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

Sausages are an important part of American cuisine. It can be hard to distinguish the different varieties now that there are so many options.

If you are wondering about the differences between Trail bologna and summer sausage, you are in the correct place.

The main difference between trail bologna and summer sausage is that trail bologna can only be made of beef, while summer sausage can only be made of pork, venison, or beef.

Summer sausage can be served warm or cold, while trail bologna is usually served cold.

In this trail bologna vs summer sausage breakdown, I am going to compare the two meat delicacies.

I will explain what they are, how they are made, how they are cooked, what food they pair well with, and much more.

What Is Trail Bologna?

Trail bologna is a famous sausage that comes from a small settlement in Ohio. The trail is an Amish country hamlet that is now well known throughout the U.S.

Thank you for this ring bologna. The unique thing about this bologna is that it doesn’t rely on the typical filler used for mass bologna production.

The leanness of this ring bologna is something that makes it different from other bologna sausages.

Trail bologna still has a firm texture even though the smokehouses make it with leaner meat.

trail balgona

What Meat is Used to Make Trail Bologna?

If you have tried other bologna sausages before, you will know that they are usually made with pork. Trail bologna is the only one made from beef.

Troyer’s Genuine Bologna Trail factory is specialized in all-beef products, which is one of the reasons for that.

You can also find Trail bologna sausages with cheddar inside.

Most Americans eat bologna and other sausages with cheddar anyways, so the company decided to make its sausages.

How Can I Cook Trail Bologna?

The Trail Bologna is usually pre-cooked and ready to eat. The manufacturers usually cold smoke it for a couple of days.

If you don’t like the all-beef texture of your Trail bologna sausage, you can make your adjustments.

Adding some pork to the ground beef is all you need to do. It is a good idea to use 70% beef and 30% pork shoulder.

You can add any spices that you want, such as white pepper, paprika, garlic, cardamon, etc.

If you want to smoke these sausages you should start at 140F and increase the temperature every hour until you get to 170F.

Sausages should be cooked at 180F until they reach their internal temperature of 155F.

What Does Trail Bologna Pair Well With?

This sausage is usually served with cheese, but it can do a lot more. If you’re too tired to cook, you can make a sandwich with it.

Even though Trail Bologna sausage is fully cooked, you can still fry it with eggs for breakfast. You could make a bologna salad with mayonnaise and pickles.

What Is Summer Sausage?

European sausage, also known as summer sausage, is from the time before refrigeration.

It’s called summer sausage because of the people who made it wanted to enjoy it during the hot summer months.

The preservation method that results in longer shelf life is the curing method.

Sausage in the summer is one of America’s favorites. Sausages that are very similar to it include salami and Thuringer cervelat.


What Meat is used to make summer sausage?

In summer sausage, the most popular meat type is beef, followed by venison or pork. Sausage will be less dry because the pork adds a little fat.

For those who prefer their meat dry, there are several beef-only sausages out there.

Sausage during the summer season is usually seasoned with garlic, mustard seeds, and black pepper. There are different variations of Coriander, ginger, and allspice.

There are many Americans who like to make sausage at home. When it comes to choosing the meat, beef chuck is a great choice.

There is a ratio that depends on your personal preferences. If you want your sausage to be less fat, you can increase the amount of beef and pork.

If you want a juicier, fattier summer sausage, you could choose between 40% and 60% pork and beef.

How Can I Cook Summer Sausage?

There are lots of options when it comes to cooking summer sausage. This is an all-time favorite and you can grill, smoke, or bake it.

Adding summer sausage to a casserole or any other baking dish enhances the dish’s flavor. It is best to smoke it to get the most out of its taste.

If you want to keep the temperature down, you want to stick with electric sausage smokers. If you want to cook summer sausages correctly, you need the temperature to be warm.

The sausage should smoke for at least three hours if the internal temperature is 160 F.

You would like the smoker to be set at 120F, slowly increase to 160F, and then finish at 190F. An oven is a better choice if you don’t have a smoker.

You should preheat it to 170F and gradually increase the temperature to 190F.

What does Summer Sausage pair well with?

Sausage tastes great whether you eat it in the warm or the cold. That is one of the reasons why it is one of the most popular choices for lazy Sunday dinners.

It gives a great flavor to your sandwiches and goes well with green salads, cheese, crackers, and other food.

When it comes to drinks, you want to pair summer sausage with a nice bottle of wine.

Trail Bologna vs. Summer Sausage: Differences and Similarities

To help you distinguish between Trail bologna and summer sausage, I have prepared a table to summarize everything we have covered so far.

There are some significant differences between these two types of sausage. The Trail bologna is made of beef only and can be made of three different types of meat.

You can enjoy your summer sausage warm or cold, but the latter is best smoked and served cold.

 MeatTastePreparationPairs Well WithBest Served
Summer SausagePork, venison, beefTangySmokedCheese, wineWarm, cold
Trail Bologna SausageBeefSmokyCold smokedCheese, eggsCold


I hope that I have given you enough information in the Trail bologna case. There is a debate about sausage during the summer.

As the summer sausage is cured and firmer than Trail bologna, you might prefer it as a cold snack or on your charcuterie board.

Trail bologna might be a better option if you want to add something to your omelets or sandwiches.

It is possible to enjoy both of these with some cheese, as an all-American classic.

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