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Texas Hot Guts Recipe

Texas hot guts links
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4.11 from 109 votes
In the Lone Star state, smoked sausage is as central to barbecue as brisket. There is no standard recipe, but natural casing (the guts) always hold the ground meat mixture. IMPORTANT: Before you get started, read our article on The Science of Sausage Making. NOTE: This recipe was revised on 2/6/2024

Main Course
difficulty scale


Servings: 8 6 inch links


Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours


  • sausage stuffer
  • sausage grinder


  • 2 teaspoons  whole black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons  fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Morton Coarse Kosher Salt
  • 2 teaspoons rubbed sage
  • 2 teaspoons mild American paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 16 ounces ground pork butt 80% lean
  • 16 ounces ground beef chuck 80% lean
  • 2 tablespoons dry nonfat milk this is a binder
  • cup very cold water
  • 4 feet pork sausage casings
About the pork and beef. You want about 25% fat. If it is too lean, ask the butcher to grind some fat trimmings for you. They will usually give you fat trim for free. If you grind your own meat, it is easier to guesstimate the fat-to-lean ratio.
About the chile. You can use powder or flakes. This recipe has noticeable but not strong heat. Adjust it up or down to your taste.
About the salt. Remember, kosher salt is half the concentration of table salt so if you use table salt, use half as much. Click here to read more about salt and how it works.
Metric conversion:

These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page


  • Prep. Put the whole black peppercorns into a plastic bag and smash the heck outta them with a small frying pan until you have chunks of cracked peppercorns. Mix them with the rest of the black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, salt, sage, and chile powder in a small bowl. Remove the seeds and stems from the jalapeño and mince it into tiny bits. Peel the onion and garlic and mince them too. Now, go to our article on the Science of Making Sausage and follow steps (1) through (16).
  • Smoke. Set up your grill or smoker and maintain a steady 225°F (107.2°C). Smoke the sausages at 225°F (107.2°C) until they hit 160°F (71.1°C) internal temperature, about 1 to 2 hours. As long as they hit that internal temp, you can experiment with the time to get your preferred level of smoke on the sausage.
  • Serve. You can serve Hot Guts nekkid on a plate with some saltine crackers and hot sauce (traditional Texas style) or with some potatoes and a salad, or on a bun, or incorporate them into a dish like German Potato Salad or Choucroute Garnie, the classic Alsatian hot dish of sauerkraut, potatoes, various charcuterie, and mustard.