Sometimes, our cravings for smoked cuisines are really insatiable. That’s pretty understandable if you are going to ask me. After all, smoking maximizes the flavor of the food without losing its original taste. That is among the perks of this cooking method.
Many of us have different bets when it comes to the best smoked food. Some of us would go to smoked beef brisket, bacon, and so forth. But for me, one of the tastiest delicacies that you can make out of smoking is the smoked Italian sausage.
Fancy and riveting in both in its name and taste, a smoked Italian sausage possesses deep flavor and aroma. It is among the few dishes that you will never have trouble eating. One bite and you are already indulged.
Smoking Italian sausage is a pretty simple process. As long as you have the proper tools, you can easily create this mouth-watering recipe. I have my unique way of preparing a smoked Italian sausage. And since I am in a happy mood today, I will be showing my personal recipe to you. Let’s start!
Smoking Italian Sausage: The Process
I learned how to smoke Italian sausages when I was still young and living my parents. My entire family is a huge fan of smoked and grilled foods. Fortunately, we learned how to balance such eating regimen as well. Otherwise, our health would be in peril.
Smoked and grilled foods are not bad. But sometimes, you have to eat them in moderation, especially the fatty ones. If you are going to eat a smoked or grilled dish today, make sure that you do exercise in the following day. Also, don’t forget to munch your veggies as well.
My recipe for a smoked Italian sausage is actually simple. The only thing that you might notice here is the variant of sausage that I chose. Specifically, store-bought Italian sausages can come in multiple flavors. You can find hot, honey, garlic, and mild. Regardless of your preferences, all of these flavors really suit this delicacy. You can pick an unflavored sausage. But I wouldn’t do that. I just don’t want the meat to remain as bland as it is.
In this recipe, I am going to make a smoked honey Italian Sausage. This one will produce noticeable sweet accent upon tasting. It is quite indulging and addicting, indeed!
- Italian sausage (2 pounds)
- Wood chips (preferrable cherry or hickory)
The first thing that you need to do is to ensure that all the proper cooking devices are present. When it comes to smoking food, you should only rely on smokers. It doesn’t matter if it is a gas or electric-operated smoker, the output that they can provide will still be tasty. You can also use a charcoal grill for this cooking application. Just make the grill has a lid. Moreover, you should not place the sausages directly to the heat source.
If you are going to use a grill, you might want to use lump charcoals as your fuel. These charcoals have better performance than briquettes. They have a long lifespan, can generate stable heat, and does not produce too much residue. These are the ideal conditions for smoking, by the way.
If you got these things already, you could start the preparations. Honestly, making this recipe is not too cumbersome. Since we are using a pre-made set of sausages, you don’t have to worry about anything else.
The only thing that you are going to do is to thaw the meat slightly if it is frozen. Let it thaw in your refrigerator. I don’t recommend an open-air thawing as that will potentially expose the food to harmful organisms.
Once done, you can already arrange the sausages on the racks of the smoker. Make sure that the sausages don’t touch each other.
Otherwise, you cannot get an even result. The space in between the sausages is the gap in where the smoke can pass through. Without it, the sides of your sausages won’t be cooked.
Now, set your smoking device to around 250 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the ideal temperature for smoking this delicacy (tested-and-proven, of course). Do not also forget to include the wood chips. They can induce additional flavor and aroma to the sausages.
There are different wood chips that you can use. Such of these are cherry, hickory, oak, apple, and alder. But for starters, I recommend hickory. The latter really blends well with the natural flavor of sausages.
After several hours (around 3 to 4 hours maybe), the internal temperature of the smoker would probably be around 165 degrees Fahrenheit only. At this point, the sausages will have an eye-catching bright-red coloration. You will also notice that their bodies are a little shriveled, too. These two manifestations are signs that your sausages are already good for consumption!
Take out the smoked sausages from the racks and let them cool down for around 30 minutes. Let the sausages maximize the remaining heat on their bodies to optimize the cooking further. After this, there is no stopping you from eating these wonderful and heavenly treats!
Some Helpful Tips on Smoking
When you are smoking, make sure that you have the right ingredient. Always remember that smoking is a very slow cooking process. You cooking does not rely on the exposure of direct heat here, after all. Of course, this has an advantage as well.
The gradual cooling process enables the proper softening of the meat. The breakdown of fat and tissue is gentle. Therefore, you can always get food with optimal tenderness.
However, make sure that the food that you are going to smoked is not thick and tough. Otherwise, you will be spending a lot of precious time on waiting. That can be a waste of fuel and power. If the meat is tough, use a meat tenderizer tool to do an initial softening process.
Also, dealing with smokers can be troublesome. You are dealing with the heat here. Take note of that. To make your life convenient and safe, I would recommend that you should use a pair of insulating gloves. They will allow you to handle the machine without burning yourself. You would no longer to use tongs to hold the meat either.
Smoking Italian sausage is a simple recipe. The process is very straightforward. There is no need for extensive ingredient preparation unless you are going to make the sausages by yourself. Once you can get your favorite brand of Italian sausages, you can already start smoking them.
For all the first-timers out there, let me tell you one thing. Once you have tasted this delicacy, I am 100% sure that you will be making the recipe again. But by next time, you are going to double the servings. Believe me. I have been there. As I mentioned earlier, this delicacy is extremely delicious and addicting! Things would even get more fun when you are with your friends and families. After all, sausages are bonafide crowd-pleasers.
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