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First time making brats

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
What did I do wrong for my brats to vary so much in color? Should I have dried them longer before putting smoke to them? The ones on the outer edges got good color but the ones in the middle didn't. I rotated racks a couple times in the process.[IMG]
post #2 of 17

What was your process?

post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by c farmer View Post
 

What was your process?

  This^^^^^   110.gif

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yah,sorry. Well I loaded up smoker and ran it at about 90 degrees for an hour. Then I added smoke and turned it up to 130 degrees for an hour then bumped it up to 150 degrees for about two hours. Then bumped it up to 170 for about an hour then brought temp up slowly to 180 degrees till I reached internal temp of 156 degrees. Then I pulled them and ice bathed them. I noticed when I swapped racks for the first time that some of the brats were sweating or had condensation on them when the temp was in the 130 ish range. This is my first time smoking sausage of any kind. Was hoping for a more appealing look but they taste good anyway. I did have a water pan after I started the smoke. Is that something I should avoid?
Edited by rsrobins - 1/13/15 at 12:25pm
post #5 of 17
It looks like some are touching each other. You need about an inch of space on all sides of each link to assure even smoke absorption. Plus loading the racks that full will inhibit circulation, another cause of uneven color.
post #6 of 17

HI...yeah, I'd ditch the water pan.....steam is counterproductive to smoke adhering to the sausages. Most here will make a heat sink of sorts out of the pan by filling with play sand. I'd also venture a suggestion that there were just to many sausages in there and it looks like many are touching each other...another thing to avoid. If possible, next time hang them off bars and use spacers to keep them apart. A spacer can just be a small piece of cardboard to keep them apart. I've also in the past hung the links in my kitchen and had a fan on them for an hour to dry, then again in the smoker for an hour with no smoke to help dry more. Usually, I also leave them in the fridge overnight uncovered on a clean towel to help dry them out. I might also suggest 4-5 hours of smoke then immerse into a barely simmering water bath to poach to fully cooked. I've had good success with that method......HTH, Willie

post #7 of 17

Kind of looks like you weren't putting out much smoke there. Maybe that was part of the problem. Did you use cure? Cure adds a little color, plus a measure of safety. In fact, if you didn't use cure you probably should toss it all. Did you make sure that smoker has good air flow? Can you post a pic of the build? Ok I saw your build thread. Maybe you need more air circulation?


Edited by timberjet - 1/13/15 at 2:07pm
post #8 of 17

Drying longer and without the water would have helped but they still look quite tasty !

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advise everybody. I'll take all I can get. I made 30 pounds that batch. I agree they were very crowded. They were only touching where they join together at the bends but definitely overloaded. I need to try hanging a batch next time and maybe make half of what I did this time. I think o will ditch the water pan also. Can you put just any kind of sand as a heat sink or does it have to be something special? Thanks a g ain, rookie Rich:-)
post #10 of 17

Play sand is good or pea gravel. Wrap it with foil to keep it clean.

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
That was the hi mountain brat mix with cure.
post #12 of 17

Oh good. I bet they tasted good anyway right? I just had to ask as all the Bratwurst I have made was fresh uncured. Might have to try that mix if you thought it was good.

post #13 of 17

They were to close together.

 

I did my first batch a week or so ago.

 

Started like this.

 

 

 

I seen the color problem and spread them between 2 racks.  You can see it in this pic.

 

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by c farmer View Post
 

They were to close together.

 

I did my first batch a week or so ago.

 

Started like this.

 

 

 

I seen the color problem and spread them between 2 racks.  You can see it in this pic.

 

How was the flavor of those anyway? Did it taste as advertised? Just curious.

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by timberjet View Post

Oh good. I bet they tasted good anyway right? I just had to ask as all the Bratwurst I have made was fresh uncured. Might have to try that mix if you thought it was good.
They taste pretty good but I dont think I'd get that particular one again. I think I should have got the german flavor. I might try that next. I think I'm going to try some summer sausage next though.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by c farmer View Post

They were to close together.

I did my first batch a week or so ago.

Started like this.





I seen the color problem and spread them between 2 racks.  You can see it in this pic.


Thanks for posting this. I definitely won't load mine so heavy next time.That's some good looking sausage there.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsrobins View Post

Thanks for posting this. I definitely won't load mine so heavy next time.That's some good looking sausage there.

Thanks, the color problem was solved after I spread them out.

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