Homemade Smoked Sausage
If there is one thing that one of my boys attaches quickly to in the kitchen is eating. Just kidding, well, not really. He has always attached himself to assisting me in making homemade sausages. Let me say that making homemade sausage is not only fun, but it can get a bit messy. Grinding the meat, mixing it, and dabbling in casing, well, let’s just say not too many in the home kitchen get overly excited about it. I do, and so does my son, and that always makes for teachable moments, and a bit of bonding, and one can never go wrong with those.
A couple of my favorite homemade sausages to make are a chicken feta sausage that my wife really loves, and a Thai sausage that has some great heat to it, however this time I wanted to make a polish style sausage, and put them on the smoker. These sausages were dynamite, and let’s just say my son who loves sausages gave the homemade smoked sausage a thumbs up.
Let’s get started.
- 5 lbs of boneless pork shoulder, cut into large cubes
- 1 tsp mustard seeds, lightly crushed
- 2 tbsp granulated garlic
- 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp dried marjoram
- 1 tsp pink salt for curing
- 1 cup of ice water
- hog casings, soaked and cleaned in cold water
- sausage stuffer
- 2 cups apple wood chips, soaked in water for 1 hour
Begin by grinding your meat. I use a KitchenAid with the grinding accessory for this job. It works well. Let the meat fall into a large mixing bowl.
Mix all of the seasonings, and set aside.
When the meat is ground, sprinkle the seasoning over the meat, pour in the ice cold water, and get in there with your hands, working quickly, and make sure everything is mixed and incorporated.
Add the casing to your sausage stuffer. Again, I use my KitchenAid for this and it works well. Work in small batches and begin stuffing the sausage, making sure they are not too tight or the casing might burst. This is where two people, in my opinion, really helps. Continue stuffing until all of the meat is stuffed into the casing. Give a bit more slack on the end of the casing, then tie the end into a knot.
Now determine the length you want for each link, and gently press into the casing and begin to twist. Continue to twist a couple of times. Repeat for each link.
When you are ready, slice in the middle of the twisted casing to remove a link.
Feel free to vacuum seal what you will not use so that you can use the sausage in the future. It’s five pounds of sausage, so it should go a long way unless you are having a party that same day.
Next, prepare your smoker. If you do not want to add smoke to the sausage, these are now perfectly fine to grill or sear in a pan.
Light your charcoal chimney with a lot of charcoal. Once the coals are heated, add them to your smoker. Add the water/drip pan into the middle, then the top rack. Just to let you know, I have a vertical smoker. It’s cheap and does a good job.
Add the soaked wood chips to the hot charcoal, close the vents, then add your sausage links to the top grate. Cover, and walk away.
Smoke the sausages, turning once along the process, about 2 hours in, until the casings are nice and smoked, and the internal temperature runs around 155. Once smoked, let them rest for a couple of hours on a plate in your kitchen, then slice and serve.
When you slice into these homemade sausages, you get the great smoke ring, and then comes that great garlic and peppery flavor from the seasoning. You can tell my kid was super proud and always realizes that a bit of time, and hard work pays off when making great food. I hope you enjoy.