How long is too long?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by tpeace, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. tpeace

    tpeace Newbie

    I have some deer summer sausage I'm smoking in my 30" MES. I read several items talking about where to start and end with the temp and here is what happened:

    Started @ 120 preheated and put in one 3# test summer sausage

    1 hour later moved to 150 for the next 4 hours. The sausage at this point was still only in the 70 degree IT range. After 4 hours @ 150 the IT was only 102. I moved the temp to 170 to let it continue to cook. The long and short of it is that was 17 hours ago and the IT is still only 149. I'm trying to figure out what I am doing wrong? I did check the IT with a second thermometer and it was identical to the insert. Just thinking with 8 more sections of sausage to do something is not quite right. Thanks in advance!

    Tommy
     
  2. I am about to put in two three pound chubs.

    I will be watching.
     
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Morning....    Wait........   close the exhaust on the smoker to reduce air flow...   air flow can cause evaporative cooling...  once the smoke process is finished, it is OK to close the exhaust....

    I usually smoke sticks for 24 hrs at 160...
     
  4. How long do you add smoke?
     
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    On sticks, about 3-4 hours... at a smoker temp of <100 deg. F.   
     
  6. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    17 hours for summer sausage?  Yep, that's getting there...  The chubs take a long time, but are well worth the effort.  I typically dedicate an entire weekend for smoking those.  I've gone almost 24 hours before hitting 152 IT while smoking at 170.

    Dave is right on about closing the exhaust down after the smoke is done.  Then you're using the smoker more like and oven and preventing the evaporative cooling he mentioned.
     
  7. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Why are you smoking the sausage at such low temps? They're too high for cold smoking and way too low for hot smoking.
     
  8. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    He's cooking at the temps required to prevent fat out and provide a good texture. The temps that are recognized as a very good process.
     
  9. tpeace

    tpeace Newbie

  10. tpeace

    tpeace Newbie

    Ok the results are in... The casing on the Sausage is really saggy so I decided to cut it off. The sausage has a very jerky like outside and is soft inside but a little dry. I'm guessing the long cook time is to blame for the dryness but not sure why the casing is saggy or the outside of the sausage is jerky like any thoughts?
     
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The tough outside is called "case hardening"  and is the result of too much drying...  from heat or air flow or time... 

    More NFDM can be added, or try adding Amesphos...  I use it in all my sticks...  keeps them moist...


    Probably the most important step would be to close the exhaust 95% after the smoke was applied...  That will go along ways to end case hardening and shrinkage...   Check the smoker temp with a calibrated therm...  put it in boiling water and adjust for altitude....  should read around 212....   you can also, immediately after temp achieved, dunk and hold the sausage in ice water until the internal temp gets to about 100 deg. F or so.....  that is supposed to firm up the casing on the meat or something like that...  and help stop shrinkage...
     
  12. Mine are done after 12.5 hours at 170.

    In the freezer on ice. I was surprised it took only 12.5 hours after my research.

    I will post pictures and thoughts shortly.


     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2016
  13. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Making and smoking sausage inside casings looks to be a bit complicated and involved to me. I'll probably give it a try next year since I've already got a lot planned for this one.
     
  14. tpeace

    tpeace Newbie

    We finished the other 8 sticks they went for 21 hours. The casings seem really loose on 2 or 3 of them and the ends on 2 or 3 are harder where they were close to the top of the MES and the heat shield at the bottom guess I need them shorter next time the 15" were just to much. I put them in the ice bath and some areas of the stick are light colored and appear to have a fair amount of moisture after the ice bath is that normal? Most of the sticks are way softer than the over heated one from yesterday just hope that the casings firm up and try to figure out the light colored areas. The light colored areas the casing is loose but the flip side of those look like the 2 on the far right
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2016
  15. tpeace

    tpeace Newbie

    Duplicate deleted
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2016
  16. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The term Cold Smoking can be misleading when it comes to Sausage with Cure #1 like Kielbasa, Andouille and Summer Sausage. It is actually Cool Smoking. Starting at 120-130°F, no smoke, for an hour dries the casing so the sausage has a pretty and uniform color. Wet casing gets streaky. We then want to raise the heat gradually, 10 degrees per hour. To get a uniform cooking trying not to dry out the surface meat. The desired finished IT is around 155°F, so to get there in under a couple of days (exaggeration [​IMG]) we have to set the smoker temp higher than 155°F. The most common cook finishing temp is 165 to 170°F. This will get the IT to 155 in a reasonable time, without melting the fat and causing separation from the meat, Fat Out.

    So yeah, it is not quite Cold Smoking as in Cheese or Bacon at temps below 100°F. But it is much cooler than Hot Smoking, 225°F+, like for Un-cured sausage and meat. I hope this helps...JJ
     
  17. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This is great! I feel dumb after having been with SMF so long but is there a way to mark or flag your post so I can easily find it at a later date? I know I can save this page into my Favorites but I'd like to use a SMF tool if it exists. I don't know when I'm going to try sausage but I want your post to be one of the how-to's I refer to.
     
  18. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I don't know of a Forum function to save to a file...JJ
     
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  20. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    I:biggrin:
    I just made a folder titled SMF. I just move emails into this folder from my inbox. You could email it to youself with a more discriptive subject line on what's in the email before moving it to your SMF folder for faster searches through the SMF folder.
    -Kurt
     

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