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Thirdeye Q

This site contains a collection of techniques for barbecuing, smoking and cooking over fire. The techniques shown here are not the only way or the best way to prepare a certain item. This site is just a starting point and these techniques are a guide to creating your own recipes. Recipes included here come not only from personal experiences, but from many knowledgeable folks kind enough to share their secrets. ~thirdeye~


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Sausage Recipes

Making fresh sausage is one of my favorite hobbies. Here are a few of the recipes used by myself and many of my friends on a regular basis. When called for, there is no substitution for pork butt, it was made for sausage. This first section is for FRESH sausage. No curing agents are used and it should be cooked by hot smoking or grilling. When cooking, watch for the sausage to plump up, you may want to lower your pit temp at this point because if it heats up too quickly it will spit juice and you loose moisture. If the pit temp is way too high, you run the risk of it splitting which will dry it out really fast. I like a nice even pit temp so the links sneak up on an internal temperature of 160° to 170° during the rest. I pull them off the cooker about 5° before my target final serving temperature. If you go much higher the sausage may become greasy, then it will begin to dry out.
Remember, there are no real sausage secrets....just make them, season them and cook them properly

It's best to start with some established recipes, possibly modified slightly to your personal taste. After you make a few batches and get a feel for ingredients and the finished flavors, you can easily come up with your own sausage recipes. For example, I like garlic so much that I usually add more than what is called out for in most recipes. Instead of just black pepper, I like to use a blend of peppers.

thirdeye's Base Sausage Recipe & Meat to Fat Ratio for Fresh Sausage:

You can use this as a base to develop your own sausage recipes. Just remember to add additional spices or seasonings, as well as different liquids to suit your personal tastes. I like to use ground pork butt, it has a ratio of approximately 70:30, the 30% is the fat. Some commercial sausages are 40% to 50% fat.

5 pounds of ground pork butt
5 to 6 teaspoons of kosher salt
2 to 3 teaspoons of white pepper, or black pepper or a mix of the two.
1/2 to 5/8 cup of ice cold water or other liquid
seasonings to taste

Most sausages have a dominant flavor, like fennel in Italian sausage or sage in a breakfast sausage. The addition of red pepper or cayenne can turn Italian into hot Italian. See it's really easy. So let's say I wanted a garlic sausage. I might add 2 to 3 tablespoons of minced fresh garlic to the base recipe. I could also season it to taste with granulated garlic. If I wanted to sweeten it up a hair I might substitute some white wine for some of the water, or maybe add a teaspoon of sugar.

When adding the liquid, make sure it is ice cold. Liquid helps to distribute seasonings as well as bind the sausage. It must be mixed in well. You want the texture to be "tacky", but not wet enough to be "soupy". If you are using a lot of fresh ingredients like chopped onion, garlic, parsley etc., you may be able to reduce the amount of liquid. You kind of have to learn the right feel when adding liquid. A rest in the fridge overnight will allow the spices to blend and the liquid to be absorbed.

Be sure and sample your sausage. No, don't taste it raw. But you can fry up a silver dollar sized pattie and sample it.

A note on pepper... black pepper - unripe seeds of the plant with the skin left on
white pepper - ripe seeds with the skin removed. Black pepper will usually be hotter.

A note on salt... there are several brands of kosher salt, sea salt and canning salt on the market. It's best to either stick with one brand or weigh the amount of salt you prefer to use. By weighing you could jump from kosher (which has a coarse grain) to canning salt (fine grain) and maintain the amount of saltiness. The one salt you do not want to use is iodized salt.


Any personal changes or comments to the recipes are in parenthesis. The rule of thumb with all sausage recipes, add or subtract quantities to suit your taste.


Unknown source on this one. Wonderful stuffed, in bulk or packaged for fatties. This has the classic flavors of a Midwest breakfast sausage but it is also right at home served on a bun or as a main dish with fried potatoes and onions.

3 lbs. ground pork butt
2 teaspoons ground sage
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon minced garlic
¼ cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
¼ cup ice cold water

Grind the meat, mix in the seasonings and water until well blended. Let rest overnight for seasonings to blend.

Sicilian Italian with Wine & Cheese (10 lb. recipe)
R. Kutas

This is a particular favorite of my friend Tom. I don't think I have ever seen him make less than a 20 pound batch of it. This is a teaser recipe that comes from the Rytek Kutas book titled Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing. If you are serious about sausage making, you need this book in your library. The Ingredient Store carries it along with many supplies.

8 lb. pork butts
2 lb. lean beef (I omit the beef & add 2 more lb. or butt)
2T powdered dextrose (fine sugar will work, dextrose is less sweet)
1T cracked black pepper
4T kosher salt
3 t fennel seed
2 T crushed red peppers
2 C ice cold Pinot Grigio
6T good romano cheese, crumbled (I bump this amt. to 10 T)

Coarse grind the pork, blend all ingredients, chill for several hours or overnight, then stuff.

Hot Italian (10 lb. recipe)

I honestly can't recall the source for this one either. My copy was hand-written before preparing to post it here. This is my standard Italian sausage. I package some in bulk for spaghetti sauce, pizza toppings and sausage sandwiches. The remainder is stuffed into casings or packaged for fatties.

10 lb. pork butts (trim some of the fat)
1T cracked black pepper
3T kosher salt
5 t fennel seed
2 1/2 T crushed red peppers
½ C minced garlic
1 ¼ t thyme
1 ½ t crushed bay leaf
1 ½ t nutmeg
1 ½ t coriander
6 t sweet paprika
1 ½ C ice cold water

Coarse grind the pork, blend all ingredients, chill for several hours or overnight, then stuff.

Chaurice - (5lb. recipe) This is a cajun sausage which is fairly spicy. It can be served at breakfast, in a sandwich, used in a gumbo, or just served as a main meat for dinner.

5 lb. Pork butt
2 T salt
2 C onion, chopped fine
3 T parsley, chopped fine
2 t crushed thyme
5 cloves of garlic, chopped fine (add more if you really like garlic)
3 to 4 t cayenne (you can make this as hot as you like, you might even start with 2t)
1 t crushed red pepper flakes (add these at your own risk)
1 t black pepper
1 crushed bay leaf
1/2 to 1 C of ice water or ice cold beer (not too heavy on the water as the onion will add some moisture)

Coarse grind the pork, blend all ingredients, chill for several hours or overnight, then stuff.


Bigwheel's World Famous Genuine Texas Hotlinks
Posted by Bigwheel on The BBQ Forum

If you like hotlinks, give this one a try. Bigwheel is a regular on the Klose Forum and the BBQ Forum, which is where I first learned of this wonderful recipe. I have seen slight variations to this classic hot link recipe, the most common is to go with all pork instead of the 2# of beef & some call for a cup of beer instead of a bottle. I use a whole bottle but only mix some into the cut meat before grinding. The remainder I mix into the meat after grinding. Then I let it sit in the beer fridge overnight before stuffing or wrapping in bulk. This lets all of the moisture get absorbed and the flavors blend. Like I said, this does have some heat, use your own judgement on the red pepper and cayenne. For some reason, fatties or hand-rolled links are not as hot as stuffed links. I guess some of the fat rendering out takes some heat with it. This one does call for Tenderquick.

5 pounds boston butt
2 pounds lean beef
1 bottle ice cold beer
2 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
2 teaspoons ground corriander
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole anise seeds
1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons ground thyme
6 teaspoons Morton's Tender Quick
1 teaspoon MSG

Mix all the spices, cure, and garlic into the beer and place in refrigerator while you cut up the meats into grinder sized pieces. Dump the spiced beer on the cut meat and mix it up good. Run spiced meat mixture through the grinder coarse or medium plate and stuff into medium hog casings. Smoke or slow grill till they are done. Wrap in a piece of bread and slap on the mustard heavy. Wash it down with ice cold beer.