Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dueling Sausages

Update: So I fired up the smoker on Memorial Day, and threw on some sausage. Included in the lineup were Earl Campbell's Hot Links, Vince Young's Smoked Links, and my favorite commercial polish sausage from Rudolph's. I smoked all of the links for about an hour over lump mesquite charcoal and soaked mesquite chunks.

Earl Campbell's on the left, Vince Young's on the right

One noticeable difference was how wrinkled VY's became compared to EC's telling me that more filler (fat) might be present in VY's. From a flavor standpoint, EC's soaked up the smoke flavor more efficiently than VY's but was much more salty. Flecks of black pepper in VY's were a positive flavor addition issing in EC's, and provided a nice balance to the salty meat.

Earl Campbell's on the left, Vince Young's on the right

Rudolph's Polish Sausage

The Rudolph's sausage also took the smoke flavor quite well, and seemed to have less filler spewing out the sides than either EC's or VY's. The flavor profile was missing a distinct black pepper flavor, and the meat was just as salty as the others. What stood out with this entrant was the presence of other spices that provided a flavor profile with more depth.

Rudolph's Polish Sausage

In the battle of the UT stars, Vince Young came out on top, but neither star could tackle Rudolph's quality.

Previous Entry: You may have noticed the dueling sausages from your favorite University of Texas football alumni at the local grocery store. It seems that Vince Young is trying to steal some market share from Earl Campbell. Earl's hot links have been around for quite some time, and are a favorite in many joints around the state.

Vince's offering is a newcomer to this smoked meat genre, but both sausages are given equal shelf space at my local Kroger. Although the packaging and labeling is similar, they are made by different companies. Vince Young Foods is in Yoakum, Texas, while Earl's are made by Earl Campbell Meat Products in Austin, Texas. I'll have to give them a head-to-head tasting to see who measures up best, but for now Texas fans are going to have to decide if they want to opt for new school or old school.

- BBQ Snob


Wandering Dad said...

Neither... go for the Opa's.

Unknown said...

I always use Earl Campbell sausage. To me, it is the best in the stores. He was also my childhood hero when he played for the Oilers. I had no idea VY had sausages out too....that is too funny.

PM Summer said...

Top pix: EC of the left? The wrinkled ones are on right.

You can't compare hot-links to Polish sausage, much less Rudolph's. You just can't.

Better to compare those Tea-sipper's hotlinks to those big anonymous-looking boxes of hot links.

BBQ Snob said...

PM - Good eye. Vince Young's actually were the ones that shriveled more. I also know it's not quite a fair comparison, but I just really wanted some Rudolph's on Memorial Day!


Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.