Mike Tucker of Ankeny, Iowa, is the owner of Hawgeyes BBQ (hawgeyesbbq.com) and creator of the world’s largest pork burger at the 2007 BarbeQlossal in Des Moines. With some help from the Iowa State University Meat Lab and Ray Basso’s BBQ Forum, Mike developed this recipe for a tasty summer sausage. The Hi Mountain Summer Sausage kit ($16.99) is available on-line from Hawgeyes. Encapsulated citric acid and other sausage-making supplies are available at alliedkenco.com. This recipe requires advance preparation.
20 pounds lean ground beef or venison
10 pounds coarsely ground pork (not lean)
1 Hi Mountain Summer Sausage kit (all packets)
3 ounces encapsulated citric acid
1 1/2 cups Frank’s® Original Red Hot sauce
1 1/2 cups ice cold buttermilk
1 1/2 cups ice water
20 feet 1 1/2-inch collagen casings
Soak the collagen casings in warm water for 1 hour.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Stuff the mixture into the casings and refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours.
Hang the sausages in a cooker or oven and cook for 1 hour at 120 degrees F. with no smoke; increase the temperature to 140 degrees F. adding your favorite wood and smoke-cook for another 1 hour. Increase the heat to 160 degrees F. and continue smoking another 30 minutes. Increase the heat to 180 degrees F. and continue smoking until the sausages have an internal temperature of 152 degrees F. The entire cooking process will take about 7 hours.
When the sausages hit 152 degrees, give them a quick hot shower to clean, and then put them into a tub of ice water to chill. Remove the sausages, dry them and refrigerate. Vacuum sealed sausages will keep fresh for 2 to 3 weeks.
Yield: 30 pounds of sausage
Heat scale: Medium