Who remembers Pickled Red Hots as a kid? It’s been years since I’ve had those and thanks to my friend over at the You Tube Channel Age of Anderson we’ve got a beautiful recipe that should deliver some serious heat!! If you make these Red Hots, let me know what you think!!
Follow basic smoked sausage preparation practices when making this sausage.
Clean and sanitize all of your equipment.
Prepare your casings a day in advance and let them soak in the refrigerator.
Keep your meat and grinder parts super cold (below 34F or 2c) at all times.
Mix your very chilled meat (under 34f or 1c), liquid, and seasonings till the mince becomes very tacky.
Stuff the mince into your sausage casings and prick out any air pockets.
Refrigerate your sausage overnight to allow the cure to work.
The next day follow a low and slow smoking schedule.
Cook sausages low and slow to an internal of 145f (62.7c) – 150f (65.5c)
Once the internal temp has been reached place the sausages in a cold-water bath to cool down and let them bloom at room temperature for 3-4 hours
Here are a few things you might find useful when making a smoked sausage.
If you are using natural casings the you'll want to rehydrate your casing the night before you need them. Rinse off the salt and flush the casings with some cool water. Place the cleaned casings in some fresh water with some baking soda in it (I use 1 tsp per quart of water) and place in the refrigerator. If you let your casings soak for at least 12 hours, they will be nice and tender by the time you use them.
If you are using red collagen casings, then these do not need to be presoaked. They come ready to use.
Prepare the Meat
for this recipe you can use any type of meat you want. Pork, beef, venison, elk, or a combination. Just make sure your fat content is around 25% – 30%
Clean meat from any silver skin and arteries. Chill the meat and the fat so that the temperature is below 34f (1.1c)
Grind chilled meat and fat on a medium plate (6mm). Rechill. Keep the temp under 34f (1.1c)
Combine the rest of the ingredients (spices, liquids, binder) and mix till the meat turns into a sticky batter. The meat mixture will stick to your hand when you grab a small handful of it and turn your hand upside down.
Stuff mixture in your casings and link them to your desired size. If you notice any air pockets, be sure to prick them out. Red collagen casings can be a little tricky so if you notice that the links won't stay tied just tie the links off with butcher's twine.
Place the sausage in your refrigerator overnight so that the cure can do its job.
The next day, hang the sausage at room temp for 1 hour to dry the skin of the sausage.
If you have a digital smoker this is a great cooking schedule:
1 hour at 110f (43.3c) – this continues to dry out the sausage and allows the casing to really bind to the meat.
If you have a water tray add a little water for increased humidity
2 hours at 140f (60c) – this is when I start applying apple wood smoke
2 hours at 150f (65.5c)
then I bump up to 180f (82.2c) until I reach an internal of 155f (68.3c)
If you are cooking on a pit or offset here’s a different way:
on indirect heat start smoking sausages while the pit is at 150f (65.5) and smoke for 3 hours.
Increase the temperature to 200f (93.3) and cook till you get to an internal of 155f (68.3)
After your sausage has finished cooking, place them in a cold-water bath till the internal temp gets below 100f (37.7c). Then place the sausage on a rack or hang them at room temp for 3-4 hours to bloom. After they bloom, refrigerate and enjoy/
For long term storage, place the smoked sausages in a vacuum sealed bag and freeze. They will last up to a year in the freezer.
You can refrigerate the meat prior to stuffing or refrigerate the meat after stuffing, the choice is yours.
When it comes to cooking, after you have smoked your sausages for several hours you can finish these off in a sous vide water bat set to 145f. This is optional but the gentle cooking temp of the water bath will help preserve the fat content and the moisture content in your sausage. If you choose to do this, let the sausages cook in that water bath for 60 minutes. or until the internal temp of the sausage reaches 150f (65.5c). **A work of caution: if your sausages leak fat and they are directly in the water along with your immersion circulator, you will have a bit of a mess to clean up. I would recommend placing the sausages in a bag under vacuum, then placing that bag in the water. **
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