, the 1:1 ratio is a viable option. Please keep in mind that this much pork may overpower the venison flavor. If you prefer pork and don’t mind the extra fat, go for it.

There are no set regulations here; you must follow your personal preferences. If you adore the flavor of venison, you may want to use a small quantity of pork. If you’re not a big fan, add additional pork to make up for it.

The most critical aspects are getting the optimum amount of curing materials and properly preparing and smoking the meat. Some smokehouses will use a 4:1 pork-to-venison ratio. It, however, turns a deer summer sausage into a pork summer sausage with a hint of venison, which I find to be extremely greasy.

As you would have guessed, there are numerous solutions available. Feel free to play around with different combinations until you find the one that works best for you.

What’s the best way to eat a bologna trail?

What should I do with it? Troyer’s Trail Bologna pairs well with cheese and charcuterie on a cheese and charcuterie board. It’s frequently served thinly sliced with cheese cubes.

Is it possible to eat the skin of ring bologna?

Products put into beef casings include ring bologna, blood sausage, polish sausage, and dry sausages. It is a paper-like casing that is removed before eating the beef product. Edible and inedible collagen casings are made from collagen harvested from skins and hides.


In the Trail bologna vs. summer sausage discussion, I hope I’ve provided you with enough facts. You could like the summer sausage on your charcuterie board or as a cold snack because it is cured and tougher than Trail bologna. Trail bologna, on the other hand, might be a better addition to your omelets or sandwiches.