Cold smoking sausages in Australia in Bradely smoker need advice to avoid nasties please.

Discussion in 'Info and Practices' started by bandyka, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. bandyka

    bandyka Fire Starter

    Hello Good People,

    So we have decided to make some Hungarian style "Csabai" sausages. All went well its been a great success on the BBQ and grill but now we are onto the next stage, smoking.

    We have a bradley smoker and have produced some great results but never tried cold smoking sausages. 
    We have the cold smoking attachment and using ice packs to keep the temperature low it is currently about 12C degrees and approx 26 outside so all is well as by the ancient recipe from my grand parents it needs to be between 12-24C which I never allowed to go over not matter how hot outside.

    So far the sausages had 3 x 3 hour session and progressing well. They are stored in a dedicated fridge for drying and only taken out for the smoking periods. 

    The only issue I am facing is humidity while it never goes above the maximum allowed 85% the problem is with condensation as the internal temperature very slowly rises and the outside temperature is much warmer naturally condensation occurs which in turn produces a humid environment inside the smoker. Now I understand this is good conditions for nasties to develop in the meat. We have cured the meat using salt plus pink salt but I am still a little concerned as usually in the 3rd hour into the session the sausages look sweaty there are water drops on them. I pet them dry and they go back to the fridge so temperatures never reach critical but could this be a problem? Also noticed empty spots under the skin as the sausages dry only on one piece so far.

    I just want be sure we are safe.

    Many thanks in advance.
  2. bandyka

    bandyka Fire Starter

    This how they look after the 4th 3 hour session.
  3. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Wowww... first time seeing this method....

  4. bandyka

    bandyka Fire Starter

    first time trying it:)
  5. bandyka

    bandyka Fire Starter

    according to the ancient recipe it needs to dry in a cold place than into the smoker for a few hours and repeat as long as necessary but min three times. Smoke can be intensified the drier it gets.
  6. dingo007

    dingo007 Smoking Fanatic

    If the recipe has cure in it..go ahead and smoke it...if no're dancing with the danger.....for humidity control try a pizza pan covered in dry rice..

  7. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    They look great ! yes you need some cure .
  8. bandyka

    bandyka Fire Starter

    thanks guys, as mentioned it has cure in it which is pink salt but approx 10%less than the recipe suggested as that's all we had so instead of 75gramms it has about 65g or so. I am feeling it should be fine but better be safe we mixed it very thoroughly.
  9. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It does not look like you will have a problem however it is impossible to advise further without knowing the final Ppm of cure in the sausage.

    I think the biggest problem causing the moisture is the lack of air flow in the fridge. In curing chambers you need to control the temperature and the humidity but you do also need some constant air flow as well so that excess moisture can be removed. 

    Which cure did you use (#1 or #2) and what was the resulting Ppm of Nitrate and Nitrite. Csabai is also usually a fermented sausage so did you use a culture? Providing you had sufficient Nitrite and the culture had reduced the pH of the sausage sufficiently, the casings will form a natural barrier and the smoke will help protect from the outside while the cures and culture will do their job inside. As the internal free moisture content drops the bacterial risk becomes even further reduced.

    Try to minimise the condensation in the fridge as much as you can. If you do see droplets forming on the sausage then wipe them off. If you see any mold forming then that can also be wiped off with a diluted vinegar solution. Do try to get a little air flow in that fridge though.

    I hope this helps
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
  10. bandyka

    bandyka Fire Starter

    Thanks for the detailed answer unfortunately I do not know the Ppm as I bought it form a butcher after explained what  I was going to do he gave me pink salt and am pretty sure it is #1.

    I am using a Bradley so additional airflow is near impossible however the went is open. I figured if I put ice packs on top and bottom it keeps the temperature pretty constant for a bout 3 hours so moisture is minimal I wipe them off before they go back in the fridge. In the fridge they keep drying very nicely. Guess I ma just being overly cautious but better be safe.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
  11. bandyka

    bandyka Fire Starter

    and no, Csabai does not need a culture my grandparents are from that town "Csaba" and been making sausages for centuries and never used any culture. The recipe is Paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic, some use carraway as well. That's it.They do not use and extra cure either they know when exactly and how exactly to salt and smoke so they never have any issues but that is of course in their blood over hundreds of years of experience as opposed to me its a whole different ballgame here in AUS.

  12. bandyka

    bandyka Fire Starter

    A little comparison below first image is how mine look after about  5 x 3 hours of smoke and the 2nd image is theirs just made a few days ago. Trying to figure why mine do not look as shiny and ripe.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
  13. bandyka

    bandyka Fire Starter

  14. One of your big problems is by putting the sausage into refrigerator you are creating a problem ... [​IMG]

    Each time you take them out and place them in a warm atmosphere they will sweat and will not take smoke until dry

    Hang overnight in a room where the temperature dose not exceed 40 degrees F .. this will help keeping them dry for the next smoke .. You have no problem doing this as you are using cure and so long as you have used the right amount you are safe and good to go 

    I do this all the time cold smoking bacon
  15. bandyka

    bandyka Fire Starter

    thanks I suspected that so that's why the smoke does not "stick" to them?! I'd love to do that but unfortunately its summer here and no way I can ensure those low temperatures. What can I do with them in this is the case? Is the only option to eat them as is when they are dry enough or do I have to chuck them out and wait for winter? They do dry nicely in the fridge though once temperatures are steady.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
  16. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I know we all like to trust the professionals however using cure without knowing what it is and exactly it is and what is in it is not a good idea. If you take a look at my recent post about purchased cures you will see that sometimes even the cure manufacturers can make mistakes When you know what is in it it is very easy to calculate the final Ppm and adds additional confidence when you are giving it to friends to eat.
    Most of the recipes I have seen for Csabai have classed it as a fermented sausage but I have not tried to make it myself. Hearing what you say I will remember to omit the culture when I do try to make it [​IMG]
    I think it is all to do with the rate it is drying. Yours are effectively remaining in a closed container both in the smoker and in the fridge, whereas it looks as if theirs are in a room which will allow much greater movement of air around them.
  17. bandyka

    bandyka Fire Starter

    Yes I agree on the "making sure part" of the cure but I could not find it anywhere else, they use that for their sausages so it should be good as they sell tons. I will visit them again and ask whats in it exactly.

     yes correct about the room and fridge but I have no choice I am afraid so the question is, is it a futile attempt or will just take much longer?
  19. bandyka

    bandyka Fire Starter

    That would be great if you could! Lowest temperature I can get is well below 10C with ice packs the gauge on the Bradley gets stuck at the bottom which is 10C but rises to about 15-20 in three hours or so. Its way too hot now to put them anywhere outside.

    Hope you can get some info from the QLD friend.

    Is it safe to taste meanwhile??

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