Sausage Time.....

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HowlingDog

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Jan 16, 2019
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Had been a while since I did any sausage so this weekend was the weekend.

First, a trip to Costco:
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I was not entirely pleased with the price but sometimes you gotta ignore it. The plan was breakfast, Zesty Italian, a pizza sausage, and a new one for me, Texas Hot link from a recipe I borrowed from a SMF member, Tallbm.

Gathering the ingredients:
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I took about 3 pounds from the pork belly to add a little extra fat to the sausage. The balance of the belly is curing now for bacon.
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Grinding. I put all the pork in the freezer for about an hour and a half to harden up. Wow, that really makes it easier to grind. No jams, no need to stop and clean, it just feeds through nicely. The first grind was with the 3/4 plate, as was the second. I actually just grabbed handfuls as it exited the cutter and fed it back through with some new slices. I usually refreeze before the second grind but this was so much easier. Saved a lot of time and cleaning.
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Ended up with 21 pounds. Into the fridge overnight.
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I separated it all out and started mixing. Portioned out all the ingredients. This is the Texas Hot Links. Used Digging Dog to measure the cure (as I do with all smoked meats products).
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After about 7 minutes of hand mixing. Nice and sticky. Cold meat, cold water and a thin glove make for a cold hand.....
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The stuffer is assembled:
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Not too bad for stuffing alone... I only had a small pack of casings and they should have been a little smaller but hey, you gotta work with what ya got.....
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My usual helper was not in the mood to assist:

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Getting the smoker ready
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I do not have a electric smoker so I use my big one, which is wood/charcoal. I had to make some mini mini splits of hickory.
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The initial fire was way too hot
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It finally cooled down so I could load the sausage
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Small hot fire. I can usually keep it at about this temperature, plus or minus 10 degrees. It takes about 10-15 minutes to kick it up to a higher temp and maintain that one, but adding the mini mini split was easy. I would normally use my Amaze N tube but I wanted to see if I could maintain a decent temp with wood/charcoal.
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Smoking away
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Almost done
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And Done
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Took me three days, but I ended up with 5 lbs of breakfast sausage
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6 lbs of pizza sausage, 5 lbs of Zesty Italian (The Sausage Maker pre-mix) and 5 lbs of Texas Hot Links.

I learned a few things. First, always take inventory before committing to a set amount. Turns out I found about 4 pounds of breakfast sausage at the bottom of the freezer. Second, if you put fennel and anise seeds in the spice grinder, the flavor comes out stronger. Third, if you use old spices, the flavor comes out more mild. Finally, the added fat from the pork belly, and the nonfat dry milk really helped the texture of the smoked sausage. My previous attempts have all been a bit dry and crumbly, but this one was much much better. I am pleased!

Fun weekend and we now have enough sausage to survive the zombie apocalypse!!! Thx for looking!!

HowlingDog (Mark)
 

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Finally, the added fat from the pork belly, and the nonfat dry milk really helped the texture of the smoked sausage. My previous attempts have all been a bit dry and crumbly, but this one was much much better. I am pleased!
Grinding very cold slightly frozen meat and fat helps out A LOT as well. No fat smearing so the integrity of the fat is not damaged which can lead to fat out....
 
Great Job on the sausages BTW.....I liked the thread and the pictures. And This is the first time I've seen your smoker set up....I like it! Good on you for trying to smoke sausages with fire and wood...Now you have an idea on how much wood and coals it takes and that is priceless knowledge for maintaining even heat.
 
Thx for the nice comments! I have no idea how I added the picture of the open door, but that is how I had to control the temps once they starting creeping up.

And This is the first time I've seen your smoker set up
Thx indaswamp. I built it about 12 or so years ago (seems longer though). No welding, all drilling and nuts/bolts. My Dad taught me how to tinker things together. Seems to work for me.
 
Great post! Really enjoyed reading it. What’s pizza sausage? This fall I think I’m going to finally give sausage a go, I’m going to try running a small fire in the Lang. I’ll do a few practice runs first but this makes me hopeful it’s doable.
 
What’s pizza sausage?

There are a couple of good pizza places around me and I have always liked their sausage so I wanted to create one for home use. I posted a thread asking about it once, and the fine folks here gave me the clues I needed to make one, so here it is:

Pork: 1000g
Salt: 18g
Black Pepper: 2g
Garlic pwdr: 1.25g
Paprika 1.5g
Fennel seed 2g
Anise seed 2g
Cayenne .5g
Basil .5g
Oregano .5g
Sugar 3g
Liquid 100ml

I cobbled this together from other recipes, but the suggestions for fennel and anise really did the trick. I used water as my liquid but a couple of the recipes used red wine. One thing I did the first time was to put about a third of the fennel and anise seeds in a spice grinder and give it just a couple of taps to break up the seeds. It really punched up the flavor. Be sure to use fresh spices. The batch I just made I only had some older spices and it seemed a little mild.

Give it a go, and adjust to your taste!! Enjoy.

Mark
 
There are a couple of good pizza places around me and I have always liked their sausage so I wanted to create one for home use. I posted a thread asking about it once, and the fine folks here gave me the clues I needed to make one, so here it is:

Pork: 1000g
Salt: 18g
Black Pepper: 2g
Garlic pwdr: 1.25g
Paprika 1.5g
Fennel seed 2g
Anise seed 2g
Cayenne .5g
Basil .5g
Oregano .5g
Sugar 3g
Liquid 100ml

I cobbled this together from other recipes, but the suggestions for fennel and anise really did the trick. I used water as my liquid but a couple of the recipes used red wine. One thing I did the first time was to put about a third of the fennel and anise seeds in a spice grinder and give it just a couple of taps to break up the seeds. It really punched up the flavor. Be sure to use fresh spices. The batch I just made I only had some older spices and it seemed a little mild.

Give it a go, and adjust to your taste!! Enjoy.

Mark
Thanks! I love anise and fennel so I’m sure I’ll love this. Bookmarking.
 
i just saw this : you made some REALLY nice looking sausage !!!!!
maybe i should try making "hot links " i like em but never tried making them anyways great job
 
Thx Everyone for the kind words. I am surprised the Texas Hot turned out as good as it did the first time. I usually have to tinker a bit. I cut a piece at breakfast time and it was really yummy cold.

i should try making "hot links " i like em but never tried making them
Thx Cal1956. Is the "Cal" for the Cal Bears, UC Berkeley?? My FIL went there back in the day...

I borrowed the receipe from tallbm: Texas Hot Links: https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/texas-hot-link-sausage-qview-hot-gut.309730/ (still learning to insert web links). I followed the recipe with the exception of Erythritol. I used regular sugar. And I used fresh garlic instead of granulated. He get All the credit for the delicious sausage.

Now I want to do another smoked sausage but the freezer is full and my cholesterol is probably up in the brisket IT range....

Howling Dog (Mark)
 
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Thx Everyone for the kind words. I am surprised the Texas Hot turned out as good as it did the first time. I usually have to tinker a bit. I cut a piece at breakfast time and it was really yummy cold.


Thx Cal1956. Is the "Cal" for the Cal Bears, UC Berkeley?? My FIL went there back in the day...

I borrowed the receipe from tallbm: Texas Hot Links: https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/texas-hot-link-sausage-qview-hot-gut.309730/ (still learning to insert web links). I followed the recipe with the exception of Erythritol. I used regular sugar. And I used fresh garlic instead of granulated. He get All the credit for the delicious sausage.

Now I want to do another smoked sausage but the freezer is full and my cholesterol is probably up in the brisket IT range....

Howling Dog (Mark)

Man all that sausage looks great!!!!

I'm glad you enjoyed the Texas Hot Link/Gut sausage. I worked on it a bit to whip it into shape.
You did perfect on the subbing sugar for erythritol (70% less sugar when subbing) and it looks like the sausage we get in Texas (and that I make hahaha).

I love the stuff and I'm glad you have a winner there with ya :D

keep up the good work!
 
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