2nd attempt at Jalapeño/Cheddar sausage

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HushyQ

Smoke Blower
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Dec 30, 2023
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Cleveland, Ohio
The sausage bug has hit me Hard. Having never had real Texas BBQ until this summer, I was blown away by the Burnt Ends, Brisket and Jalapeño Cheddar sausage at Blackboard BBQ near Bourne. This is what sent me down this rabbit hole and how I found this amazing site.
I had every intention to only make 2 small changes to my first batch: adding whole mustard seed and taming down the jalapeño but things changed drastically. First off, my Chuds sausage starter that was supposed to come on Friday is still not here on Tuesday so I took the advice of N nlife and made my own. I also took the advice of SmokinEdge SmokinEdge and used Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar. My costco only carried the yellow cheddar and the white extra sharp. Used the extra sharp, cubed in 1/4 inch & let it dry in fridge for 3 days as I thought that might make it not melt as easily. Also used SmokinEdge SmokinEdge casing advice. Wow! What a difference soaking them longer w a splash of vinegar. I also added some baking soda to my last water change several hours before stuffing. They slid right on and I had way fewer blowouts. I also tried to not stuff them so tight to limit blowouts. As you will see by my photo, I am still not too great at getting consistent size ropes. Doing it solo and having a small stuffer that moves a bit doesn't help I'm sure. My next purchase will be a better stuffer for sure.
Ready to stuff.jpg
2nd batch stuffed.jpg

My biggest hurdle this time was the outside temperature. It was 15 F degrees when I wanted to cold smoke and I was afraid the Treager wouldn't get warm enough and I would freeze my sausage. Decided to use my Big Chief and a smoke tube in hopes of getting close to my 71 degrees that my first batch cold smoked at. Used post oak chips in pan and in smoke tube. Stopped at 5 hrs of smoke and bagged overnight.
cold smoke after 3 hrs.jpg

This is the first time I tried hanging in the Chief. After 3 hours I noticed some very irregular color I took off hooks and placed on racks for final 2 hours. The next morning I fired up the Treager to 165 until I got to 150 internal. Problem was the inside temps varied pretty drastically. I'm sure do to the cold(high of 17F), the difference between top & bottom racks and my inconsistent stuffing. Some got to 155 while others were still at 137-145. I hated poking so many sausages but I was a bit worried about this. Knowing that many of my friends and family eat this cold I decided to take things indoors. I put the sausage in water to cool and once dried I put them in the oven at 220 to get them all back up to 150. Again, some were higher like my tester in the pic but I kept a close watch it took almost the entire Southern Rock Opera album by DBT to get them back up to temp. They only finished a couple hours ago but my initial thoughts are this: The spice mix was Very, Very close to the packaged stuff. The taste was absolutely what I hoped for. Very reminiscent of Texas trip. I only made a few small adjustments to his recipe from the video. Cutting down the dried jalapeño ratio will make my wife and son happy but its still got a kick. I think adding the mustard seed added to the spice level too. I'll probably eliminate that next time. Also will look for yellow Extra sharp Tillamook as the yellow cheese chunks just looks better, lol. Kielbasa is Next!!!!! I am totally addicted, Ha.
2nd batch sliced.jpg
test link 2nd batch.jpg
2nd batch finished.jpg
 
The sausage bug has hit me Hard. Having never had real Texas BBQ until this summer, I was blown away by the Burnt Ends, Brisket and Jalapeño Cheddar sausage at Blackboard BBQ near Bourne. This is what sent me down this rabbit hole and how I found this amazing site.
I had every intention to only make 2 small changes to my first batch: adding whole mustard seed and taming down the jalapeño but things changed drastically. First off, my Chuds sausage starter that was supposed to come on Friday is still not here on Tuesday so I took the advice of N nlife and made my own. I also took the advice of SmokinEdge SmokinEdge and used Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar. My costco only carried the yellow cheddar and the white extra sharp. Used the extra sharp, cubed in 1/4 inch & let it dry in fridge for 3 days as I thought that might make it not melt as easily. Also used SmokinEdge SmokinEdge casing advice. Wow! What a difference soaking them longer w a splash of vinegar. I also added some baking soda to my last water change several hours before stuffing. They slid right on and I had way fewer blowouts. I also tried to not stuff them so tight to limit blowouts. As you will see by my photo, I am still not too great at getting consistent size ropes. Doing it solo and having a small stuffer that moves a bit doesn't help I'm sure. My next purchase will be a better stuffer for sure. View attachment 685947View attachment 685948
My biggest hurdle this time was the outside temperature. It was 15 F degrees when I wanted to cold smoke and I was afraid the Treager wouldn't get warm enough and I would freeze my sausage. Decided to use my Big Chief and a smoke tube in hopes of getting close to my 71 degrees that my first batch cold smoked at. Used post oak chips in pan and in smoke tube. Stopped at 5 hrs of smoke and bagged overnight.View attachment 685949
This is the first time I tried hanging in the Chief. After 3 hours I noticed some very irregular color I took off hooks and placed on racks for final 2 hours. The next morning I fired up the Treager to 165 until I got to 150 internal. Problem was the inside temps varied pretty drastically. I'm sure do to the cold(high of 17F), the difference between top & bottom racks and my inconsistent stuffing. Some got to 155 while others were still at 137-145. I hated poking so many sausages but I was a bit worried about this. Knowing that many of my friends and family eat this cold I decided to take things indoors. I put the sausage in water to cool and once dried I put them in the oven at 220 to get them all back up to 150. Again, some were higher like my tester in the pic but I kept a close watch it took almost the entire Southern Rock Opera album by DBT to get them back up to temp. They only finished a couple hours ago but my initial thoughts are this: The spice mix was Very, Very close to the packaged stuff. The taste was absolutely what I hoped for. Very reminiscent of Texas trip. I only made a few small adjustments to his recipe from the video. Cutting down the dried jalapeño ratio will make my wife and son happy but its still got a kick. I think adding the mustard seed added to the spice level too. I'll probably eliminate that next time. Also will look for yellow Extra sharp Tillamook as the yellow cheese chunks just looks better, lol. Kielbasa is Next!!!!! I am totally addicted, Ha.View attachment 685953View attachment 685954View attachment 685955
It looks great from here!
- Jason
 
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Welcome to the wonderful world of sausage making. Now that you are making sausages, you have learned that it is not that difficult to make your own sausage seasonings too. I recommend using the metric system because it is very easy to scale a recipe up or down. Also, very easy to dial the spices in using percentages. Once you know the heat level of say 2% Black pepper compared to 1.5%, very easy to guestimate where you want it.....and this applies to all other spices.
 
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The sausage bug has hit me Hard. Having never had real Texas BBQ until this summer, I was blown away by the Burnt Ends, Brisket and Jalapeño Cheddar sausage at Blackboard BBQ near Bourne. This is what sent me down this rabbit hole and how I found this amazing site.
I had every intention to only make 2 small changes to my first batch: adding whole mustard seed and taming down the jalapeño but things changed drastically. First off, my Chuds sausage starter that was supposed to come on Friday is still not here on Tuesday so I took the advice of N nlife and made my own. I also took the advice of SmokinEdge SmokinEdge and used Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar. My costco only carried the yellow cheddar and the white extra sharp. Used the extra sharp, cubed in 1/4 inch & let it dry in fridge for 3 days as I thought that might make it not melt as easily. Also used SmokinEdge SmokinEdge casing advice. Wow! What a difference soaking them longer w a splash of vinegar. I also added some baking soda to my last water change several hours before stuffing. They slid right on and I had way fewer blowouts. I also tried to not stuff them so tight to limit blowouts. As you will see by my photo, I am still not too great at getting consistent size ropes. Doing it solo and having a small stuffer that moves a bit doesn't help I'm sure. My next purchase will be a better stuffer for sure. View attachment 685947View attachment 685948
My biggest hurdle this time was the outside temperature. It was 15 F degrees when I wanted to cold smoke and I was afraid the Treager wouldn't get warm enough and I would freeze my sausage. Decided to use my Big Chief and a smoke tube in hopes of getting close to my 71 degrees that my first batch cold smoked at. Used post oak chips in pan and in smoke tube. Stopped at 5 hrs of smoke and bagged overnight.View attachment 685949
This is the first time I tried hanging in the Chief. After 3 hours I noticed some very irregular color I took off hooks and placed on racks for final 2 hours. The next morning I fired up the Treager to 165 until I got to 150 internal. Problem was the inside temps varied pretty drastically. I'm sure do to the cold(high of 17F), the difference between top & bottom racks and my inconsistent stuffing. Some got to 155 while others were still at 137-145. I hated poking so many sausages but I was a bit worried about this. Knowing that many of my friends and family eat this cold I decided to take things indoors. I put the sausage in water to cool and once dried I put them in the oven at 220 to get them all back up to 150. Again, some were higher like my tester in the pic but I kept a close watch it took almost the entire Southern Rock Opera album by DBT to get them back up to temp. They only finished a couple hours ago but my initial thoughts are this: The spice mix was Very, Very close to the packaged stuff. The taste was absolutely what I hoped for. Very reminiscent of Texas trip. I only made a few small adjustments to his recipe from the video. Cutting down the dried jalapeño ratio will make my wife and son happy but its still got a kick. I think adding the mustard seed added to the spice level too. I'll probably eliminate that next time. Also will look for yellow Extra sharp Tillamook as the yellow cheese chunks just looks better, lol. Kielbasa is Next!!!!! I am totally addicted, Ha.View attachment 685953View attachment 685954View attachment 685955
Nice job, they look great to me!!

Keep at it with regulating those temps and when you feel you finally have it down I hope you will share the seasoning recipe, cheese amounts, etc. :D

I'm interested in a TX smoked sausage of this style. My favorite is the Hard Eight BBQ's sausage (they are here in TX) and that style but have not fooled with it. I've only took the time to make a TX style hotlink similar to the ones I could get my hands on when I was a kid that I no longer see around :D
 
Thanks guys!!! Yes, I am seeing metric is the way to go.
Here's the recipe for anyone interested

4 lbs Brisket Point trimmed of most visible fat
4 lbs Pork Shoulder trimmed
2 lb Brisket & Pork fat(brisket hard fat & pork fat cap)
81 g Salt
20 g Black Pepper
11 g Insta Cure #1
31 g Granulated Garlic
19 g paprika
25 g mustard powder
25 g Yellow mustard seed
8 g Onion Powder
4 g cayenne
55 g Milk Powder
20 g dehydrated jalapeños w seeds
12 oz Water
1 lb Tillamook Extra Sharp White Cheddar(Cut into 1/4 cubes and dried in fridge 3 days)

Test patty was very good and passed the wife test.

5 hrs cold smoke in Big Chief with post oak chips
ziplock in fridge overnight
On Treager at 165 w 1 smoke tube filled with Post Oak chips till internal temp hit 150
shocked and dried
in oven at 220 till they got back up to 150(too cold outside to double smoke on Treager but that is what I would have preferred to do.
 
Looks like some nice work to me. Nice job. We all started somewhere and learned so don’t go hard on yourself. I think your work looks good and will now only get better as you start using metric and dialing in your recipe, the doing over and over gets the links down but working with good casings is a big hurdle and sounds like you understand that now. I’ll be watching for more postings of your work for sure.
 
Looks good. Irregular in stuffing gives it that hand crafted curb appeal.

...
As you will see by my photo, I am still not too great at getting consistent size ropes. Doing it solo and having a small stuffer that moves a bit doesn't help I'm sure. My next purchase will be a better stuffer for sure.
...

To make stuffing an easier solo operation get a Lazy Susan turntable and cut about a 12-16" diameter top for it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DaveD650 and nlife
The sausage bug has hit me Hard. Having never had real Texas BBQ until this summer, I was blown away by the Burnt Ends, Brisket and Jalapeño Cheddar sausage at Blackboard BBQ near Bourne. This is what sent me down this rabbit hole and how I found this amazing site.
I had every intention to only make 2 small changes to my first batch: adding whole mustard seed and taming down the jalapeño but things changed drastically. First off, my Chuds sausage starter that was supposed to come on Friday is still not here on Tuesday so I took the advice of N nlife and made my own. I also took the advice of SmokinEdge SmokinEdge and used Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar. My costco only carried the yellow cheddar and the white extra sharp. Used the extra sharp, cubed in 1/4 inch & let it dry in fridge for 3 days as I thought that might make it not melt as easily. Also used SmokinEdge SmokinEdge casing advice. Wow! What a difference soaking them longer w a splash of vinegar. I also added some baking soda to my last water change several hours before stuffing. They slid right on and I had way fewer blowouts. I also tried to not stuff them so tight to limit blowouts. As you will see by my photo, I am still not too great at getting consistent size ropes. Doing it solo and having a small stuffer that moves a bit doesn't help I'm sure. My next purchase will be a better stuffer for sure. View attachment 685947View attachment 685948
My biggest hurdle this time was the outside temperature. It was 15 F degrees when I wanted to cold smoke and I was afraid the Treager wouldn't get warm enough and I would freeze my sausage. Decided to use my Big Chief and a smoke tube in hopes of getting close to my 71 degrees that my first batch cold smoked at. Used post oak chips in pan and in smoke tube. Stopped at 5 hrs of smoke and bagged overnight.View attachment 685949
This is the first time I tried hanging in the Chief. After 3 hours I noticed some very irregular color I took off hooks and placed on racks for final 2 hours. The next morning I fired up the Treager to 165 until I got to 150 internal. Problem was the inside temps varied pretty drastically. I'm sure do to the cold(high of 17F), the difference between top & bottom racks and my inconsistent stuffing. Some got to 155 while others were still at 137-145. I hated poking so many sausages but I was a bit worried about this. Knowing that many of my friends and family eat this cold I decided to take things indoors. I put the sausage in water to cool and once dried I put them in the oven at 220 to get them all back up to 150. Again, some were higher like my tester in the pic but I kept a close watch it took almost the entire Southern Rock Opera album by DBT to get them back up to temp. They only finished a couple hours ago but my initial thoughts are this: The spice mix was Very, Very close to the packaged stuff. The taste was absolutely what I hoped for. Very reminiscent of Texas trip. I only made a few small adjustments to his recipe from the video. Cutting down the dried jalapeño ratio will make my wife and son happy but its still got a kick. I think adding the mustard seed added to the spice level too. I'll probably eliminate that next time. Also will look for yellow Extra sharp Tillamook as the yellow cheese chunks just looks better, lol. Kielbasa is Next!!!!! I am totally addicted, Ha.View attachment 685953View attachment 685954View attachment 685955
Nice links
 
I don't know how I missed this! Those are looking great.

I had issues with the stuffer moving around when my son was cranking it (he's 12 and not strong enough to hold it steady while cranking at the same time). I picked up a large clutch bar clamp usually used for woodworking. Now I can clamp the stuffer down so we get more consistent results. It would be extra handy for when you stuff alone.

cluch bar clamp.jpg
 
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I don't know how I missed this! Those are looking great.

I had issues with the stuffer moving around when my son was cranking it (he's 12 and not strong enough to hold it steady while cranking at the same time). I picked up a large clutch bar clamp usually used for woodworking. Now I can clamp the stuffer down so we get more consistent results. It would be extra handy for when you stuff alone.

View attachment 690067
Yep clamps do help!
 
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