December 28, 2003

BBQ Sausage

One of the best tricks I learned on the BBQ is smoked sausage. It is easy, and if you have extra sausage on hand or extra room in the smoker, is worth doing. You can make your own, but just about any kind of purchased sausage comes out tasting much different than when it goes in to the smoker. Today, I had about a half dozen leftover storebought Italian sausage links. They were in danger of going bad in the fridge, so I decided to smoke them.

For normal grills (Webers, gas grills) you want to have a small fire on one side of the grill, and then add wood chunks or chips to produce a fairly heavy smoke. Smoke the sausages at a low to medium heat for between 1 and 2 hours. Add chips or chunks to keep the smoke going pretty strong. Ideally, I like to try to keep the heat pretty low and go for the top end on time. This gives you the most amount of smoke flavor in the meat with little to no shrinkage due to the fat cooking off.

If you have a larger smoker, sausage make a great addition to a BBQ, and you can eat them in advance of the main course when people are getting hungry. I usually stick them at the top/far end of the smoker and just let them take care of themselves. I've never had a batch turn out less than "pretty darn good" and some have been amazing.

I have to kick myself for all of the times I thought about adding sausages to the BBQ during a smoking run, but for some reason did not. Now, I almost always add at least half a dozen or so whenever I have the larger smoker going.

Leftover (or purpose made) smoked sausages make great ingredients in gumbo, stews, fried rice, and all other sorts of dishes where smoked sausage is welcome. Or you can simply slice and eat with mustard or BBQ sauce. The ones I made today will probably make an appearance in either a fedjuada (sp?) (A Brasilian Black Bean stew) or perhaps a jambalaya.

Posted by dowdy at December 28, 2003 01:37 PM