I found this good-looking recipe for 'beer brats' that I thought i'd give a go. I had all the ingredients, except for the lager. For my purposes, it had to a 'wheat-free' beer as several family members can't ingest gluten. Found a brand called 'Red Bridge' (gluten-free) so I was all set. I decided to smoke these, too.I made a big blunder near the end of the process so I learned something.....
Used the kirby mixer to mix the 10lb batch. Took only about a minute to produce this:
Stuffed & almost ready to get smoked:
Hang 'em high to dry a bit:
On to the smoker: And here's where things got a bit dicey. I'm still using my weber (can be tough to regulate)—in fact used it earlier in the day for andouille with no issues. But the weather got colder & wetter & blustery so once I got the brats, the temps started to really fluctuate. Shot up to over 200° several times over the course of 90 minutes & had me scrambling to get the temps back down. This was on-going for the entire smoke. I was soaking wet. What a hassle. I pulled the brats off after having enough fun in the elements and plunked the batch into the turkey roaster to finish 'em to temp:
Bad sign: water became VERY greasy—and I feared the worse: that I had 'fatted out' the sausages due to the extreme temps on the smoker.
Into the ice bath:
I let 'em hand dry (bloom time) and before I plated them (in photo below), I had to wipe them down as they were pretty 'greasy' to the touch. After the rub-down though, they looked okay....
...until i tried one! DRY, DRY, DRY! Did I say it was DRY? The taste was good, but the dry texture was NOT something I was hoping for. Everyone agreed that the smokey flavor (applewood) and spices were good, but the dry texture was a bit off-putting.
So lesson learned: WATCH the temps! Trying to multitask had me neglecting the temps on the weber cost me juicy brats.
So now to make 'lemonade' out of lemon.
I've ten pounds of dry brats to use. My wife plans to use them in a variety of dishes where the dryness will be masked by other ingredients (like beans & weenies) such as this dish serving the brats with sauerkraut, apples & onions, which i have to admit, the brats tasted pretty good in:
Let's just say I'm looking forward to getting the MES even more now.
Edited by Couger78 - 6/5/11 at 2:36pm