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What smoker to buy for making Jerky and/or Smoked Sausage.

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hello,

I am pretty sure this has been asked and some of what I have read here the information is a bit dated (still great, but thought I would ask since new eq is on the market all the time).

I am wanting to get a little smoker to use to get some smoke on Jerky and Smoked Sausage. There are so many out there now and some places you read say buy a propane others say buy electric...

I was just wondering what everyone here is using in this application that have had great success...

Here is what I was planning to do (please let me know if there are concerns or I am not thinking right).

For Jerky:

I was going to slice up some eye of round 1/4" and season it as I would to cold smoke.

* Hang it in this little smoker that yall help me decide on which one, to get some nice smoke on the meat.

Then take it to the new LEM 1010 dehydrator and dry it out....

 

For the little tailgate sausage or brats: ( not to be ready to eat, but throw on the grill at the game)

--- New territory for me here ---

( I have made fresh venison and pork in the past, but trying something new here)

 

Ground up some pork and season.

trying out some collagen casings (never used them before, would love to know opinions on these)

hang them in the smoker at a low temp and smoke for a few hours. (need help on correct temp 165? 200?)

bump up the smoker temp and get the internal meat temp to 160 degrees.

then pull them out and cool.. ( I have heard some people drop them in an ice bath for a while or put them in the refrigerator right out of the smoker)..

 

Please let me know your thoughts on what smoker gas or electric or if you have a particular brand and model that you like.

 

Please let me know about what temps you use and how to cool them down after smoking...

 

thanks

-BrenTex

post #2 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brentex View Post
 

Hello,

I am pretty sure this has been asked and some of what I have read here the information is a bit dated (still great, but thought I would ask since new eq is on the market all the time).

I am wanting to get a little smoker to use to get some smoke on Jerky and Smoked Sausage. There are so many out there now and some places you read say buy a propane others say buy electric...

I was just wondering what everyone here is using in this application that have had great success...

Here is what I was planning to do (please let me know if there are concerns or I am not thinking right).

For Jerky:

I was going to slice up some eye of round 1/4" and season it as I would to cold smoke.

* Hang it in this little smoker that yall help me decide on which one, to get some nice smoke on the meat.

Then take it to the new LEM 1010 dehydrator and dry it out....

Well, kinda lazy here or busy so I use dehydrator all the way, adding a touch of liquid smoke to my marinade.....delicious and fail proof. You want to dry the meat, not cook it, so temps MAY get to hot in your smoker. I set my Nesco at 125-130 & in a few hours.....jerky

 

For the little tailgate sausage or brats: ( not to be ready to eat, but throw on the grill at the game)

--- New territory for me here ---

( I have made fresh venison and pork in the past, but trying something new here)

 

Ground up some pork and season.

trying out some collagen casings (never used them before, would love to know opinions on these)

hang them in the smoker at a low temp and smoke for a few hours. (need help on correct temp 165? 200?)

bump up the smoker temp and get the internal meat temp to 160 degrees.

then pull them out and cool.. ( I have heard some people drop them in an ice bath for a while or put them in the refrigerator right out of the smoker)..

I personally use collagen only on snack stix. For sausage of any type I stick with hog casings....bigger ones work for me. To me, smoking sausage is a BIG PITA. I've done it and now stuff, rest overnight and poach to completion of 165 IT. I then quick saute in a skillet to brown up OR throw on the grill for marks & color. Works like a charm and nobody knows the difference. Safer, as well. If I give any away I know they are cooked. Lot of pitfalls in smoking sausage...if they touch, no smoke. If they are cold they sweat & smoke doesn't stick. To hot and they fat out on you. My most recent batch of hot links I didn't ice bath and they remained fat & happy

 

Please let me know your thoughts on what smoker gas or electric or if you have a particular brand and model that you like.

I've used both...electric is easier. I'd suggest considering a pellet smoker for, IMO, best of both Worlds and more true 'pit like' to me. Char Griller at Lowes....$450, half the price of a Traeger & bigger. Some propane models leak a lot and need mods around the doors and are usually thin material. I also have a Smokin' It #3 electric and that is a pretty good rig for the price compared to some others. 

 

Please let me know about what temps you use and how to cool them down after smoking...

I normally run about 250 degrees, less for salmon, more for chicken. Ice bath cools sausage down quick and prevents wrinkling. Still need to bloom them on racks for a bit. All answers are my opinion only....YMMV and everyone has a technique that works for them. Oh, I would not advise buying a new generation MES under any circumstances....older ones can be had but are not that cheap

 

thanks

-BrenTex

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Willie View Post
 

Thanks Chef,

 

I really appreciate the feedback, I love talking things through, for me its the best way for me to learn new things...

 

I was going to slice up some eye of round 1/4" and season it as I would to cold smoke.

* Hang it in this little smoker that yall help me decide on which one, to get some nice smoke on the meat.

Then take it to the new LEM 1010 dehydrator and dry it out....

Well, kinda lazy here or busy so I use dehydrator all the way, adding a touch of liquid smoke to my marinade.....delicious and fail proof. You want to dry the meat, not cook it, so temps MAY get to hot in your smoker. I set my Nesco at 125-130 & in a few hours.....jerky

 

I did order some of the LEM Jerky seasoning as well as something called Nesco Jerky Seasoning and one called Eldons to try.

Those I am planning to use in the new LEM dehydrator to see how they come out. My problem is, the wife and I love the taste of Pecan smoked jerky that I get when I am able to cold smoke in the smokehouse with a good seasoning. We just dont get the weather to play right here and would like to do this year round.  I have just never been a fan of liquid smoke / shake on smoke, I just shiver thinking about that taste. But, I am willing to give it a try with some of these mixes. Just really want to figure out how the best way to get that smokehouse taste year round. With the smokehouse. I hang the meat, fire up the little barrel with some charcoal when its is going I throw a pecan log on top of it and let it bellow smoke all day. Then i just let it hang and air dry until its ready. Usually 48 hrs from start to finish and its incredible.

 

Ground up some pork and season.

trying out some collagen casings (never used them before, would love to know opinions on these)

hang them in the smoker at a low temp and smoke for a few hours. (need help on correct temp 165? 200?)

bump up the smoker temp and get the internal meat temp to 160 degrees.

then pull them out and cool.. ( I have heard some people drop them in an ice bath for a while or put them in the refrigerator right out of the smoker)..

I personally use collagen only on snack stix. For sausage of any type I stick with hog casings....bigger ones work for me. To me, smoking sausage is a BIG PITA. I've done it and now stuff, rest overnight and poach to completion of 165 IT. I then quick saute in a skillet to brown up OR throw on the grill for marks & color. Works like a charm and nobody knows the difference. Safer, as well. If I give any away I know they are cooked. Lot of pitfalls in smoking sausage...if they touch, no smoke. If they are cold they sweat & smoke doesn't stick. To hot and they fat out on you. My most recent batch of hot links I didn't ice bath and they remained fat & happy


That is kinda what I thought when I saw the collagen casings but thought I would give them a try. Mainly for, as you said snack sticks. So, have you done any of the sticks in the dehydrator as well or do they need to be brought up to temp like the smoked sausage is before they go to the dehydrator? I am assume by snack stick you are saying the ready to eat "slim jim" type of product.

 

Please let me know your thoughts on what smoker gas or electric or if you have a particular brand and model that you like.

I've used both...electric is easier. I'd suggest considering a pellet smoker for, IMO, best of both Worlds and more true 'pit like' to me. Char Griller at Lowes....$450, half the price of a Traeger & bigger. Some propane models leak a lot and need mods around the doors and are usually thin material. I also have a Smokin' It #3 electric and that is a pretty good rig for the price compared to some others. 

I gave those a look, and thanks for adding on to my options lol...Those are really cool, but saw that they are no longer carrying the Char Griller due to electronic issues and hard to get repair parts. The Traegers are pretty cool too, just all are outside of the ole budget for this task... I went to lowes and picked up a 2 door gasser..

http://www.lowes.com/pd_411913-95393-MFX784BDP_4294610367__?productId=4459479&Ntt=smoker&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Dsmoker&facetInfo=

From what I read in the other forums here, people seemed pretty pleased overall. But, still havent convinced myself to open the box just yet. Just dont know if I can get a low temp that  I need and still get smoke. You are right, dont want to break down the fat with a high temp..Never really understood about all the people that get worked up over the door leaking a little. When you use a pit, you loose a heck of a lot when you open the lid (same thing),  I guess if its the only thing they cook on then I guess its legit, but if I am going to do butts or brisket, I am going to the offset wood burner, where I have complete control..Dont think I would ever put a big piece of meat in one of these, or dont plan to anyway. I may keep looking at these pellet models, before I open the box on this one.

Just wish I knew someone that had one of these to know how low the temp can be and still produce smoke.

 

Please let me know about what temps you use and how to cool them down after smoking...

I normally run about 250 degrees, less for salmon, more for chicken. Ice bath cools sausage down quick and prevents wrinkling. Still need to bloom them on racks for a bit. All answers are my opinion only....YMMV and everyone has a technique that works for them. Oh, I would not advise buying a new generation MES under any circumstances....older ones can be had but are not that cheap


250? that is the cooking temp, for a finished product right? I was thinking more along under 200 to smoke sausage to get the smoke and internal temp up without breaking down the fat..

 

Man, I really like the discussion and really appreciate this. I hope others will jump in with their thoughts as well.

 

-Brentex

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