Texas Hot Links

Texas Hot Links. A delicious spicy sausage that finds it’s origins out of Pittsburg, TX. This sausage (AKA Hot Guts) can be made with beef, pork, or a combination of both. From what I can gather there is no real standard when it comes to Texas Hot Guts as every butcher seems to make theirs slightly different.

Originally this sausage was baked/broiled so that the outer skin would receive a charred almost burnt looking appearance but today you can find these hot links cooked any number of ways. Grilling, broiling, baking, or smoking. I wouldn’t poach this sausage as it just wouldn’t give you that “Texas Hot Guts” texture that we want.

I like to cold smoking these hot links for several hours before cooking to really get that beautiful smoke penetration. This step is totally optional but really elevates this sausage (IMHO)

Follow basic cold smoked sausage preparation practices when making this sausage.
  1. Clean and Sanitize all of your equipment.
  2. Keep your meat and grinder parts super cold (below 34F)
  3. Any liquid that is added to the mince needs to be ice cold
  4. Mix your very chilled meat and seasonings till the mince becomes very tacky
  5. Stuff the mince into sausage casings and prick out any air pockets
  6. Refrigerate your sausage overnight to allow the cure to work
  7. The next day follow this smoking schedule (Optional)
    -Bring your sausage to room temperature to dry out
    -Once dry begin to cold smoke for 6 hours
    – After the cold smoke increase to 135F for 1 hour
    -Increase to 155F for 1.5 hours
    -Increase to 175F till the internal temp reaches 145F

Here are a few things you might find useful when making sausage

Enjoy the video and the recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask away. If you make this at home I’d love to hear about how it came out!!

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Texas Hot Links

A Texas classic
Prep Time1 d
Cook Time7 hrs

If you are making sausage adjust the servings to reflect the total weight of your meat and fat

Servings: 2270 grams



  • Clean your meat of any silver skin, sinew, arteries and cut into small strips or cubes. Add all of the seasonings (except the Non-Fat Powder Milk) and place the seasoned meat and fat in the freezer for an hour or until the temp reaches 32f – 34F.
  • clean and rehydrate your hog casings
  • Grind your very chilled meat and fat on a course plate (10mm) then regrind on a medium plate (4.5mm). Make sure everything is very chilled while grinding.
  • Add the ice cold beer and the non-fat dry powder milk to your mince meat and mix till it becomes very tacky. If you grab a small handful it will stick to your hand if you hold your hand upside down.
  • Stuff your mince meat into the casings, link, and prick out any air pockets. Let your sausages rest in the refrigerator overnight

Smoking Schedule

  • Cold smoke for 6 hours
  • Next set the temp to 135F for 1 hour, then raise to 155F for 1.5 hours, and finally raise the temp to 175F till the internal temp reaches 145F.
  • Once finished cool your sausages by dunking them in ice cold water. Remove from the water and let them bloom at room temperature for several hours. Refrigerate and enjoy!

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4 thoughts on “Texas Hot Links

  1. TJ

    In step 1 it says to add all seasonings except NFDMP. However, none of the remaining steps say to add the NFDMP. At what point does this get added to the grind? Am I missing something?

    1. Eric

      I fixed it to make it easier to understand. Just add all the seasonings to the meat, chill it, then grind it..

      1. TJ

        Awesome. Thanks!

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