Hot Link Directions
KnucklHed BBQ last edited by
Howdy! Placing an order and including a pkg of hot link seasoning - https://www.waltonsinc.com/hot-link-unit . This will be a first for me, I haven’t made them before - wondering if you can give me a few tips and answer a few questions.
I’ve made snack sticks before and for those I ground my meat 3 times through the fine plate and mixed well until I had a pretty good emulsion - would you recommend the same for these?
What meat mixture do you recommend?
I was thinking something like 50-60% pork butt (the ones I get tend to be about 25% fat) and 30% lean beef and 10-20% beef suet (adjusted based on pork content) - it seems like you would want a higher fat content than a regular brat… something like 35-45%? I wouldn’t mind doing 100% pork too if they would turn out well - much less expensive per lb.
Carrot fiber needed/benefits?
How much water? 1lb per 10lbs meat?
I plan to use the 30mm red collagen casings ya’ll carry and smoke them. Tips on time and temps would be great.
Once I add cure do I need to let them sit over night? I noticed that there is citric acid in the spice mix - not sure if that has any bearing on it…
Ice water bath after smoking and let bloom?
Anything else I should think about?
Aaaaannnd the wacky place in my brain wants to ask if any of you have pickled your hot links (or other sausages) and what were the results if so - suggestions/do’s/don’ts?
@knucklhed-bbq The Hot-Link unit is a good one so you should be pleased with the results. Let me answer in the order you asked. If you want to skip all this just know that you can follow the same process we have written out for hot dogs at this link, it will be very similar (https://meatgistics.waltonsinc.com/topic/180/how-to-make-homemade-hot-dogs-recipe)
For grinding I would say grind all of your beef through a 1/8" plate 3 times and all your pork once through a 3/16" plate.
As for meat mixture it is going to depend on what type you are trying to make as Hot Links are made from different types of meat in different areas. In the south and midwest it would traditionally be an all pork product but in Texas it would be an all beef hot link. Plenty of people make them from a mix though and a 50/50 -50/60 is perfectly fine so you plan for what you are going to use is good. Fat content is generally high in hot links so you should be good here.
I’d still use Carrot Fiber as a binder as it is going to help retain moisture through the smoking process. It holds up to 26 times its weight in water, is inexpensive, allergen free and will add to your final yield. That’s why I like it and add it to most things I make. You don’t have to use it though but if you don’t just make sure you have lots of good protein extraction during the mixing phase.
Water usage is a wide range, with hot links we would tell a commercial processor to use 1 lb of water for every 5 lb of meat as with a hot link you want a texture somewhat similar to a bologna. If you want to use your 1 lb to 10 lb that will certainly work as well though.
Smoking schedule would be 120° for 30 minutes with no smoke - 145° for 30 min with smoke and then 175° until they reach 160° internal temp. If you can’t keep it this low then start as low as your smoker will go and then step it up from there till it gets to 175°.
For curing yes you still need to hold them overnight, the Citric Acid in it is not enough to speed the conversion, you could add some encapsulated citric acid and then go right to the smokehouse if you wanted it to have a tang to it.
After smoking yes put them in an ice bath for about 20 minutes or shower them for the same amount of time, the evaporation energy will cool it at about the same rate as an ice bath.
One tips is to keep your beef and pork separate and then mix your beef, water, cure and seasoning in a mix for about 3 minutes and then add your pork and mix for another 4 minutes. Also make sure your plate and knife are sharp and your meat is cold before you start grinding it, if you start noticing your meat getting mushed then put it back in a cooler/freezer for a bit to cool it back down. A good tip for smoking would be to add a water pan to the bottom of your smoker to keep the humidity up.
I have never pickled them but I did find some documentation that gave a basic formulation for the pickle being 2 lb of water, 2 lb of distilled white vinegar, 2 oz of salt and an optional ingredient of 10 drops of red food coloring.
KnucklHed BBQ last edited by
@jonathon thank you sir!
Hello from Alpine, Texas.
Gary T. From Branford CT, I’ve been making jerky for some 30 years now, not sure how I missed Waltons site but I’m glad I found it, great to see all the videos tips and forums.
Trying the Waltons BOLD Jerky seasoning today in a restructured mix, I normally try a mix as is the 1st time then alter to my taste later on, I needs TONS of flavor so I’m hoping this one does the trick. I also bought the Teriyaki & Cajun to try.
Thanks for the invite. Gary T.
Quick question? Why is it NOT recommended to mix your cure and seasoning until it’s ready to be used??
Because the Excalibur Jerky Seasoning comes in bags suited to use 25# of meat I wanted to break it down into smaller mixing batches, I know I don’t mix 25# of meat at a time, I usually cut it in half for 12.5# each. Anyway I’d really like to mix all the cure and seasoning once then break in down for smaller batches of meat for later use, also when I say later I only mean like 1-3 months.
Thanks Gary T.
This is my tounge recipe. I get the tounge usually from people I work with that buy freezer beef from a farmer. They usually throw them out or feed them to the dog. NO WAY. Here is how I process the tounge.
Rinse the tounge well as it is dipped in a antiseptic. State law I think. Lay it out on your cutting board. Cut the tounge into at just back from where it tarts to narrow as the narrow part of the tounge has very little meat . Now take your sharp fillet knife and skin the little well marbled roast. Now lets make the juice. I like to use Mrs. Smiths dill pickle / Jalapeno mix follow the directions on the mix.
Then smoke it with your favorite wood till the internal temp for beef reaches 160 degrees . I then remove from the smoker and let cool for 20 minutes. I then cut the tounge into chunks about the size of sugar cubes and pack into a qt. jar. I then slice a Vidallia onion into rings and add to the qt. jar. I pour the pickling spice over it covering all of the tounge and onion. Install a lid and refrigerate for 2 days and enjoy. I take this to work and always bring home a empty jar. Another version is brad and butter pickle mix.
Haysville Ks. Smoking and grilling for 10 years. Limited meat processing about 8 years
Most recipes I’ve researched suggest an IT of 152° - 155°. My question is, what’s the most efficient method of taking the IT of a snack stick. Should I use a probe and slide it into the center of one of the snack sticks hanging in the smoker? Is it better to slide the probe into the top of a snack stick as it hangs or up from the bottom? Thanks in advance for your help!