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Summer sausage question

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by stayhot, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. stayhot

    stayhot Smoking Fanatic

    I have made sticks a ton of times with great results but this is my second batch of summer sausage and I had the same issue. I stuffed the chubs 48 hours prior to smoking, took the out of the fridge and let them sit on the counter for an hour before going into the smoker. Started at 120 for an hour then smoked at 135 for then next 6 hours then kept bumping the temp up until the internal temp was 150 total time was appx 10-11 hours. The problem is this, if you look at the picture where the knife is pointing this area is really dry almost hard while the rest or the area is perfect. What am I doing wrong? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Stayhot, morning....    There may be a hot spot in the smoker....    

    When I do beef sticks, my smoker doesn't go above 150 deg F....  It takes 24  hours to get the 21mm sticks up to temp and done....   

    What temp are you running the smoker, at the high end....   Maybe consider a lower temp for a longer time....  

    If you think you may have a hot spot, add some thermal mass to your smoker above the heat source...  a pan full of gravel works well......

    That being said, those sticks sure look good to me....   I'd gladly eat some....   

    kel krause likes this.
  3. stayhot

    stayhot Smoking Fanatic

    I start out at 135 for the majority of the time and keep bumping it up 10 degrees every hour finishing at around 175-180 until the internal temp hits 150. Then I remove and cold water shower them. I have never had an issue doing it this way with sticks only the summer??[​IMG]
  4. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Try keeping them in the fridge a few days and they will rehydrate some. The large diameter of Summer Sausage makes it take a while to get that middle IT to 150 while the outside gets the heat the whole time. It sounds like you smoked it the right way to me.

    The other option is to smoke them until you get the smoke you want and then poach them in hot water like in a Nesco until the IT gets to 150 then cold water shock them.
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have heard, but my memory ain't that great, above 160 the fat will render.....  also, some water may be necessary to keep the casing from drying and hardening...  keeping the  humidity up, will keep the casing from drying out...  That is the theory, in a curing chamber, with 70-85% humidity...

    I can't tell for sure, but trying a smoker temp of 160 for 24 hours with a small amount of water in the smoker may be a way to go...   Check the humidity in your area, at different times of the year, to see if that is the problem....  Your local airport should have an "on-line" record of temps etc...    

  6. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Your sliced pictures look very good. Did you get any "tang"?
  7. stayhot

    stayhot Smoking Fanatic

    Everything was great except for the harder outside under the casing....
    kel krause likes this.
  8. crpngdth2001

    crpngdth2001 Fire Starter

    Sounds like case hardening, probably related to humidity or a lack thereof. Do a google search, can't post links.