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Question about finishing Kielbasa

rohfan2112

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So I ground up 5 lbs. of pork butt for Kielbasa and tonight I will stuff into casings. I don't have a way to reliably cook at 180F to bring the IT up to 155 for hot smoking so I'm considering options. I have a charcoal/propane grill with too many hot/cold spots to cook consistently even. And the house oven's temperatures spike all over the place.

I'm assuming since I used cure #1 in the mix that I can maybe cold smoke the kielbasa for a few hours and then poach it in simmering water to bring it to 155F. Will that work? Any other advice?
 

crankybuzzard

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Poach it in 180 degree water until the IT reaches 155 just like you described... Once the IT is hit, drop them into an ice water bath to stop the cooking.  Allow to dry and then package up.

I warm smoke (<100 degrees) sausages before I poach them and have good results.  Just make sure the links are good and dry before adding smoke.

Charlie
 
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boykjo

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With the cure added you can cold smoke the sausage in your grill for a few hrs. then  I would oven them for a bit turning the oven as low as it can go to get the meat to bind then move to a 180 degree water bath to finish....
 

rohfan2112

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Cranky and boykjo, thanks for the suggestions. Now, how to regulate the water bath. I was thinking about a large dutch oven half full with water at a low temp on the stove top with a temp. probe in it. Once I can keep it consistently at 180 I will drop the sausage in, with a temp probe in the link, and let it simmer to 155F. Sound like a plan?
 

crankybuzzard

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Bring your water to a boil WITHOUT meat in it, then drop the heat down to around medium low on an electric stove.  Add tap water a little at a time until you are around 190.  add the sausage links and watch the temp.  Don't let the water ever come back to a boil with the links in the pot.

Monitor the temp of the water in an area where a close link won't affect it too much.

Depending on the size of your links, and the temp they went in at, it may take up to an hour to get the IT target.

Also, with an electric stove, you'll have times where the temp rises a little over 180 and may drop under due to the element cycling on and off.  Just keep the average there and you'll do fine.

Let us know how it goes!

Charlie
 

rohfan2112

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Bring your water to a boil WITHOUT meat in it, then drop the heat down to around medium low on an electric stove.  Add tap water a little at a time until you are around 190.  add the sausage links and watch the temp.  Don't let the water ever come back to a boil with the links in the pot.

Monitor the temp of the water in an area where a close link won't affect it too much.

Depending on the size of your links, and the temp they went in at, it may take up to an hour to get the IT target.

Also, with an electric stove, you'll have times where the temp rises a little over 180 and may drop under due to the element cycling on and off.  Just keep the average there and you'll do fine.

Let us know how it goes!

Charlie
Charlie, thanks for the help. Is it generally desirable to finish kielbasa poached in water? Is that pretty much the standard technique? BTW, my stove is propane, not electric.
 

crankybuzzard

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There are lots of ways to do it.  I poach mine because I prefer to have most of my sausages ready to eat hot or cold.  However, I have smoked to completion with a slow ramp in the smoker.  I start at 100 with no smoke until the links are completely dry, ramp up to ~130 with light smoke for a couple of hours, then up to ~180 with light smoke until my IT is hit.

Now, the gas stove is your friend at this point.  Start with the pot you plan to poach in, fill it half way with water, turn the burner on low and see what temperature the water maxs out at after an hour or so.  Adjust as needed to maintain your temp.

Charlie
 

rohfan2112

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So after stuffing I have 4.5 large 2' links and I don't know if I'm gonna be able to fit them in a water bath. I may have to set the oven on its lowest temp and monitor it with a probe and finish the kielbasa in there. Is there any reason I definitely shouldn't do that? Anyway, it's off to the smoker!
 
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crankybuzzard

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2' links?  Those are quite long indeed...

Oven my be your best bet now, I have a fish cooker pot that I use sometimes for a big batch of larger sausages, have anything like that?

If not, put them into the oven and monitor the temp to keep it as close to 180 as possible.  I assume the oven is gas as well, so that may assist.

Finished feedback and pics are now required... 


Charlie
 

rohfan2112

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Ok, they are probably closer to 20" each total but they are kind of folded in half as if I were hanging them in the smoker. So the length is really about 12". Will try the oven method.
 

rohfan2112

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Well, my inconsistent oven strikes again. Crumbly, oiled out kielbasa, albeit flavored very well. The lowest setting my oven knob goes to is 200 so I put it to where I thought 175 would be and kept a keen eye on my oven thermometer. Seemed to regulate there so in went the links. I kept checking the temp of the oven and I got a spike of over 200 and shortly thereafter there was a little pooling of the oil in the pan. Once the links hit an IT of 152, there was a considerable amount of oil in the pan. I immediately plunged them into an ice water bath and brought the temp down to 70F. I let it bloom for a few hours and then did a test piece in the frying pan. Excellent flavor, nice and mealy!  :(   Since my Italian sausage links came out fine and they had the same fat/meat ration I have to assume it was, in fact, the heat spike that caused the issue. I mixed the meat very well before stuffing into casings so I don't think that was the issue. Will have to try another batch using a better method.
 

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