Is this alright to do?

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by skhunter, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. I have made a lot of smoked sausage and snack stix and have always used cure and smoked to IT 155 degrees.

    Lately I have been talking to more and more people who are using cure in the sausage but they only smoke for 3-4 hours with the smoker set at 150 degrees. Then they remove the sausage and freeze it, and cook before eating. They do not test the IT. They are doing this with sausage stuffed into 33mm hog casing, so I wouldn't think they would be near 155 internal after 4 hours. So my question is can this be safe to do if the IT never reaches 155 degrees.
  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I do it all the time with cured sausage.  I cold smoke to get the smoke on the sausage, then freeze.  I label the package so I am sure to bring to correct IT when I use it.

    Curious to see what the experts say
  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    ^^^What He Said.^^^

  4. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Not an expert but totally agree..... smoke for flavor then freeze. Even if you cook it you are going to freeze it anyway, right? AND the only time I ever ate raw sausage was camping on the sand bar. It said its cooked.

    I always cook my sausage, I always freeze for storage.

    My last andouille and smoked sausage I tried cooking it to 150. I seriously do not like the texture as well as the rendered fat. To the point I'll probably make more this week (the old way). I have asked around though and have thought of trying a cure #2 andouille, to country cure without refrigeration. Just have not gotten there yet.
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Foamy, You must have been Drinking, if you heard the sausage talking to you!!![​IMG]

  6. So I could smoke my sausage at 130 for 5 hours as long as I had cure #1 in it and froze it after it came out of the smoker, then fully cooked it before I eat it.
  7. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    The cure gives you that latitude.  I'm not sure how long you can warm smoke with Cure 1 but  5 hours should be fine.  I would thing a day or two would be stretching it.
  8. Since you're raising the IT for smoking, cure such as pink salt or instacure #1 acts as a bacterostat or bacteriocide.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
  9. Well this opens up a whole new world for me. I have only made fully cooked smoked or fresh sausage.
  10. boykjo

    boykjo SAUSAGE MAKER Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I would say its a matter of preference...... Me, I don't see the point. What will differ in the outcome. Why not just smoke to an internal temp of 160 and freeze then thaw and heat/cook/grill to serve. USDA says to cook all ground meat to an it of 160. So taking it to temps lower than that is not safe in my opinion. Yes the meat has cure but what happens if someone doesn't get a good mix. I'm not on board with cooking ground meat to like 120 like here then cooking later.........   

    I have gotten sick from contaminated sausage and it only takes once to learn a lesson.....

    My 2 cents
  11. uncle_lar

    uncle_lar Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I never fully cook my kielbasa while smoking. never let the smoker  get above 150*

    this is what it looks like after 6 hrs in the smoker

     this is what it looks like cooked

    this is before smoke

  12. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I find that when making recipes like sausage with onions and peppers or making sausage for kraut I like to finish cooking the sausage with the rest of the dish.  When I do this the cured sausage, while in the smoker, never gets anywhere near 100 degrees.  It is cold smoked and then used in the dish or frozen.  I agree if taking the product to 150 or 155 IT you may as well go ahead and finish it but if your only intention is to dry it a bit and give it some flavor I don't have a problem with overnight in the cold smoke IF properly cured.

    When discussing sausage and curing  with the new charcutier  we have to be sure they understand the importance of proper technique.   There is no accounting for readers that do not know how to properly mix cures, allow for cure times, distribute the cure through the meat, watch safe temperatures etc.  All we can do in the mean time is as Boykjo  suggest point out where there can be a problem and suggest remedies. 

    While you are learning please take all meat to the proper temperature to ensure the safety of your final product.   A bit of experience will allow you to take full advantage of the benefits of cures and other techniques that allow for lower final ITs and shorter or longer cook times.  And remember that not all recipes can be adapted to cold or warm smoking.
  13. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Funny you say that Al, One of the family friends showed up yesterday to visit. He actually has one of Pop's old homemade smokers (made from a dryer), and made some sausage with my Pop. We came around to talking sausage, I pick everyone's minds when I know they have made it especially with my Pop. He said he used the TQ as a tenderizer and a spice. Then he told me of using small handfuls in his boiled pork. I know the size of that pot and have eaten his boiled pork, and I told him he could hurt himself or others.

    "Why? It's just salt", was his answer. Its hard to tell someone who's been using it without abandon for 40 years that he could hurt someone with it. Once I explained it he realized how it could hurt some one when not used in proper quantizes.

    We have to be careful like you say, you never know who's the next sausage maker. But there is a load of folks out there who have no respect for cures.
  14. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    IMO there are many out there who grew up on questionable prepared meats but developed a tolerance for the infractions of the cooks. I fully remember my mother and grandmother leaving ground beef, chickens and especially turkeys out in the sink or drain board to defrost overnight or longer and my sister still to this day does it. Now, that's frowned upon with todays standards and questionable meat processing techniques. I'm a fairly new sausage maker so am probably overly cautious in preparations....the thought of giving someone a sausage and having them get food poisoning scares the crap outta me. I follow recipes from reliable sources, weigh stuff out correctly and pretty much bump temps up slowly in the smoker to fully cooked status if not poaching them. At least that way if I give someone a sample I know it's cooked and not rely on their cooking techniques......Willie
  15. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I grew up very poor in Germany and remember many meats not stored as they are today and I grew up just fine.  Lot's to say on that subject but I make sure the internals are supposed to be at a safe level.  I give a lot of what I make away and I make sausage year-round.  I think I mix the sausage well and have confidence that I could also cold smoke it, freeze it, and then cook to a safe level before eating. Since I give lot's away I dont want to take a chance of getting anyone sick should they not handle the sausage the same way I would.  Reinhard
  16. weisswurst

    weisswurst Smoke Blower

    I am not sure I would see the point in this.If time becomes a factor while making the sausage I would finish ( after smoking desired time ) in a kettle of water. Obviously not salamis or summer sausage..If you have the temp of sausage above 100 say 130 and you put it in 160-65 degree water it will only take about 30 min to raise the temp to about 155 assuming we are talking a medium size pork casing or cologen. Then put it in ice water and finally hang for about an hour to bloom.

     As far as food safety goes , I think if you were to take it out of smoker and place in frig or freezer there is not a high risk.Doing this , you have eliminated 2 of the causes of problems. The temp zone for critters and the temp zone combined with little or no oxygen , critter incubator.If you were to leave it hanging in smoker with out finishing before freezing , that could be a problem. In my humble opinion , interrupting the process flow ,will hurt the flavor. And better flavor than super market brands is what I am after.  My 2 cents Happy SM Weisswurst
  17. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you want to fully cook, and not over cook stuff..... the charts below shows how food held for a long time, at a certain temperature, can reduce the "pathogens" in the food... Using these charts will help to make food safe if you choose to freeze and re-heat later at a higher temp and still keep the taste/texture....

    Partially cooked food is in the "danger zone" for an extended period while cooking and cooling down, then reintroduced to the danger zone while reheating.... I can't recommend that process ... Choosing to "partially cook" food is gambling with food safety....

    For the poultry time/temp.... I would use the 12% column on pic to enlarge....

    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014

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