Grind up 5lbs of pork
shoulder using a coarse plate.
In a separate bowl, add breadcrumbs, chicken stock and
spices and stir until until well mixed.
Add breadcrumb mixture to ground pork and mix well.
Refrigerate sausage overnight to let flavors set.
Prepare casings by soaking in warm water for at least an
hour or more.
Run water through casings to clean thoroughly.
Setup sausage stuffer.
Put first casing onto stuffer.
Remove sausage from refrigerator and mix again.
Add sausage to the sausage stuffer and stuff into the natural
After stuffing, twist to make sausages approximately
6 inches long or make 18-24 inch lengths.
The sausage must now be dried until the casing surface is
dry to the touch. Sausage can be air dried or put into the
smoker to dry if you can regulate the temperature well.
Don't overheat the sausage or the casing will get tough or
not dry properly. Drying allows for an even color and better
adherence of the smoke.
Hang up sausages in a cool dry place until dry to the
Adjust smoker temperature to 100?F and hang sausage
inside not touching. Leave vents open and check often
Hang sausages in the smoker if you air dried them. If not,
you're ready to go. Increase the interior temperature of the
smoker to about 165?F. Don't go higher and it is alright to
go a bit less. You don't want the fat in the sausage to
melt. If you lose the fat, you lose the flavor and
consistency of the sausage.
Add smoke with wood dust or chips as per your smoker's
instructions. I like to use lighter smoking woods like
apple, hickory, pecan or cherry. Save the mesquite for other
meats. Soaking the chips is optional, and opinions vary as
to its necessity. Personally I don't usually bother when I'm
using an electric smoker. Add additional chips as needed
throughout the smoking process to get about 2-3 hours of
You'll be removing the sausage when it reaches an interior
temperature of 152?F. Use a digital probe or meat
thermometer to monitor the temperature closely. Getting the
sausage up to temperature can take between 3 to 5 hours. Too
long a time in the smoker will add an unpleasant flavors, so
don't overdo it.
Now the sausage must be cooled quickly so the casings won't
shrink. I've seen people hang the sausage in the shower or
hang them outside and use a hose. For a 5 pound batch, I
just fill the sink or plastic tub with cold water and drop
the sausage in while running more cold water in. I let them
sit about 15 minutes to cool properly.
The sausage should now be fat and smooth. It is time to hang
them up again and let them dry. They will be wet, so put
something underneath to catch the drips. This will also
deepen the color to a nice dark brown. About 2-3 hours is
Sausages can be packaged as desired. I usually smoke them
in 24 inch lengths and use a FoodSaver to package
individually for freezing. One always goes into the
refrigerator and rarely survives the day.