Making smoked pepperoni with a Bradley Smoker takes time and patience, but the results are more than worth it. A tender, semi-dry pepperoni with just the right amount of tang is the result of this day-long sausage-making process. Be sure to follow the steps carefully if it is the first time you are making pepperoni with a Bradley smoker. For more experienced chefs, feel free to adjust the recipe and smoking process to suit your tastes.
Things You'll Need
- 5 lbs. lean pork or lean beef, or a combination of both
- 1 cup water
- 1 ½ tbsp. corn syrup solids (½ to ¾ tbsp. of Splenda or other sweetener may be substituted)
- ½ cup non-fat milk powder or soy protein concentrate
- 3 tbsp. salt
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- 1 tbsp. chili flakes
- 2 ½ tsp. ground anise seed
- 1 tbsp. powdered dextrose
- 6 tbsp. Fermento
- 1 tsp. curing salt
- 32 35mm hog casings or 32mm collagen casing
Grind the meat, making sure that the grinder is cold. After grinding, put the meat in a bowl set in ice to keep it cold.
Mix the ground meat with the spices and other ingredients. If you are not going to stuff the meat into the casings right away, store the meat mixture in the refrigerator.
Stuff the casings making sure that the sausages will fit easily into your Bradley smoker. Using butcher's twine, tie a loop onto one end of each sausage so that it can hang from the dowel inside the smoker.
Preheat the smoker to 125 degrees F and dry the casings by hanging the sausages from hickory dowels on the smoker's top shelf, keeping the vent wide open. This takes around 12 hours.
Keep the vent wide open until the casings are completely dry (natural casings take longer), then close the vent to one-quarter open. Raise the temperature to 165 degrees F and cook the sausages until their internal temperature is 145 degrees F.
Remove the sausages and chill them in cold water until their internal temperature drops to 90 to 100 degrees F. Eat the pepperoni right away, store in the refrigerator, or freeze it.
Tips & Warnings
- Although pepperoni is usually not smoked, you can add wood bisquettes at Step 5. After mixing the meat with the spices, let the mixture rest overnight to allow the cure to begin setting.
- It is extremely important that the meat be kept very cold throughout the preparation, or the mixture will "break."
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