Originally Posted by hickorybutt
This is exactly what I was looking for. Makes sense now.
So you start them out cold smoking to make sure the smoke can actually penetrate through the casing and slowly bring the heat up to cook them to an IT of 150-160? And I would guess the cure in the link is what keeps the meat from spoiling because it will be between 40-140 IT for longer than the 'safe zone' - am I correct?
Yes.... and any of the minor bacteria that grow will be killed with the final Internal Temp/Time of the sausage.... Or so it say's in fine print somewhere....
The cure, eliminates the possibility of botulism growing in the meats.... The meat is in the "PRIME" temperature range, for a long time, where botulism flourishes, in the lack of oxygen atmosphere that smoking creates.... Low oxygen environment, moisture, temperature and a non-acidic environment are a breeding ground for botulism...
Several conditions must be present for the germination and growth of Clostridium botulinum spores. Acid level is a primary factor. A pH near 7 or neutral favors the growth of Clostridium botulinum, while growth is inhibited at a pH of 4.6 or lower. The pH of a food also influences the amount of heat needed to kill C. botulinum spores; the higher the pH, the greater the level of heat needed.
A second important factor affecting the growth and toxin production is temperature. Proteolytic types grow between 55 and 122 degrees F, with most rapid growth occurring at 95 degrees F. Nonproteolytic types grow between 38 and 113 degrees F, with an optimum for growth and toxin production at about 86 degrees F. For these types, refrigeration above 38 degrees F may not be a complete safeguard against botulism.
Another important condition affecting the growth of Clostridium botulinum is the presence of oxygen. These organisms can’t grow if air or free oxygen is present in their microenvironment (the area immediately next to them). This area is so small that it is not readily observed. Therefore, it is possible to have conditions develop in a food system or wound whereby it appears that lots of air is available, but in reality there are areas where no air is present and anaerobic organisms, such as Clostridium botulinum, if present, can germinate and grow. Anaerobic conditions develop when food is canned. If the food is not heated enough to kill the spores of Clostridium botulinum, the spores will germinate and grow during subsequent storage of the food.