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What am I doing wrong?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Last fall I built a 3'X3'X7" plywood smoker.  The walls are 1.5" thick, insulated and the inside is lined with Durock, covered with aluminum.  I am using the Northern Tool propane burner everyone else uses.  I have a cast iron pan on top of the burner, and then two AMNPS's.  I have been trying to make sausage with a really smokey taste.  To date, I have made at least 6 batches, and so far the only one that has come out with a good smokey flavor has been the one where I did not use the AMNPS but instead just used wood chunks in the frying pan(thanks Shoneyboy for the help with that one).  The problem with using that method is that it heats up the smoker to 100+ degrees, and I would like to keep it to under 100 for the first hours of the smoke. I am in Minnesota and to manage that, I need a really cold day.  This box is just too well insulated.  I would go back to using the AMNPS with minimal heat, but I can't get that smoke to impart the flavor I want.  So, here are my questions-

1.  Is using two of the AMNPS's simultaneously maybe too much smoke?

2.  For those that have used chunks vs pellets, do the chunks usually give a stronger smoke flavor?  Have you been able to achieve that same level of smokiness with pellets?  If so, how?

3.  I am thinking of making or buying a Smoke Daddy type generator because of being able to burn wood chunks, thus possibly a stronger smoke flavor- does this make sense?

 

Please ask more questions to clarify anything if needed.  Any help is greatly appreciated.   Thanks.

post #2 of 14
Are you forming a pellicle on the sausage for the smoke to adhere to? I use 2 amnps in my smoker and get good results. I also have used todds new tube smokers and while using 2 of them I get a very strong smokey flavor so I have to back off to using one as the tube smoker put out a lot of smoke. If smoke is passing by the sausage out to vent then I would think the problem lies with the pellicle or you need a tube smoker to increase smoke
post #3 of 14

g dog does bring up a good question.  Is there a difference between the smoke flavor intensity between pellets vs chips or chunks. 

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
What do you mean by a pellicle? I always dry the sausage to the touch by hanging out in my house for at least an hour before it goes in the smoker.
post #5 of 14

I have noticed that if I dry my sausages by hanging them really well and then run them for an hour without smoke at all they end up turning out better and more smokey. I like very very smokey. It seems that dry surfaces take smoke better. Maybe someone with more experience can help with this. I used to use a propane burner when I had my Brinkman bullet smoker and I used a coffee can with some chunks in it and covered in foil with some holes punched in it. That way you get the smoke without the fire. Also when your smoke stops and you need a reload you end up with perfect lump charcoal for your grill. I do not have a smoke amznps or anything yet but it is on my wish list. I looked into adding the smoke daddy to my UDS and what I gathered from my research was that smoking at very low temperature you would not get much smoke and end up having to use supplemental devices to achieve heavy smoke flavor anyway. In all, I would try the coffee can trick. You may have to experiment with positioning it so that it gets enough heat for ignition but not too much to flare up. I had best success with it tipped at a 45 degree angle and only one edge of the can over the flame. The neat thing about this was that I could have another can loaded up with wood and just switch it out when it was time. I hope this helps. timber

post #6 of 14

Also do you have enough ventilation? You may have to add more or a larger damper and stack to help get the heat out when you need low temps. I find that I get a better product also when the venting is right. It seems that heavier smoke is not always better but higher quality thin blue smoke penetrates better and leaves less bitter tasting residue on the outside of the meat. Just my two cents.

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by g dog View Post

What do you mean by a pellicle? I always dry the sausage to the touch by hanging out in my house for at least an hour before it goes in the smoker.


Normally you get a pellicle on jerky or fish after removing from brine and drying well. It is a shiny kind of varnished look on the meat but still dry to the touch. I don't think pellicle applies to sausage.

post #8 of 14

can you post some pictures of your setup? Might help for you to get the right answers to your questions.

post #9 of 14

The pellicle applies to sausage. You can get streaked spotted sausage if you don't have a pellicle and it won't smoke properly. Different types of wood make a huge difference in smoke flavor. Apple. cherry, oak are a lighter smoke. Mesquite and hickory have a heavier smoke. 

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodcutter View Post
 

The pellicle applies to sausage. You can get streaked spotted sausage if you don't have a pellicle and it won't smoke properly. Different types of wood make a huge difference in smoke flavor. Apple. cherry, oak are a lighter smoke. Mesquite and hickory have a heavier smoke. 


I stand corrected.

post #11 of 14

You can also over dry sausage and affect the pellicle. Yes it will take on smoke in this condition but forming a good pellicle you will feel the surface of the sausage become tacky and when this condition is met cold smoke for a couple of hrs then start with the heat while still smoking and you should get that deep smokey flavor.

post #12 of 14
I let my sausage hang over night and smoke in the morning. Is your house vented?
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yes, it is vented. I have a 4 x10 grate on the top and bottom. May not be enough on the top?
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Regarding the pellicle, that must be a fine line between dry and tacky. I usually let it hang in my house about 2 hours till it is dry.
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