Need help with MES

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There is a specific process that MUST be followed when smoking CURED sausage (as well as hot smoking bacon). Why? So that you do NOT melt out the fat from the sausage leaving a dry crumbly product that will break your heart after all the effort put in. If temps get too hot too fast the fat will melt and this whole bad situation is known as "fat out". So this processes is needed.

Because this takes so much time (often may hours) at such low temps, cure#1 is needed to keep things safe and avoid bacteria going wild and then getting you sick.

If doing fresh/uncured sausages you want to smoke and cook them to safe internal temperatures (165F Internal Temp [IT] ) within 4 hours. This is not so common of a practice but some will almost cold smoke the sausage for a bit and then throw it on a grill to actually cook the sausage and all of this happens in under a 4 hour period so no food safety issues to be had.

Sausage Smoking Process
  • Hour 1: Start with sausage in your smoker at 100F smoker temp for 1 hour, WITHOUT applying smoke. This should let the sausages dry a bit
  • Hour 2: Bump your smoker temp up like 10-20F degrees or so (this range can vary but don't bump too high). Start applying smoke. Let roll at this temp and with smoke for 1hour.
  • Hour 3: Bump up smoker temp again 10-20F degrees. Keep rolling smoke if that's what your sausage calls for or cut it off, it's all sausage dependent. Hot dogs only need like 30-45 min of smoke where other sausage may roll with hours of smoke.
  • Hour 4: Bump up the temp again 10-20F
  • Next Hours: Bump temp up every hour like you have been doing until the smoker temp is like 165-170F. You don't really want to go over that temp max temp range and let it go until your sausage hits the desired Interal Temp (IT) of meat of 150-155F or so. I shoot for like 152F but some sausage is higher or just a hair lower, it's all good.
  • When sausage hits the IT you soak it in an ice water bath to immediately stop the cooking and cool the sausage down. This will also keep the casing/skin from getting wrinkly having some other issues
  • Once sausage has cooled, dry it off and set it out to "bloom" (change color) for a while. These times vary, 1hr or more usually. Some people don't bloom sausages at all, it's mostly a cosmetic thing so up to you.
  • Vac seal and freeze/put in fridge to eat that weak/start eating on some, etc.

I hot smoke my bacon to a fully cooked 145F IT and follow this same process so I don't get fat out on my bacon :)

Let me know if this all makes sense and if you have any questions :D
Awesome.
There is a specific process that MUST be followed when smoking CURED sausage (as well as hot smoking bacon). Why? So that you do NOT melt out the fat from the sausage leaving a dry crumbly product that will break your heart after all the effort put in. If temps get too hot too fast the fat will melt and this whole bad situation is known as "fat out". So this processes is needed.

Because this takes so much time (often may hours) at such low temps, cure#1 is needed to keep things safe and avoid bacteria going wild and then getting you sick.

If doing fresh/uncured sausages you want to smoke and cook them to safe internal temperatures (165F Internal Temp [IT] ) within 4 hours. This is not so common of a practice but some will almost cold smoke the sausage for a bit and then throw it on a grill to actually cook the sausage and all of this happens in under a 4 hour period so no food safety issues to be had.

Sausage Smoking Process
  • Hour 1: Start with sausage in your smoker at 100F smoker temp for 1 hour, WITHOUT applying smoke. This should let the sausages dry a bit
  • Hour 2: Bump your smoker temp up like 10-20F degrees or so (this range can vary but don't bump too high). Start applying smoke. Let roll at this temp and with smoke for 1hour.
  • Hour 3: Bump up smoker temp again 10-20F degrees. Keep rolling smoke if that's what your sausage calls for or cut it off, it's all sausage dependent. Hot dogs only need like 30-45 min of smoke where other sausage may roll with hours of smoke.
  • Hour 4: Bump up the temp again 10-20F
  • Next Hours: Bump temp up every hour like you have been doing until the smoker temp is like 165-170F. You don't really want to go over that temp max temp range and let it go until your sausage hits the desired Interal Temp (IT) of meat of 150-155F or so. I shoot for like 152F but some sausage is higher or just a hair lower, it's all good.
  • When sausage hits the IT you soak it in an ice water bath to immediately stop the cooking and cool the sausage down. This will also keep the casing/skin from getting wrinkly having some other issues
  • Once sausage has cooled, dry it off and set it out to "bloom" (change color) for a while. These times vary, 1hr or more usually. Some people don't bloom sausages at all, it's mostly a cosmetic thing so up to you.
  • Vac seal and freeze/put in fridge to eat that weak/start eating on some, etc.

I hot smoke my bacon to a fully cooked 145F IT and follow this same process so I don't get fat out on my bacon :)

Let me know if this all makes sense and if you have any questions :D
awesome. So when you say to add smoke in hour 2 and beyond is this via the chips? Do you cold smoke before bringing the smoker up to 100? In other words do you “pre-smoke”?
 
Awesome.

awesome. So when you say to add smoke in hour 2 and beyond is this via the chips? Do you cold smoke before bringing the smoker up to 100? In other words do you “pre-smoke”?

Q: So when you say to add smoke in hour 2 and beyond is this via the chips?

A:
Adding smoke depends on your smoker system/setup.
So with a propane smoker or a smoke house or an electric smoker you can generate heat without adding wood for smoke. In my case I run a rewired MES40 with a PID, Mailbox Mod + AMNPS tray.
So in my setup I will be adding smoke via pellets in my AMNPS tray in my mailbox mod.

Someone with a stock MES would add wood chips.

Q: Do you cold smoke before bringing the smoker up to 100? In other words do you “pre-smoke”?
A:
No. You simply get the smoker going at 100F degrees for 1 hour with no smoke. Therefore there is no "pre-smoke". After Hour 1, you apply smoke. In my setup I would have the AMNPS tray with pellets lit for 10 minutes right before the end of hour 1. Blow out the flame and put the tray into my mailbox mod so the AMNPS tray would generate smoke into my smoker.

I would have my AMNPS tray loaded up with enough pellets to hit the amount of hours I wanted to apply smoke. Roughly with the 3 rows in the AMNPS tray you get 4 hours per row. So if I only wanted 3 hours of smoke I would have like a little less than 1 row. If I wanted 30 minutes of smoke I would have like 1/3 of a row filled with pellets. If I wanted 5 hours of smoke I would fill like 1 & 1/3 rows with pellets or so. You get the idea.
With a stock MES, in theory, someone would feed chips starting at the end of hour 1 and feed for however long they wanted to apply smoke. I say "in theory", because at low smoker temps under 225F the stock MES doesn't like to smolder wood chips. The element doesn't get hot enough for long enough which makes for complications in doing sausage smoking in the MES.

Let me know if this all makes sense and keep the questions coming :D
 
Step 1 complete.
smoker.jpg
 
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Q: So when you say to add smoke in hour 2 and beyond is this via the chips?

A:
Adding smoke depends on your smoker system/setup.
So with a propane smoker or a smoke house or an electric smoker you can generate heat without adding wood for smoke. In my case I run a rewired MES40 with a PID, Mailbox Mod + AMNPS tray.
So in my setup I will be adding smoke via pellets in my AMNPS tray in my mailbox mod.

Someone with a stock MES would add wood chips.

Q: Do you cold smoke before bringing the smoker up to 100? In other words do you “pre-smoke”?
A:
No. You simply get the smoker going at 100F degrees for 1 hour with no smoke. Therefore there is no "pre-smoke". After Hour 1, you apply smoke. In my setup I would have the AMNPS tray with pellets lit for 10 minutes right before the end of hour 1. Blow out the flame and put the tray into my mailbox mod so the AMNPS tray would generate smoke into my smoker.

I would have my AMNPS tray loaded up with enough pellets to hit the amount of hours I wanted to apply smoke. Roughly with the 3 rows in the AMNPS tray you get 4 hours per row. So if I only wanted 3 hours of smoke I would have like a little less than 1 row. If I wanted 30 minutes of smoke I would have like 1/3 of a row filled with pellets. If I wanted 5 hours of smoke I would fill like 1 & 1/3 rows with pellets or so. You get the idea.
With a stock MES, in theory, someone would feed chips starting at the end of hour 1 and feed for however long they wanted to apply smoke. I say "in theory", because at low smoker temps under 225F the stock MES doesn't like to smolder wood chips. The element doesn't get hot enough for long enough which makes for complications in doing sausage smoking in the MES.

Let me know if this all makes sense and keep the questions coming :D
Makes perfect sense. Thanks! I'm sure I'm not done asking questions :)
 

Makes perfect sense. Thanks! I'm sure I'm not done asking questions :)

Nice you have a begun!!!! FYI, simplest smoke in the world is boneless skinless chicken thighs if you want something not to expensive, hard to mess up, and allows you to produce good food while learning about your setup and getting mailbox mods, pids, etc. all setup and tweaked with your smoker.

It's best to avoid more difficult or long smoking items until you are rocking and rolling on the simpler stuff :D
 
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Nice you have a begun!!!! FYI, simplest smoke in the world is boneless skinless chicken thighs if you want something not to expensive, hard to mess up, and allows you to produce good food while learning about your setup and getting mailbox mods, pids, etc. all setup and tweaked with your smoker.

It's best to avoid more difficult or long smoking items until you are rocking and rolling on the simpler stuff :D
Thanks, but I've been smoking the usual stuff for several years on my Kamado Joe. I just bought this because I want to get into sausages. Appreciate the help.
 
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