Re:Hot Links, where to find the best ???
Greetings everyone, I am a new user so bear with me. I just had to chime in on this one. I have family living in East Texas and have since forever. I have been known to make special trips to East Texas JUST to "get linked" as it's become known in my family. Essentially, there are two East Texas hot link purveyors of note. I'm not talking about mass produced Earl Campbell types of links here. In fact, if the EC type of link is your thing you may not like East Texas hot links. E.T. Links are smaller, coarser in texture, and not really all that spicy until they're served with the accompanying hot sauce made specifically for them. The owner of Pittsburg Hot Links told me that the sauce was simply equal parts water, cider vinegar, and cayenne pepper, but they bottle and sell it there. These link makers also make a "chili" from the links that many folks insist is a must as an accompaniment--I agree. As far as which one is best, my personal opinion is Doc's Hot Links, Gilmer, Texas. They are larger, tastier, and juicier, than Pittsburg's (not to mention less expensive) and they serve the best whole jalapenos around. That said, Pittsburg Hot Links has more on the menu--and their hot link chili is better--but, if we're talking about who has the best links, I go with Doc's every time. A bit of trivia: There used to be a pharmacy in Pittsburg, TX, named Fredrick's, I believe. Their links were awesome. Their "secret" was that they used Doc's, but cooked them in an old wood-burning oven. On this note I have to say that cooking ANY East Texas Link is always better on the grill, over cool smoke. Regardless how you cook them, I suggest you preheat them in an oven until they plump up and then stick them with a fork or knife to drain the copious amounts of grease out of them before you grill or eat them or you will either end up with a pool of oil in your plate or a bonfire in your BBQ pit--or both! Just remember to always order and serve them with the hot sauce or they just aren't the same. They should both be willing to ship. I know a little mexican market on Singleton in West Dallas that sells Pittsburg brand hot links, but I can't vouch for the freshness (although I buy them when I'm in the area anyway).