History of Prairie Belt, Tasty Smoked Sausage

Prairie Belt, Tasty Smoked Sausage

Cousins to Vienna Sausages, but darker? Try some Prairie Belt Smoked Sausage! In case you didn’t know or can’t read, the serving suggestion on the front shows that the sausages are best eaten on a plate, stacked. Thank you for that.

The sausage was distributed by Castleberry’s Food Company from Augusta, Georgia. We found this gem of a food product on the shelves of a Dollar General store in Sarasota’s Gulf Gate area. Dollar General is a genius font of beautiful old brand names.

The invention of the product dates from 1951, as does, perhaps, the haircut of the boy. The yellow is a real yellow, and it hits just right with a red script of the logo. The date of the first use, according to the trademark office, was New Years’ Eve, 1951. My how things have changed at New Year’s Eve parties since 1951.

The 2006 packaging had main ingredients including mechanically separated chicken, beef tripe, and pork skins. Next down the hatch is the old corn syrup. Also present, pork stomachs. But that is down the list.

Aficionados will note that they are best served fried in butter in an iron skillet, though they are tasty when eaten on camping trips, and protein is scarce. Those who love canned sausages such as Vienna Sausages know that in case you do not have a knife, the pull off top of the can can be used to cut the sausage neatly in half. This would not be a recommended game for children, though it is the habit of many kids in the South who grew up on such things as canned meat. The name is the actual name of a place in Mississippi.

In 2006, Prairie Belt was owned by Prairieland Foods of West Point, Mississippi, then Castleberry Foods of Augusta, Georgia. Most recently, the U.S. Patent and Trademark office had the ownership as Bumble Bee Foods of San Diego, Calif. Bumble Bee renewed the trademark in June of 2020, which means that someone out there appreciates the brand, and is willing to keep up with it.

Note: Story updated 7-21-2021


About the Author

  • Garland Pollard is publisher/editor of BrandlandUSA. Since 2006, the website BrandlandUSA.com has chronicled the history and business of America’s great brands. He has decades of experience across all media, including newspapers, TV, radio, magazines and the web.

85 Comments

  1. Hi,

    Who would I speak to regarding opening a wholesale account and carrying your products?

    Please let me know when you have a chance.

    Thanks,
    Shawn Ely

  2. What has happened? These have totally disappeared from Walmart, Food-Lion, Dollar General in CLT Metro area the last 2 weeks. No one will answer phone at Castleberry Augusta.

  3. Back in the the 70,80’s these smoke sausages were so good now it’s like they took half the ingredients out it doesn’t have that thick oil it’s waterd down like Vienna sausage
    So don’t think you’re going to get the old prairie belt sausage…

  4. Bill they sell here in Michigan and I’m going to tell don’t get to happy….they are not as good as back in the 70’s and 80’s.
    They taste moore like Vienna sausage.

  5. I would like to know how to cook them. I grew up eating these and I love them. My mother told me once to cook them in water. She is gone now so I don’t know the details. I’ve tried cooking them in a frying pan in water but it’s not like Mama made. If someone knows, please tell me!

  6. The smoked sausage is too salty to eat. Do not taste the same.

  7. Are the ones from New Orleans in Oil or chicken stock aiso,olz let me know I am close to it

  8. Are the ones from New Orleans in Oil or chicken stock aiso,olz let me know I am close to it

  9. Plzzzzzzzz! Tell me where the Oil sausage is I dont want chicken stock..plzzzzz

  10. I have send your products in my local store. I would love to try them. Please send coupons in the mail. I do not have access to a printer. Thank you
    Shekiter Dean
    3775 Bailey Ave C106
    Jackson MS 39213

    1. The best ones were “Red Bird” brand of imitation Vienna sausage. I loved them as a kid and would buy cases of them now if I could find them.

  11. I forgot to tell you to put the lid on the bucket before putting it over the heat. The steam will escape through the holes in the lid.

  12. Recipe for Hobo Heaven: 1 Lb Prairie Belt Smoked Sausage. Preferably the larger ones. corn on the cob, new potatoes, fresh carrots, onions quartered. Buy new clean 1 gallon metal paint can @ local paint store. Poke several holes in lid with clean ice pick or nail. Starting with corn cobbies, layer potatoes, carrots, onions and sausage in the bucket making sure sausage is on top. Cook over open camp fire or in smoker. steam 30 to 60 minutes depending on how hot your fire is. MMMM GOOD

  13. Hello P.Lee
    You can always purchased them from WALMART.COM & AMAZON, TARGET
    THEY SELL 6PK OF OF THE BIG CANS 9.5oz $1.64 each I normally order 24 cans n get delivered to my front door.
    Also try your neighborhood gas station or small MOM & POP’S store. $$ general mostly only have 4.6oz small cans. Good luck n Enjoy.
    Mo Moody
    of Country Club hills, IL 60429

    1. I live in Arkansas and it’s very hard to find a small can. I can’t find the big can. I would love to purchase the big can.

  14. I too grew up with the prairie sausage. Back then they was sold in med. and large cans. Why did they stop selling the larger cans? The large can I’m talking about was the size of a Crisco can. The sausages were larger also. Where can I order this? Thanks

  15. the smoked sausage that is sold now is not the same smoked oil sausage that was sold in the 1960s and 1970s. i love them as a kid at my grandmothers house. they would come in a gallen can and were packed in oil

    1. That’s right and I thought they were called Cudahy sausages.

  16. MY HUSBAND LOVES THESE, WAS WONDERING WHERE WE COULD BUY OR ORDER ONLINE THE LARGE 18OZ CANS.

  17. I found can smoked Sausages/ oil sausages in Dawson Ga, 2016.

  18. Hi your smoked Sausages are the best. Is there anyway we could get some with less sodium and half the cholesterol???? I love them, but my doctor says its too much sodium intake and I don’t want to give them up LOL. Thanks

  19. I buy these at dollar general in our small town in Jena Louisiana .At a young age I remember my older sister keepin big can of these out on her stove.They were packed in oil so in the morning at breakfast she would pull out amount to warm in skillet.So good!!

  20. I recollect buying a 55 gallon drum or two of these from the West Point factory, for company picnics back in the 1960’s. Mmmmmmmmm!!

  21. Dollar General sells tghe Prarie Belt small cans in East Texas. Just bought 24 cans in Jasper Texas, to take home to San Antonio. They are nor as good as the large oil sausage cans of my youth, but still better than Viennas.

  22. Why does prairie belt not make the oil sausage in the large cans. I grew up with my mom cooking biscuits and rice with oil sausage we would save the juice and make coffee gravy to dip our biscuits in .there is such a demand here in mississippi for the product that dollar general can not keep them stocked ! I guarantee if you start putting the larger cans back into production you will not be able to supply the demand ! Why wouldn’t a company want to increase the sales of there product ? Doesn’t make sense to me . Sincerely karen williams Laurel, miss.

    1. yes and put them back in the dam oil.. chicken stock is chit

  23. Like lots on here, I too am on the hunt for the “Rex” sausages I grew up on in the red labeled can. My granny would fry them up, gently and we’d eat them with grits and eggs…yummy! I would LOVE to find these and let us have the notalgic taste/ moment together today!! There was a store I use to know where to get them in NY in the ’90’s but I doubt they still have them. Plus I now live in 99th west coast. Of anybody knows…….PLEASE POST!!

  24. Does Castleberrys still make Georgia Hash? I loved this and would like to continue to buy it if I can find somewhere that sells it. Please say you still make it!!!

  25. Where can I buy Prairie Belt Smoke Sausage? In the Dallas Ft. Worth Tx area. Dollar General use to have them but not anymore

  26. where can i buy the Prairie Belt Smoke Sausage
    Thank You

  27. Where can I find Prairie Belt smoke sausage. They are the best. I have been looking for months in San Antonio TX. Please help.

  28. The best sausage I have ever tasted. Can someone please tell me where I can get some more of these deliciously tasty treats. I eat them with homemade biscuits and ribbon cane syrup.

  29. Prairie Belt Sausage….

    Use to be made by Bryan Brothers (Bryan Foods)
    Packing Company of West Point, Mississippi.

    Made at the former West Point Plant, Jettisoned by Sarah Lee Corporation around 2007.

    Put some 1,500 West Pointers Out of Work.

    Grew up on the NASTY little greasy sausages in a grade school cafateria, at least twice per week, courtesy of Ida Folain, so called cafateria dietician.

    She was also noted for her famous vinegar salad!

    Often wonder if the “little dork” on the can, was one of the Bryan Brothers son’s and or grandson’s?

    He was straight out of the 1950’s, the only difference was, that he did not ware “white wall’s”, like my parents insisted on!

    NASTY, NASTY, little greasy sausages and just looking at the label, I NOW CAN TATSE the FOUL TASTE!!!

  30. More proof why old people shouldn’t be allowed on the Internet. The nostalgia for an awful food product is astounding.

  31. Just sliced 2 small cans in a lil spaghetti and cheese mmmm mmm good

  32. i guess its because they dont swim or fly the reason they dont make rex oil sausage anymore

  33. here in ms. we have those smoked sausage in a can here but its its not nothing like what we use to have .wish i could find the real rex oil sausage

  34. It is amazing that from the comments I did read that this is a new product to some people! I am 42 years old and I remember getting them from my Grand Mother when I was 5. They are always readily available in the grocery stores here in SC also in WalMart and DG.

  35. how can I order prairie-belt to my home,I live in Scobey MT 59263

  36. Prairie Belt (my kids called them Prairie Dog) sausages are good and spicy…there is nothing like them for breakfast! I hate the Vienna Sausage size ones, they taste nothing like the breakfast sized ones. We buy them at Winn Dixie and at WalMart stores…all you have to do is ask for them, and they’ll find them for you…they have to sell enough of them to justify keeping them on the shelves, so be ready to stock up!

  37. Dollar General carries the 5 oz cans, Walmart online shows both, 5 & 9 1/2 oz cans. At one time they were made with beef scraps, not anymore. They also had big cans they called breakfast sausage, it was fine ground like gravy but was not too bad. Haven’t seen that in a long time.

  38. Does anyone know where I can get a prarie belt sausage t-shirt??

  39. Do they still make the large cans of Prairie Belt smoked sausages all I can find are the 9.5oz cans

  40. In Chicago, IL they were packaged as “Red River Sausages” and sold in little convenience, AKA LIQUOR stores (all run by Arabic men, who all, somehow, inexplicably settled on the store name “Three Stooges”. ?) I understood that my mother was a greedy SOW but she totally stretched the limits of vulgarity by buying and eating these disgusting wieners, produced in Satan’s kitchen! I notice the words “Chicken” on the label in this picture. The ones from the 80’s were made from whatever was left of cows after the normal people got done with them… INGREDIENTS: Beef hearts, beef spleens, tripe, beef lips… That’s right, BEEF LIPS! What. The. FUCK! When I read that, as a kid, I imagined a guy going up to some unsuspecting cow and ripping it’s lips off!

  41. Looking for rex smoke sausage in the red can. I use to eat them years ago and cannot find them now. They were much bigger than the vienna sausage in the cans today. If they are still on the market I would love to know where I can purchase them.

    1. I think we’re talking about the same product. I’ve been looking for years. I remember them as a child in New York in the “50’s”. I thought the name of the company that made them was Cudahy, but I seem to remember “REX” being on the label as well. I wish I could find them 🙂

  42. Looking at the comments I see a definite disconnect between those saying they are finding Prairie Belt oil sausages the stores now and the sausage some are referring to as ‘in the big can’.

    The big can was a gallon, there was a half gallon and the smallest was about 16oz. They were packed in an oil that had about the same viscosity as 30 weight motor oil which easily jelled when put in the fridge. They had a robust taste that resembled Underwood Deviled Ham if you were to smoke it but without the gritty bite having instead almost the consistency of an almost ripe banana. Only the kid on the label is the same and the last time I saw a can was around ’92 at a truck stop stacked on a shipping palate and had a feeling I should have bought a few of them because they were gone the next day.

    I did see them on a Piggly Wiggly store flyer online but when I called they did not have anyone that seemed to be about to set up shipping some to me.

    The Vienna sausages may be okay by most standards, but just using the image to sell a memory, just a souvenir can as I see it.

  43. I JUST FOUND THIS PRODUCT AT DOLLAR GENERAL!! I HAVE BEEN ASKING MY MOM ABOUT THEM FOR AWHILE. We could not remember the name and I just happen to be in Dollar General Today and I found them!!! Although they are the Vienna Sausage size, the ones I had when I was a kid was in a BIG CAN and the were Bigger Size Sausages. I LOVE THEM and haven’t been able to find them anywhere. No that I have found the Vienna Sausage, I feel like there is hope of finding the LARGE ONES in the BIG CAN. For those of you who have not had the Large version of this Vienna, THE ARE VERY DELICIOUS!

  44. Growing up in New York, we had Rex smoked sausages which had a very good taste. WHERE CAN I FIND THEM OR WHO MAKES THEM? I HAVE TRIED PRAIRIE AND IT DOES COMES CLOSE BUT NOT THE SAME.

  45. You can by Prairie Belt smoked sausages 9.5oz can at Superlo stores – memphis tn. They are $1.67 each. Kids luv these little meaty morsels.

  46. I bought a can of Prairie Belt sausages last night at a
    corner store in Cook County, Ill., and they may have been the
    vilest thing I have ever tried to eat. Wow. I like salt, I like
    sausages, and I like canned food, and my standards are low, but
    these were so salty and ill-tasting that I could only choke down
    two of the seven wieners in the can. Even that small dose left a
    foul taste so intense that brushing my teeth did not remove it.
    Wow. That is a fine label, though.

  47. you can find the praire belt smoked sausage at the following phone no.
    1-225-687-4547
    Butcher boy
    small cans is .89
    large cans is 1.69
    i do know how many is in a case.

  48. i have read all the questions asking where can they buy oil sausage ,but i still don’t know where to buy them. Can someone please tell me where i can get them?

  49. Where can I find the Rex brand sausages. They were oil smokes sausages in a red can With white writing that spelled out the brand name ” Rex” ?
    I live in California and haven’t been able to find them for quite a while.

  50. Where can I purchase smoked oil sausages
    in Cleveland, Ohio?
    I must have them sent from New Orleans.

  51. I’ve not been able to find PB oil sausage in DG stores or anywhere else. Please, where can I purchase a gallon-size can of PB oil sausage. As a youngster, this was a family reward at cotton-picking time when the first bale of cotton was hauled to the gin.

  52. Until recently, we have been able to buy Prairie Belt Sausages in the large cans at Walmart .. they have discontinued them. Walmart also carried the HOT variety — it is AWESOME!! I have no clue where to buy the HOT PB’s now … we only get the tiny cans at DG.

  53. I just found a site that will ship the prairie belt sausage to you it’s called shopfoodex.com. I just ordered a bunch. Good luck to all.

  54. As an avid Coupon Shopper, I am writing to express my concerns regarding the limited distribution of coupons. I usually get a great deal of my coupons from the Sunday newspaper, however as I am broadening my scope on securing coupons, I have learned that many coupons that are distributed are not enclosed in the Sunday newspaper. I live in a very rural area and the great point of access to coupons for me and my neighbors is the newspaper. I also read the Coupon blogs and have noted that many in other areas (States) are getting coupons from their newspapers that Mississippi does not get. Can you assist in rectifying this concern by including the Mississippi Clarion Ledger newspaper on your distribution list for ALL coupons. In this day of “The big R – Recession” , we all need all the help we can get. I look forward to hearing from you on this matter and getting my coupons in my Sunday newspaper like my other Coupon Buddies. THANKS for your attention and help in this matter.

    1. Me to 77 year country boy raise on them. All I can find is the small can.

  55. Can you tell me were i can find the big cans of smoked sauage at? When i was growing up we called them oil wieniers. can you order them from the company. please let me know. Thank you

  56. Cannot wait to find some- they look delicious, and I want that label!!
    Prairie Belt, here i come!

  57. We had a reader from Mississippi asking for the LARGE SIZE can of Prairie Belt sausage. Apparently, you could heat up the whole can ON the stove and then eat them right out of the can, hot!


  58. I know where these are made. We just ran a bunch of 5 oz. Prairie Belt this week. We have been making a bunch of the 9 oz. lately, as well. From what I understand, the 9 oz. size is sold mostly in the South.

    1. Loved them wheh i was young

  59. I just want to ask a question. What happened to the oiled sausage that Prairie belt used to make?I can’t find it any more so i assume it was discontinued. If it is still made I would like to know where to get it. Thank You.

    1. Plz let me know allso!!

      1. Sold all over Eastern North Carolina in Dollar Generals, Food Lion, and small country stores. Popular among the farmers, hunters, and fisherman in the area.

  60. i have been trying to find these sausage in the big cans like they used to come. if anyone knows if they still make them in this size please let me know.
    thanks
    bill in mississippi

  61. Patricia — I found them at a Dollar General store here in Sarasota. They are made by Castleberry Food of Augusta, Georgia. I would ask at your local Dollar General.–Garland Pollard, Editor

    1. Hi,
      I went on the Castleberry’s website, did a search for Prairie Belt, then Smoked Sausage, then the UPC Code; I can not fine anything.. Who manufactures Prairie Belts Smoked Sausage??
      Thx. W.G. Davis

  62. I have been trying, trying and trying to find this Prairie Belt Smoked Sauasge Packed in Oil, That is the way it use to come packed. Please e-mail me any information you have on where to abtain this item. Any infomation you might have will be a big help. My parents are 81 years old and love these and I am trying to buy a couple of case for them for X mas

    1. Sold all over Eastern North Carolina. Dollar Generals and Food Lions and Piggly Wigglys here. Very popular among the farmers, hunters, and fisherman in the area.

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