Hot water bath

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by okiecat, May 5, 2016.

  1. okiecat

    okiecat Fire Starter

    . So Im tired of staying up all day and night cooking sausage. I want to try the hot water bath next time. I know the temp is around 150-155. But how do you know how long? Is there a chart or do you stick a probe in one and maybe keep that end above water. Will they come up to 153. Now these are naked sausage sticks right, not vacum wraped? What IT can I pullem out of smoker and into water? Usually smoke 4 hrs and by then they should be around 120. I think. Sure could use some advice.
  2. couger78

    couger78 Smoking Fanatic

    I hear ya! One of the main reasons I was swayed by the hot bath finish argument was the BIG time savings it provided with little or no compromise in the quality of the finished product. I try to get the water temp around 165°F in the poacher/converted turkey roaster. I insert a probe into the model of a large chub or select a 'sacrificial' link in a large batch. These are all naked sticks—no vacuum wrapping. Fresh out of the smoker. Most times tne starting IT of the meat is between 125-138°F depending on the diameter of the meat. My target is between 157-160°F. I pull them at 157°F and plunge them into an ice bath.

    For MOST sausage links (28-30mm), it takes about 30 minutes for them to reach the desired IT. For larger chubs, such as the bologna and mortadella below, it may take 90 minutes to 2 hours— still far quicker than another 4-5 hours in the smoker.

    Probe inserted through fibrous casing in summer sausage. Right angle insertion means far less marking ('hole making') than a horizontal insert.

    Probe in one link. The link was submerged following the photo. One temp probe in the meat, a thermometer keeping tabs of the water temp..

    Horizontal probe insert: many bologna slice have a probe hole! I've done enough of the links (on the right) that i'll insert a probe into a link about 20 minutes into the bath to take a temp reading.

    Min-mortadella get a probe. this one took about 90 minutes to finish.

    Last edited: May 5, 2016
  3. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    So having a probe in the meat in water doesn't hurt the meat? Make it water logged?

    I never tried a water bath because of these questions.
  4. couger78

    couger78 Smoking Fanatic

    I've never had an issue with my chubs getting 'waterlogged' nor water pooling within links. IF any water were to seep in, we're only talking a 30 minute in most cases and exposure in relatively still water (we not talking a rolling boil here.) so intrusion would be minimal and localized in a densely-stuffed casing.
    Last edited: May 5, 2016
  5. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Perfect, thanks.
  6. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I usually leave my Maverick probe in the link after smoking. One hole, one link, never seen any water infiltration.
  7. okiecat

    okiecat Fire Starter

    Wow, thanks a bunch cougar78. The pics are great too. You answered alot of my questions. I do 95% summer sausage. We have moved to the smaller casings. 12" X 2" and some1 1/2". These get done quicker and we tend not to waste our product. Downsiide is we allways do 25# or more at one time. I have a large crab boil pot and fish cooker burner settup. Is that something that would work? A 25# stuff usually yeilds 20 sticks. Thanks for reply
  8. oberst

    oberst Smoke Blower

    Not sure if it applies here, but I have taken to finishing my smoked sausage in the oven. Set on convection bake at 175 or 185 it EVENLY brings all the sausage to finish temp. My MES30 with its little heating element can't compare. I assume the water bath would be very even as well but oven is clean and easy. Put foil on oven floor to avoid cleanup.
  9. nunantal

    nunantal Fire Starter

    Very interesting thread... great QVIEW.....Why would't you insert the temp probe into the sausage links lengthwise?  There would still just be one hole and it seems to me that you would have a much better chance of hitting the middle to insure you get to the finish temp.
  10. couger78

    couger78 Smoking Fanatic

    Two reasons I choose not to insert the probe lengthwise:

    1. keep the probe/wire connection dry. Some probes I've discovered, go a little haywire if water intrudes at the connection point where wire meets the probe. One could shrink wrap the area on the probe. By inserting the probe perpendicular to the chub, the temp probe remains dry.

    2. Less invasive 'damage' to the chub/link. Not a biggie, but I'd rather not have a puncture hole running 5-7" through the chub.
  11. redheelerdog

    redheelerdog Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Yep, I fried my last Maverick probe by getting water in it - don't submerge the end of the TI where the wires meet the probe.
  12. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I do insert mine lenght wise, I use the 90 of the probe on the edge of the roaster. But remember you need not insert the probe deep. You reall need only insert the radius of the link's with.

    Cajun Sausages


    I understand Kevin's points, I just have not had a problem yet. Its where I normally insert the probe in the link for smoking. I just leave it. I unplug the plug from the transmitter to move it in the house and re-install and turn back on the transmitter.
  13. Foam and Couger, what size roasters are those? Trying to get an idea of a good size.
  14. couger78

    couger78 Smoking Fanatic

    Any standard turkey roaster (22 qt) will suffice and hold 8-10 pounds of links.

    This is my vintage (1950) Westinghouse Model RO-91 that still does a stellar job on maintaining consistent temps over long periods of time. It has a deeper than standard enamel basin. The roaster unit is detachable from the rolling metal base cabinet. Complete with hi-tech analog clock! [​IMG]

    Last edited: May 10, 2016
  15. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks guys for spending my money!!!!  So when you do this water bath,,, No lid on at all??? Off the full time?? 

  16. couger78

    couger78 Smoking Fanatic

    I sometimes will leave the lid off; sometimes on.

    On colder days or cool nights, I'll leave the top on to help keep the temp regulated. 
  17. I have just used a large pot for a water bath.  170 degrees is easy to maintain on the electric stovetop.  Notes from a recent 3.0 Kg batch of venison kielbasa:  "Removed from smoker (110 deg first hour then 145 for next four hours) after 5 hours - IT 131.  Into the hot water at 1:25 PM and removed to ice water bath at IT 160 at 1:40 PM".  It goes pretty fast.  These sausages are stuffed in hog casings so the advice above about amount of time is based on diameter of sausage.
  18. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I too go with the warm water bath to finish.  I do mostly kielbasa and similar sized smoked sausages and I have no problem keeping the water between 150--165 in a large pot on my stove top.  Usually takes 20-30 minutes to get them up to temp!  I only tried going the whole way in the smoker once and it was too unpredictable and took forever!!! Thats why i made the switch.
  19. nunantal

    nunantal Fire Starter

    I'm assuming when you poach to finish the sausage, the water is already up to temp?   Also, roughly how long does it take to

    get the sausage (30 to 35mm) down to a suitable temp to stop cooking in a cold water bath and about what temp are you looking

  20. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Mine is, cause it takes a bit for the mass you are heating. I tap water and ice, and mine drop like a rock! As soon as they chill down, I dry 'em and into the reefer for a day.

    But now thats just me.

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