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.
Prepare the Meat
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 course plate. 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
Place the sausage in your refrigerator overnight so that the cure can do its job
The next day, smoke the sausage using incremental adjustments in temperature to slowly bring the sausage up to a core temperature of 145F (62.7c).
If you have a digital smoker this is a great cooking schedule:
1.5 hours at 100f (37.7c) – this dries out the sausage (leave the dampers wide open)
1.5 hours at 125f (51.6c) – this is when I start applying smoke
1 hour at 155f (68.3c)
1 hour at 175f (79.4c)
then I bump up to 200f (93.3c) until I reach an internal of 145f (62.7c)
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 145f (62.7)
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