This is my blog dedicated to New Orleans & Louisiana cooking! I'll give links to great Creole & Cajun recipes and sites, as well as some of my own recipes. I love talkin' New Orleans, food and otherwise! Incidentally, I'm from Detroit. Go Figure. Lets just say I figured out "what it means, to miss New Orleans" and this site helps ease the pain.
Well, your Andouille has been made and left to hang in a cool place overnight, now it's time to smoke. I use an inexpensive (about $60) barrel smoker which can be found at Home Depot, Lowe's or just about anywhere here in Detroit. I usually use Hickory chips or chunks to smoke sausage, although I want to get my hands on some Pecan wood, that's what Jacob's uses, but it's kind of hard to come by in Michigan. I use charcoal, pushed to one side for the heat source, no fluid or match light please, all you will taste is the chemicals. I heat the charcoal in a chimney starter with a ball of newspaper under it. Now here is where the problem lies. Keeping the temperature down. If it gets too hot, it cooks the sausage instead of smoking it, which renders the fat out. You're shooting for 170-200 degrees F. My friend Tom and I were just talking the other night about his recent batch of Andouille. He came to the conclusion, and I agree, that it's best to make Andouille in the early or late winter time (call it 30-40 degrees F) here in Michigan. Your temperature stays just about right because you're not battling the summer heat. Another alternative is to put ice in the water pan underneath the meat. I swear, this year I'm going to build a cold smoker. Cold smoking is where your fire is in a seperate chamber and the smoke is piped to the meat with no heat. It takes a lot longer to smoke, but it's a much better product because your smoke curing as opposed to cooking. In the barrel smoker I would smoke it for about 3-4 hours. After it's done, and it's cool, I cryovac it in about 1 lb packages and freeze it.