I finally produced a beautiful homemade sausage. It was an andouille, made with chicken thigh meat instead of pork, stuffed in beef casings (yes, I am avoiding pork!)
The only problem came when I ran a couple through my home smoker. I have an electric smoker called a smokin' tex. In the past, I have had problems with this machine causing an acrid smoky flavor in food, which I have solved only by using very small amounts of wood, and only fruit woods.
This time through, I hung the sausages to dry, then put them in the smoker with pecan chips. I smoked them at about 130 degrees, and only for about an hour. (BTW, I usually only smoke food for a little while, then finish on a grill.) I took the sausages out and cooled them and dried them, then finished them on a stovetop.
The smoke seemed to all get caught on the casing, which had that familiar, slightly acrid flavor. The meat inside tasted great, but only with a hint of smoke.
Would any of these solutions work?
1) Pricking the sausage casing to allow smoke to penetrate through to the meat.
2) Soaking the wood chips. The manual on my machine says not to do this, but I thought that I read once that soaking the chips results in a mellower smoke flavor.
3) Smoking at a higher temperature.
If anybody has any experience with this, please let me know.