As my cured meat marathon gets close to its first major tasting party, I’m working on bacon and sausages that require smoke to reach their highest levels of tastiness. Today’s task is smoking the andouille sausages I made two days ago, and the Maple and Brown Sugar cured bacon I started just over a week ago.
For a little history, here are the andouille sausages after the meat was stuffed into casings on Friday:
I then formed them into links, and left them uncovered in the refrigerator on Saturday, so they would develop a pellicle, so the smoke will be better absorbed. (This also allowed me to spend a day in the Twin Cities with my friend B, and go out for cassoulet on Saturday night.)
When I got my fire lit and my smoker ready, I placed the sausage links on a cheap aluminum pan in the smoker, and placed it as far from the firebox as possible.
After around an hour in the smoker, this is what they looked like. Isn’t that red color lovely? I smoked them until they reached 150 degrees F, and then put them in an ice bath to cool, so I could package them for the fridge and freezer.
After I smoked the andouille links, I hot smoked two slabs of the Maple-Cured Bacon. I was using hickory chips, and filled in the difference with mesquite, since I didn’t have any fruit wood chips. Here’s what the first slab looked like right from the smoker:
Doesn’t that look marvelous? I thought so, too.