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kielbasa help

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

]first attempt at kielbasa. everything went well, got em stuffed,into the fridge overnight, then things went south. yesterday am. let them hang at room temp for an hr. into the smokehouse at 130* for an hr, started smoking and raised temp to 165*. these went in at 7:00 am. firsted checked them at 1:30, 110* it with some wrinkling going on. checked at 4:00pm,130* it a little more shriveled up. checked at 6:00 pm 139* it, this went on till 11:00 pm when i finally hit 152*it. cold shower and let hang for 2 hrs then into fridge [uncovered].tried one this am. almost needed a sawzall to cut it. tasted good but tough casing, and dry.so im thinking where i went wrong. smokehouse never exceeded 171* as monitered by two therms. it monitered by two different instant reads[small discrepancy between the two] did i bring up temp from 130* to 165* to fast? one thing i noticed is my smoke house has one heckuva draft you can really feel it when you open the door. maybe cut the draft down? any help appreciated as my gf is starting to wonder about my new hobby. when i get better at this i will post more pics. thanks,
dave
post #2 of 21
What was the fat content of the meat in the sausage? They look as they don't have any juice and were too lean to me.

Cutting down the draft would probly help, it looks as those are almost dehydrated. Also I am assuming your meat thermometer has been tested along with the rest of the ones you use to monitor smoking temp right?

Have never done kielbasa, but I would wonder about the fat content of the sausage first if it were me. When I do my summers and snack sticks, I start at about 110-120 and raise 10-15 degrees an hour to keep the temp rising slowly so the fat doesn't render out of the meat. Did you get alot of drippings from this sausage?

Just throwing out ideas for you, hopefully someone with more experience can maybe give you better advice.
post #3 of 21
I'd like to know the answer to the fat content and amount of drippings that tlz... asked too.

In addition, what kind of smoker do you have, did you use a water pan?
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
hey guys thanks for the quick responses, heres the drippings from ten pounds of kielbasa jerky:

the meat was srictly pork butt,seemed plenty fatty to me. i have a telltru therm and a maverick monitering smoke house which were within 1* of each other. i used no water pan in my homemade smokeshack. your exactly right when you say dehydrated which leads me to believe theres too much draft [ when i built this thing i thought draft was a good thing] fortuanatly they are adjustable. one thing tho, the two instant read therms only registered around 200* in boilng water but... they both read about the same. keep em coming guys i gotta get this figured out or ill be sleeping in the smokeshack. thanks,
dave
post #5 of 21
I have had the same problem and I don't think it's a fat issue.
The sausage itself is nice and moist but the casings are very tough.
I'm thinking that I'm applying too much smoke for too long a time.
My kielbasa is taking around 15-17 hours to reach an internal of 152.
I'm at 160 degrees with the temp of the smoker.
post #6 of 21
hi !thought i would add my 2 cents .i have been smoking Kielbasi for some time,both commercially and at home.i think you had your kielbasi in the smoker for too long.start up the smoker,get it around 125-130 deg.put kielbasi in smoker ,NO smoke until casings are dry.usually 30 min to 1 hr.start smoke.apply heavy smoke for around 2 hrs,turning the temp up to around 150 1 hour into the smoke process.keep the smoke going and turn up the temp to around 175.keep checking the internal temp in the meantime.your smoker has to be able to reach a higher temp than 170 deg.once the internal temp reaches 154 deg your kielbasi should be a nice color and will be done.if the internal temp goes higher than 170 deg the fat will start to break down along with the protein that binds the meat together.hope this helps! Skygreenbud
post #7 of 21
I've found with my smoked kielbasa, it's usually done in 6-8 hours, depending on ambient temperatures. I throw mine into my smoker at 120* for 2 hours with no smoke. The next 2 hours i give them smoke at 140* and finish them off with no smoke at 180* until they hit 165* - 170*. Like I say it should take 6-8 hours. But I also make sure my fat content is 15-20%.
Good Luck.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
thanks for the advice,maybe my smoker temps were a little low at 160*-170* maybe an extra 10* would make a difference? took way too long imo.
like you,this took an ungodly amount of time. when i slice this stuff[ with a sawzall] i see chunks of fat so i dont think thats it either.but... the inside is as dry as a popcorn fart. i think tlz hit the nail on the head when he said it looks dehydrated. i cant help but think its draft related. on my smokeshack and firebox i have more vents than col sanders has chicken, and when i did this they were all open. my smokeshack seems to run very dry if that makes sense. im confident in temps, holds temps very well.
confused,
dave
post #9 of 21
Did you soak your casings long enough? I usually soak 1 hour. Also by stuffing them to their fullest helps make the casings less wrinkled and more tender. Also after the initial hour with the damper wide open I close it to 1/4 open for the duration. If your thermometers registered 200 in boiling water than their off 12 degrees. also I try to smoke at 165-170., never over that.
post #10 of 21
I also think that you took too long at too low a temp. I have had the same problem. If you linger for an hour at each of the lower stops then scoot up to 180 you should be fine. You're basically dehydrating your sausage by holding at a lower temp. As long as you watch your meat temp and don't let that get over 160 you shouldn't suffer any major fat loss.
Do what I did - bring it to work and set it in the break room. I think I could cut up a baseball glove and set that out and it would be consumed.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
thanks jersey, ya casings were soaked 2-3hrs so thats not it. also smokehouse temps were right there between 160*-170*. one thing i think i missed is shutting down the dampers [i have 2 -4" dampers on roof and one 2"x12" adjustable vent on bottom] these were mostly open during the smoke. so essentialy i think i was running a big dehydrator! works fine for bacon but not so for sausage.
dave
post #12 of 21
Here's a few pics of mine, using my new Gander Mountain stuffer.
Kielbasa is nice and moist inside, but casings are very tough.







From the very dark color, I assumed they got too much smoke.
The smoker stayed steady at 160 degrees, but took 15 hours to reach an internal temp of 152. Seems way to long.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
ya thats what mine took as well with smokehouse temps @ 160*-170*, maybe we should try higher temps? according to old rytek " if in dought dont exceed 160*" ?
dave
post #14 of 21
You didn't say what recipe you used. I use soy protein concentrate in mine to help control shrinkage and keep them moist. I still get a little wrinkle here and there, but nothing serious.

post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
i used ryteks recipie with 2 cups of soy for the ten pound batch, seemed very pasty when all mixed up.
dave
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
bassman, yours look awsome, why are yours a nice brown color, and mine came out reddish? i dont think i put enough smoke to them?
dave
post #17 of 21
I use rytek's recipe also but use half the amount of soy.
I run my GOSM @ 110-120 for the first hour then apply smoke and run it at 140-150 for 8 hrs. I do not measure temp of sausage but I know when I pull it that it is not fully cooked. as most times when you serve it you cook it first anyway. usually simmer with kraut. or grill. so I dont feel the need to let it dry out in the smoker at higher temps. its almost like cold smoking and it turns out great. I do not use the water pan
post #18 of 21
Dave, after showering with cool water I let them bloom at room temperature until they get to the color I like.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
ya good point lar i wish i pulled them at the 8 hr mark, will be simmered anyhow.
if you guys look on page one of the fat drippings on the tinfoil, is that about right for ten pounds?
post #20 of 21
A lot depends on the quality of casings used. I buy mine from Syracuse Casing Company in Syracuse, NY.:
http://www.makincasing.com/mm5/merch...ategory_Code=2

This is how I get them, preloaded onto tubes you slide on your stuffing horn:


Now, these are not cheap. But, they are American Hog casings, not Chinese. They are whisker-free and a premium casing.

I've used cheaper casings before; my wife bought me some for Christmas and (bless her heart, it was in the right place for doing it!) I used them up, but they dsplayed the same characteristics described in this thread. (She also got me some Bailey's.. yum!)



When I soak mine, I add about a teaspoon of white vinegar; this softens the casing. I soak them about 20 min. or so, just lay the strip in a bowl of warm water. If you have any left over, just roll up and salt and save in the fridge.

I do my sausage at a higher temp as I want to render out some of the fat (diabetic, can't eat that much). It does make it a little drier but still good. But, I only smoke and cook mine for about 3 hrs at 230°. At 17 hours, it's almost like you're drying pepperoni sticks; they look about the same.

hope this helps!
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