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Still having problems with grease out

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I tried a few more batches of beef bologna and I am still getting grease between the meat and the casings. I am using collagen casings about 1 3/4" diameter and using ground beef. I am putting it in the smoker for 2 hours at 135 then one hour at 150 then bump it to 168 to finish. I replaced my temp probe which was a Kenmore that looked just like the maverick because it was reading way off. I now have a Polder. The last batch I had on for 8 1/2 hours and could not get past 149 according to my temp probe but I pulled it anyway and of course I got grease between the casings and the meat. I did not check the new probe other than I had it laying on the table near my home thermostat and they were reading within 1 degree. I did not check the 30" MES but it seams if it was ready higher than what it is then I would not have grease out and if it was reading lower than I should not have any problems reaching 155 after 7hours. What am I doing wrong? I am using the Ponder with the stainless cable down through the vent and into the piece hanging inthe front left of the smoker. I am inserting the probe from the top of the hanging stick down into the stick as far as it will go.

post #2 of 13

Are you getting a really good bind while mixing the meat? Is it sticking to your hands to the point it's a pain in the azz to get off?  also what mix of meat are ya using, heck what recipe are ya using?

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

It is hard to get off my fingers. I used 80/20 beef


10 lbs beef

2 tsp cure 1

1/4 cup salt

1 tsp mustard seed

1 1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp coriander powder

3/4 tsp garlic powder

11 ounces water

1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

post #4 of 13

Guess that ain't  the problem then.

I'd have to say its the thermo's....

Could it be the sausage that's near the burner loosing the fat from to high of temps?


post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

They all seam to be the same. The inside is very moist and tastes good but the casing gets all wrinkled up and loose on the meat which allows the grease to build up. Sometimes it is worse than others.

post #6 of 13

I'm with Dan use a thermometer you know is accurate and check the temp of the smoker as close to the sausage as you can

post #7 of 13

I've got some 80/20 ground beef sticks (some in collagen casings and some naked) in MES 40 and I'm not experiencing any fat out. The smoker temp holds within 2-3*. Are you sure it's really 80/20? We have a supermarket here that I've had some really nice and the next package is really fatty.

Started at 130* dampers open, empty waterpan and no smoke for 1.5 hrs

Bump to 135*-140* for 3 hrs heavy smoke

Bump to 150*-160* for 5.5 hrs no smoke or smoke is your preference

Bump to 165*-175* to finish off to IT of 154*

post #8 of 13

I'm not at all familiar with your smoker but it sounds to me like its the controls and that you are have wild temp swings!  Have you ever just ran it with a brick in it or water or something and watched the temps?

post #9 of 13

You got my attention.  I was gonna ask if you are keeping everything cold?  I have heard that the fat will separate from the meat if it isn't cold when grinding.  But you said that the meat tastes good and I don't think it would be good if separation was happening.  Good luck can't wait to find out what the issue is.

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

I have watched the temperature on the digital control of the MES and it when it kicks on it takes it about 5 degrees above the set temp before it shuts off then kicks back on when it gets about 2 degrees below the set temp which seams normal to me.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

I just boiled a pan of water and put my Polder temp probe in it and I got 210 when it was at a full boil so I guess since that is good then I will lay a piece of cardboard or something in the smoker and lay my temp probe on top of it so it is not touching metal and compare the temp with the smoker temp,

post #12 of 13

I'm thinking you'll find the smoke temp is higher then it says it is. If you never got above 168° I'd find it hard to believe you'd render any fat out.


Looking over your recipe, I was wondering what type of salt you used? even though you mentioned you had a good bind after mixing if you were using a large flake salt like kosher, the weight of the 1/4 cup would only give ya about 1% salt which is a little low. if it was table or canning salt it would be a good 2%.


You also might want to add a binder of some kind, like soy protein or powdered milk. They will help in retaining water loss and actually coat the fat particles so they can't fat out. it will also make a plumper sausages so you won't have the loose casing issue.


I'm  just throwing a few thoughts around, Hopefully we'll figure it out.

Do you have any before and after pic's?

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

Ok here is a little update. Since I know my temp probe reads 210 when in a pan of boiling water I took it out in the smoker and used a cloths pin and hung the probe by one of the racks held in place with a wood cloths pin on the wire so the probe is not touching any metal. It is hanging where the meat would hang. I set the smoker at 165 and it went up to 191 before it shut off. At 191 on the digital thermostat on the smoker it was actually reading 212 on my probe. So it seams my smoker is reading low by over 10 degrees but if I bump the thermostat  by 10 degrees it could actually go to 222 degrees inside. Should the thermostat let it go almost 30 degrees over the setting before shutting off? Is this a problem with the digital controls or is this normal? I did send an email to Masterbuilt but did not hear back yet.

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