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I like hot links so I wanted to make some. This presented a problem. Most hot links are hot (surprise!). She Who Must Be Obeyed does not like very spicy food. I decided what the heck, I was going to make some whether she liked them or not. Of course, I asked her permission first.

There are many different kind of hot links, Louisiana, Texas, Tex Mex just to name a few. They vary by level of heat and seasoning blend. I wanted to make one that was hot without being painful with a nice complex flavour profile. I was inspired by a post of an honoured member on Smoking Meat Forums, Chef Willie. He makes a Texas Hot Link that is highly regarded on the forums. I made it a bit milder to fit tame Canadian tastes and called it PWE Hot Links after our estate, Passing Wind Estates.

Remember it is critical to keep the meat cold when making sausage. It just grinds better and gives a better consistency. Whenever you aren’t doing something with the meat, put it in the fridge.

The recipe calls for Prague powder #1. This is a curing salt and is also known as pink salt #1, Instacure #1 and several other names. Any curing salt that is  6.25% sodium nitrite 97.75% salt is fine.

I started by rinsing some hog casings out the night before and leaving them in cold water. The next day, I put them in warm water before starting the sausages.

If you can’t get natural pork casings, you can use collagen casing. These don’t usually require soaking but check the manufacturer’s instructions.

I cut some pork shoulder steaks into 1 inch cubes and put them in the freezer for 20 minutes to chill.

While they were chilling, I made a slurry. You make this by mixing the following ingredients per kilogram of pork you have:

  • 125 ml beer
  • 10 ml ground pepper
  • 11 ml crushed chillies
  • 11 ml cayenne
  • 13 ml paprika
  • 14 ml kosher salt
  • 7 ml mustard seed
  • 15 ml minced garlic
  • 2 ml ground coriander
  • 2 ml dried thyme
  • 1 ml mustard powder
  • 7 ml light corn syrup
  • 25 ml skim milk powder
  • 3 grams Prague powder #1

If you are metrically challenged, mix the following amounts per pound of pork:

  • 1/4 cup beer
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed chilies
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 5/8 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 5/8 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons skim milk powder
  • 0.048 Prague powder #1

After the slurry is mixed, put it in the fridge.

I ground the pork through the medium plate of my stand mixer and spread it on a tray. I poured the slurry over the top and mixed it by folding the meat in half and pressing it out. Then I turned the tray 1/4 turn and repeated for 3 to 4 minutes.

Then I put the meat in the bowl of my stand mixer with the paddle attached and beat it at medium speed for 3 minutes.

I put the meat in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.

I put the casings on the horn of my sausage stuffer and stuffed the casings. I really recommend you get a dedicated sausage stuffer. I have tried using the stuffing attachment on my stand mixer and it is a real pain.

I measured the sausages to 6 inch lengths and twisted them. I cut each twist to make individual sausages.

I cold smoked the sausages by putting my A-Maze-N Pellet Smoker in my Louisiana Grills smoker and not turning it on for 4 hours. I put some ice in the smoker to keep the temperatures down. As the meat is cured, it isn’t really necessary.

You can skip the cold smoking all together if you’d like. I just like a touch of smoke but the sausages would be great even without it.

Whether you cold smoke the sausages or not, put them in the fridge overnight for the flavours to blend.

Using either your oven or a smoker, set the temperature as low as you can down to 150 F. The temperature can not be above 180 F. Put the links on a rack in the smoker or on a rack over a tray in the oven. Cook for one hour and then slowly increase the temperature to 180 F by increasing it 5 degrees every 1/2 hour.

If you cook your sausage at too high a temperature, it can cause the fat to separate out and this makes for a poor consistency. If you keep the temperature at 180 F or below, you should be fine.

Cook the sausage to an internal temperature of 155 F and take them out. Let them sit on the counter for an hour and then put them in the fridge, covered, overnight.

They can be cooked any way you would cook a hot dog but really shine when they are grilled. I made up the first one and somehow a piece of it immediately disappeared!

The Verdict

These are great hot links! A nice spicy sausage with a great bite and very moist. The spice was lots for me but if you are into burn your mouth out hot, these aren’t them. However, your mouth will be warm after each bite. I would say they are the same heat as hot pepperoni.

There is no way SWMBO will eat these and that really upsets me. Sigh, I will just have to eat them all myself.

The Old Fat Guy

PWE Hot Links

PWE Hot Links


  • 1 kg pork shoulder cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 6 feet pork casings or collagen casings
  • 125 ml beer
  • 10 ml ground pepper
  • 11 ml crushed chilies
  • 11 ml cayenne
  • 13 ml paprika
  • 14 ml kosher salt
  • 7 ml mustard seed
  • 15 ml minced garlic
  • 2 ml ground coriander
  • 2 ml dried thyme
  • 1 ml mustard powder
  • 7 ml light corn syrup
  • 25 ml skim milk powder
  • 3 grams Prague powder #1


  1. Put the pork in the freezer for 20 minutes to chill.
  2. Make a slurry by combining all ingredients except the pork and casings. Put the slurry in the fridge.
  3. Grind the pork through the medium plate of your grinder.
  4. Spread the pork on a tray and pour the slurry over the top.
  5. Mix the pork and slurry by folding it over and pressing down. Rotate the tray and repeat for 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Put the pork in the bowl of a stand mixer and affix the paddle. Mix at medium speed for 3 minutes.
  7. Chill the pork for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  8. Stuff the pork into the casings and twist to 6 inch lengths. Cut to single sausages.
  9. This step is optional. Cold smoke the sausages for 4 hours.
  10. Put the sausages in the fridge, uncovered, overnight.
  11. Preheat your smoker or oven to 150 F or the lowest temperature it will go to.
  12. Put the sausages in the smoker or on a rack over a tray in the oven.
  13. Cook the sausages for 1 hour.
  14. Increase the temperature to 5 degrees at a time every 1/2 hour until the cooking temperature is 180 F.
  15. Cook the sausages to an internal temperature of 155 F.
  16. Let sit on the counter for 1 hour.
  17. Put in the fridge overnight.
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8 Responses

  1. Looks like a nice recipe.
    One problem: you have listed your dry spice weight in liquid units. I assume that, other than the beer, you intended to show the spices in grams, not milliliters.
    Also, your cure slightly exceeds the maximum “safe” standard, which is .25% or 2.5g against your 1kg of meat.
    Thanks for publishing your work. Fwiw, I clicked on your page from my search engine ’cause I’m an old fat gal, and definitely SWMBO!Rumpole forever. jb

    1. Thanks for stopping by the site. As for your safe standard for nitrites, the Canadian Food Inspection agency allows for up to 200 parts per million of nitrites to be introduced to meat for curing purposes with the exception of injecting into side bacon where it is limited to 120 ppm. I do note the USDA has different amounts for different purposes but also allows 200 ppm for dry curing as low as 120 ppm for injection and up to 200 ppm for pastrami and corned beef although I am less familiar with their rules as I am Canadian. However, I use my countries guidelines which are at least very close to the USDA. Prague powder #1 is 6.25 percent sodium nitrite. 6.25 % of the 3 grams I use is 0.1875 grams. 0.1875 grams of nitrite in 1 kilogram of meat is 187.5 parts per million, well below the allowable limit.

      As for using “liquid units” like ml and teaspoons to measure dry ingredients, recipes in North America frequently use volume measures for dry ingredients like sugar and spices. They are not limited to “liquid” ingredients. Your mother made cookies with 1/2 teaspoon or 2 ml of baking soda, etc. So your assumption that I intended to show the spices in grams not mililitres is wrong.

      It is true that measuring items by grams is much more accurate. That is why I use it for the Prague powder #1 where the amounts are critical for safety reasons. However, things like coriander, mustard powder etc, are much less critical as they are not involved with safety but only affect flavour. If your spices are a bit older or a stronger variety of mustard seed is used, that has much more influence than than the minor variation in measure used by measuring in volume. So, as with many recipes that call for 1/2 teaspoon of this spice or 2 ml of that herb, they are a guide to use as a start and then you should adjust to your spices and tastes.

      So the short answers to your points are, I disagree that the amount of Prague powder #1 I use is over the safe limit and it was my intention to use volume measures for the herbs and spices in the recipe.

      I did love the Rumpole series! Did you know that it was not the origination of SWMBO? He was actually quoting from a book by Ryder Haggard called She!

      The Old Fat Guy

      1. Thanks for the lesson. I’m so dumb I didn’t recognize that the .ca from your address meant Canada. In the States, CA is the postal code for California. I’m also so dumb I have no idea how to measure a milliliter of something dry. The only ml measuring thing I have is a measuring cup with cup units on 1 side and ml on the other. What the heck do you use to measure 1 ml of garlic powder? A test tube? And, lastly, I’m so dumb I’ve never heard of Ryder Haggard, but I will definately Look Him Up.
        May I just say, as an American, that I am deeply ashamed by the disrespect the Gigantic Orange Creep showed your Prime Minister Trudeau following the G7 meeting. Even people I know own who admit voting for the Creep (fewer and fewer these days) are flabbergasted by the notion that Canada is anything other than America’s bff. The tariffs are ridiculous. Calling PM Trudeau “Justin” and scolding him like a schoolboy is beyond insulting. I’m so very sorry about what the USA has done to the world. We will get rid of the Creep asap. In the meantime, I’m going to plan a trip to Canada, spend lots of money and apologize personallyto every single person I encounter along the way. I hope your country steers well clear of the destructive scourge of populism that swept my country. One gigantic Creep is all the world should have to endure.

        1. 1 ml is approximately 1/4 teaspoon and you use spoon measure the same as for teaspoons.

          Ryder Haggard was a writer of adventure books. His best know work was King Solomon’s Mines. I read it when I was a kid so you know how old it is!

          Don’t worry about the slight by President Trump. Canadians don’t tend to hold grudges. We will stand up for ourselves but don’t get into personalized name calling very easily. As for coming to Canada, you won’t have to apologize to anyone. We love our American neighbours. Some of my best friends live in Montana and we visit each other regularly. They say they come because Canadians are so friendly. I say I go because Americans have been so nice to us. Some of them are major Trump supporters. Obviously, I don’t agree with their politics but they are still great people. In short, you will be welcome here and we even want Trump supporters to feel comfortable here!

  2. Good day David. I Followed this from your Twitter link. In Deutschland, I fell in love with Paprikawurst and this recipe looks quite similar. I will be giving this a go soon. I’ll have to share a chicken sausage recipe with you that your wife will be able to eat.
    Regards, Tim.

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