Wednesday, December 11, 2013

That's a Wrap!

Flush with the win at the BBQ-Brethren "Spin to Win" throwdown, I'm preparing another entry. The current theme is "That's a Wrap!" I've done plenty of naked fatties - had some for dinner just last night - but I'm going to do something a little special for this one. I've seen some with the bulk sausage wrapped around another sausage and then the whole thing wrapped in a bacon weave. I'm starting with hot Italian sausage, some sharp cheddar and savory sage bulk sausage. I'll finish it off with a wrapping of bacon weave.

Weather is COLD with temperature at 17°F and wind a little over 10 mph.

Ingredients are listed above. I stuck the sausage and bacon in the freezer to harden them a little for easier handling. I then rolled the sausage out on a piece of parchment paper (ran out of wax paper) and then peeled the casing off the Italian sausage and set them approximately in the middle. I sliced some sharp cheddar and spread it on either side of the Italian sausage. Then I rolled the assembly up in parchment paper and stuck it back in the freezer to harden a little more. While that was going on, I separated my bacon and wove it on a piece of parchment. When that was done, I got the sausage assembly out of the freezer and rolled it up in the weave. That went back in the freezer while I got the fire started.

Components ready to roll

Everything goes better with bacon!

Bacon weave was built on parchment to facilitate assembly

Ends are loose - not sure what to do with them.

The cook will happen on the 14 WSM as it seems an ideal size. If it finishes before the fire goes out, I'll smoke some mixed nuts as well. I plan to see how hot the 14 will get by firing with a good supply of lump and leaving all vents wide open. I mixed a few pieces of hickory in with the lump to provide some additional smoke. As I type this (nearly an hour onto the cook) it seems that the cooker is not going to get too hot. It's been holding about 250°.

timetemp comment
12:50 PM
Closed up the cooker with lit coals. All vents open to see what it does. Got bacon I want to crisp.
12:58255°Meat on!
1:26250°Not as hot as I expected. But the bacon is cooking. Might need to finish in a kettle that I can get a little hotter. Added three Italian sausages. Might as well smoke them while I have the smoker running.
1:58250°Italian sausages look good and progress is evident on the fatty. I'll check Internal temperatures in 15 minutes.
2:25260°Sausages temp at 200° and fatty at 160°. Pulled the sausages and removed the foiled bowl to see if I could get some more heat on the fatty to crisp the bacon.
2:33290°We be crisping! Carefully turned the fatty over.
2:35290°And off

Now to prep the nuts.
2:55290°Nuts on
3:15210°Stirred and opened a second bottom vent.
3:35245°Stirred some more.
4:07265°Stirred probably one last time.
4:30235°Nuts off. Surprisingly the ones in the bottom rack were more done.

Just fits on a 14 WSM

Half hour in - added some sausages.

Ready to come off

Looking good - the sausages should have come off sooner though.

What to do differently next time: First I need to get the sausages off before they hit 200°. Next I'd want to get the fatty on high heat to crisp the bacon before it hits 160°. Lastly, I'd want to do something with the ends to keep the cheese in the fatty.  I could either trim the inner sausages so I can close the ends (or roll the bulk sausage out a little more. Perhaps tie some butcher string around the end. With regard to the nuts, it would be useful to swap trays from top to bottom grate for more even smoking.

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