London broil and brats
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I tend to disagree.
I get a nice smokey flavor using hickory.
I think it's because they cook so fast for me most of the time I never give the smoke a fighting chance. I just do not consider sausages a smoking meat. Perhaps I am wrong on my thinking. Even hot links....what am I going to do...smoke the skin? I guess with me the hot and fast thing for brats is always instilled in my brain.
I was cooking a few slabs of beef ribs a few weeks ago on the offset and threw on a bunch of hot links, along with sausages. Wood was hickory, cooking temps were low 200°sF, and the links/sausages were left on for a few hours.
They were absolutely delicious. And smoky. The guests left not a single one uneaten. With pats on the back from all around I was pretty pleased with myself.
I've been doing brats in the smoker the same time as I do reverse seared steaks. I smoke them about 1 & 1/2 to 2 hours between 170* to 200*. Then I do final sear, same as I do the steaks. In the firebox on a grill placed over a fresh hot load of coals. Brats never split the skin, and I still get a very juicy brat with a decent smoke ring, as well as good smoke flavor. I just roll them slowly across the grate on top of the coals once. Gives nice color and grill marks on them. I do the brats after I sear the steaks. I always make sure the brats are at 160* - 165* before I sear them.
The trick is to leave them long enough in decent amount of smoke while warming. I never go over 2 hours before getting them to 165*. I take mine straight from the fridge to smoker. (the outside is already dry enough) This gives me time to add smoke and warm them up before grilling and still well within the 140 in 4 rule.
When I dump a fresh hot chimney in sfb to sear the steaks, I leave the brats in the smoke chamber. At that time they are usually around 150* IT.
After I sear my steaks, I close the sfb lid and when the brats quickly rise to 165*, I move them to sfb grill and just roll them once across.
Skin snaps with every bite, and juice will appear on your chin. LOL
but I quit doing brats on my grill (didn't have my smoker then) 20+ years ago. They were either burnt, or too tough and dry to enjoy, or underdone and then more cooking was needed, and that dried them out too.
I just recently took the plunge again with CG offset smoker, and the texture, smoke flavor, and juiciness blew both my and my wife's mind.
We love them now.
Don't give up. Just fine tune your method.