I love homemade sausage! The past few years I've been learning about sausage making, but hadn't tried any of the "smoked" varieties. A couple weeks ago I finally experimented with a small batch of skinless Kielbasa. I used fresh ground pork shoulder and my own spice mix. I couldn't believe how good a fresh uncured hot-smoked Kielbasa could taste!
This weekend I stuffed a larger batch in natural casings to see how they'd do. Once again, I was amazed with the results.
OK, because this is uncured sausage & has no sodium nitrite prevents Botulism it CANNOT be cold smoked & won't have the same pink color you get from curing. Hot-smoking does two things; it both smokes and cooks the meat. Hot-smoking is essentially how we cook ribs, brisket, etc.
After drying the sausage on metal racks in the fridge overnight, I basically Hickory smoked it at 225° F for 1 1/2 hours int. temp = 155°) then raised the pit temp to 300° to finish cooking the sausage. When the int. temp hit 165° I pulled it & put it on racks to cool so the fat wouldn't totally render out. After it cooled a bit I bagged what we didn't eat and into the fridge it went.
The sausage was firm, juicy, flavorful, perfect amount of smoke Hickory) and the smoke ring went deep giving it a light pink color almost, but not quite, to the center.