Smoked the sausage, but where is the smoke

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by tdcarter, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. Hi all,

    I've been making summer sausage in the kitchen for years, but my old hand-me-down recipe called for the sausage to be rolled into logs then baked in an oven at 160 for many, many hours. Frequent turning was needed to keep it round, ie. no casing was used.

    So this year I decided to take some initiative, bought some casing and read some of your reviews and stuffed some 10 lbs of sausage in fibrous casings. Used the same recipe that called for liquid smoke... only to worry later on that I might get too much smokiness from the liquid smoke and the real smoke.

    Sausage came out great, same tasty stuff as always. But that is it... except for the very bottom end of the sausages (in relation to how they were hanging in the smoker) there is no smokey flavor from the hickory. In the bottom half inch I can definitely taste the smoke. But the rest of it tastes the same as if I baked it in the oven.

    I started the sausage in the smoker at 120 for 2 hours to dry the casing a bit, then did a progression from 150 to 180 with smoke coming from the smoker solidly for about the first 3 hours. I make the meat mixture days before and store it in the fridge. I stuffed the sausage the morning of the smoke. Smoker is a MES 40. Casing was the "Smokehouse" brand, 2"x10". Managed to stuff 10 ounces in each sleeve (using Kitchenaid by myself (ohh fun!)) and tied them off.

    I like the casing over the uncased I previous made. Makes it easier to transport for family and friends and has a nice look. No rotating the sausage every 20 minutes was also nice change to smoker -vs- oven. But any tips/trick to increasing the smoke flavoring?



  2. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  3. smokinal

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

  4. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    That is an interesting question.  Maybe the sausage should be laying on a grate exposing more to the smoke?  Then you are back to rolling it occasionally.  Is it possible the casing you used are not as permeable to the smoke as you thought?  If you are using cure in the sausage you know you can cold smoke it for a pretty long time, pick up the smoke you want and then put in you hot smoker to get to temp.   I do that with andouille pretty often.  Cold smoke for 8 to 10 hours and then put in the hot smoke like you described.  More trouble but never had anyone say they couldn't taste the smoke!
  5. Just my very humble opinion, but looking at your picture, those casings seem very thick and plastic like.  I'm not familiar with 'Smokehouse' brand but you might want to try a different casing.  Something that you know for sure is smokehouse compatible and is going to allow the smoke to penetrate....

  6. I was thinking the same as Salt. They do look like heavy duty casing there. Maybe the smoke could not penetrate it.
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you use cure #2 in your mix.... you could cold smoke (Less than 75 deg F) for a day or two or even longer.... then heat to 150 IT to finish it off....  Dave
  8. gersus

    gersus Smoking Fanatic

    How often did you add chips to your MES

    IMO the AMNPS is the only way to go. I have a MES and just recently purchased an AMNPS. Taste is completely different, much better. No lack of smoke here.
  9. Thank ya folks for the thoughts.

    Chips and chunks were added about every hour. Seemed to have the normal gentle roll of smoke I have when doing shoulders and fatties (ribs and a brisket occasionally). But the difference there could be the 230 -vs- 160 temperature.

    No, no extra smoking stuff added to the MES. Just a 12" tile for heat distribution and some bricks covered in foil for additional thermal mass. No funds for an extra equipment right now, got a new L lens for the camera as my own present, maybe a maze in the distant future. Previously the built in worked for what I have been smoking... but I haven't really experimented too much. Thought about trying a turkey for 2011 bird day but found my local Q joint will do a bird for a buck a pound. So rather then experiment on the gf's family I opted for the safe route.

    Any recommendations on casing? I see some at the local Bass pro, 'Wild game' casing.. or the 'Eastman' brand are available.

  10. No cure #2, use Morton Tender Cure and 4 days in the fridge.
  11. grabber

    grabber Smoke Blower

    Have to agree with Gray.   People don't realize, temp over 165 is cooking, not smoking.  Over 170, the meat starts to cook, fats breakdown, harden up and leave a less edible, dry product.  IMHO, the sausage looks like it was cooked at a higher temp. than necessary.

    Again, checkout  Has a lot of free info just reading the product descriptions.   Hope this helps.
  12. I am agreeing with ya. The progression to 180 that I did (read about it on another web-site, dang-nab-it can't trust the cottin picking fancy internet thing) was too much. Normally I make these in the oven is set to low so it cycle between 150 and 160ish. I had some of the fat actually render out and pool between the sausage and casing. It was still very moist and tasty, just not looking real pretty when you slice away a piece of casing and see a bit of hard white grease. Next time I'll set it to 160 max.

    So back to low and slow, just the way smoking and bbq should be.

    I did realize that the very outer layer of meat has smoke flavor, but it only penetrated maybe a 1/16". Not much to ad flavor.
  13. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I don't make sausage yet. However I read all the sausage posts as I am going to make some when I get the equipment together. My best guess is the casings didn't let the smoke penetrate, they do look thick.

    I know I am risking getting [​IMG]  for saying this and it definitely would not be my first choice, by any means. You could add some liquid smoke to your mix, to up your smoke flavor. However I fell you get a much better smother smoke flavor from the real deal not that bottled stuff. I admit I have a bottle in the cupboard but it is hardly ever used. It is mostly used for beans and that sort of things done in the oven when I don't have room in smoker. I can tell you for 100% certain that there is a taste difference.

  14. also do not trust the MES internal heat probe most of them run 15 to 20 degrees hotter than they say, so if you werent using another  probe to monitor the inside temp of your smoker and you turned it up to 180 there is a good chance it was really up to 200, 180 for a short period of time you can get away with.

    It is also extremely difficult to get smoke from a MES at low temperatures, I  usually poke a hole down through the dust in the middle of the tray with my finger then start my sawdust with a bernzamatic torch by holding it under the chip tray and let them start to roll of a good smoke and when I see the chips in the bottom of the depression of the chips I made with my finger start to turn brown I light the top and let it burn for a minute or so then blow it out and carefully put the chip tray in the smoker with out trying to  shake the chips around too much I leave out the chip loader and open the vent the whole way, and then when I can see a good bit of smoke and when I look in the chip loader hole and see the embers glowing, I slide the chip loader in until I see the smoke slow down to what  I think is "ok" usually that means the loader is till hanging out a couple of inches.

    I have also modified my chip tray by drilling several small 3/32 hole in the chip tray to allow for air to flow through the chips, and so far with this method I have been able to maintain decent smoke at around 130 to 135 degrees

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  15. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    From what I have read here, the two things that stand out is the thickness of the casings and the MES smoke issues. I would pick up an AMNPS for sure 

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