So Saturday evening spring was in the air and I decided to smoke some Italian Sausage to take for a picnic on a hiking excursion we went on Sunday down in Shawnee National Forest! This was kind of a last moment idea and I got a late start, so no prep work was done here, what you see is what you get. I decided on Hickory Wood Chips this time. I had read some earlier posts about smoking ground sausage, so I made some patties as well. The smoker was loaded up around 7:30 pm, with the heat being regulated anywhere from 275-300 degrees. My target temp was to be 170 degrees with a estimated cook time of three hours. After 1:45 I had the sausage patties on the bottom at 170 and pulled everything out! I was a little concerned that it didn't take the full 3 hours. The Italian sausage links, appeared to be done and had a good smoky flavor. I had read that they would turn red like a hotdog. This is where I become concerned, they Italian Sausage patties turned out to have a real red color as well. I was not expecting this. When I tore them apart they also appeared to have a red tint to them as well. I am assuming that the smoking process does not turn the sausage to the sausage the same color as say frying them. I am also concerned that by actually probing ground sausage on the bottom rack that I wasn't getting an accurate temperature reading. I did taste one and it had great summer sausage type of flavor, and had a done texture. Please note there is no marinade or seasoning on these patties. Do Sausage patties always turn out with this color?