Friday, June 13, 2008

Peoples Choice BBQ: Hot Sausage

2008 Peoples Choice BBQ Awards – Hot Sausage

Today we are covering the sausage in the ‘hot’ category. As a refresher, we had literally dozens of sausages that were entered in the contest. The entries ran the gamut of ubiquitous sausage found in every grocery in the nation to exotic mail order specialties.

As this is the Peoples Choice BBQ Awards, our evaluators were ‘every day folk’ who enjoy cooking in the backyard but would never think to attend or enter a BBQ competition.

1st - Poche's Hot Sausage

As I wasn’t one of the tasters I had mistakenly believed that Poche’s would excel in the specialty category. Ok, I was only half wrong. They did indeed place well with more than one entry in the specialty category, but their expertise is clearly not limited to the eclectic and the off the beaten path. This shouldn’t have been a surprise as they have a strong Cajun influence, but their hot sausage is fantastic.

2nd - Southside Market Elgin Hot

For two days in a row, Southside Market has come in the top two with their sausage. With their hot sausage I’m not sure if it is just the flavor profile that has won them success. Southside seems to put an emphasis on quality and avoids the pitfalls of other manufacturers. They have no ‘weak spots’. The flavor and heat is consistent where some sausages have ‘spikes’ where the spices aren’t properly distributed. The sausage is moist while not being greasy. The heat level is potent without overpowering the other flavors.

3rd - Meyers Elgin Cheese Jalapeno

This is a new product for Meyers and I’m not sure when it will be available for mail order. When it is, buy some. It’s that simple. This sausage was excellent. It’s a nice counterpart to their Tejano sausage with the cheese offering a nice counterpart to the jalapeno.

Check back for the next category tomorrow and look for the overall highest rated sausages at the end of the series. Following the Peoples Choice Awards coverage we will be featuring articles on some of the manufacturers in an effort to explain why and how they provide superior sausage.


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