HomeOutdoorsCamping MealsOutsider Cowboy Cooking: Smoked Bologna

Outsider Cowboy Cooking: Smoked Bologna

by Jim Casey
(photos by Outsider)

Smoked bologna is one of my go-to Cowboy Cooking favorites. It’s easy, cheap, and delicious. While you can simply grill or smoke bologna right out of the package (or just eat it, since it’s already cooked), a couple minutes of prep work can really spice up things. Pickled jalapeños, spicy mustard, hot sauce, and BBQ dry rub will take your bologna to the next level.

If the thought of bologna conjures up painful memories of grade-school lunches, it’s time to step up your game with today’s Outsider Cowboy Cooking: Smoked Bologna, aka Tennessee Tenderloin.


Smoked Bologna

  • 5-pound bologna log
  • 5 oz. spicy mustard
  • 5 oz. hot sauce (Texas Pete, Louisiana, etc.)
  • 4 oz. Memphis-style BBQ dry rub (Rendezvous, Corky’s, Keith’s Farm, etc.)
  • 4 oz. pickled jalapeños


  • white bread
  • American cheese (or your favorite cheese)
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • condiments (mustard or mayo)

Prep Work

Score the bologna with a knife. The marks should be about 1/4-inch deep, approximately 1-inch apart both vertically and horizontally. Optional: slice off the rounded ends of the bologna, so you can score each end.

Make 20 additional 1-inch deep cuts in the bologna, and stuff each with a pickled jalapeño.

Cover the bologna with the spicy mustard and hot sauce. Coat the bologna with the dry rub.

Cowboy Cooking Equipment

Today I’m using an adjustable hanging grill grate over an open campfire. I positioned the grate about two feet above my fire bed. This allows the bologna to get plenty of smoke, as well as direct heat. However, the direct heat is far enough away that it’s not just grilling the meat. This recipe also works great in a covered charcoal grill or a pure smoker (you will need to adjust cooking times accordingly).

I’m using oak logs, which make an ideal fire bed and provide a rich smoky flavor. I also love to use chunks of pecan or hickory wood with this recipe.

Smoked Bologna Directions

Smoke the bologna on the grate for about 100 minutes. Rotate the bologna a quarter turn every 25 minutes. The dry rub should form a crust while the bologna smokes. If you prefer more char, move the bologna closer to the fire bed. Remove the bologna from the grate. Place on a cutting board and cut into 1-inch slices.

Now it’s time to build your sandwich. You can go the classic route with white bread, American cheese, lettuce, and tomato. Or, feel free to substitute wheat bread or a bun for the white bread. Of course, you can add any type of cheese, including provolone, cheddar, or Swiss. And, slather on your favorite condiment—mustard, mayo, hot sauce—before you take a bite of your Cowboy Cooking masterpiece.


The following products were featured during today’s Cowboy Cooking. The links below are affiliate links, so if you click on the link and purchase the item, Outsider may receive a commission.