Hot Links

Texas hot links, also known as hot guts, are seasoned ground pork, lamb, or beef (or a combination of them) stuffed into a natural casing and cooked in the barbecue pit along with brisket. They appear to be austere sausages, rarely served with any sauce or garnish, but when one is severed, juices flow. A “dry link” is the Texas pitmaster’s term for a sausage that is pit-cooked long enough to lose its extreme succulence. Extra time on the grate diminishes the wanton hedonism of the sausage and creates a leathery, crackle-textured skin, concentrating flavor into an edible epigram of meat, spice, and smoke. A Chicago hot link – found on vintage soul-food BBQ menus of the city’s South Side – is ruggedly-ground pork sausage spiced with sage, pepper, and fennel. It customarily is presented in a large cardboard boat, smothered with very spicy hot sauce, and blanketed with French fries.

Restaurants With This Dish

Bartley’s Bar-B-Q

GRAPEVINE, TX

Tony’s Newburgh Lunch

NEWBURGH, NY

Heid’s hot dogs

LIVERPOOL, NY

Close view of rib tips ... Chicago barbecue culture
Honey 1 BBQ

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

Mayfield Diner

JERMYN, PA

Exterior view of Lem's at night ... aquarium BBQ
Lem’s Bar-B-Q

CHICAGO, IL

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