Just lay 'em on the rack, if they're individual links. If you can score a rope, hang it on some wooden dowels in place of the rack.
The casings will turn red as you smoke them, so you'll probably want to roll them over after a couple of hours if they're on the rack. That'll give you some idea of how much progress you're making. When they take on the color of natural-casing hot dogs, you're just about there.
Shove a thermometer in one and try to get them up to at least 150F before you take them out, just to make sure you've killed off any botulism and/or trichinosis if the sausage wasn't cured (many fresh italian sausages aren't, so you'll want to check the package for sodium nitrite just to be sure).
Vman, I have smoked the sweet Italian links and bulk sausage. I pretty much follow what Thom does with the links. As for the bulk, I just roll it into a log shape and smoke 1 1/2 hours on one side then turn over and smoke the other side for 1 1/2 hours- walla-a sweet Italian fatty!
I smoked the above sasuage with apple chucks, sprayed with apple juice. When they came out I placed them in cold water to rehydrate the casings making them somewhat smooth again. 3 hours is about right at 250deg.
(Slaps hand to forehead) DOH!! I forgot the rinse cycle!
Vman, if you're doing enough to store for later consumption, and you don't want your casings to shrivel up, you'll want to give them a 5 minute cold water shower right after you finish smoking them. That will quickly set the fat back up as a solid, which prevents the sausage from shrinking, which prevents the casings from shriveling.
The target temp is 90F at the core, but 5 minutes in a cold shower (tossing them around from time to time so they all get cooled evenly) is usually enough. That's what I do whenever I make bockwurst, hot dogs, vienna sausage, or anything that needs pre-cooking or smoking.
Hey, Joe: nice looking sausages! Got me thinking I should probably make a few pounds of hot dogs this weekend. If I do, I'll post some food porn for you guys!
Hi Thom, "rinse cycle" kind of a funny way of looking at it ... but it works . lol .. I usually make my own sausages .. been doing it for years ... the bennies of growning up in an italian household.. I still have my nana's old fashioned meat grinder she use to use .. ahh the good ole days .. You have a good hotdog recipe you are willing to share?
Fresh sausage's texture comes from the fats. I find if you are going to smoke it start at pit temps of 150Âº for the first couple of hours, then raise the pit up to 225 to 240Âº till they reach your target finish temp. I think you will find that you will like the finish texture using this technique.
I started with the recipe that's on stuffers.com and twist it around a bit to suit individual tastes. That recipe is pretty good as-is, but like a lot of folks here, I use recipes more as guidelines. It almost never comes out the same way twice, but always comes out good.
I'm guessing that's an old chop-rite/enterprise grinder? Those things are indestructible. Great for stuffing hog casings, but as I'm sure you know, stuffing sheep casings with a grinder can be a genuine pain in the butt. Took me over an hour to stuff two pounds of bockwurst with my #10 Porkert. :evil: That's why I went out and bought the Dakotah TNT stuffer, but I haven't had time to even take it out of the box. :(
For my next trick, I want to try and find a decent balance of chili seasonings for the stuffing and see if I can't make some chili dogs. :twisted: That's one I'll definately post!
Supposed to be really warm up here this weekend (I'm in Maine for the weekend), so I'm not sure if I'll give the stuffer its maiden voyage this weekend or not, but you guys have almost got me convinced to do it (here, twist my arm).
If I do, I'll get some pics since some folks have been asking about different stuffers.
Hi Thom, kinda warm here also ... indian summer perhaps? I have the kitchen aide mixer/grinder/shreader/juicer/stuffer/ pasta maker/dough maker. It's ok but nothing like that old handcrack cast iron grinder.. I'll be looking forward to the pics of the chili dog pics .. enjoy the weekend .
thanks for the info, and DUTCH gave me info on smoking the peppers. it all came out great!!
i smoked the sausages at 200 degs for 2 hours, turned them, than 1 more hour at 240, sprayed with applejuice about every 30 mins. the peppers were in there for the last hour and i sprayed them with applejiuce on the inside also. for a quick smoke it turned out some darn good sausage and peppers sammiches!!