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HOT Links!


Smoking Fanatic
Joined May 3, 2011
This weekend I thought I'd make small batch of sausages for my son & me. We're the only ones in our household of five who like spicy hot foods. So per his request I made a five-pound batch of spicy hot links.

All the ingredients lined up...

I used 3 pounds of pork butt and two pounds of beef chuck roast. Two grinds.

The first—a medium grind (4.5mm):

After mixing in all the ingredients, I put the batch through a fine grind (3.0mm). Then I used 34mm natural pork casings.

Made 14 good size (6-7") links...

Got 'em hung in a pre-heated smoker (140°) with no smoke for the first hour:

After two & a half hours of heavy smoke. Combo of hickory & cherry sawdust:

Plunge the batch into a hot bath (165°) to bring them up to an IT of 160° Took only about 20 minutes:

Quick-cooling in an ice bath afterwards:

Bloom time:

Taste time: Whoa! HOT!!...which is what we were going for!

Slight anise-taste goes well with the vinegary 'pepperiness' of the tabasco. BIG afterburn....

My son gave them a big thumbs up! Definitely need a cool beverage alongside these bad boys!

Thanks for looking!



Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Dec 6, 2007
Very Nice!! not only the looks are great but sounds like the taste is there also. thanks for the pics.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Jun 26, 2007
Man I'd love too have some of them. Mind sharing the recipe 


Sausage maker
Staff member
OTBS Member
Group Lead
Joined Apr 28, 2010
Holy hot tamale....................... Those look great...................


chef jimmyj

Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
Joined May 12, 2011
Nice Job Kevin, I would like a little more detail too...JJ


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Mar 28, 2011
Wow Kevin it looks great from you spices and the Tabasco sauce i sow it will be hot took me Time to find out what is nfdm but i found it 

thanks for this great post i will copy and paste to my book .


Formerly 'danmcg'
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Feb 3, 2009
Another work of art Kevin! My recipe is very similar to yours and we love it here too. I use fennel instead of anise, but might try it your way next time.
Last edited:


Smoking Fanatic
Joined May 3, 2011
Here's the ingredients list & an adaptation of Len Poli's Hot Links recipe (he has several).

Metric listed below first as I prefer weight versus volume for accuracy.

Hot Links

Pork Butt    1590g (3.0 lbs)

Beef Chuck 908g (2.0 lbs)

Kosher salt 44g

Non-Fat dry milk 40g  (1/2 cup)

*I pulverized the NFDM in my spice grinder. makes it a very fine powder.

Sweet Paprika 15g  (2.5 TBL)

Smoked Paprika 15g (2.5 TBL)

(if you REALLY want to make these burn, use 30g of Hot Paprika in place of the sweet & smoked)

Cayenne pepper 30g (4 TBL)

Onion powder 16g (2 TBL)

Mustard powder 14g (2 TBL)

Garlic powder 9.0g (1 TBL)

Brown sugar 20g (2 TBL)

Black pepper 6.0g (1 TBL)

Anise* 6.0g (1 TBL)

(very prominent flavor, use less if desired)

Coriander, ground 4.0g (2 tsp)

Allspice 3.0g (1.5 tsp)

Cure#1 6g (one level tsp)

Red Tabasco Sauce 60 ml (4.0 TBL)

Ice water 8 fl oz (1/2 cup)

- Pork & beef partially frozen. Cut into pieces that fit your grinder's feed chute.

First grind: Both meats through a medium plate (4.5mm). Dissolve cure in the ice water, along with the anise, coriander, allspice & black pepper.

Pour mixture into meat. Add the remainder of ingredients and mix well until a sticky meat paste results (about 10 minutes of hand-mixing). Regrind again through a FINE plate (3.0).

Stuff into 32-34mm casings. Twist off 4-6 inch lengths. Hang to dry while the smoker is being prepared. Pre-heat smoker to 130-140° and hang sausages in smoker. No smoke for the first hour. Add heavy smoke for the next 2-2.5 hours, increasing temps gradually over the same time up to 160°. Quit smoke. Raise temp in smoker up to 170° & continue to cook links until an IT of 160° OR pul the links after the smoke and put them in a hot water bath (165°) until the IT of 160° is reached (less than 30 minutes). Cool off in ice bath (the hot links, NOT you!). Pull links & hang to bloom. Refrigerate.


For my tastes, I found these to be plenty hot, but some folks REALLY take it to the next level. The hot paprika would certainly do that and/or using ghost pepper or habenero hot sauce in place of tabasco would accomplish this as well.



Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Group Lead
Joined Jun 13, 2011
I love HOT LINKS !!
Copy to my evernotes. move this to top of the "to do list "


Master of the Pit
Joined Oct 25, 2011
Wow, impressive, but delicious!  Thanks for the wonderful "ho-to" and Q-view.


Smoke Blower
Joined Aug 17, 2010
Great looking sausage and thanks for posting your recipe. I am planning my first smoked sausage venture soon, will keep your recipe in mind

Thanks again,

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