Electric smoker summer sausage
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
Bowfreak 30-Dec-18
jdbbowhunter 30-Dec-18
Treeline 30-Dec-18
Treeline 30-Dec-18
Nimrod90 31-Dec-18
midwest 31-Dec-18
Bowriter 31-Dec-18
cnelk 31-Dec-18
Bowfreak 31-Dec-18
midwest 31-Dec-18
Treeline 31-Dec-18
cnelk 31-Dec-18
Bowfreak 31-Dec-18
squirrel 31-Dec-18
midwest 31-Dec-18
cnelk 31-Dec-18
JSW 31-Dec-18
Bowfreak 31-Dec-18
Treeline 31-Dec-18
rodb 01-Jan-19
Backy 15-Sep-19
Bowman 30-Sep-19
Smartass 08-Oct-19
From: Bowfreak
30-Dec-18
What temp do you guys set your smoker to for smoker sausage? I've read where some guys start at a certain temp and finish at another. Any tips are appreciated.

Matter of fact....any overall sausage making tips are appreciated.

From: jdbbowhunter
30-Dec-18
Just made some last week. Followed instruction on seasoning. Started at 130 for one hour with no chips. Added chips(cherry) for another 3 hrs @ 130. Turned up to 160 until I reached internal temp of 156. Removed and placed in an ice bath until temp was below 120. Time consuming but pretty easy. A lot of info on You Tube that is helpful.

From: Treeline
30-Dec-18
Bowfreak,

I just made up a bunch of sausage. Made up the seasoning mixes myself and they all turned out really good. I took notes about what worked and what was messed up.

Here's the summer sausage mixes and results:

Summer Sausage: For 10 pound batch: 5 pounds fine ground elk & 5 pounds fine ground pork butt 10 tablespoons Morton Tender Quick Curing Salt1 2 tablespoons black pepper 2 teaspoons mustard seed 2 teaspoons marjoram 2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper2 8 blanched fresh jalapeno peppers3 2 tablespoons ground dry jalapeno (not in recipe)4 1 pound high temperature cheese5 Notes: Made up 3 different ~10-pound batches. 1. Made up 2 batches with the Morton TQ salt that turned out just right for salt. Ran out of TQ cure so substituted pink cure salt at 2 teaspoons and used 10 tablespoons of regular Morton iodized salt. That batch came out salty – probably needed to cut back the regular salt to 8 tablespoons or so. 2. Doubled up the red pepper on one batch and it was better for my taste and still not too spicy. Plan to double up on red pepper for future batches. 3. Used jalapenos in 2 batches. Removed the seeds and veins on the peppers then chopped them into small squares. You have to blanch them so that they will stay crisp and fresh through the process and freeze/thaw. 4. Wanted more jalapeno flavor. This was not in the recipe. This turned out well. Not too hot and great flavor! Definitely a great addition! Plan to add jalapeno powder in the future. 5. High temp cheddar, pepper jack, and habanero cheese in these mixes. Turned out great! Got held up waiting on the cheese to show up so mixed up the seasonings in about 1 cup of cold water and mixed up with the meat. Set it in the fridge for a week until I could get back to it. The meat set up pretty good due to the cure so had to add more water and mix again to get it to where I could mix the cheese and jalapenos in and so it would go through the sausage stuffer. Added water, jalapenos, and cheese to the mixes (no jalapenos in the habanero batch) and stuffed into the big mahogany cases. Ended up around 12-14# each for the 3 different mixes. The additional weight was probably due to adding the water.

• Mix 1 – Cheddar Jalapeno: Turned out really good for balance. Not quite as good as the pepper jack one. Still friggin’ amazingly good! Great cheddar taste and the jalapenos made it. • Mix 2 – Pepper Jack Jalapeno: Perfect. The bomb! Best summer sausage ever. • Mix 3 – Habanero Cheese: Good, but a little salty. Probably due to using the pink salt instead of the Morton TQ salt. Would like to try adding some different peppers to the mix like serrano and jalapenos. Smoking/Cooking: • Smoked each batch in the smoker at 120oF with Hickory for 2 to 2 ½ hours. • Cooked in the oven at 200oF for about 5 hours till the internal temp got to 160-165oF. • Dropped in ice water (snow and water in a cooler outside at 5oF) till they cooled down. • Cut in ~1# sticks and vacuum sealed then put in the freezer.

From: Treeline
30-Dec-18
Didn't go through very well on cut and paste. Lost a lot of the formatting.

Let me know your email and I can send it that way.

Also have recipes for breakfast and Italian that turned out really good.

From: Nimrod90
31-Dec-18
Bowfreak, best advice I could give you on sausage making is get a cheap digital thru the door meat thermometer, the kind you can set time and temp on and use it when you make your sausage. Less than 20 bucks at Wal Mart or wherever. It is almost foolproof when you use one.

From: midwest
31-Dec-18

midwest's Link
Similar to jd. You need to dry it first so it will take the smoke. 130 deg. with the damper wide open. Maybe an hour or two.

Then crank it up to 150 with the damper half open and add your wood chips. I usually smoke about 2 hrs. going through 2 pans of chips.

Then close the damper completely to keep all the humidity in and crank to 180 to finish cooking. It's finished when it hits about 160.

Next, pull it out into a meat lug and rinse with cold water out of your garden hose to cool it down. Not absolutely neccessary but this keeps it from wrinkling.

Check out Curley's Sausage Kitchen and click on any of his smoked sausage recipes. This is the standard procedure he uses for pretty much all of his sausages.

Tips: If you use a Masterbuilt smoker, crack the wood chip hopper during the first 2 steps to help with air flow. Also, occasionally rotate the grates for even cooking.

From: Bowriter
31-Dec-18
I set the smoker at 150. I bring the internal temp of the sausage to 145. Usually takes three pans of chips. If I can get hardwood sawdust, I soak that and it does a superb job of smoking. I mix half-half with chips. I also use quite a it of soaked bark off shaggy bark hickory trees.

From: cnelk
31-Dec-18
Here is my process

First Hour – Set temp in smoker to 140 with damper wide open until product is dry/tacky to touch

Second Hour – Close damper and raise temp to 220 and smoke for 1 hr 30 min

Third Hour – Reduce temp to 170 – Maintain until internal temperature of the sausage product reaches 155 degrees internally at which time the sausage is fully cooked.

Remove sausages from smoker and shower with cold water or place in ice bath to stop cooking process.

Blooming – Suspend sausage at room temperature for 2-3 hours. This allows sausage to dry and ‘age’ before storage

Refrigerate or vacuum seal and freeze for later use

From: Bowfreak
31-Dec-18
I appreciate the tips guys. I have all the equipment I need and will monitor the temperature with a blue tooth thermometer that works well.

Nick or Brad,

When you talk about drying I assume you are talking about drying the sausage roll in the smoker, correct? Brad's comment about drying til it is tacky has me a little confused, but I assume he means the feel of the casing not the meat itself?

From: midwest
31-Dec-18
correct!

From: Treeline
31-Dec-18
Some more great tips here!

From: cnelk
31-Dec-18

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
Mark

Since you need to soak the casing in water for 30-45 mins before stuffing them, they are pretty soggy.

Once stuffed, put them in the smoker to tack up the casings

From: Bowfreak
31-Dec-18
Thanks Brad. Knowing how you roll, I assume you made your smoker?

From: squirrel
31-Dec-18
When you guys use the fake casings why do you smoke? I can never tell the difference when using fake casings so usually just do it in the oven as it is less of a hassle than smoking when it is -20 degrees outside.

From: midwest
31-Dec-18
The fibrous casings are porous and supposedly let the smoke penetrate. I've never tried a comparison, though.

From: cnelk
31-Dec-18
Mark

Thats a MasterBuilt 30" smoker

From: JSW
31-Dec-18
I use almost the same program as Midwest. Once it's warm enough to start the smoke, I hit the fast smoke button to really get it going. My tip; I get most of my wood chips from Sportsman's Warehouse. I like the Smokehouse chips because they are cut finer and burn quicker. The Western chips are cut larger. With the lower temps you use for summer sausage, you get more smoke from the finer cut chips.

From: Bowfreak
31-Dec-18
Gotcha Brad. I just figured you had repurposed something that someone gave you and turned it into a smoker. :)

From: Treeline
31-Dec-18
I got plenty of smoke into my summer sausage. I did have to hang them vertically in my smoker because it was not deep enough to line them up and that was a pain. Will have to get some of those finer chips though. They do work a lot better.

From: rodb
01-Jan-19
Start out cold and high smoke for an hour or two then start to increase smoker temp. Meat protein moves to the outside of the sausage as temps rise this action prevents smoke from penetrating the meat that's why you don't start out with high temps right away.

From: Backy
15-Sep-19

Backy's Link
The grinder on the Kitchen Aid will get the job done, but I wouldn't recommend trying to stuff any sausage with it. It'll make you crazy. Buy a vertical stuffer and thank me later. LEM, Grizzly, and Northern Tool all make a good entry-level stuffer that make stuffing sausage sooooooo much easier.

As for books, I have bought a few and for the most part, have been very disappointed in them. A lot of guys will tell you Ruhlman's book, but I can not say I have ever made one of his recipes that I liked straight out of the book. The best resource I can tell you is here - http://lpoli.50webs.com/Sausage%20recipes.htm

Excellent recipes. I will make any of his stuff verbatims, and know it's coming out great. The other place to use is - www.bbq-brethren.com

Ask us anything! This place is a great resource. There a lot of sausage makers on here.

From: Bowman
30-Sep-19

Bowman's Link
I just made some yesterday

Preheat it to 120 degrees F. For the final hour add some water to the water pan and raise the temperature to the 170 degrees F to finish smoking the sausages. It is recommendable for the first time to cook it for about 4 or 5 hours. It depends on how smoky you want it to taste.

Continue to cook for about half an hour without the smoke, or until the temperature reaches 155 degrees F.

From: Smartass
08-Oct-19

Smartass's Link
Most pellet grills only go down to 180°, but the nice thing about GMG gills is that they go down 150° and run there quite happily. Center of grill temp was at 135° so I was way below the fat rendering temps, as you can see in the final pic. When I pulled them after 3 hours smoking the IT was 120°. I then poached them in ~165° water to an IT of 155°, so they are fully thermally processed and stable, never exceeding 170° and eat freaking fantastic cold. I really love the poach-to-finish...very easy to control temps and then you know you can eat them at any moment the urge hits ya! Check my link, if you wanna new cheap smoker for sausage!

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