Cooking With Fire: Sausage Fatty

Sep 21, 2018

The sausage fatty is a modern classic for backyard pitmasters. This simple dish, which traditionally was a smoked sausage chub with barbecue rub on the outside, started popping up online in the late 90s in various barbecue chat groups.

Fast forward to 2004 when a user of the Barbecue Brethren, one of the largest barbecue forums on the internet, created a post. That user was Bigdog, and on April 19th, 2004 he posted that he had finally tried smoking one of these sausage chubs that everyone kept raving about, and was blown away. A few more posts followed on the thread before the next day, April 20th, when Bigdog came back and noted that the dish needed a better name and suggested it be called “the Fatty.”

Now, for those not familiar with famous counter-culture comedy duo Cheech and Chong, the name may seem innocuous enough. But those who have spent any time listening to their albums or watching their movies are aware of the comically large joints the duo would roll, which they called “fatties.” Bigdog was inspired by the duo and decided to call the chub of sausage a “fatty” in their honor. So if you hear a pitmaster declare that he is going to smoke a fatty, chances are you won’t need to worry about the cops, you’ll just want to make sure you bring a bib.

One other thing about Bigdog. His real name is Steve Hamous. He’s a retired school teacher who lives here in Wichita who I have the honor of calling my friend. I have learned a lot about barbecue from Steve, but most importantly, I revere him as the Father of the Fatty.

Hear Josh Cary and Chef Tom Jackson make Naked and Stuffed Sausage Fatties on the Cooking with Fire podcast. And here are the recipes.

The Sausage Fatty

Naked Sausage Fatty

Ingredients

  • 1 lb bulk country sausage

For the BBQ rub:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

For the BBQ sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp celery seeds
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  1. To make the BBQ rub, combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk well.
  2. To make the BBQ sauce, combine the ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce to low heat and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  3. Preheat the smoker to 275ºF, set up for indirect cooking/smoking.
  4. Form the sausage into a log shape. Season with the BBQ rub. 
  5. Smoke until the internal temperature reaches 155ºF, about 90-120 minutes. Brush on the sauce. 
  6. Continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF. Remove from the grill. Slice to serve.

Stuffed Sausage Fatty Ingredients

  • 2 lb bulk country sausage
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled, sliced
  • 8 oz white mushrooms, sliced
  • BBQ rub (recipe below)
  • 4 chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 2 tbsp adobo sauce (from the can)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 oz sharp cheddar, grated
  • 6 slices white American cheese
  • BBQ sauce (recipe below)

For the BBQ Rub:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

For the BBQ sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp celery seeds
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat your smoker to 275ºF, set up for indirect cooking/smoking.
  2. In a 12” cast iron skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and mushrooms. Season with the BBQ rub. Cook until onions and mushrooms are softened. Add the chipotles, adobo sauce and garlic. Cook two minutes longer, stirring. Remove from the heat.
  3. Place the sausage in a one-gallon zip-top bag. Cut a corner off of the bag. Seal the bag. Press the sausage out into an even, flat square, filling the bag. Cut the sides off of the bag and open, exposing the surface of the sausage. 
  4. Lay out the six slices of American cheese across the surface of the sausage. Top with the onion and mushroom mixture. Sprinkle the shredded sharp cheddar over the veggies. Roll up the sausage around the filling. Seal and form into a tight log. Season the outside with the BBQ rub.
  5. Smoke the fatty until the internal temperature reaches 155ºF, about 90-120 minutes. 
  6. While the fatty smokes, combine the BBQ sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce to low heat and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  7. When the internal temperature of the fatty reaches 155ºF, brush a layer of the sauce onto the sausage. Continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF. Remove from the smoker. Slice to serve.
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