Incredibly Good, Potentially Lethal: Habanero Cajun Sausage (Pics & Recipe

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tx smoker

Legendary Pitmaster
Original poster
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Apr 14, 2013
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Lago Vista, Texas
I've been trying to replicate a Pecan smoked Cajun sausage we used to get from a little place on RR 620 in North Austin but haven't had much luck. I decided to go a totally different direction with it and do something totally over the top: Cajun Habanero Sausage. Surprisingly, it came out incredibly well so am happy I went off the deep end on this one :) Here are some pics of the process and the recipe will follow.

Meat ground up, spices all mixed, and cheese weighed out
IMG_20180315_082209.jpg

Farce in the hopper to stuff
IMG_20180315_084854.jpg

All stuffed. I got 9) 12" links
IMG_20180315_092013.jpg

Next day after hanging in the fridge overnight. 6 are already on the smoker but kept these 3 uncooked to grill when the urge might strike me
IMG_20180316_090558.jpg

Smoking along nicely. This is about 3 hours into the process
IMG_20180316_120303.jpg

Smoked and out of the ice bath. I love the color of these!!
IMG_20180316_141513.jpg

Cross section shot
IMG_20180316_142119.jpg

One link sliced to take to my little pub and and share with friends over an adult libation or twelve
IMG_20180316_142332.jpg

The high temp Habanero cheese I got from The Sausage Maker is outstanding!! It tastes like a well aged white cheddar with unbelievable depth of flavor and a nice tingle from the Habanero. For certified registered pepper heads, you'd find this to have an "amusing kick" as it's known in the Lone Star State. The less initiated however went down in flames :) I think it has a nice spicy tingle to it but try to be careful and not make stuff so hot that I'm the only one that can eat it. All in all I'm very happy with the way this came out and will be making it again when the current batch runs out. Although it's nowhere close to what I was originally trying to replicate, it has a definitive Cajun flavor and lots of complexity. Here is the recipe:
  • 4 lbs. ground pork (with at least 20% fat content)
  • 1 lb. beef (with at least 20% fat content)
  • 1 large onion, minced (optional)
  • 4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp. parsley
  • 3 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp InstaCure #1
  • 1 T salt
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. Cajun or Creole seasoning
  • 6 oz. cold beer
  • 1 Tbsp. liquid smoke
  • 6 oz. high temp cheese of your choice (will probably use 8 oz next time)
I mixed all of my wet and dry spices together and added it a little at a time as I was loading the meat into the mixing bowl. This made it a bit easier to incorporate everything into the meat. Hopefully somebody will find this intriguing. I sure did :)

Lightin' 'em up in Lago,
Robert
 
Last edited:
Oops....I forgot to add the salt in the original post. Just edited it
 
I've been trying to replicate a Pecan smoked Cajun sausage we used to get from a little place on RR 620 in North Austin but haven't had much luck. I decided to go a totally different direction with it and do something totally over the top: Cajun Habanero Sausage. Surprisingly, it came out incredibly well so am happy I went off the deep end on this one :) Here are some pics of the process and the recipe will follow.

Meat ground up, spices all mixed, and cheese weighed out
View attachment 358914

Farce in the hopper to stuff
View attachment 358915

All stuffed. I got 9) 12" links
View attachment 358916

Next day after hanging in the fridge overnight. 6 are already on the smoker but kept these 3 uncooked to grill when the urge might strike me
View attachment 358917

Smoking along nicely. This is about 3 hours into the process
View attachment 358919

Smoked and out of the ice bath. I love the color of these!!
View attachment 358920

Cross section shot
View attachment 358921

One link sliced to take to my little pub and and share with friends over an adult libation or twelve
View attachment 358922

The high temp Habanero cheese I got from The Sausage Maker is outstanding!! It tastes like a well aged white cheddar with unbelievable depth of flavor and a nice tingle from the Habanero. For certified registered pepper heads, you'd find this to have an "amusing kick" as it's known in the Lone Star State. The less initiated however went down in flames :) I think it has a nice spicy tingle to it but try to be careful and not make stuff so hot that I'm the only one that can eat it. All in all I'm very happy with the way this came out and will be making it again when the current batch runs out. Although it's nowhere close to what I was originally trying to replicate, it has a definitive Cajun flavor and lots of complexity. Here is the recipe:
  • 4 lbs. ground pork (with at least 20% fat content)
  • 1 lb. beef (with at least 20% fat content)
  • 1 large onion, minced (optional)
  • 4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp. parsley
  • 3 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp InstaCure #1
  • 1 T salt
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. Cajun or Creole seasoning
  • 6 oz. cold beer
  • 1 Tbsp. liquid smoke
  • 6 oz. high temp cheese of your choice (will probably use 8 oz next time)
I mixed all of my wet and dry spices together and added it a little at a time as I was loading the meat into the mixing bowl. This made it a bit easier to incorporate everything into the meat. Hopefully somebody will find this intriguing. I sure did :)

Lightin' 'em up in Lago,
Robert
Ah how much salt? Also Habanero didn't see that on the list, how much? Powder, whole ground or dried flakes?
For the heat pow, lately I have been using Carolina Reaper powder. It gets ya there let me tell ya.
 
Boy those look fantastic!
I'm bookmarking this, to make at a later date!
Thanks for the recipe & congrats on making the carousel!
Al
 
"What temp did you smoke them at? and did you pull them at 3 hrs? thanks!"

I started them at 135* for an hour or so to dry the casings a bit then raised the smoker temp by 10* per hour until it was at 170*. Put smoke on them starting at hour two and it took a total of about 5 1/2 hours to reach an IT of 153.

"Ah how much salt? Also Habanero didn't see that on the list, how much?"

Please see where I edited the original post adding 1 T of salt. The Habanero came from the cheese. It was not added as a separate spice.

A couple of things to note however. I cut the one link the day they were smoked and took to my little pub to share. The rest were vac-sealed and put into the freezer. That was a little over a week ago. Right after posting this yesterday I got a link out, defrosted it, sliced, and took to the same pub to share with one of my favorite servers, who is from Louisiana. I was a bit disappointed that the spice tingle had mellowed quite a bit. If you want them to remain pretty spicy I'd recommend adding some extra cayenne and black pepper....or whatever your pepper of choice is for spice. Also, if you really like cheese, I'd recommend stepping up to 8 oz versus the 6 oz I used. It had cheese distributed throughout but I'm a bit of a cheese junkie and would have liked a bit more.

"Thanks for the recipe & congrats on making the carousel!"

Thank you once again Al!! It's quite an honor to be recognized and placed among such esteemed company.

Robert
 
Last edited:
Not a sausage maker, but a sausage eater, and I'd definitely eat one or more of those.

Point for sure.

Chris
 
"What temp did you smoke them at? and did you pull them at 3 hrs? thanks!"

I started them at 135* for an hour or so to dry the casings a bit then raised the smoker temp by 10* per hour until it was at 170*. Put smoke on them starting at hour two and it took a total of about 5 1/2 hours to reach an IT of 153.

"Ah how much salt? Also Habanero didn't see that on the list, how much?"

Please see where I edited the original post adding 1 T of salt. The Habanero came from the cheese. It was not added as a separate spice.

A couple of things to note however. I cut the one link the day they were smoked and took to my little pub to share. The rest were vac-sealed and put into the freezer. That was a little over a week ago. Right after posting this yesterday I got a link out, defrosted it, sliced, and took to the same pub to share with one of my favorite servers, who is from Louisiana. I was a bit disappointed that the spice tingle had mellowed quite a bit. If you want them to remain pretty spicy I'd recommend adding some extra cayenne and black pepper....or whatever your pepper of choice is for spice. Also, if you really like cheese, I'd recommend stepping up to 8 oz versus the 6 oz I used. It had cheese distributed throughout but I'm a bit of a cheese junkie and would have liked a bit more.

"Thanks for the recipe & congrats on making the carousel!"

Thank you once again Al!! It's quite an honor to be recognized and placed among such esteemed company.

Robert

Tx I have found it the same in all my sausages that I freeze. There is a flavor loss etc. It definitely is more pronounced in the hotter stuff. It just loses quiet a bit of its snap. I think it is because the cells in the meat burst from the freezing or something along those lines.
Made some using your recipe, didn't have habanero cheese so put cheddar and some reaper powder in for that snap.
You got a keeper in your recipe
 
I've been trying to replicate a Pecan smoked Cajun sausage we used to get from a little place on RR 620 in North Austin but haven't had much luck. I decided to go a totally different direction with it and do something totally over the top: Cajun Habanero Sausage. Surprisingly, it came out incredibly well so am happy I went off the deep end on this one :) Here are some pics of the process and the recipe will follow.

Meat ground up, spices all mixed, and cheese weighed out
View attachment 358914

Farce in the hopper to stuff
View attachment 358915

All stuffed. I got 9) 12" links
View attachment 358916

Next day after hanging in the fridge overnight. 6 are already on the smoker but kept these 3 uncooked to grill when the urge might strike me
View attachment 358917

Smoking along nicely. This is about 3 hours into the process
View attachment 358919

Smoked and out of the ice bath. I love the color of these!!
View attachment 358920

Cross section shot
View attachment 358921

One link sliced to take to my little pub and and share with friends over an adult libation or twelve
View attachment 358922

The high temp Habanero cheese I got from The Sausage Maker is outstanding!! It tastes like a well aged white cheddar with unbelievable depth of flavor and a nice tingle from the Habanero. For certified registered pepper heads, you'd find this to have an "amusing kick" as it's known in the Lone Star State. The less initiated however went down in flames :) I think it has a nice spicy tingle to it but try to be careful and not make stuff so hot that I'm the only one that can eat it. All in all I'm very happy with the way this came out and will be making it again when the current batch runs out. Although it's nowhere close to what I was originally trying to replicate, it has a definitive Cajun flavor and lots of complexity. Here is the recipe:
  • 4 lbs. ground pork (with at least 20% fat content)
  • 1 lb. beef (with at least 20% fat content)
  • 1 large onion, minced (optional)
  • 4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp. parsley
  • 3 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp InstaCure #1
  • 1 T salt
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. Cajun or Creole seasoning
  • 6 oz. cold beer
  • 1 Tbsp. liquid smoke
  • 6 oz. high temp cheese of your choice (will probably use 8 oz next time)
I mixed all of my wet and dry spices together and added it a little at a time as I was loading the meat into the mixing bowl. This made it a bit easier to incorporate everything into the meat. Hopefully somebody will find this intriguing. I sure did :)

Lightin' 'em up in Lago,
Robert
The word wow is not enough but it's all I got. I mean--REALLY wow. Great job. And thank your for introducing me to high temp cheeses!
 
Thanks for posting this recipe. I like! Have next weekend free so this might get the vote if I can get the cheese in time. Come to think of it I could probably substitute the high temp cheese to get it done. So far the sausage I have has been pretty tame so this will fit the bill!
 
"And thank your for introducing me to high temp cheeses!"

I gotta say....the addition of different cheeses have added a whole new dimension to the sausages. I ordered three different kinds from The sausage Maker and all have been excellent quality!! I got Pepper Jack, Cheddar, and Habanero. All have been used in different sausages thus far and flavor is off the charts.

-Cheddar was used in beef snack sticks along with ECA. This made my "best snack sticks ever" even better.....WAY better.
-Pepper Jack was used in beef Summer Sausage along with ECA. This was the first time I'd used cheese or ECA in sausage and the results are beyond words. Hands down, this is the absolute best Summer Sausage I (and all my friends) have ever had. Need to thank DaveOmak for the ECA concept :-)
-Habanero was used in this sausage and you can guess what it added to the overall flavor and character.

Thanks to all for the kind words and accolades from everybody. I'm having a blast with sausage making and hope to continue raising the bar for myself and pushing the boundaries of creativity.

Off to Costco shortly....
Robert
 
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