I absolutely love my outdoor Bradley smoker. When I first got it I had to smoke ribs and they were to die for! I used the classic 3-2-1 method to prepare them and it worked perfectly. Of course I had to make my own rub and BBQ sauce to go with it and none of is disappointed. Now that I type this I realize that none of these have made it to the website. I will have to add these recipes in the weeks to come.
Since I got the smoker in the spring I have smoked ribs, shoulder, tenderloin, chicken wings, whole chicken and sausage. Now for my birthday, my wife got me a meat grinder and sausage stuffer for our Kitchen Aid mixer. Wow, is that ever incredible! Immediately I wanted to make my own sausage. Since my family origin is from the Ukraine, I had to make kielbasa first. In the end I split the sausage into 2 batches and made both kielbasa and andouille at the same time. There was definitely some things that I learned about making kielbasa along the way.
- Even though using lean cuts of meat is healthy, there is a need for some pork fat in the kielbasa. Some people recommend meat to fat ratios anywhere from 80-20 to 70-30. I chose to go with the leaner option of 80% meat and 20% fat.
- I did not want to grind all the meat as I like to have ‘ham’ chunks in the sausage. So I reserved about 1/3 of the meat and diced it. Well, in the end, I diced it too large and it was very difficult to get through the stuffer. Next time I will dice the meat in smaller pieces.
- Make sure that you use cure. Because the smoker is at such a low heat for a prolonged period of time the pork does not get to the necessary 165F within the 4 hour timeframe and that can cause botulism. Clearly that is not something anyone wants, so to prevent that using a cure is the smartest and safest best. Use 1 tsp for every 5 pounds of meat.
- 5 lbs pork shoulder or fresh ham
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 3 tsp salt
- 3 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp dried marjoram
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup skim milk powder
- 1 tsp cure
- sausage casings
Cut the pork meat and pork fat into 1-2 inch cubes. Pass them through a meat grinder. Consider reserving about 1/3 of the pork meat and dice into small chunks so that there are chunks of ham in the sausage.
In a large bowl, stir the meat with the remaining ingredients (spices, cure, water, milk powder). Knead it together well so that everything is combined thoroughly. Place in the fridge and let marinate for 3 hours or so.
Take the meat mixture out of the fridge and stuff the sausage casings according to the instructions of your sausage stuffer.
Preheat the Bradley smoker for 130F with your choice of wood pucks smoking in it. Place the kielbasa in the smoker by either laying them on the racks or hanging them on hooks.
The kielbasa needs to smoke in the smoker for four hours. Each hour increase the temperature 20F. So hour one is 130F, hour 2 is 150F, hour 3 is 170F and hour 4 is 190F.
After they have been in the smoker for 4 hours take them out and put them in a hot water bath that has the water preheated at 165F. Keep them in the hot water bath for 45 minutes.
Remove the kielbasa from the hot water bath and hang them for 1-2 hours so that they can bloom.