First time making smoked sausage

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by smokibones, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. smokibones

    smokibones Newbie

    I read many recipes on how to make smoked, cured sausage before I did my first try.  I made 10 lbs of mixed pork and beef and mixed in 2 tsp. Prague powder no 1. with my spices.  I ground it, mixed it with the spices and cure and left it overnight in the refrigerator. I stuffed it and smoked it the next day.  (should I have left it longer?)

    The recipes that I had all instructed me to cook the sausages to an internal temp of 152 deg.  I did that in my smoker with a hot plate, and smoke from a Big Kahuna Smoke Daddy smoker.  I really liked the look of the sausages when I had finished smoking, before raising them to the 152 deg temp.  By the time they were cooked, they had shrunk due to some loss of the internal fat from the cooking.

    While I like them, and they have a great flavor, is it possible to stop the cooking after the 2-3 hr smoking time , while they are still plump, and simply cool them and freeze them without fully cooking them?  The commercial sausage I buy in the food stores is not cooked at all.   I am asking if it is ok to stop the cooking process and freeze, to be cooked when needed. 
     
  2. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    You probably could BUT your sausage shouldn't have shriveled up, your temps may have been to high ?? show some pics!
     
  3. smokibones

    smokibones Newbie



    The bottom photo is the sausage after 3 hrs of smoking, when I stopped the smoke. I left the smoker heating burner running, but I never did get the smoker over 130 deg. After about 6 or 7 hours, I moved the sausage into a 170 deg oven to finish at 152.  My smoker is a Pitmaker Vault. Excellent smoker, but I put a side electric burner inside to provide heat.  I don't think the side burner got hot enough for the space on the interior.  Does anyone know of an excellent, high BTU electric burner???
     
  4. chewmeister

    chewmeister Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    If you're rendering the fat out, lower your smoker temp. You didn't say what casings you were using. You could smoke and then finish in a hot water bath until they reach 152. That may help eliminate some of the shrinkage.
     
  5. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    smoki how are you monitoring the temp of your smoker and the sausage?
     
  6. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Sb, did you cold shower your sausage after hitting the desired IT ,they would have continued to cook otherwise. Nice looking sausage !
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
  7. smokibones

    smokibones Newbie

    I use a digital thermometer (DigiQ).  Monitors temp of meat with 4" probe and inside of smoker with another probe.

    No, I hung them up in a cool, dry place to cool off. Then sealed them and put them in the freezer.    Thanks for the comment.  I really liked them at the stage in the photo.   I was wondering if I could just take them, smoked but not fully cooked, vacuum seal them and freeze them for cooking later...????

    I am using hog casings.
     
  8. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    even with the cure I wouldn't half cook, you can always just warm them a little to eat.
     
  9. There is no reason why you couldn't do this. However, if you're making sure that you are slow cooking them then you should not have loss from internal fat. 
     
  10. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The cold water bath mentioned will stop the cooking and shriveling. It sounds to me like your oven may have gotten a little warm. Sausage does tend to shrink if it is left to cool on its own. If your sausages are not fully cooked you can freeze them that way and cook them another day but make sure everything is well marked so it does not get forgotten and you start eating raw meat someday.
     
  11. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I don't see the point. .... you wouldn't sear a steak on both sides then freeze it to cook at a later time............. finish the sausage then seal and freeze. Thaw, then heat to serve. You shouldn't finish the sausage in the oven. Ovens have a big swing in temps.

    My 2 cents

    Joe
     
    van holton likes this.
  12. I don't think freezing a seared steak and par cooking sausage then freezing for later is a fair analogy. We par cook or warm smoke things all the time for later cooking....think bacon. If he was to say smoke at 100 degrees (lowest MES setting) for x amount of hours and then freeze he wouldn't be actually cooking the sausage. This isn't ideal of course and something I don't I'd do, but it follows the same cooking premise of warm smoking bacon for freezing and cooking later on.
     
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would never partially cook/smoke sausage and then freeze....  It needs to be totally cooked during the FIRST process..   Nitrite attacks botulism and kills it....   BUT, salmonella and other pathogens are only killed, in this particular case, by heat...... 

    The temp range for those pathogens to grow RAPIDLY is somewhere around 80-125 deg F....     So, partially cooking, say to 100 then cooling, you have allowed them to multiply rapidly for awhile, the cooled them.... they are still alive, even in the refer...  so when you reheat the sausage again, you are starting with contaminated meat and it has to go through the "RAPID GROWTH ZONE" again...   drastically increasing the numbers of pathogens.....

    Don't start in in bacon.... it's a totally different animal....   WHOLE MUSCLE MEAT....  

    Sausage is ground/comminuted and falls under a TOTALLY different category.....
     
    van holton likes this.
  14. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    just[​IMG]
     
  15. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG]  is what I do best at times.....     Sometimes the horse keeps gettin' up.... 
     
  16. smokibones

    smokibones Newbie

    Makes sense on the bacteria growth.  What is done with commercial sausages?  I buy them uncooked at the supermarket.
     
  17. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    They are not made for smoking. They do not have a cure in them, grill, fry, bake, at higher temps. You can freeze them when you buy them but they have to be fully cooked, in order to refreeze.
     
  18. chewmeister

    chewmeister Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    IDK. A lot of commercial pre-packaged sausages (Johnsonville, etc.) are shipped to retailers frozen.They thaw them as needed to stock their display cases. I've purchased a fair amount of them over the years before I began making my own and would take them home and re-freeze them until I needed them without any problem.
     
  19. ron forst

    ron forst Fire Starter

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with smoking sausage that has cure in it for a few hours and then freezing it I have make 100's of pounds of sausage this wY and have yet to have anyone get sick. If you do a little research and stop at meat markets or grocery stores and check the meat cases most sausage needs to be COOKED before eating. Maybe I just am from a different area but I've never known anyone who makes sausage or bacon for that matter who COOKS it in a smokehouse I'm sure I'll get flamed for this post but that's ok
     
  20. A lot of commercial pre-packaged sausages (Johnsonville, etc.) are fresh sausage. They have no cure in them. Totally different thing.
     

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