Most of the best dishes known to Cajun Country aren’t complete without some flavorful links of sausage in the pot. But how do you decide what kind of sausage is best for the job? Should it be spicy boudin or andouille? Or something more adventurous like alligator or deer? To answer this question, you have to start with the basics: Fresh or smoked?
Luckily for you, we know a thing or two to help you navigate the delicious options you have to choose from. Let’s dig in!
Fresh vs. Smoked Sausage — How Are They Different?
No matter where you live, chances are your local grocery store has some form of fresh and smoked sausage on the shelves (and if they don’t, we sure do). Fresh sausage is uncooked, so it has a shorter shelf life but is perfectly capable of holding up well in the freezer for later use. You can find fresh sausage made with just about every type of meat you can imagine. At The Best Spot, you’ll find not only traditional pork sausage, but also chicken, deer, alligator and mixed. Most often, people fry them up in a skillet or throw it on the grill, but you can also cook them in the oven or pop them in the air fryer to get the casings perfectly crisp.
Smoked sausage is smoked for a long time at ultra low temperatures so that smokey flavor we all love can really sink in. These links are the perfect way to add a punch of flavor and kick to your meal without being overpowering to the point that it drowns out other notes of flavor. You can grill smoked sausage at low temperatures, but the most beloved method among Cajuns is to brown it in a skillet or magnalite and throw in a holy trinity mix when it’s halfway through. If you really want to shake your taste buds up, try our Smoked Pork with Pepper Jack Cheese Sausage or our Smoked Jalapeno Chicken Sausage. Believe us when we say, once you try ‘em you’ll keep coming back to buy ‘em.
Cooking with Fresh Sausage
There is no wrong answer when it comes to what dishes work well with fresh sausage, but it would be downright sinful if we didn’t suggest rice and gravy first. When you slow cook fresh sausage in a magnalite to make a rich, thick gravy, you’re left with a heaven on earth kind of taste that everybody will want to savor again and again. Or try mixing it into your ground beef patties for a tasty spin on an American classic. Heck, you can save your money on other ingredients and just grill ‘em up and sandwich them in between a fresh roll of french bread dressed with mayo for a true southern poboy. Just have fun with it and let your soul do the cookin’, cher.
Cooking with Smoked Sausage
Smoked sausages like andouille are the stars of well-known recipes down South like jambalaya, gumbo, red beans and rice and sauce picante. But if you want to start with something simpler, your favorite fettuccine recipe will go full Cajun when you slice smoked sausage into it. The same can be said for your mac and cheese recipes, bisques, rice dishes and casseroles. Want to take it a step further? Throw it into your scrambled eggs in the morning to start your day off right. It’s the true breakfast of champions in our opinion.
The bottom line? What makes both fresh and smoked sausage so great is the spices, unique flavors and versatility it offers in every dish it touches. So put on your apron, load up your cart and have some fun in the kitchen with us.