Supermarket sausage selection suggestions please

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by big bad rog, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. big bad rog

    big bad rog Fire Starter

    I am going to smoke a pork butt this weekend and want to smoke some sausage at the same time but I have no clue which type, flavor, brand of sausage to buy.

    Looking for a hot link type suggestion as well as a spicy snacking type suggestion.

    Smoking tips would be greatly appreciated too, such as rough temps or timing as well as if I should season or dress the outside with anything.
  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    What part of the country you live in would be helpful if you want specific products
  3. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Well if you are near Al and Louisiana you can buy some good commerically made sausages. If you are elsewhere then you are on your own. Well here in florida you can buy some good homemade sausage like perk's is here and then some Country boy's is pretty good also. The best thing that I can tell you is go to the store and pick up the package and then read it. It should tell you want you are looking for. 
  4. yeah, help us out here... where are you located?
  5. big bad rog

    big bad rog Fire Starter

    I'm stuck in NJ.

    If it makes you feel any better about me I did go to college and live in New Orleans.

    I guess I'm wondering if I should go for more of a pork or a beef, maybe an Italian type or maybe a Kielbasa?
  6. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I love the hot links and will be throwing some on this weekend. Going to be picking them up from the local Mexican market. They make them fresh -
  7. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Dont guess you can get mandas in NJ
  8. I am in Jersey also...

    North, Central, or South???

    I am in South Jersey... The Italian Market in South Philly has great fresh Spicy Italian Sausage... an a variety of other sausages... just walk along and check out the different store fronts...

    There are also a few Amish Markets threw out most of NJ... they usually have pretty decent fresh sausage...

    As far as Supermarket goes its hit or miss... just look at the product and go with your gut...
  9. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    There has to be some good local butchers in Jersey.  Visit one and ask them,  they know their product and I am sure they will make a good recommendation for you.   Maybe the question should be what to look for in commercial sausages but I have learned that some of the worst tasting sausage looked good because they knew how to make the casing look tight and how to throw just enough red coloring in it to make it attractive.    Go to a local butcher but a pound of three or four different types he recommends for smoking and do a taste test with your friends.   Can have a lot of fun doing a blind tasting like that.

    Oh btw,

    if you find a teamster ring or set of cufflinks in one of those sausages you may want to toss the sausage and find another butcher ! 

    Just pulling on ya.

  10. porked

    porked Smoking Fanatic

    If you're in Jersey and can get to the Philadelphia Italian Market, try the beef breakfast sausage at Cannuli's. There is none better IMHO.
  11. big bad rog

    big bad rog Fire Starter

    Very well then..... Off to the butcher tomorrow morning. The Italian one I go to always has nice looking fresh varieties of sausage in the case.

    I'l keep an eye out for those cufflinks Al (very funny AND good advice).

    How long or to what temp do I cook it to? I'm sure it depends on thickness too OR should I just go by feel?
  12. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    As far as store bought I would go with C.W. Brown or Premio.

    Premio is usually sold under Premio,  Lancaster, Americas choice and Pathmark.

    Speaking from a "Brand" standpoint that can be deceiving, you need to look at the inspection code.

    Have you ever wondered why the sausage you bought isn't as good or is better than the same brand you bought a few weeks ago?

    Premio - EST-4780

    C. W. Brown - EST-8871
  13. I would smoke at 225 till you get internal temp of 165
  14. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    It won't take long to get the sausage up to proper internal temps using 225 degrees so if you just want a touch of smoke that is what I would do also.   If you want a real smoke taste to it try the 150 - 160 range for a couple of hours and then go up to the higher temp to finish it off.  Did some fresh andouille that way a couple of weeks ago and it was awesome.  If it is fresh sausage and not cured don't forget you want to stay within the 4 hour rule.  If you are doing some butts at the same time you may be limited with the temp flexibility because you want to get them moving as fast as possible but you can always start the sausage early and raise the smoker temps when ready to put the butts in.  Takes a bit longer and is a bit more trouble but you can have the sausage for lunch and the butts for dinner.

  15. In my humble opinion, the best store bought hot links in the world are Earl Campbell's Hotlinks.  They are made in Texas, but we can get them here in Louisiana.  I usually buy 8 or 10 packs at a time and keep them in the freezer.  Do yourself a favor and take a look around and see if you can find some.
  16. bobthesmoker

    bobthesmoker Newbie

    If you are near Clifton NJ you should be able to find fresh Polish Keilbasa; there is a strong Polish community in Clifton.  If you are a Steelers fan go with Keilbasa; if a Packer fan go with Brats.  Johnsville Brats are very popular in Wisconsin and are now available on the East Coast.  But get the original Brats. 
  17. boykjo

    boykjo SAUSAGE MAKER Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    This is good advice
  18. skully

    skully Meat Mopper

    find Your local butcher shop, mom/pop or slaughterhouse setup, they should have fresh, old school snausage goin, not knockin the superstores, just sayin that local is always better in My opinion.....bonus is You develop a relationship and You git some extras for being a good customer.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2011

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