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Kielbasa in the e-WSM

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Ok, I should have done this last weekend, but I threw my back out so it was a no-go.  Getting old sucks....

This will be for the official maiden voyage of the e-WSM mod I posted the other day. Here is a link to the original e-WSM mod post:




The plan is I'm going to make kielbasa and perhaps some Jimmy Dean clone spicy sausage.  I have 7 pounds of trimmed pork butt that I bought when it was on sale.  Trimmed it off the bone and vacuum packed it and stored in the freezer.  Once it thaws enough to start to separate the cut strips, I will grind it for the sausage.


The Kielbasa will be smoked in the 18.5" WSM using the e-WSM mod for a heat source (1,300 watt electric element), smoke will come from a AMAZEN pellet tray with pitmaster's choice pellets. I will hang the Kielbasa from the Weber expandable smoking rack.  There will be a foiled Weber water pan (the old style shallow pan) to keep drippings from hitting the heating element or pellet tray. Kielbasa will be dried at a lower temp, and the temp stepped up every hour or so until it hit's 152* internal temps.  Hard to do this with with charcoal and wood chunks, which is why I made the e-WSM mod.  This will be the first full on smoke test of that modification.


Figured I would make 5 pounds of Kielbasa in a variation of Devo's recipe.


  • 5 pounds ground pork butt (with some fat of course)
  • 3/4 cups of ice water (I'm using beer, just because)
  • 1 1/2 tsp of white sugar
  • 3/4 TBL of ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp of salt (I was out of Kosher so used table salt)  (EDIT 08/21/2015 - that should be 1 1/2 TBL of salt)
  • 1 tsp of Hungarian paprika
  • 3/4 tsp of garlic powder  (or 6 cloves crushed fresh)
  • 1 tsp ground marjoram
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 TBL mustard seeds
  • 1 level tsp cure #1 (pink salt)


Waiting on the meat to that a little as it's a solid block right now.  More to follow as this progresses.   Plan is to grind, mix and stuff the meat tonight and smoke the Kielbasa in the e-WSM tomorrow.


The cast of characters so far:




Edit 08/21/2015 - corrected the salt to Tablespoons, not teaspoons.  Also I'm attaching the original recipe by Devo from my PDF recipe stash.

DevosKielbasa.pdf 130k .pdf file

Edited by dward51 - 8/21/15 at 4:15pm
post #2 of 28

DW51,I'm in !:popcorn

post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 

Ok, the #12 Kitchener grinder is set up and ready to go.


First grind will be through the course (3/8") plate.  Then a 2nd grind will be through the fine (3/16") plate.  



The meat is still 80% frozen.  It's just thawed enough for me to pull it apart into the strips I cut when I de-boned the pork butt. I used two trays to hold the partially thawed meat as I fed it into the grinder.  The trays will be used again in a few minutes.



Course grind in progress



Ok, here is what I used the trays for.  I did the 7 pounds in two batches.  After each batch was course ground, I put the meat back in the pan and flattened it out across the bottom of the pan.  I then put the pan of meat back into the freezer to re-chill while I ground the second batch.  The second batch also went into the freezer while I changed the plates for the final grind.


When I was ready to do the second grind, I pulled the first tray of course ground pork out of the freezer.  It was about 70 to 80% frozen again.  I then used a knife to cut the meat into strips not unlike how you would cut brownies in a pan (the first cut only).  I then used a fork to lift the strips of meat off the pan (remember it's mostly frozen again).  I then could form tubes of almost frozen meat to easily feed into the grinder throat.


Here is the meat cut into strips and one strip taken out of the pan for grinding.



The final grind.  Notice the condensation on the body of the grinder.  That meat is really cold.  No smearing of fat this way.  Keep it cold, and keep it clean when working with ground meats is the way to go.



Seven pounds of pork butt after the final grind in the 3/16" plate



Meat is back in the fridge while I clean up the grinder.  I'm going to get a bit of supper and will then mix the seasonings in and stuff 5 pounds for kielbasa.  It's later than I wanted it to be, so I may make the Jimmy Dean clone with the other 2 pounds tomorrow while I'm smoking the kielbasa.



More to come.....

post #4 of 28



I like the pan idea... Good thinking

post #5 of 28
Should be tasty!
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 

Mixed up the spices & some Miller Fortune (looking for some flavor from the beer and not just something liquid).  For those quick of eye, yes.... it is from last summer and I needed to "use" it up.  Apparently a few of these got shuffled to the back of the fridge behind the wife's girly drinks.



Meat & spices all mixed up and ready for the stuffer.



I used some tubed hog casings that I picked up from a local butcher a while back.  This is what was left over from the "Las Vegas hot link - reverse engineering experiment a while back. I was concerned they would be bad as I had left them in water in the fridge after only using half the tube.  Nope, no odor and they appeared to be just fine.  They were plenty soft from being in water all this time (2 blow outs when stuffing).



Stuffer is loaded and ready.  I use plastic coated freezer paper for a work surface.  Clean and easy to dispose of when done.  Note the condensation on the stuffer body.  Meat is frosty cold.



Five pounds all mixed and stuffed.  Into the fridge overnight for the flavors to blend.  I will smoke this in the e-WSM tomorrow.


More to come......


post #7 of 28
Looking good. Cant wait to see the finished shots popcorn.gif
post #8 of 28

First    Looks Great !!    Second    "You stole my Grinder and Stuffer"   I said they sure look familiar !!   Going to be good  I'm in.      I too like the pan Idea  pretty neat    points1.png




post #9 of 28

Great job so far on the sausage with nice step by step details.  Reinhard

post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 

Ok, now for the first run of the e-WSM.


Preheated the unit to about 105*.  Temps on the dial thermostat are not PID accurate, but it should do for this purpose.  Ran from 115 to 95* (kick on and off points of the analog thermostat).  That should do for drying the casings.


Here is the setup.  e-WSM door with electric element is in the WSM body, a foiled water pan (old style shallow water pan) is in as a drip pan, and the Weber expandable smoking rack will be used to hang the kielbasa for the duration of the smoke.


Set for about 105* for one hour to dry the casings (yes, this sausage does have cure #1 in it).  Then I will use a pellet tray with Pitmaster's Choice blend of pellets.  I will then step up the temps every hour or so until it hits an internal temp of around 152*.


And so it begins.....


Initial pit setup.  The door with the heating element is in the WSM body.



5 pounds of stuffed kielbasa on the racks of the Weber expandable smoke rack.  That color should change a lot by the time I'm done with these.



post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 

Pellet tray is lit and in the base of the smoker.  Bumped the temp up to 120* and we are officially smoking kielbasa in the e-WSM now.

post #12 of 28

Looks great so far, 


A full smoker is a happy smoker



post #13 of 28

That's a nice set-up for that Kielbasa!!!  Let the smoke begin !!  Reinhard

post #14 of 28

Looking good, nice post and love the pics !:points:

post #15 of 28

This reads like a suspense novel - I'm anxious to see the finished product.

post #16 of 28
Looks pretty tasty, can't wait to see the finished stuff...
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 

Kielbasa is done.  Letting them hang and bloom now. Notice the wonderful color change from where they were at the start!




My thoughts on running the e-WSM with an actual load of meat are as follows.  I found the temp swings at the low end were much wider than the swings at the upper end of the smoke.  When I was targeting 105* to dry the casings, the temps ran from 95 to 118*.  As I stepped the temps up during the smoke, it seemed very stable with the pit set at the 150* range mid smoke.  Then as I finished them at 205* the temps ranged from 203 to 210.  The most difficult thing was finding that sweet spot for each target temp while trying to dial it in on an analog thermostat.  It reminded me of the early days on the WSM when I was learning vent control.  You sort of chase a temp on the low end until you find it, and then it's stable afterwards.


Overall I'm very satisfied with the performance of the e-WSM on an actual full smoke.  Yes a PID added to the mix would make it spot on for temp control, but "as is" this is a very workable mod that anyone can do for around $60 if you buy everything.


Remember, I made this mod for just what I did today, smoking sausage and snack sticks.  With a top end in the 250* range I may try a pork shoulder on an overnight smoke one day just for the heck of it.


I'll post cut photos of the kielbasa later (still blooming).

post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 

Ok, so I got impatient.  Had to cut them and see the inside and fry up a sample!  Taste is pretty good and should only get better after they sit.  A little more heat than I expected, but very good flavor.




post #19 of 28
Yes sir, looks great.
post #20 of 28
That looks awesome!

Points for your e-Wsm...
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