Newbies 1st attempt at Jalapeño Cheddar Sausage

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

HushyQ

Smoke Blower
Original poster
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Dec 30, 2023
85
130
Cleveland, Ohio
Appreciate you all and the info i've gained while lurking around. Jleanard says you all like show and tell so I'll include some pics. Haven't made sausage in a long time as stuff happens, my kitchen aid took a dump and was a pain anyway. This is my first attempt at Jalapeño Cheddar and only my first on a Treager. I couldn't wait a full 24 hours to dry so I started this morning on my Treager w just 2 smoke tubes filled with Post Oak chips. I was hoping to go 2 to 4 hours with just the tubes doing a cold smoke. Anyone have any thoughts on how long is it safe to keep the temp that low when using Cure #1? I saw a Chuds video where he went 24 hours. I am hoping to get the most smoke I can safely.
The recipe is 10 lbs half brisket point and half pork western ribs. 2 packs of Chuds sausage starter, 2 tsp Insta Cure #1, 2/3 cup dehydrated jalapeños(a little light actually), and 1 pound of high temp cheddar. The test patty was so good it turned into burgers for my wife and daughter and they both begged me to keep some fresh. Dried in fridge for about 12 hours. Biggest headache was my inexpensive stuffer moving around a bit and the casings breaking pretty frequently. You can see I have quite a few baby links I'll use to temp check. Had some trouble getting some of the hog casings on the tube even when using spray Pam. I used the largest stuffing tube of the 3 that came with the stuffer. Any advice for this newbie from Cleveland would be appreciated. More pics when finished.
 

Attachments

  • stuffed.jpg
    stuffed.jpg
    148.1 KB · Views: 50
  • fresh patties.jpg
    fresh patties.jpg
    155.3 KB · Views: 46
  • begin cold smoke.jpg
    begin cold smoke.jpg
    102.7 KB · Views: 45
Looks like a good start! As long as you used the proper amount of cure # 1 you will be fine cold smoking, if you stay around or under about 80 degrees.

Ryan
 
Welcome to SMF.
Looks like a nice job all around. With cure #1 you are good for weeks at refrigeration temps so cold smoke away. What is your ambient temp outside? As for casings they need to soak a long while in water, if they were dry packed in salt then soak them at least a week in water with a splash of vinegar and a dash of baking soda, this will help soften them up.
 
  • Like
Reactions: nlife
Excellent feedback guys, Thanks. I soaked my hog casings for 30 min. then flushed the insides twice. I did not keep them in water though while stuffing. Will take your advice next time SmokinEdge. I don't get a temp reading on my Treager without turning on but my thermapen reads 71 degrees at the stack. Hoping that is good. Anyone have cold smoking hacks or tips for Treager please bring em on. Iol, I've thought about cutting a hole in the Treager and in top of my Big Chief to use as cold smoker. A wing nut sliding cover when not using it. Crazy idea? Just keep using smoke tubes? any other ideas? Oh, its 40 degrees today
 
I know nothing about sausage making but LOTS here can help , as you can already see.
Welcome to SMF from SE GA!

Keith
 
Excellent feedback guys, Thanks. I soaked my hog casings for 30 min. then flushed the insides twice. I did not keep them in water though while stuffing. Will take your advice next time SmokinEdge. I don't get a temp reading on my Treager without turning on but my thermapen reads 71 degrees at the stack. Hoping that is good. Anyone have cold smoking hacks or tips for Treager please bring em on. Iol, I've thought about cutting a hole in the Treager and in top of my Big Chief to use as cold smoker. A wing nut sliding cover when not using it. Crazy idea? Just keep using smoke tubes? any other ideas? Oh, its 40 degrees today
Soak casings in warm water for an hour before stuffing. Yes, keep them in water even as you load the horn.
start-1b.jpg
Here's how I cold smoke with my big chief.
Element burned out and I'm thinking to open a hole in the back and mounting it on my pellet pooper as a smoke / warmer cabinet.
 
Soak casings in warm water for an hour before stuffing. Yes, keep them in water even as you load the horn.
View attachment 684673
Here's how I cold smoke with my big chief.
Element burned out and I'm thinking to open a hole in the back and mounting it on my pellet pooper as a smoke / warmer cabinet.
Oh, Nice!!! How many tubes do you usually go through for bacon?
 
Excellent feedback guys, Thanks. I soaked my hog casings for 30 min. then flushed the insides twice. I did not keep them in water though while stuffing. Will take your advice next time SmokinEdge. I don't get a temp reading on my Treager without turning on but my thermapen reads 71 degrees at the stack. Hoping that is good. Anyone have cold smoking hacks or tips for Treager please bring em on. Iol, I've thought about cutting a hole in the Treager and in top of my Big Chief to use as cold smoker. A wing nut sliding cover when not using it. Crazy idea? Just keep using smoke tubes? any other ideas? Oh, its 40 degrees today
Not sure about your Treager but when I’ve used the smoke tube in my Yoder pellet unit I can turn on the fan without starting up the grill. This air movement helps a bunch keeping the smoke clean and not stale. Otherwise I use my big smokehouse. As for your temps you are good but I will caution to only cold smoke for 5-ish hours at a time (depending on ambient humidity) then zip bag them and rest in the refrigerator then cold smoke again the next day. The cold smoke process is actually a drying process and if not careful you run the risk of drying the casing to much and making it tough, also if the casing dries to much (humidity lower than 70%) this will stop smoke penetration and smoke can then only build on the surface.
 
Thanks SmokinEdge. I don't see how to turn on the fan on my 780. I don't think the smoke is getting stale as the chimney is just pouring out so I believe there is a good draft. Have 2 tubes going and they are burning much faster than when I use them for brisket and Treager is running. I am at the 5 1/2 hour mark so I am taking your advice and taking them off and starting again in the morning. Thanks all and Happy New Year!!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: SmokinEdge
Thanks SmokinEdge. I don't see how to turn on the fan on my 780. I don't think the smoke is getting stale as the chimney is just pouring out so I believe there is a good draft. Have 2 tubes going and they are burning much faster than when I use them for brisket and Treager is running. I am at the 5 1/2 hour mark so I am taking your advice and taking them off and starting again in the morning. Thanks all and Happy New Year!!!
No problem. As long as you have good draft you are good. Happy New Year.
 
Looking good so far! Cheddar Jalapeno smokies are what I started with a few months ago. I'm not going to lie, I'm giggling to myself knowing the struggle you're having with the natural casings!

I had the same issue loading them onto the horn and was getting a bit frustrated back in November. I really struggled separating the strands as well. It was like trying to unravel 10 strands of Christmas lights rolled into a ball. I asked here and these fine folks pointed me to boykjo boykjo 's thread "How to Handle Natural Casings" and things have been great ever since! I follow the storage recommendation in the thread now too.

Fueling Around Fueling Around also suggested that before using them, you should rinse them in warm water. Following his advice, I now hold one end on end of the facet and run water into the casing. Pinch the downstream side to make the water stretch the casing. It looks for weak spots, too. It's made a HUGE difference in loading them onto the horn for me.

I can't find who told me, but there was another member here that mentioned that I should run the meat to the end of the horn, then slide the casing on. Having a small turtle head poke out, if you will, seems to really aid in getting that dang casing on.

I had tried oil on the horn, but I didn't find that it really helped anything. Now I just splash a bit of water on the horn, open the end of the casing with my fingers. Get a few scoops of luke warm water into the casing from the water it's sitting in and start loading. The stretched out casings go on SOOOO much easier now.

I smoked my cheddar jalapeno smokies on my Traeger set to the smoke setting. As you are aware, there is no way to cold smoke on the Traeger unless you use smoke tubes like you already are. I had thought about leaving the door open a crack and running the Traeger on the smoke setting, but the lowest mine will go on that setting is 160 to 180f. Opening the door just results in more pellets dumping into the tray to compensate for the heat loss. Granted it's cooler up here in Canada now so my smoker runs a tad colder overall and takes longer to heat up. I'm usually running around 150f on the smoke setting. I just put them in earlier to take advantage of it. Someday I'd like to try a true cold smoke, but we've been pretty happy with the results so far. I cook until they reach 142f then pull since I'll be grilling these anyways.

One cautionary note on using the Traeger in cold weather. It has a feature where it will automatically shut down IF the temperature of the smoker falls below 125f for 10 minutes or more. I had it happen to me a few times now. You need to turn it off, unplug it, then start it up again. Keep an eye on it for the first bit after you load the meat into it since it will drop the overall temperature a tad at first.

If you want to laugh at my struggles with natural casings, have a look at MY POST HERE to see my initial natural casing failure. The recipe is also included if you are still open to trying a different Jalapeno Cheddar Smokie. I use all pork and so far its been very well recieved by everyone that's tried it. I think they'll be killer cooked over a camp fire this coming year!
 
You passed the show and tell test….Next week we‘ll show you the secret hand shake. 😂🤪
Now onto those sausages…. Looks good to me. And the folks here are great about giving advice on things. Looks like they got you well on your way. Lords knows they have elevated my cooking to all new levels.

Jom
 
You passed the show and tell test….Next week we‘ll show you the secret hand shake. 😂🤪
Now onto those sausages…. Looks good to me. And the folks here are great about giving advice on things. Looks like they got you well on your way. Lords knows they have elevated my cooking to all new levels.

Jom
Jom, you been partaking in the goods? :emoji_wink:
I spell the same!

Ryan
 
Oh, Nice!!! How many tubes do you usually go through for bacon?
1 tube a day for 3 days Around 10-12 hours of smoke. Anymore and it can get acrid.
The u bolt to angle the tube is courtesy normanaj normanaj
I only get about 2 months of good cold smoke weather now in Minnesota. Wife and I snow bird in Florida

A big trend around here is to either use sawdust in a tray or to crumble pellets and use in a tube.
Either method burn slower with less smoke for long term cold smokes.

Thanks N nlife . I was getting there on the casings prep.
The only caution is when casing have been warm prepped, be careful not to overstuff.
 
  • Like
Reactions: normanaj and nlife
A Very Happy Ending and a great start to the New Year. You guys are Awesome. Thanks so much as I've learned so much in just my first post. To finish the batch I took them out of the fridge this morning, dried them off and put a fan on them for 30 min. Put them back on the Treager at 165(lowest setting) using Post Oak blend pellets and 1 tube of post oak chips. Surprised to find out that it only took 45 min. for my little tester and 1 hour for the fattiesto reach 150. Threw them in a cooler of ice water for 15 min. dried them off and back on the Treager to double smoke. Took them to 160 as I knew my fat content was probably a bit over 30% with that prime brisket point. A couple of blowouts of cheese and a couple of breaks taking them off the smoker cause I didn't use my gloves, Yow. The results were beyond my expectations. As I mentioned earlier I was really jonesing for the Jalapeño Cheddar links I got at Blackboard BBQ in Texas and man these were pretty damn close. Some may say I cheated using the Chuds starter seasoning but man I'll be buying that stuff by the case its so good. This ones a keeper for sure. Looking forward to that secret handshake, LOL.
 

Attachments

  • Testers at 160.jpg
    Testers at 160.jpg
    71.4 KB · Views: 37
  • Finished Batch.jpg
    Finished Batch.jpg
    207 KB · Views: 39
Nicely done. I’d hit some of that for sure. Just as a side, I stopped using high temp cheese and started using sharp cheddar. This works perfect if you watch that internal temp. I use Tillamook brand in the thick cut farm style grated. Regular cheese works but the sharper (dryer) the better.
 
That's funny SmokinEdge, I bought a giant block of extra sharp Tillamook at Costco but wasn't sure that it wouldn't pool up or ooze out. It ended up on a New Years Eve Charcuterie tray.I would much prefer the sharp taste of good cheddar than the High Temp so next time I will use for sure as well as add some whole mustard seed.
 
That's funny SmokinEdge, I bought a giant block of extra sharp Tillamook at Costco but wasn't sure that it wouldn't pool up or ooze out. It ended up on a New Years Eve Charcuterie tray.I would much prefer the sharp taste of good cheddar than the High Temp so next time I will use for sure as well as add some whole mustard seed.
Yeah, saves a few bucks and tastes way better plus it’s readily available at your grocery.
 
  • Like
Reactions: nlife and DougE
SmokingMeatForums.com is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts

Clicky