Processed with VSCO with preset

Chef Bryan Hull of Secret Pint BBQ was born and raised in Georgia where barbeque was a part of his childhood with his teen years filled with creating his own recipes. Eventually, in 2019, Hull started Secret Pint BBQ as an underground pop-up. He moved to a delivery model during the height of the pandemic and started popping up again in 2021 at breweries around metro Atlanta. Recently, Secret Pint BBQ has been listed as one of the best spots to get barbeque in Atlanta by both Eater Atlanta and Thrillist. 

Hull’s featured dish is the Texas Hot Gut Sausage. Initially, Bryan leaned on sausage as an efficient and cost effective method to use up excess brisket trimmings. “If I just cooked briskets and didn’t utilize the scrap, I would only have about a 35% yield,” he says. “Making sausage, tallow and burgers brings that up to 66% or more.”

However, the origins of the Texas Hot Gut lie in much more than its ability to use excess scrap. The sausage is also an ode to Hull’s prior trips to Texas, where he enjoyed simple sausage links at the old-school meat market barbeque joints. 

The sausage starts as a mixture of 90% beef and 10% pork with a 70:30 meat-to-fat ratio. It’s seasoned with a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic, mustard powder, cayenne and group mace. The cayenne provides a slight spicy kick while the mace harkens back to German and Czech sausage recipes whose immigrants settled in Texas in the 1840’s with some families opening meat markets, introducing the state to Czech-style food. Today’s Texan sausages are still reminiscent of those early days with trimmed meat chilling in the spice mixture overnight to tenderize the meat and impart delicious flavor.

On the second day, the trimmed meat is ground and set in casings. The name ‘Hot Gut’ is slang for the use of natural hog casings – or the intestinal linings of pigs – to encase the sausages. While some individuals turn their noses up at this idea, natural casings provide another avenue for using all portions of an animal. After casing and linking the sausages, they once again chill overnight before the cold smoking, which takes place on day three. The links are smoked with Georgia oak for at least four hours until they get the right color and firmness and then once again they are transported back to the cooler for a full night of rest until the next day’s pop-up. “All in all, it’s around a 20-hour process over four days,” says Hull.

This finished product looks simple, but Hull understands the complex process behind the humble dish. “It takes three to four days to do a full batch of sausage, so it really is a labor of love.”

Punk Foodie offers this weekly column about Punk Food, a moniker for a cuisine without defining or distinctive ingredients, techniques and dishes which is being born out of the increasing infusion of the diverse cultures and experiences that live in our city. Find out where Secret Pint is popping up next and go deeper via Punk Foodie’s weekly guides and pop-up calendar

Madalyn Nones | Punk Foodie

Although currently working in public health, Madalyn Nones has a passion for baking, farmers' markets, and grassroots food businesses.