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Brats in the smoker

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
I've had a High Mountain Bratwurst kit for a while now and finally got to use it yesterday. Hubby (Dan) brought home some fresh ground pork the other day so I immediately thought about the brat kit. I made 8 lbs yesterday mainly by myself using my kitchaid and the sausage stuffer attachment. I could have used an extra pair of hands. Dan did help me towards the end and it went quicker. Can you tell I had difficulty getting them the same size? I have to lay them flat to smoke as I don't have a way to hang them, yet. I added a little bit of heat to the last pound before stuffing the casings, looking forward to tasting them. I'm hoping they're not too hot for the wimps I live with. icon_rolleyes.gif

They're in the smoker now. I'll post when they're done.
post #2 of 31
Looks like a nice stuffing job to me. PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif

Let us know how they turn out!
post #3 of 31
While I've got you here . . . I'm just guessing, but you've probably smoked a brick of cheese or two in your day. I've done Cheddar and Colby-Jack with hickory and apple wood. This weekend I want to smoke some mozza, as smoked string cheese is one of my favorite things in the world. What wood do you recommend for that?

By the way, I'm not trying to take over your thread before you've even got it started, so if anyone else replies, please don't forget to give irish props on her sausages!

post #4 of 31
The only thing better than smoked sausage is home made smoked sausage.

Looks great!
post #5 of 31
Lookin mighty good Dawn!!
post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 
I personally have only smoked brie so far. I used alder because I wanted a mild smoke flavor. It came out very good.
post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 

Getting there

The brats are now at 143F and looking good. I'm already getting hungry. icon_smile.gif
post #8 of 31

Do you find the plunger attachment that came with the KitchenAid meat grinder a bit too small? I find I'm always scraping the meat off as it comes up over the plunger end and up the handle. Also, I find I'm constantly reaching down the hopper throat to prevent air pockets from forming at the bottm. I'd kind of prefer not to have my finger tips joing the melange, but unless I squeeze the meat over to one side of the hopper, or make the balls of meat quite small air pockets always form.

And yes, a willing spouse is always a welcome thing when it comes to making your own, even if its just to make sure the sausage is coming off the stuffing nozzle evenly!


post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 
lol, I hear you there Mark! The plunger is definitely too small. My fingers do a better job and that's what I wound up using. My hands are small so I could fit 3 fingers in the chute but they aren't long enough to touch the bottom.

Hubby was at work so I was on my own and after about an hour found a fairly good system to get the sausage stuffed. It was slow but I was able to eventually get fairly even sized sausages out of the process.
post #10 of 31
Dawn, could you tell me what comes in a sausage kit? I've never used one.
Does it have the seasonings and casings and you add the meat?

Thanks for any info. They look tasty!
post #11 of 31
Well all righty then, next time, no plunger and we'll see how it goes. Yep, its slow going with help or no, but its still kind of fun in that 'raw meat all over the kitchen' sort of way!
post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 
This particular kit comes with instructions, cure and seasoning mix. It said it came with casing, but this one didn't. To be honest, the instructions are not the most complete I've seen.
post #13 of 31
Thanks for the info Dawn! I buy sausage seasonings in bulk and wondered if the kit would be handier.
I appreciate the info!! PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #14 of 31
Thread Starter 
You're very welcome, Jeanie. It's probably cheaper to buy the stuff in bulk. We got the kit quite a while ago to give making sausage a try. Next time I will do it without a kit.
post #15 of 31
Jeanie, being as Dawn is not here right now, I can answer your question. The Hi-Mountain kit is just that. The seasonings and casings come in the kit. All you have to add is whatever type of meat you're using. When I did some Polish using their seasonings, I added a good amount of granulated garlic, chopped jalapenos, and a bit of cayenne pepper. Came out great. Cabela's has the kits in their new catalog for $24.99. My last batch I used Rytek Kutas's recipe with my own additions.

BTW Dawn, those are some good looking brats!
post #16 of 31
Looks extremely tasty, Dawn!! Love the color those links are taking on. Can't wait to see a pic of the finished product biggrin.gif
post #17 of 31
Great job Dawn!
post #18 of 31
looking good Dawn-mine come out diff sizes too somtimes-as for hanging I cut a 2.5 inch piece of bailing wire and make a u in each end-1 goes under the butchers twine and the other hangs on the grate-I have a small box full-and just wash them after the smoke-would like to try the kicked up brats there.and ya sure are getting there color.and what flavor u smoking on?
post #19 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tip. I'll mention it to hubby and let him take it from there.

They turned out well. A little salty, but still good. I think I'll try a different recipe next time. I used alder this time, will probably try apple next time.
post #20 of 31
Thread Starter 

What a day!

Ok, final pic time. biggrin.gif

I will be doing more sausage in the future. It is worth the work. I will not be doing another kit sausage. It was too salty for my taste. I am sensitive to salt in foods and this had more than I like.

These brats have a story behind them. We are getting high winds today so any time I opened the door to the smoker I had to hang on to it. I had pulled the bottom rack out to check the IT of one of the links. The rack slipped out of my hand and the links all went on the deck. Right in a pile of leaves which was blowing all over the place. I bent over to dig through the leaves for the links and promptly burned my finger on one. I grabbed the tongs and put them back on the rack. When I went to stand up I got clobbered by the smoker door which had swung wide open in the wind and was in the process of closing. After saying a few choice words, I brushed the links off and put them back in the smoker.

Unfortunately, the rack that I dropped had the links with extra heat in them on it so they all got mixed up. Somebody will be in for a surprise when they get a hot one. PDT_Armataz_01_28.gif When I brought them in I rinsed them all off. Put them in a ice water bath and then dried them off.
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