4 hours serves 8-10

Hot Links

If you haven’t yet added hot links to your smoked meats rotation here’s your chance. The recipe is simple, but the results will blow you away. Also, sausage-making is just fun! You can add more cayenne to make the sausages spicier.With all sausage-making try to keep everything as cold as possible. Keep your hopper, die, grinder tray, etc. in the freezer while you prepare the sausage.

ACTIVE: 1 hr. 30 min. DIFFICULTY Medium


  • 3 1/2 pounds Pre 95% Lean Ground Beef
  • 1.5 pounds pork fatback
  • 34 grams salt
  • 5 grams cure #1
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup lager beer
  • Hog casings
  • Meat Grinder
  • Sausage Stuffer
  • Smoker
    1. Cut the pork fat into small pieces (whatever size your grinder can take) and break up the ground beef into similar sized chunks. Combine those in a ziplock bag.

    2. In a small bowl combine all the spices except minced garlic and add your new mixture to the bag of meat.

    3. Close up the bag and shake it around a bit to make sure the meat is evenly coated. Set in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight if you can.

    4. While the meat is chilling. Set up your grinder with a medium die (I use 6mm) and once you’re ready, start grinding! Working in batches and alternating chunks of beef and chunks of fat slowly grind your sausage into a large bowl.

    5. Once everything is ground up, add the minced garlic and beer. Then start mixing everything together with your hands. You want to your sausage to be wet and sticky, so add some more beer if necessary. Once you’re happy, put it back into the fridge while you set up your stuffer.

    6. Set up your stuffer and cut about 10 feet of hog casing to thread onto your stuffer’s nozzle.

    7. When you’re ready, grab your hopper (which you hopefully hid away in your freezer this whole time) and fill it with your chilled sausage. Then load the hopper

    8. Working slowly, begin to stuff your sausage into the casing. Keep a hand on your nozzle to let the casing slide off slowly. When you begin to run out of room, twist your sausage into a large circle. If you see any air bubbles, pop them with a sharp poker (I use corn cob holders).

    9. Once you hit the bottom of your stuffer, pull off a few inches of extra casing and tie off the end. Now it’s time to make links!

    10. To make the links start at one end of your cased sausage and measure out about 8 inches. Pinch your sausage and measure off another 8 inches from there. Pinch again and now you should have two pinched spots to grab with 8 inches of sausage on one side and the rest of what you just stuffed on the other. Grabbing where you pinched, lift your sausage off the counter and begin to flip it toward you. Imagine it’s a jump rope. After about 10 flips it should be getting tighter in the casing. Now, measure off another 8 inches and pinch, but you’re NOT going to flip this one. Another 8 inches from there and pinch. This should be your fourth link and this one you’re going to flip again, but this time away from you. After about 10 flips the sausage you’re holding should be tight and the one that you skipped should also be tight. Continue in this fashion until you have no sausage left to link! Again, you skip a link, flip the next one toward you, skip a link, flip the next one away from you, skip, flip toward, skip, flip away…

    11. Phew! You now have sausage links! Now, cut these into pairs, so two sausages are always connected. Lay these on a baking rack and pop them back into the fridge for at least an hour (overnight if possible) to dry out the casings and let the sausages finish curing.

    12. When you’re ready, fire up your smoker and hang the pairs of sausages in there. Insert a probe into the bottom of one of the links. Smoke your sausages at 220º F until they reach an internal temperature of 150º F.

    13. You can either eat them right away or wrap them in foil and put them directly in the freezer.


Amount per 100g

  • 151 g

    1 serving
  • 484kcal

  • 18.14g

  • 1377g

  • 0g

  • 43.44g

  • 3.66g

  • 0.83g


Nutrition is approximate, data retrieved from happyforks.com

Recipe developed by   Shaun Hildner