First try at sausage.

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by up4smoke, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. Well I am in the process of building a fridge smoker and have been waiting to use my new LEM #8 untill it was ready. I couldn't wait... This is my first batch. Very happy with the tatse,Zachs sausage seasoning, but the consistency was about like a hot dog on the first couple feet. If my thinking is wrong help me out.. I first ran the chili plate. Then put on the HB plate with the stuffing tube and eneded up getting hot dog consistency. Changed to chili plate with tube and still got bad consistency... Then I just put the kidney plate in with no blade and stuffing tube and had decent consistency. Seems like I read in a book to run the meat though two plates before stuffing.?

    I cooked these on the pit and put some more on my improvised cold smoker last night to get some smoke flavor. It was a cardboard box.....wil post pics soon.. Anyway, ,my first try and learned a lot. Input please.

    Just pulled it off the smoker..


    And the consistency...


    One more thing... When I pulled my meat off the smoker it had a black greasy film to it so I wiped it off with a wet paper towel. Is this normal from sitting in my pit under smoke?

    Thanks and enjoy! Looking forward to my next batch.
  2. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    looks good as far as black stuff was I dont know with the cold smoke part, wet wood?? codinsation?? dont know for sure but some one that know more than I do will chime in shortly Im sure good luck AND WELCOME TO SMF you will learn alot here
  3. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    The black stuff is probably due to starting out with wet sausage.  The meat should be dry before going into the smoker.  You also need good ventilation in the cardboard box   you want the smoke to pass over the links and then move on out of the smoker.   What kind of smoke source did you use?

    as far as double grinding the meat, I do it all the time when looking for a finer texture.  But it shouldn't be mushy.   The final grinding is normally not done the same time as the stuffing from what I understand.   I use a separate vertical stuffer so I grind the meat, mix the spices let rest and cool down then stuff.

    Good Luck,  the end result looks great!
  4. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nice sausage

    The black stuff is called black rain. Moisture buildup, most the time from vents not open enough.

    Do you clean your smoker? Use a big chunk of wadded up newspaper with a spray bottle of water, dont soak it just mist and wipe it down.

    Mushy is from over grind. Thru 1 plate then a second thru another. I have done 2 plates 1 med then 1 fine. Grind thru med 1 time, rest in fridge until chilled then thru fine 1 time.
  5. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sausage looks good to me, but I wasn't there?

    As Nepas said, I would check moisture.

    I do mostly single grinds, but there are times when a double grind is necessary.  Proceed with caution there.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    It sure looks good from here!
  7. Thanks guys. This particular sausage didn't get cold smoked. It went straight from getting string tied to put on the pit. I think it even oinked a little. The smoke source was oak wood which I think might be mute since I was fully cooking. The links that I cold smoked didn't come out black. The meat on the pit came out with the black rain,but I think you may be right, nepas. I think that thing needs another exhaust stack...different thread, but I should have cleaned the grates beforehand. The sausage pulled out of the cold smoker just fine. Good smoke flavor and it never got over about 70 deg in there. I used a couple handfuls of hickory chips rolled up in a piece of aluminum foil for the smoke. Worked out great! Here is a pic of the cold smoker, don't laugh too hard!


    Thanks for all of your input guys. Looking forward to my next smoke. Oh yea, I have a patent pending on them old smokey legs!![​IMG]
  8. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    When I did sausage previously, I did not run meat through the grinder and then stuff all in the same process.  The grinding produces some heat that will benefit from a rest in the fridge.  Then stuffing should be fine.  Mighty fine looking sausage fro a 1st attempt.  You are obviously gonna be great at making it.

    You gotta get credit for innovation.   PVC pipe can be used for almost anything.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
  9. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    [​IMG]  to me
  10. Looks good, but not there to actually try the texture. I have a LEM #8 and made venison/pork snack sticks and duck/pork snack sticks for the first time with it. Did two grinds, one with the larger plate and one with the smaller plate. Then into the fridge overnight before stuffing the casings. The venison ones came out pretty good, but the duck ones had the consistency of a hot dog...didn't like them at all so the dogs have snacks! I did some elk ones with a hand grinder but only one grind and then stuffed them. I've since ordered a sausage stuffer so I don't get the hot dog consistency again.
  11. you don't have to double grind anything, altho some sausages traditionally have a smoother texture, a lot of recipes will tell you to cut the meat up and seperate the fatty chunks of meat from the leaner cuts, grind the fatty meat through the fine plate and the lean meat through a medium or coarse plate, this will give your sausage a nice texture and feel of a coarser grind with out having "big" chunks of fat through out, and it allows a better dispersion of the fat through the sausage, altho I have done the coarse grind fat and meat one time through and thought it was just as good, you will find out how you like it through practice
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
  12. Well after seeing it through the first grind, I think if I could get the spices to mix well enough, I could get away with one grind through the course plate then stuff it.

    When letting it rest in the fridge overnight does it seem to stuff better? And in doing that, would I need to mix a bit more water in just before the stuff? I did mix my cure in about 3/4 cup of water to help with mixing.
  13. I find it easier to grind it chill it, mix your cure and spices in a cup of  Ice water,you can use up to 1cup of water per 5lbs of meat, bring out the chilled meat and mix the ice water  in the meat, it is best to this as cold as you can to not smear the fat in your meat, and then stuff it, and then rest in the fridge over night, cause the ground meat will stiffen and get harder to stuff as the meat cures and the moisture binds in the sausage.

    unless your recipe calls for over night curing of larger chunks of meat b4 you grind it

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