We covered a bit about Sunset Farm in some other reviews but just to recap, a Georgia meat company in business since 1918, Sunset Farm produces just about every meat product that I can recall in my time growing up in the South. From smoked ham, picnics, and bacon to souse and liver pudding. And of course, sausages.
I spent some time on their website searching out some products to try for future reviews (Bell Pepper and Onion, Jalapeno and Monterey Jack, Garlic Herb and Tomato, Beef Smoked Sausages, and Georgia Reds all look interesting so expect to see these in future reviews) but today we’re going to take a look at their Georgia Smoked Sausage.
In the world of smoked sausage there are just a few things that you need to get right to make a good sausage.
- Texture – a good smoked sausage shouldn’t be gritty or have a greasy mouth feel. When you take a bite you should be thinking meaty and flavorful
- Flavor – a slight smokiness with a little bite from the spice and above all the flavor of pork should come through
- Aroma – a part of the overall taste, the aroma should be a nice mix of smoke and pork
Unfortunately there are many lower end sausage makers that just get it wrong, producing a sausage gritty with fillers, gristle, or poor quality ingredients. Some places over-smoke their sausage making it almost caustic and still others create a bland greasy sausage with no real feel for properly spicing a sausage so all the components come together.
I’m pleased to say that the Georgia Smoked Sausage product hits all the right notes. I grilled some up this afternoon and everything about this sausage was spot on from the smoke and spice levels to the fine grind of the meat that provided great texture and mouth feel. I’ve got a few links remaining and I think I’m going to use them in a pot of split pea soup tomorrow.
If you like a good southern style smoked sausage or you’re living where you can’t get a good southern style smoked sausage, Sunset Farm offers online ordering and I recommend you pick some up. I’ve been very pleased with the products we’ve reviewed and I’m confident that you will be too.
This is our second review of a Sunset Farm product with a couple more to go.
This is very much a Southern variety smoked sausage, the kind you’ll find on every backyard grill all summer long. And rightly so. Sunset Farm does a great job with this product by incorporating a subtle amount of jalapeno flavor and a little heat into their already fine smoked sausage. This rendition is smoked perfectly, has a clean list of ingredients, and a nice casing.
One thing I really like about their smoked sausage products is the overall meatyness that seems to come from the grind and the packing of the sausage in the casing. The texture is perfect and their line of smoked sausages are great off the grill, in sandwiches, or even in your favorite soup or pot of vegetables. They hold up well and don’tbreak down in any cooking environment.
In short, you can’t go wrong with this product and I highly recommend you pick some up for your next cooking session. If they are not in your local grocery store, you can order online at their website. They have a great selection and I plan to order some different varieties for future reviews.
Before writing this review I went back and looked at the last review we did for the Hillshire Farms Gourmet Collections brand and the first thing that struck me is the length of the name of their products. It takes 13 words to accurately record the name of this particular sausage. That reminded me of the old Lance Crackers commercials where the guy says “we have 12 scientists creating our products and one drunk guy naming them”. That was a funny spot.
This was a medium to fine grind sausage with slight hints of bacon. The cheese, while visually present in small pockets, added nothing in mouthfeel or flavor. Slightly smokey and just a hint of spice, overall this was not a bad sausage, it just needed more flavorful cheese.
I would rate this a 4 on a scale of 10. It wasn’t greasy and the texture was fine. The overall flavor lacked any punch so it had that “getting by for the masses” appeal that you often find in mass produced products.
Sunset Farm Brand is out of Valdosta Ga and has been making fine meat products, smoked and otherwise, for many years. They were kind enough to send me a very nice sampler pack of their sausage products.
Today were going to start out with their Hot Smoked Sausage product. As you can see by the label, this is a pretty clean product with a little color added. Southern hot (spicy) smoke sausage is the very sausage I was weened on and it was, in one form or another, present at every grilling or smoking session that took place in my youth. The quality of hot smoked sausage varies greatly and Sunset farms has some fine consistent products.
On the plus side, as mentioned earlier, the ingredient list is fairly clean. And if you prefer a looser fill in your sausage, this fits the bill. It’s hard to find a loose fill pork hot sausage and most of them are packed like a bologna. One last thing. No byproducts, gristle, or bone so the fine folks at Sunset are paying attention to the quality details which always adds to my enjoyment of a good sausage.
I would call this a 7.5-8 out of ten and recommend you give it a try on your next cookout.
Another review for the good people over at Kiolbassa, you can see our last one here. We have tried 4 products from this company and they continue to impress.
One thing we have found over the years is that if you start with quality ingredients and keep it simple, you should turn out a very fine sausage. The other thing we found is that this isn’t always the case. The devil is in the details and with sausage there is a lot that can go wrong like a finished product devoid of flavor, over or under smoked, or a sausage that is very greasy or has an odd mouth-feel because the texture is wrong. And don’t get me started on gristle and bone.
Of the 4 Kiolbassa products we have sampled, every one them including of course the smoked polish above, got it right. From the medium to fine grind, the spicing, the smoke levels, the heat levels (where applicable), even the cheese flavor and texture (again, where applicable), all right. No gristle or byproduct to screw up the experience and no puddle of grease on your plate when you’re done.
We mentioned before that this is a premium sausage that is available in your local grocery. If I were in Texas, I would probably get over to a really good smokehouse for sausage. But quite frankly, you just can’t go wrong with Kiolbassa.
Highly recommended, this is as good as a commercially available sausage gets and rivals a good smokehouse product.