All About Andouille


Related OTB Podcast: Wayne Jacob’s AndouilleCAST

Those of you who are following the New Orleans Saints super bowl aspirations may be considering cooking up a pot of jambo or gumbo this weekend. Andouille, a type of smoked sausage (pronounced ON-Dooey) is a critical ingredient in Cajun cooking, and is an essential part of many Jambalaya and Gumbo recipes.

The content of this post previously appeared on another web site back in 2005, a few months prior to hurricane Katrina hitting the New Orleans area, but I thought it might be timely and of interest to all of you. Go Saints!

La Place, Louisiana is pretty much considered to be one of the key centers of Cajun specialty meat production in the state. For an interesting article on andouille and La Place, read this piece by Pableaux Johnson.

Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse
769 W 5th St # A, La Place, LA 70068.
Main Phone: (985) 652-9990
Fax: (985) 652-0999.

We arrived to a somewhat ramshackle-looking building that included a small restaurant, and a small counter and fridge where you can buy Andouille, Smoked Sausage, Tasso, and Beef Jerky. Brooks made the place sound like it was a big operation like Poche’s, but it wasn’t.

As it turns out, after discussing all things Andouille with David, the smoke master and butcher at Wayne Jacob’s, that we came to the “wrong” Jacob’s, and he was glad that we did. Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse is the genuine heir to the original Jacob’s Andouille recipe, and they’ve been producing it for many years. The OTHER Jacob’s Andouille, also located in La Place, which is much more well known and is a much larger operation, uses preservatives and heavy nitrates in order to make their product shippable and thus has a USDA certification. Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse,on the other hand, only can sell locally, because its goods are highly perishable, even though they are salted and smoked. David encouraged me to compare his product to Jacob’s Andouille, and he invited me to watch him make the product to show me how superior it was. I took him up on it.

Here is finished andouille, after smoking in one of the 4 smokehouses for 10-12 hours.

This is a cross section of a smoked andouille sausage.

Want to see how its made? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

This is finished tasso. Tasso is kind of like a beef jerky but it is make with pork. Tasso is smoked longer than andouille, for more than 12 hours. It’s also used interchangeably with Andouille in various Cajun recipes, including Jambalaya.

This is one of the smokehouses where the prepped meat products are hung to cure and smoke using oak and pecan wood.

This is David, the master butcher and smoker at Wayne Jacob’s.

A side view of some of the smokers.

This is pork shoulder or “boston butt”, which has been fully cleaned of all sinews and veins, and has been salted with cayenne, garlic, and black pepper added. This is the starting point for both tasso and andouille — in the case of tasso, the meat is cut into large slices and brought directly to the smoker for smoking. For andouille, the process continues.

The pork butt is then put thru the meat grinder, and it comes out in smaller chunks.

The chunks of pork butt are then stuffed into the hopper of an old hand-cranked stuffing machine made of cast iron which is about 80 years old. They also have an electric stainless steel unit, but David prefers the older one because its easier to clean and much more simple to use.

Beef intestine casings are washed and prepared for stuffing.

The beef casings are hooked up to the stuffer, and you crank away!

The first two links.

Makin‘ sausage.

A whole bunch of andouille, ready for the smoker.

While at Wayne Jacob’s, you can have a few ‘po boys or some jambalaya or gumbo featuring their meat products. They also have a fully working, functional antique Coca-Cola cooler stocked full of Coke and Barq’s in old fashioned glass bottles.

I highly encourage you if you are in the La Place area to buy some smoked meat products from Wayne Jacob’s. If necessary, go to the nearby Wal-Mart, pick up a cheap styrofoam cooler, and then have David fill it with ice to keep your vacuum-packed meat cool while you bring it back to your hotel — in our case, we had a freezer/refrigerator in our timeshare, and we were able to keep the stuff cold. Then when you are going home, pack the meat in the cooler with frozen gel-packs (you can get them at local shipping supply stores), put the cooler in a cardboard box, and bring your stuff back home. The vacuum-sealed meat packed in that manner was easily able to survive a 6 hour trip back from New Orleans to New Jersey.

Now that I have shown you Wayne Jacob’s, here is their competitor, Jacob’s Andouille:

This is Jacob’s Andouille, which claims to be the original.

Andouille, tasso, and fresh sausage at Jacob’s Andouille.

The freezer case at Jacob’s Andouille. They have a much wider variety of products than Wayne Jacob’s, and of course they can ship throughout the US. Its a pretty good product, but its no comparison for something that is artisanally made. We did buy and taste products from both places, and we both agreed Wayne Jacobs has the better andouille. However, if you can’t go to Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse in person, this is probably one of your your best bets if you want good andouille and tasso shipped to you.

Here is their website:

http://www.cajunsausage.com/

I have also had good experiences mail ordering Andouille and Tasso from Poche’s, which also has a USDA certification:

http://www.pochesmarket.com

If you want to try to make some Andouille yourself, Danno has a great tutorial on his site NolaCuisine.com. He’s also got some fine jambo and gumbo recipes there too.

17 Responses to All About Andouille

  1. Trap/LA says:

    There is false information in the above article. Jacob’s World Famous Andouille, the other Jacob’s as refered to in the article, does NOT use preservatives nor heavy nitrates in their products. The recipe is the same as it has been since Nelson Jacob opened the Original Jacob’s store in 1928. USDA certification has to do with well regulated and recorded temperatures and cooking methods, the cleanliness of operation and no cross contamination.

    Wayne Jacob’s father (or maybe he was Wayne’s grandfather), Nolan Jacob, worked for Nelson Jacob when the store was in the old Alexander building in LaPlace (very close to where Wayne Jacob’s is located now). There were several Jacob’s, and other relatives, making and selling smoked sausage.

    Nelson Jacob was the first to sell Andouille comercially in 1928 when he opened N. Jacob’s General Merchandise Store. I think it was after Nelson died that Nolan and his sons opened their own store. Nelson had a brother, called “Moon”, that opened a smokehouse store almost across the street from his store. At one time there were 3 Jacob’s stores in the area refered to as Milesville. Wayne Jacob’s smoke house is no longer owned by the Jacob family. Dr. St. Martin’s son-in-law now owns the store, but I am told that he still uses the same recipe and smoking techniques that the Jacob’s did.

    In the Andouille market there are only a few that have good true Andouille. Both Jacob’s Andouille and Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse, Bailey’s Andouille, Don’s Country Store, Cox Meat Market, & Tod’s Catering. Veron’s Provision has changed their recipe and is not as good as it used to be.

    In the Jambalaya and Gumbo cooking circles, there are fans of each particular producer. And these fans hold true to their favorites, swaring by them, and refusing to cook with anyone elses.

  2. [...] more on Andouille see Jason Perlow’s All About Andouille post at Off the [...]

  3. John says:

    Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse has been passed on from Dr. St. Martin’s hand to his son-in-law’s hands, to his godson David Rauch, and the Rauch family. Even though Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse is not owned by the Jacob’s family anymore, the St. Martins’ did, and the Rauch’s continue to honor and use Nelson Jacob’s original recipe and will not alter it, continuing as he did, using the finest ingredients.

    Granted, each will find their “true” Andouille, we at Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse at 769 West 5th St, invite you to stop by our store not only shopping our smoked Andouille, Smoked Sausage, Dave’s Award Winning Hog Cracklin’, and much more, but dining on our Seafood Plates, PoBoys, Baby Back Ribs, and much more!

    Ya’ll Come on Down!

  4. Gary Amy says:

    Just a note on Andouille. In Southwest Louisiana, where I grew up (a small town named Iota), we made Andouille by stuffing one pig intestine inside another and then another and so on until you couldn’t stuff any more. We then marinated it in salt, a little cayenne pepper, and garlic in water and a little vinegar. It was then smoked, boiled and hung to “age”. We just sliced it and ate it with our meals or syrup and biscuits. When sliced you can see a number of concentric rings that are the layers of stuffed intestines.

  5. Jean Fourrier says:

    Oh, this information..has made me so anxious to try both places in La Place, La.
    I’ve just learned (thanks from some Cameron La folks)…how to make Crawfish Pies.

    It a wonder Mrs. Wheat hasn’t been knocking at their door, in Cameron, for THEIR recipe.
    Sincerely…From South Texas.
    jwf

  6. Lawrence says:

    I thought Andouille contain potatoes, is this true? I have not seen a recipe yet that has potatoes. but I have heard and read that it contains potatoes. In fact Chef Pauls’ Andouille, according to their website, contains potatoes…I want to make some homemade Andouille, but want to make it right/authentic…

    Confused,

    Lawrence

  7. Andouille does NOT traditionally contain potatoes. Pork, Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Cayenne. Smoke. Thats it.

  8. Pirate Paul says:

    All this discussion of authentic ingredients fits with the recipe that Chef John Folse gave the Creole & Cajun Recipe Page, so I’m going to try it. It will be my very first sausage.
    I just finished and tested my smoke stack, which I built in a gutted upright central heating unit housing, about five feet tall. Through a short length of 4-inch flex heating duct vent pipe, smoke from the firebox (a salvaged barbecue pit mounted almost on the ground) is routed into the bottom of the smoker box. In less than 15 – 20 minutes, temperature can come up to 180* (perfect) in the top of the box, and smoke billows out the cracks everywhere around the top. Can’t wait to put it to work now.
    Pirate Paul, Houston/Galveston

  9. Alexandra says:

    That was the uglyst thing I ever eat… Grlaöfdsfjgllwürggggl

  10. T L Dawson says:

    Just received my andouille sausage from Jacob’s, the ones you can order from website. Package clearly indicates “sodium nitrite” in the andouille. This is to retard spoilage just as in regular grocery store hot dogs. The fact that they are smoked preserves the andouille to some extent. As with hot dogs however, if they are “uncured” by not containing nitrates, they are only good for about 6 weeks due to refrigeration and initially vacuum packaging. It remains to be seen if these cured andouille sausages are better than the ones sold locally by the competition that are uncured with no added nitrates.

  11. DeeJay says:

    With all snobbish demeanor aside. I summit that there really is not much to the “who add’s what” comparison when discussing both shops simply by what each is trying to do. If you’re in the food business and trying to meet requirements so far gone as even international shipping, then you will add what is needed to meet those requirements. Veron are the biggest offenders in that discussion since they push all product on a true commercial level. Personally, I’m moving out the country in a few days and, being a life long resident of Laplace, trust the touted Jacobs to make a ‘sealed, boxed, and shipped” journey to my home in the Netherlands more than something that does not meet the preservation requirements of the USDA. I’ve had both multiple times in my 29 years on this planet and can’t really tell the difference. But I know I won’t be starved of the produce once I’m out of the country. This is one smoked good that I CANNOT go without.

  12. Babs Johnson says:

    If all the JACOBS are so great then why does Richards taste better?

  13. joe says:

    Thanks for the Andouille Sausage Recipe. How much meat did you use? By the looks of your ingredients
    you are making about 10 pounds. Please include this in your recipe. Thanks

  14. Mike says:

    Don’s is the best Andouille in the state. They don’t market it heavily, but it’s been a mainstay in the area for a very very long time.

  15. Don Frye says:

    10-12 hours in a smokehouse without nitrites sounds like botulism waiting to happen. Hopefully, they get the temperatures up pretty quickly.

  16. Paco Manx says:

    Food safety is not rocket science. Qualified experts all agree, cold smoking is done at 90 – 130, and smoke cooking from 150 – 250. Don’t ask me what happens between 130 and 150. I am NOT one of those experts, so I ain’t messin’ with it.
    The first andoille I made used Chef John Folse’s simple recipe. It was so simple I couldn’t believe it was going to be so good, but it was. He posted it to one of the sausage making groups on Yahoo! Groups that I belong to. I recommend it.
    –Pirate Paul, Houston/Galveston

  17. One of the above comments said that Jacob’s has sodium nitrate as an ingredient. This is a curing salt. It is not a new ingredient added for USDA regulations. Curing salt and the other ingredients are stuffed in the casing, hung over night in the coolers to cure, then smoked for at least 8 hours over pecan wood.
    Like I said before, jambalaya, gumbo, and cajun cooks find their favorite Andouille and swear by them, not cooking with any other. Jacob’s Worlds Famous Andouille, Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse, Don’s Country Store, Bailey’s Andouille, Cox Meat Market are true authentic Andouille. I do have friends who make and sell small quantities of their own recipies which are very good as well, but not available to the public

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