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View Full Version : Brats, Sausages, and Hot Links - What's good in your part of the world?


Sid Post
06-06-2018, 09:23 AM
I keep reading passionate posts at various places about various brands and styles of sausage and hot links. Out here in East Texas, my options are pretty limited so, I went online to look around a few places.

Usinger's surprisingly has a pretty good shipping program on reasonable quantities. Slovacek's here in Central Texas seems to be a local only option. Conecuh out of Alabama seems to get limited traction at some retail chains in Texas. There there are the Johnsville options, still looking for the Firecracker brats :wink:.

What kind of brats, sausages, or hot links do you like where you are from? What do you like about them? Is it just good memories from times past, a unique flavor, or are they just darn good! :grin:

Are any of the 'utility grade' mass market sausages really good? I should clarify I'm talking about ones without tons of fillers and very bland tastes which lack any kind of texture or 'snap' when you bite into them (like hotdogs that are skinless or lack a natural casing with meat that has a texture of cooked paste)?

Stlsportster
06-06-2018, 09:26 AM
Lots of love on this forum for Opa's sausages. Very pricy to have shipped...

https://www.opassmokedmeats.com/

Czarbecue
06-06-2018, 09:40 AM
Lots of love on this forum for Opa's sausages. Very pricy to have shipped...

https://www.opassmokedmeats.com/


Drive to McKinney to the Super 1 Foods to get your Opas. You won’t regret it!

sarth67
06-06-2018, 10:38 AM
http://www.farmfreshmeatsal.com/Pages/Menu.aspx?DeptID=0

The German sausage here is legendary. As in We have our own sausage festival In Elberta AL. They are using an old recipe to make sausages for the Sausage festival.

dadsr4
06-06-2018, 12:06 PM
Michigan has a number of excellent sausage makers. Kowalski products are good, Koegel natural casing hot dogs are the best I've had.
In terms of nation wide, many here have good things to say about Eckrich Smoked Sausage.

worktogthr
06-06-2018, 12:22 PM
Lots of love on this forum for Opa's sausages. Very pricy to have shipped...

https://www.opassmokedmeats.com/

I make all my own sausage, but those Opa's jalapeno cheddar are incredible. Got my own recipe thats pretty darn close! Can't really say my own but a Len Poli one that I tweaked. And no shipping!:wink:

BigKing
06-06-2018, 01:59 PM
If you are just in a normal supermarket and want some sausage in a pinch, those Firecracker Johnsonville ones are very nice. Seem to lend themselves better to smoking than the brats, although the beer brats from them are still good as well but are better when grilled.


Locally, there is a great Italian sausage place called Sabatino's that puts out a great sausage.

WilliamKY
06-06-2018, 02:26 PM
There is a little mom and pop type meat shop near my house. You can get pretty much anything you want but they specialize in sausage. It's all made fresh daily and what doesn't sell is frozen that evening because there are no preservatives used. Call in an order same day if you want. Andouille, German, Italian, Baltimore, Chorizo and various others sausages and brats. What I like the best about this place is they are still flourishing. The little family owned operations are getting rare these days competing against the big grocery chains. They may not be able to compete with bulk pricing but the quality is unmatched. I tend to be cheap sometimes but I will pay extra for good meat. I've suggested to the owner he should do mail order but he prefers the small, fresh daily operation. I respect that more than he knows. I think it's time I go over and stock up on some real sausage.

frognot
06-06-2018, 02:54 PM
I'm a fan of Fischer's Meat Market in Muenster ,TX . Jeanie (cowgirl) is another fan of them.

http://fischersmeatmarket.com

Muenster is about 80 miles NW of Dallas. Bit of a drive but take a big ice chest and stock your freezer. Stop at 407 BBQ if coming up I-35 E.

http://407bbq.com/

cowgirl
06-06-2018, 03:47 PM
I'm a fan of Fischer's Meat Market in Muenster ,TX . Jeanie (cowgirl) is another fan of them.

http://fischersmeatmarket.com

Muenster is about 80 miles NW of Dallas. Bit of a drive but take a big ice chest and stock your freezer. Stop at 407 BBQ if coming up I-35 E.

http://407bbq.com/

I was just getting ready to mention Fischer's. lol Love that place!!
Thanks Charles.. :thumb:

Free Mr. Tony
06-06-2018, 04:23 PM
As you mentioned, Usinger. Best brats I've ever had.

Norm
06-06-2018, 05:05 PM
We have a local grocery chain called Fareway in Iowa, they make their brats from local sources and have several varieties. This time of year we are too busy to make our own fresh and their's is pretty darn good!

Happy Hapgood
06-06-2018, 05:59 PM
Heck, run over to Louisiana and pick up some boudin.

smoke ninja
06-06-2018, 06:54 PM
Heck, run over to Louisiana and pick up some boudin.

Paul Shirley brought some to the hog cook at shagdogs last 4th of July.

Man what a unique experience. I'd like to get my hands on more of that.

Oh and conecuh is good stuff but hard to find here.

isuhunter
06-06-2018, 07:03 PM
We have a local grocery chain called Fareway in Iowa, they make their brats from local sources and have several varieties. This time of year we are too busy to make our own fresh and their's is pretty darn good!

Right on Norm! Fareway pizza brats are awesome, especially when you grew up with the meat manager and you can get him to put extra seasoning in.

I’m just North of you in GC.

isuhunter
06-06-2018, 07:05 PM
I’m driving across Southern Wisconsin this weekend and hoping to find a new locker and local favorite.

aks801
06-06-2018, 07:30 PM
Hey O.P.: don't know what part of East Texas you are in, but find the closest HEB, take an ice chest, and stock up! They have Chappell Hill, Slovacek's, Holmes, Prazek's (sp?), all kinds of stuff. Easy!

Swine Spectator
06-06-2018, 07:31 PM
Poche's http://poches.com/

Jacob's http://cajunsausage.com/

The Best Stop https://www.beststopinscott.com/

Don's Specialty Meats http://donsspecialtymeats.com/

Supermarket Brands: Manda's, Richard's, Chisesi's, and Conecuh

BeerBQ
06-06-2018, 07:39 PM
There is a little mom and pop type meat shop near my house. You can get pretty much anything you want but they specialize in sausage. It's all made fresh daily and what doesn't sell is frozen that evening because there are no preservatives used. Call in an order same day if you want. Andouille, German, Italian, Baltimore, Chorizo and various others sausages and brats. What I like the best about this place is they are still flourishing. The little family owned operations are getting rare these days competing against the big grocery chains. They may not be able to compete with bulk pricing but the quality is unmatched. I tend to be cheap sometimes but I will pay extra for good meat. I've suggested to the owner he should do mail order but he prefers the small, fresh daily operation. I respect that more than he knows. I think it's time I go over and stock up on some real sausage.


Mind sharing the name? I’m not far from Louisville and am always looking for good sausage.

hmbrewr
06-07-2018, 11:16 AM
In Central California, Lockford Sausage in Lockford CA. sabot the best there is for almost any kind of sausage you can think about. They have lines out the door everyday. Also in Gustine Ca. is Wolfsons sausage They also have a huge variety. I've tried both, but prefer Lockfords. Also since were talking Boudin, The best I've found is Billys in Opelousas La.

LYU370
06-07-2018, 07:36 PM
Stop at 407 BBQ if coming up I-35 E.

http://407bbq.com/

I-35W :wink:

dadsr4
06-07-2018, 08:55 PM
There is also this thread.
Best Store Bought Sausage?

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=175178

Eads Ranch
06-08-2018, 12:04 AM
Check out Green's Sausage House in Zabcikville, TX.

Daddy-O
06-08-2018, 06:30 AM
Michigan has a number of excellent sausage makers. Kowalski products are good, Koegel natural casing hot dogs are the best I've had.
In terms of nation wide, many here have good things to say about Eckrich Smoked Sausage.

Also Vollwerth's in the UP!

frognot
06-09-2018, 08:08 AM
I-35W :wink:

Oops! Thanks Andy!

shoebe
06-09-2018, 12:33 PM
Kind of spendy, but good stuff

https://www.olympiaprovisions.com/

chingador
06-09-2018, 02:40 PM
Not sure what part of east Texas you are in but Tallent in Riverside is pretty good. They make some good all beef sausage down around Beaumont and Port Arthur. HEB for more Czech style Texas sausage from Prasek or Eckerman would work too.

Big Andy
06-09-2018, 07:00 PM
Here in West Tennessee we don't have the smoked sausages nearby that many of you enjoy, but we do have a near monopoly on great breakfast sausage. :grin: We have Jimmy Dean, Grogan's Farm, and my favorite, Williams Farms. All are made within a hundred miles of here. They also produce countless other lesser known brands that make some great fatties.

Kade
06-09-2018, 07:26 PM
Keeters out of Tulia Texas makes some dang fine sausage. Not sure if they ship but it would be worth it in my opinion.

Hoss
06-09-2018, 08:47 PM
Here in West Tennessee we don't have the smoked sausages nearby that many of you enjoy, but we do have a near monopoly on great breakfast sausage. :grin: We have Jimmy Dean, Grogan's Farm, and my favorite, Williams Farms. All are made within a hundred miles of here. They also produce countless other lesser known brands that make some great fatties.

We used to make the trek to Henderson for whole hog every year at opening day of dove season and buy a couple of whole cooked hogs to feed the hunters.Is that still going on up there?I think Irby Kolwick was the guy we bought from.Been several years.Thinking of doing it again is why I ask.

Mr.OiSat
06-10-2018, 02:37 AM
We get a lot of good sausages over here but there s one small butchershop across the street where my grandparents lived they make fantastic cheese brats. Another great thing are merquez which is a very spicy sausage made of lamb originally from marocco / tunisia. As I live right on the border to straßbourg, france you get really really good ones there.

From the baconarea of bratwurstcountry

Sid Post
06-10-2018, 04:33 AM
We get a lot of good sausages over here but there s one small butchershop across the street where my grandparents lived they make fantastic cheese brats. Another great thing are merquez which is a very spicy sausage made of lamb originally from marocco / tunisia. As I live right on the border to straßbourg, france you get really really good ones there.

From the baconarea of bratwurstcountry

Europe has some really awesome sausages and meats. Heck, the food over there, in general, is really awesome!

People I worked with 'turned their nose up at Doner Kebab' but, I'll take a late night train station Doner from a Turkish man any time of day or day of the week! The spicy pork cutlets served in German beer tents at some random small towns were totally awesome too!

While food in Europe generally costs more, it is generally of higher quality IMHO. Strawberries for instance taste like real Strawberries, not some artificial 'berry powder' from a chemistry set. Chicken and Pork from normal grocery stores really tastes like Chicken and Pork - real flavor! I'll take an 'ugly' delicious apple over a picture perfect tasteless one anytime!

Dry aged, air cured, etc. hams, sausages, etc. from Europe set a very high standard in general that I am trying to match here in East Texas. Around here, industrial Cornish cross chickens and industrial pork, tasteless 'tube' meats, at the cheapest possible price with little to no regard for quality are what most consumers want.

Someday, I hope to cold smoke and hang my own hams and grind my own meat but, until then the search continues for better brats, sausage and, hot links.

Big Andy
06-10-2018, 06:53 AM
We used to make the trek to Henderson for whole hog every year at opening day of dove season and buy a couple of whole cooked hogs to feed the hunters.Is that still going on up there?I think Irby Kolwick was the guy we bought from.Been several years.Thinking of doing it again is why I ask.
There is Siler's in Jack's Creek, across from C & R Grocery. They might be a possibility. That may well have been the location, different owners. Trying to think of anybody in Henderson, Bill's is the busiest, but they don't do whole hog.
I have sent a text to a buddy that lives down there. I will update when he answers.

HankB
06-10-2018, 06:56 AM
I'm close enough to the cheddar curtain to get Usingers bratwurst at Sam's and that's my preferred brand. I'm surprised that you can't do better in Texas but then I have to recall that a lot of middle Europeans settled in the upper Midwest. My grandfather (from what was then Czechoslovakia) used to make his own sausage - jaternice - of which I have fond memories as a child.

Sid Post
06-10-2018, 08:40 AM
... I'm surprised that you can't do better in Texas but then I have to recall that a lot of middle Europeans settled in the upper Midwest...

In rural East Texas, mass market cheap is what sells. Around the Austin area, it's a totally different story as it likely is in Houston, DFW, Texarkana and other large metropolitan areas.

Lockhart and Fredricksburg come to mind as good places to go as well as other spots off the Interstate in that general area. Unfortunately, I'm about 4 or more hours out from most of them so, grocery stores and Walmart are my best bet out here in the sticks.

Trips to Dallas or mail order is my best bet at the moment. HEB which has been recommended is two hours away at its closest location.

overeasy
06-10-2018, 10:15 AM
Lots of good options folks. How about making our own?