Shorts is COLD SMOKING homemade Sausage for the first time. Tell me if I have the Basics down. TIA

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SH0RTS

Fire Starter
Original poster
Jun 2, 2022
37
15
So, ive got a nice LEM #22 grinder/stuffer, Prague Powder #1, a self created seasonings recipe, natural hog casings and a smoker I made out of a commercial reach in cooler.

Tell me where Im wrong.
1) keep meat cold at all times.
2) run a coarse grind(gonna try a few grinds to see which I like best, but im partial to a coarse grind)
3) grinder parts in the freezer
4) grind, then refrigerate
5) mix seasonings and cure powder well
6) mix seasonings into ice cold water and incorporate well into the meat until sticky, then cool back down.

7) stuff casings( keep casings and horn wet)
8) id like to hang with 2 sausages draped over rods. Of course i will make sure they are dry before hanging.
9) and, heres my struggle in Alabama, temperature! I guess I’ll smoke at nights. But, if it climbs over 87 degrees a bit, do I need to be overly concerned as long as I have the curing powder at the correct ratio? 1tsp/5lbs of meat. Id like to smoke as long as possible.

Any advice you can give is monumentally appreciated! Heres some pics of the smoker

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Last edited:
This should be 1 TEASPOON (level) per 5 lbs of meat ..

As for the rest of the plan.. Most everything sounds ok...
I'm not sure about the cold smoking overnight idea though.. Lets see what some of the sausage gurus say...
Absolutely correct on the 1tsp NOT 1Tbs Of cure 1 to 5 pounds meat. Keith has this correct.

9) and, heres my struggle in Alabama, temperature! I guess I’ll smoke at nights. But, if it climbs over 87 degrees a bit, do I need to be overly concerned as long as I have the curing powder at the correct ratio? 1tbs/5lbs of meat. Id like to smoke as long as possible.



This is not a good idea without fermentation. A short smoke at 90ish degrees is fine but if smoking longer on sausage (can be different on whole muscle) It’s safer to warm smoke them then in the same session up the temp and finish IT at 151 or 2.
In this case all you have for safety is salt (I don’t know the percentage, but it does matter) and cure #1, this is not enough to play at around 90F for very long.

I would just warm smoke them for about 5 hours and reach an internal temp of 150F
 
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This should be 1 TEASPOON (level) per 5 lbs of meat ..

As for the rest of the plan.. Most everything sounds ok...
I'm not sure about the cold smoking overnight idea though.. Lets see what some of the sausage gurus say...
Thanks! Yes, i mistyped that. I have it all written down correctly in a notebook, where I got some info off of a thread on this forum and a few other places on the nets. Ive read where it should stay below 87 degrees, but it only mentioned that being the temp that the fat can start to loosen up and start rendering a bit in the 90’s. But, it didnt mention bacteria growth as a concern because of the Prague #1.
 
This should be 1 TEASPOON (level) per 5 lbs of meat ..

As for the rest of the plan.. Most everything sounds ok...
I'm not sure about the cold smoking overnight idea though.. Lets see what some of the sausage gurus say...

Absolutely correct on the 1tsp NOT 1Tbs Of cure 1 to 5 pounds meat. Keith has this correct.





This is not a good idea without fermentation. A short smoke at 90ish degrees is fine but if smoking longer on sausage (can be different on whole muscle) It’s safer to warm smoke them then in the same session up the temp and finish IT at 151 or 2.
In this case all you have for safety is salt (I don’t know the percentage, but it does matter) and cure #1, this is not enough to play at around 90F for very long.

I would just warm smoke them for about 5 hours and reach an internal temp of 150F
One more quick question fellas. Do I need to prick the sausages before putting them in the smoker. Most videos and articles Ive read they did not. I saw one video where a guy pricked them all over, and said the casings would reseal in the smoke process.
 
Do I need to prick the sausages before putting them in the smoker.
You should prick the casings after stuffing and before they dry. This is to remove air pockets that may exist, which will allow aerobic bacteria to potentially grow. It’s also good to refrigerate them a day or at least several hours. This allows the nitrite to work and convert to nitric oxide.
 
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You should prick the casings after stuffing and before they dry. This is to remove air pockets that may exist, which will allow aerobic bacteria to potentially grow. It’s also good to refrigerate them a day or at least several hours. This allows the nitrite to work and convert to nitric oxide.
Thanks, Edge
 
SH0RTS SH0RTS
how much salt are you using?
First batch i will do 10 lbs. so, i was planning on 2% of the weight. So, 3.2 oz or 90.7 grams of kosher. I bought a digital scale, and plan on getting used to weight instead of measurements. Plan on doing that with all my spices too. Plus, 2 teaspoons ( 8.4 grams)of Prague #1
 
First batch i will do 10 lbs. so, i was planning on 2% of the weight. So, 3.2 oz or 90.7 grams of kosher. I bought a digital scale, and plan on getting used to weight instead of measurements. Plan on doing that with all my spices too. Plus, 2 teaspoons ( 8.4 grams)of Prague #1
2% salt is fine for most sausages, but if you are smoking in the 90F range for very long the salt really needs to be in the 2.5 to 3% range for bacteria safety. In that 90F range (close to our body temp) bacteria are in the perfect temp to multiply very quickly. The only safety against this at that point is salt and nitrite. That’s why I suggested smoking there for a bit but then taking the internal temp on up to the safe zone for safety.

Also cure #1 should be applied at .25% this follows with 1.1 grams per pound so 10 pounds will be 11g ( the actual long math would be 11.35g)
 
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2% salt is fine for most sausages, but if you are smoking in the 90F range for very long the salt really needs to be in the 2.5 to 3% range for bacteria safety. In that 90F range (close to our body temp) bacteria are in the perfect temp to multiply very quickly. The only safety against this at that point is salt and nitrite. That’s why I suggested smoking there for a bit but then taking the internal temp on up to the safe zone for safety.

Also cure #1 should be applied at .25% this follows with 1.1 grams per pound so 10 pounds will be 11g ( the actual long math would be 11.35g)
Man, i really appreciate that. Ill give it a go in the next couple days. If it didnt work out, you dont need to send flowers to the funeral home. Just make a donation to your favorite charity in memory of Shorts🤣
 
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2% salt is fine for most sausages, but if you are smoking in the 90F range for very long the salt really needs to be in the 2.5 to 3% range for bacteria safety. In that 90F range (close to our body temp) bacteria are in the perfect temp to multiply very quickly. The only safety against this at that point is salt and nitrite. That’s why I suggested smoking there for a bit but then taking the internal temp on up to the safe zone for safety.

Also cure #1 should be applied at .25% this follows with 1.1 grams per pound so 10 pounds will be 11g ( the actual long math would be 11.35g)
Wait! I just saw a post from JimmyChef in another thread helping a guy out who was worried he used too much cure on a wet cured pork belly. He advised that you have to add the weight of the liquids you used to the meat weight to use the correct amount of cure. So, when doing sausage, do I need to add the weight of the ice water i mix the cure and seasonings with in the calculator to come up with the correct cure amount?
 
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Temperature hasnt been the struggle I thought it would be, even though it was 100 degrees today. I did put a few bags of ice at the bottom, but I learned a lesson. The smoke would not rise above maybe 24 inches from the bottom. Took out the ice, and voila- a smoker full of smoke. They've been on roughly 5 hours now. Ill givem a few more, then rush them to the fridge.

Quick question. How do you keep them dry during the smoke? I had them in the fridge all night and most of today. They were dry going in. I thought they were sweating because they were cold. But, not after 5 hours. Is this just normal?
 
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