question about smoking sausage on a propane smoker??

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by bratrules, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. bratrules

    bratrules Smoking Fanatic

    I was wondering if someone can help me out? my question is what works better installing a needle valve to control heat on my smoker or buying a hot plate and using that in the same smoker? if someone can shed some light on this for me it would be a great help!!!

    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
  2. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hmmmm.....  I know I had to order my needle valve on line and shipping was about $10.00.  Then when it gets here I will need to get the  adapters to make em fit.  I would think trying a hot plate first would be my first choice.  However there may be others who will have already gone the hot plate route and will give you the benefit of their experience as how to proceed.
  3. bratrules

    bratrules Smoking Fanatic

    i got the needle valve off eBay for 5 bucks now i have to get the fittings. but instead of going to all the trouble i thought i get some opinions first. hell if they both work ill get one of each lol

    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
  4. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I use my old GOSM and a hot plate and I smoke sausage and very soon more bacon. Now I can get smoke at about 80° or so. and thats plenty low enough for sausage and then you work your way up from there.
  5. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Works good with the hot plate. [​IMG]


    Now I just rest the coffee can right on the burner.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2010
  6. bratrules

    bratrules Smoking Fanatic

    so whats better to use an electric hot plate or gas?
  7. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

     I think a gas one would give you better control. Of course if the electric hot plate has a rheostat control then it might work good also.
  8. nickelmore

    nickelmore Smoking Fanatic

    Bratrules, what kind of smoker do you have?

    The needle valve setup works OK, but you have to be careful that the flame does not blow out.   IMHO it creates a situation that keeps you next to the smoker monitoring temps constantly.

    I did not like this kind of setup for sausage/jerky so I converted mine to a electric.   Now I can run temps up to about 175 or so with the electric and above that I switch to gas.

    I also use a smoke generator for the smoke for either setup so I don't have to open the door.

    my 2 cents
  9. bratrules

    bratrules Smoking Fanatic

    Nickelmore, I have a master forge gas smoker. so how did you convert your smoker to a electric?
  10. bratrules

    bratrules Smoking Fanatic

    OK i just finished installing the needle valve to my smoker here is a pic. but it still heats up rather quickly but then again it is hot out today. and when i put it down really low it does choke and turn off on me i guess i'll mess with it see what i can come up with. if anyone has any suggestions please let me know it would really help me out!![​IMG]
  11. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    bratrules, I have a GOSM BB with the needle valve installed and can go as low as 180° and it will keep this temp indefinitely without the flame extinguishing, you didn't tell us what kind of smoker you have, but look and see if the burner air intake area is protected like on my GOSM, it is only open in the front. If it is, make sure the opening is downwind, it is also a good idea, whether or not you use a needle valve, to keep the smoker protected from the wind by using windbreaks as much as possible.

    You might want to file a groove on the top of the 1/4" nipple and then start out with the smoker regulator on "high" or fully opened and the needle valve fully opened, then start closing the needle valve slowly until the flame goes out, close the regulator on the propane tank and then make a mark with a felt marker on the knob adjacent to the groove you made on the top of the 1/4" nipple, continue doing this about 3-4 times to make certain this is the extinguish point of the burner and then open the valve about a 1/16 of an inch and light the burner and see if it will burn without going out, if it continues to burn then file a groove on the knob adjacent to the groove on the nipple, this will become a reference for you as to where the stopping point is for the needle valve, just remember this reference is only for the fully open position on the smoker valve, ...then you will find how low of a temperature you can smoke at.

    I only use the needle valve in this position for low temp smokes, the rest of my smokes I use the regulator on my GOSM, high, med, low and then fine tune starting with the needle valve fully open and closing it a little to attain my desired smoking temps.

    You also want to make certain the air mixture is correct with the needle valve installed, if is is you will have a blue flame with very little if any orange on the tip, if it is a new smoker you should be alright, the usual problem is grease drips down and clogs the air mixture screen, if this has happened your flame will be mostly orange with very little blue.

    Do you have a thermometer that you can set for 5° below the flame out temp that will sound an alarm when it is reached, that is how I monitor my low temp smokes, if there is a flame out the temp drops very fast and you will know to turn off the gas and readjust your needle valve, but like I said I have never had a flame out problem after I "dialed in" my needle valve, it's just something you will have to learn about your smoker.

    Be safe, have fun and looking forward to some Q-view.

    bravery likes this.
  12. nickelmore

    nickelmore Smoking Fanatic

    I have a homemade vertical, here is a pic of the gas hookup.


    (Blown up so you can see the gas fee thru the wall of the smoker) 

    The "bushing" is a 1 1/4 inch sink drain, it has a flat flange on the inside.

    Here is a pic of the burner.


    I designed this for easy cleaning/disassemble, so when I want to use electric, I just take the burner out and replace it with an electric element.   The hole in the side that the gas tube runs through is large enough to run an electric cord through.    I have that hooked up to a PID controller to control the temp,   This is not necessary but is really convenient.

    I found a "electric BBQ" at Wally world clearance for $20.   Its 1500 watts and at that cost I may buy some as spares as they do burn out.

    There is some posts around for a strip element that I really like as well.

    The electric does not heat up as fast as the gas, but if you know it you can prepare for it.    I have actually preheated my box up with gas and swapped in the element to save time.

    I think on yours you could put an element inside and run the cord down by the burner.

    Good to see you used Teflon tape on your connections.

    Hope that helps, I will look for some pics of my burner and PID, I just cant seem to find them right now.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2010
  13. bratrules

    bratrules Smoking Fanatic

    Justpassingthru i have a master forge gas smoker, and i want to thank everyone who has posted so far thanks for all your suggestions. i want to see if i can find some kind of electric hot plate or something of that sort and i think i fiddle around with the needle valve some more to see what i can come with. and of course am always open to more suggestions.

    thanks again to everyone!!
  14. bratrules

    bratrules Smoking Fanatic

    Update, OK so i figured that the wind was the one that was turning off my flame so what i did was i moved my smoker to the shade and away from the wind. I was able to get temp of 125f with out my flame turning off and was able to hold it. i took some fiddling around but i think its ready to make some sausage. i think ill try some andouille sausage see how i do. i make a killer gumbo!! one quick question what works better saw dust or chips for smoking sausage? the reason i ask is cause i have no place around here that carries saw dust. i have been smoking for years using chips and wood chunks and never have any need for saw dust till now.
  15. fftwarren

    fftwarren Smoking Fanatic

    it don't matter, just long as you get smoke. I used chunks/chips in my propane and burn logs in my smoke house. just as long as you getting smoke from some good wood you'll be fine. go with a hickory or pecan wood
  16. bratrules

    bratrules Smoking Fanatic

    yeah i was going to get some pecan and sugar cane to smoke some andouille.
  17. fftwarren

    fftwarren Smoking Fanatic

    hmm, never heard of smoking with sugar cane. Have you ever tried that or seen it done?

    I'd be weary of trying that. When they burn them cane fields around here that smoke is thick white and don't smell good. 

    It sounds like a good idea in theory but unless I had tried it before on something else cheaper or easier to make, I wouldn't try it. but who knows it may be great but from the smell and looks of those fields, I don't think it would work out very well.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  18. bratrules

    bratrules Smoking Fanatic

    well that's what they use originally in Louisiana to smoke the sausage but maybe your right and ill just stick to pecan, apple, or hickory. you really can go wrong with those woods. hey fttwarren i just notice your from Louisiana so you would know better!!!
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  19. fftwarren

    fftwarren Smoking Fanatic

    yea Im from LA and I have NEVER heard of using sugar cane, thats why I asked. I did do a search and one guy said he smokes with it. but idk. sausage is alot of work and I'd hate for you to mess it up. id stick with good wood just to me safe

Share This Page