The Smoke House Is Finished

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by hounds51, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. Hi everyone. As promised I would post the final pictures of my pet project. After a few test smokes, on Saturday May 31, My wife and I decided to make 30 lbs of Smoked Polish sausage and put the house and ourselves to the test. We never cut, ground, mixed and stuffed sausage so Saturday was a very long day for us. I am sorry that we did not take pictures of the processing, but it was only the two of us doing all the work. We were hoping that we were going to get help from our children, but you know everyone is busy on the weekends.
    We used 30lbs of fresh pork butts obtained from our local butcher. Our spices were obtained from the Sausage Maker (Polish Sausage) Our grinder/stuffer is the famous Northern Tools #32 fly wheel grinder, with a 1/2 hp electric motor.
    After boning and cubeing 3 to 4 inch pieces we fired up the grinder. the first 2 to 3 pieces the motor stalled and started to smoke. I think I need a bigger electric motor! We then decided to recut the meat into 1 inch pieces, and everything went well after that. We slowly fed the pieces into the hungary machine. One must be extreamly careful in feeding this beast, as your fingers wont last long if they get into the hopper.
    After all thirty lbs were ground, my wife mixed the meat with plenty of water and spices, so far everything is going great. Then we rinsed our casings and converted the grinder into a stuffer.
    As both of us have never done any of this before we took our time and thought everything through. My wife fed the casing as I tried to manually turn the grinder fly wheel. As I soon found out the electric motor worked a lot better, in fact it stuffed better than it ground. Stuffing went very easy and my wife only had about 3 to 4 blow outs, which is not bad for the first try!
    As we started at about 10 am we are now looking at 2pm when we finally got the smoke house loaded. If you look close enough in the picture you can see the sausage hanging.
    As you can see we sucessfully finished our sausage. We pulled it at 2 am, which I figured it would take approx 12 hours to complete.
    The end result is that we have the best tasting Polish smoked sausage this side of the Mississippi, and this was our first time!
    In looking back I think I will look for a bigger electric motor and shanghi some volunteers. Also I think that we will make 50 lbs, as it takes the same amount of work to make 50 lbs as it does to make 30 lbs.
    Please let me know what you think, as I could use some pointers. In the mean time we are enjoying the fruits of our labor. I am sorry about any misspelling, as I can not get the spell check to work. I also will post the pictures on a different thread, as I don't want to lose this post. In other words we have a hard time trying to figure out this photo bucket thing.
  2. Here are the pictures (I hope) Help! forgot how to get to photo bucket
    can't load pictures.
  3. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  4. uncle_lar

    uncle_lar Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    would love to see pics. how bout some details on the smokehouse and what temps you smoked at? what kind of wood? inquiring minds want to know!
    I can still remember back to my first batch! what fun!
    now i make 50-60# batches without even blinking an eye!
    congrates on your first batch[​IMG]
  5. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nice looking sausage. Thanks for the detailed Pics.
  6. The smokehouse was orginally built as an old fashon barbque pit. My father built it in the early 40's. It had been neglected for quite some time, and I decided to make something out of the stone base. I always wanted to make a smokehouse, and I thought it would be a nice project.
    The inside dimentions are approximately 24" wide on the bottom. The wooden part I got to the width of 33" wide. As you can see I used a reverse angle, as to give me more room to hang sausage. Approx highth is 5' 5" in the front sloping upward to about 6'5" in the back. The depth is approximately 5'.
    I fired up the house at 130 degs, and hung sausage for approx 1/2 hour. I slowly moved temps up to 165 degs. This took approx 2 hours. It's not that I couldn't get it there faster, I wanted to make slow changes while giving the sausage a heavy smoke.
    The wood that I used was Hickory chuncks, which were placed in an old frying pan located on a half inch steel plate. This is located in the front at the door. In the back of the plate I had placed a basin pan with water in, to keep the shrinkage down, which appears to have worked quite well judging from the finished sausage pictures.
    The burner I am currently using is a single burner propane burner purchased from Northern Tool for approx 35 bucks, I am planning on upgrading to a Northern Tools double burner before winter.
    I also used a home made smoke gun Approx size 4" dia by 15" long with a 1 3/4" x 12" side pipe (lots of natural draft no air pump needed). Inside the gun I used a combination of Bbq Delight hickory wood pellets, and hickory wood chunks (more chunks than pellets) This smoke gun works great, as the drafting supplies plenty of air infusion. In fact I think I will be able to cold smoke cheese this winter without any heat in the smoker. Any one who is interested in this smoke device can look up the Smoke Daddy. My gun is a simular design, except mine does not need the air pump. The air pump does make the gun easier to use, but with the correct combination of wood chips pellets and chunks drafting the gun provides plenty of natural air, but it is important to closely monitor the gun. I don't know if you can notice, but I have designed my house for 2 of these guns (which is way overkill).
  7. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Congratulations on pulling off such a project. I wish I had the talent to do that.....and a supportive spouse. Looking forward to see more views of your edible labours....
  8. countrysmoked

    countrysmoked Smoke Blower

    Depending on the price of the electric motor you might consider upgrading to the cabelas grinder. I have the one hp model and a foot switch for stuffing sausage and it works great. The foot switch even helps when filling ground meat bags directly from the grinder. Your smokehouse is awesome. Great job on your polish sausages too. Great Pics. Thanks
  9. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great job on the build Hounds51, and excellent looking sausage too. thanks for sharing the Q-view!
  10. werdwolf

    werdwolf Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Great stuff! What a way to use something dad created years ago.

    Nice looking sausage also.
  11. Actually I really don't have any special wood working skills. Around 1985 I started going to muzzle loading period shoots. I learned that this country was built on necessity. If you didn't learn how to, you would die. It is amazing what you can do out of necessity. I did have a couple of levels, and the minimum amount of power tools. My budget was $200.00, and my actual cost was around $400.00. It is amazing how much construction materials cost!
    I was originally thinking of building a Smokehouse completely out of lumber. The old outhouse type which there are design plans for. But I decided to salvage the old pit. If anyone decides to build this type I would personally recommend that you make this bigger, and insulate with construction fiberglass insulation. Also it would be wise to line the inside with some type of metal sheeting (including the ceiling) as wood has a flash point of around 200 degrees.
    I had pulled my sausage at 152 degrees (smokehouse was at 168) this was at 2 AM. The next morning I checked the house at 10 AM and I still had an internal temp of around 90 degs. I guess the stone holds the heat well.
    As for my wife helping, what can I say! She is very supportive even when I make bad decisions. I guess I got lucky with her.
  12. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great job Hounds.
    For not having any "special wood working skills" you sure did a great job.
    Your costs may have doubled but I wonder how much something like that would cost to buy premade.
    Points for an excellent job!
  13. I see the pictures of your smoker. That is really nice! I bet you get some fine smokes with it. Can't beat stainless steel.
  14. bigbaldbbq

    bigbaldbbq Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    It looks great. You did an awesome job!!
  15. Thanks Fire I am glad I did the build, I guess it's like climbing a mountain (you do it cause it's there) As far as premade sorry but I guess it's like it's owner (one of a kind).
  16. isutroutbum

    isutroutbum Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Fantastic smoke house! I'll be honest . . . I'm really jealous!!! I've wanted to build one of those for years, but it's just not an option in the city. You did a really, really nice job w/it! Looks like enough room to smoke whatever you want, and however much you want too. Great sausage too. Really nice color on them.

    Thanks so much for the post of your great project! [​IMG]

  17. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great looking smokehouse Hounds51! I built one about 3 years ago and use the heck out of it!
    Mine has a separate fire/smoke box that I built out of a drum...using the same air intake as my UDS. It works great.
    Nice job!
  18. stwallace

    stwallace Fire Starter

    Nice one Hounds!  Lots of good info and pictures as well.  I just got into smoking and now you made me want to make sausages too.  
  19. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hounds51, Excellent job on the sausage and smokehouse. I especially like your choosing to use the old smoker your father built as a base for your build. It has character and history. I am sure you will have many memories rekindled on every smoke. Keep the posts coming. They are very interesting. Thanks.

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