need advice on smoking andouille

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by chef k-dude, Sep 5, 2015.

  1. I've search around a bit here and found plenty of folks making and smoking andouille, but haven't found specifics on the "how".

    I've smoked sausage before with varied results and reading around here I keep seeing something about an ice bath.

    I caught fresh made andouille 1/3 off at the Whole Foods here and snatched up a couple pounds of that and some chorizo. I know, a real man makes his own, and I have made my own sausage several times but I seldom catch a real decent sale at Whole Foods and cant afford to shop there usually, so I'm in on it and want to smoke the andouille.

    I have been so sad that all the andouille I bought in LA last year is gone...and gumbo would just never be the same without it. I realize Whole Foods is NOT proper LA style but hey. it's what I'm working with today.

    If anyone reads this soon, I really appreciate any tutorial. I know how to smoke but want to know any specific temps and this water bath thing. I've used water baths before, just not for smoked meats.

    Please clue me in!

    Also, in my experience, chorizo is usually cooked out of the casing like ground beef. Anyone smoke this stuff before? I have a very open mind!

    Oh, I want to do this today!
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2015
  2. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    CKD, The only sausage that I smoke is the stuff I made with cure #1 added to prevent botulism. Your store bought sausage  probably has no cure as it is intended to cook quickly via the pan or grill.
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    So you bought Andouille as it comes in any store? Smoked and ready to heat and eat or cook with? If so, that can be hot smoked, for extra smokey flavor, to an IT of 160-165°F and eaten. No Ice Bath needed. You can hot smoke, 225+, the Chorizo if you wish, to an IT of 165°, but that is not common. Most recipes just remove from the casing and pan fry. They are great grilled and although I have never smoked them no reason not to again no ice bath needed unless you are going to hot smoke them and want to quickly cool for storing or freezing for another day.

    The Andouille recipes here are for Homemade. Raw Pork ground, mixed with spices and " cure " then stuffed and smoked with temps from 130 rising to 160-170 until an IT of 150°F and then go in an Ice Bath to stop the cooking. Rehydrates the casing and helps reduce shrinking, looks pretty.

    Did you go to Culinary school or come up through the ranks? You still working, Chef?...JJ
  4. Crazy and Chef Jimmy,

    First let me thank you for your reply and make clear I am not a chef and do not deserve the respect of a real chef. I chose that handle on the fly registering here because my wife and well, yes my mother (whom I haven't lived with since age 18 so don't get the wrong idea!) like to call me that. I am a cooking fanatic and have tried and will try anything that catches my fancy. I do pretty well with a chefs knife and a wide variety of cooking tools and methods. I am certain I would have done well in the culinary world because as a metal fabricator I know teamwork, attitude, hard work and high quality. I'm too old now to think of standing on my feet in a restaurant kitchen all shift/day.


    I know what you are saying and this andouille did not have Prague powder/sodium nitrite in it. Obviously one can tell by the color. Many call it risky, but I don't abide by the 4 hour rule and have never made anyone sick. I am fastidious about food handling and always cook to proper temps though....except hamburgers which I like medium, but I grind all my own for burgers so I know the muscles it comes from.

    I'll have to check out some of your work!

    Chef JimmyJ,

    Love your signature!

    No, it was fresh andouille and not a proper andouille because as Crazy said, no sodium nitrite.

    Thanks for the info on the Ice bath. I learned something new these last two days...I love learning. I suspect the ice bath also seizes the fat in place. I totally get it now because I've had sausage "settle" the fat in to blisters around the casing and a fast quenching would solve that. These sausages tried to do that but I stayed on top of them as they cooled and turned them every five minutes or so so the fat would remain distributed.

    Also re-hydrating the casing makes so much sense.

    So...i was asking a lot by begging for advice so quickly. I stumbled upon this deal so it all happened fast.

    On my own, i used my own experience combined with reading what I had time to find and set out to stair climb the smoke temps like Chef Jimmy described. Problem was, my MasterBuilt 30 is too thermally efficient and I could not get enough smoke because the box would quickly come to temp and hold (80 degree F day), therefore no element to burn the chips. I fought that by literally opening the door periodically to purposely drop the temps to get the element to fire...the antitheses of smoking, I know. It's the downside to an electric smoker I suppose.

    In the end it worked. I ran these for five hours starting at 110 and stepping up gradually to 180...again opening the door to get the element to fire up. They were at about 150 when I pulled them and I finished the ones we had for dinner in the toaster oven till over 160. I am not concerned about the deficient final temps in the rest because none of these will be eaten without cooking first. In fact I almost never eat any fully cooked sausage without cooking. sure I'll sneak a nibble but I know these sausages and know not to do that....I'm a pretty "fart smeller" despite of the fact that some will criticize me for not obeying stuff like the "4 hour rule".

    So, this is what I started with

    After some serious box management/manipulation got this

    They really did come out better than I ever expected seeing as though I struggled to get the box to actually create smoke. I finally got some decent...well actually flavor-wise, perfect smoke.

    Even though the andouille was not proper, and I've had plenty of real LA andouille, it really did have the flavor and spice that is quintessentially andouille and will work well in my gumbos to come.

    the chorizo is wonderful too. Clearly Mexican in flavor with plenty of chili powder and cumin, smoking it really put the flavor blast on it. These will make for some fantastic soft tacos.

    Obviously both will be fully cooked again before eating.

    Any advice or links to threads on how I can adapt my MB30 for cold/colder smoking is very much welcome. I wouldn't have had the problems had I done this in winter, but at 80 degrees ambient, the MB got to temp and held very fast...killing the smoke because at temp the element turns off. I want to play with cold smoking, so all info is appreciated.

    Thanks for the help!
  5. Also, any advice on why my pics are showing as links and not just showing as the pics? At least on my end that's how they are
  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    A CAUTION for readers unfamiliar with smoking Sausage at temps below 225°F... Even the highest quality meat from the most reputable source, can have Bacteria on it's surface. The worst of these are Clostridium Botulinum, the bacteria that produces the dangerous Toxin that causes Botulism. CB is quickly killed at smoking temps of 225°F+. When meat is ground to make sausage the bacteria is mixed into the meat. When the sausage is smoked at low temps like 110 to 140°F, the CB bacteria and others, grow rapidly in the Oxygen Free interior of the meat, producing more than enough toxin to cause paralysis and even Death! The addition of Sodium Nitrite in the form of Cure #1, kills CB and Listeria. This allows for smoking sausage at low temps for hours or days. Even though the toxin generated by CB can be inactivated at internal temps over 210°F, some types of toxin are never destroyed regardless of further cooking and people rarely heat sausage to these high internal temps.

    The above Sausage " Did Not " contain Cure #1 and the method and smoking temps chosen could result in serious injury and even Death! The Staff and Members of SMF DO NOT recommend you repeat this process of smoking sausage...

    Chef K, I realize you have smoked like this many times and have been LUCKY so far. I have studied and taught Food Safety for many years and seriously encourage you to reconcider your method...

    That being said...The MES has never been able to consistently make smoke at temps below 180°F...Enter Todd Johnson of A-MAZE-N Products...  Being an MES owner Todd came up with a solution to the low temp smoke problem. A maze that burns saw dust would produce consistent smoke at temps up to 180°F and when placed in the MES, made it a more perfect smoker. A short time later, genius struck again and the A-MAZE-N Pellet Smoke Generator, AMNPS came to be. This unit burns Pellets and can produce up to 10-11 hours of perfect Thin Blue Smoke at ANY temp in the MES from Ambient to 275°F, Once filled with quality Pellets and properly lit, the AMNPS is placed on the bottom left rails of your smoker and your MES is now set it and forget it for anything you want the MES to smoke. I and other's have similar smokers, I have 2 MES 40's, and highly recommend the AMNPS...JJ

    Here is info on posting your Pics...
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2015
  7. Thanks for the cautionary Chef JimmyJ.

    Just take my post down if I'm risking the death and disease of readers. Or if it's more useful as a "how not to do" I can see leaving it up. I have no attachment to this thread, so feel free to yank it.

    I have never smoked like this before but I did say I don't abide by the 4 hour rule in general. I'm actually trying to remember what that applied to in past experience that compelled me to say that. Had I smoked like this before I would have already learned the knowledge you graciously shared with me at the end of your post. Thank you. Sadly I did not learn well enough before embarking on this adventure.

    I understand the need to caveat on behalf of SMF. I am not flippant about food safety, I simply have my own logic and maybe that will kill me someday. To the best of my knowledge I have never fed anyone a meal that made them sick in over 30 years of cooking. This sausage did not make us sick and I marked clearly on the food saver packs that the sausage is considered par-cooked and needs to be fully cooked before eating. Understanding some toxins may not even be killed from further cooking at this point, I will be sure to report back any issues in the future with these to add to the cautionary tale. I pushed the envelope by one hour.

    Futuristically speaking, the Andouille will be grilled thoroughly then sliced before adding to gumbo which will further open up the interior to direct heat cooking prior to consumption, and the chorizo will be cut/chopped in to small pieces then fried prior to consumption, again, exposing the interior of the sausage to direct intense heat cooking prior to consumption.

    I do have Prague powder (cure #1) and use it when I make certain sausages. These were store bought fresh made.

    I ran in to the food safety issue very early on when I joined here. It had to do with leaving meat out overnight I think. I got jumped on very quickly, but I get it; to many I look like an idiot. How did we ever survive back in the day? I suppose some didnt...

    A lesson learned. In the future I'll be more careful of what I post. What I do personally is my business, but I certainly do not want to harm someone by posting info that could be hazardous.

    Thank you very much for the additional info on add-on smoke for the MES. I have limited browsing time in life and really appreciate being directed.

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