Smoking sausages? Cuts of pork? (Newbie)

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by gasbag, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Hi there!

    I've made my own oven-dried beef jerky many, many times, and it's turned out brilliantly - great texture, great flavour, and not the slightest risk of food poisoning.  Now, there's a few other things I have in mind, but I need some tips and advice from others.  I'm looking to either:

    Cold smoke some ordinary bought sausages of different types that contain raw, uncooked meat, but with sodium nitrite.  After (of before) smoking them, I will be pricking and steaming them in a stove top steamer to melt out all the fat.  To those that think this can't/shouldn't be done, I've done this many times before with sausages, prior to grilling them, and the results are fantastic.  The only concern I have with cold smoking is the risk of food poisoning, particularly botulism.  Any advice here?  (At the moment, it's Summer in Australia, so it's quite hot.)  In terms of ease of method, the cold smoking would be the easiest for me to do.


    I'm looking to hot smoke (not bake or grill) the same raw, bought, pricked sausages, where I want most/all the fat to be melted out.  I am likely to use a small Weber BBQ like this:

    I can easily load it up with heat beads/wood charcoal to one side, but I'm concerned I may put in too much wood charcoal/heat beads, and it will simply become a smokey oven, which I want to avoid.  I'm looking for some sort of guide as to how much charcoal/heat beads I should put in a small hot smoker of this size.  The other thing I've noticed is that some people put a bowl or tray of water in their smokers; what is that about?  Anyway, any advice with this type of set up?

    The other thing I'm looking at doing, aside from the sausage smoking, is hot smoking a lean cut of pork, such as a Scotch Roll (I think that's what it's called?).  It's basically one, long, cylindrical-shaped piece of pork that's quite lean, and has one thick layer of fat covering it, which is easy to remove, if desired.  I plan to salt-spice rub it, then hot smoke it.  I'm likely to cut it into thinner "cylindrical" portions to reduce hot smoking time.  Again, any advice here, in regards to fuel quantity and smoking times?

    I really would appreciate some advice here, but I'm hoping to hear more than "Just put enough heat beads/charcoal to get some heat going" or "Just leave it in long enough for it to be well smoked" - that doesn't provide me with any more detail than I already know.  I'm hoping someone has experimented with a hot smoker roughly of this size, and maybe able to give me some accurate pointers.  If there's some sort of scale-guide, in regards to fuel quantities and/or smoking times, that would be ideal.  Thanks all.

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  2. boykjo

    boykjo SAUSAGE MAKER Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

  3. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey Gasbag welcome to the forums. Could you explain to me why you'd want to steam out all the fat?
  4. Yet again, thanks so much for the replies.  Never taken for granted.

    Why am I steaming the sausages to get rid of the fat?  Firstly (and most obviously), I simply want to get of the fat, because it has huge numbers of kilojoules/calories (pretty obvious).  Secondly, I have been pricking-steaming (prior to grilling) sausages for years, and I personally think they taste even better than straight grilled of fried sausages, as the insides are so much more moist.  The other bonus to this technique is the fact that you get no fat flare up over a gas/charcoal grill.  I really do swear they taste better, but that's just my opinion.

    The question I have is, will the smoke infuse the sausages (or any meat, for that matter), once they have been gently steamed?

    I can set the steamer to a very, very low setting, where the water is barely bubbling.  The other thing I can do is place the pricked sausages in the oven, on a rack over a drip tray filled with hot water.  I can set the temperature to well below 100 Degrees Celsius.  In fact I have been able to set the temperature so low that I have been able to oven dry beef jerky for over 24 hours, with the oven fan running.  It's acted like a warm dehydrator.  Also, in either the steamer or the oven, I can wrap the pricked sausages in alfoil.  But again, my main concern is will the smoke infuse the meat, once it's been gently cooked, in either method mentioned above?

    If there's any specific advice here, in relation to oven temperatures and cooking/steaming times, I'm all ears.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    If I am reading this right...the Sausages DO contain Nitrite already...If this is true you can cold or hot smoke then steam or do whatever you want to remove the fat...If they DO NOT have Nitrite, Hot smoking is your only option...If you Steam first you will get very little smoke flavor but any smoke is better than none...

    Sounds like the Scotch Roll is a Pork Loin, the muscle that runs on both sides of the Pigs Spine from the shoulders to the rump...If you get the Grill to about 107*C it will take roughly 60 minutes per Kilo to get to an Internal Temp of 63*C...Probably less because maintaining such a low temp in that little grill may be tough...In any event, let the meat rest 30 minutes before carving...

    I don't own one of those little grills so it would be impossible to tell how many Heat Bead Briquettes you will need...You need to do a test run...Get 10 Briquettes burning on one end until they are covered in Gray Ash. Then measure the Temp at the Other End, as close to the Grate as possible, and see where you are at...Keep the Vent over the Coals Closed and the Vent over the end where the meat will be Wide Open...Too hot or too cool you will know which way to go for the actual cook...

    Sorry I can't be more helpful...Good Luck...JJ
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  6. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member


    Pricking the sausage to remove fat is loosing a major amount of taste. If your looking for a leaner fat content sausage you should buy lean sausage this way no pricking is needed. Steaming is fine but with holes your draining the fat away again which will result in a dry sausage.

    I dont know if the way cold smoking is done in your area of the world but here Cold smoking is meant as any temp under 190* Hot smoking is done 190 and above. AKA BBQ with wood and high heat.

    You stated OVEN dried? In your house oven you will not need cure. In outdoor smokers you should always add cure to the meat.


    If im reading this right you want to cold smoke? The AMZNS & AMZNPS Cold smoke system is the best to use if you require cold smoke, The link is on the home page of the forum.

    I would add some sort of cure like cure #1, insta cure 1, pink salt #1 or MTQ. I add to any sausage or jerky i smoke because i start at low temps from 130-170.

    Yes you can use cure 1 on a pork loin but it will not come out like Lonzino (dry cured pork loin) that uses cure #2

    The Weber you mention is a small charcoal bbq. Again IMHO its just for bbq not cold smoking.

    Hope i been a tad helpful
  7. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member


    I have a few things to do this morning but will come back and try to help.

    What your doing almost sounds like Dry South African Droewors
  8. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member


    I'm out of town for the weekend. Aint forgot to reply back to you. Doing things on my phone aint that great.

    Sent On My Samsung SmokeInfuse 4G
  9. I've tried smoking some cured sausages, along with some cured Pork Fillet using my Amaze-N Sawdust Smoker filled with clean, dry Redgum sawdust (which my butcher uses for his ham and bacon).  I found it very, very difficult to get the sawdust smouldering reliably, even with a pocket butane torch.  I then added some Methylated Spirits (denatured Methanol) to help get the sawdust going, but I think I added way too much, as the sawdust burnt and smouldered brilliantly, but the Methylated Spirits ruined the flavour of the meat.  The next time when I didn't use Methylated Spirits, it took me FOREVER to get the Redgum sawdust smouldering, and although the flavour and aroma had improved, it was still quite bitter.  To make the sawdust burn more easily, I dry it in the microwave in big, clean, dry jars at 30 second intervals.  This makes the sawdust much, much drier, but I'm still hitting problems.

    I've got two basic issues:
    Getting the sawdust reliably smouldering to start with.
    Avoiding a bitter taste in the smoked meat.

    I've heard that adding dried up onion husks/peels is supposed to improve the aroma of the smoke.
    Also, if you mix in lots of tiny, tiny pieces of shredded up newspaper (that is safe to smoke), will that improve the burn rate of the sawdust?
    What if you put in just a single cotton ball (previously soaked in Methylated Spirits) in one corner of the smoker, but not adding the meat until the flame has completely died out, and the sawdust is thoroughly smouldering?

    Can anyone offer any advice here?
  10. slownlow

    slownlow Smoking Fanatic

    I dry my sawdust in the microwave on paper plate spread out on a thin layer and microwave for 30 seconds.  Then it burns perfect in the amazin.   I also added a small computer fan that blows across the amazin in my smoker.  My smoker is electric and didn't have enough ventilation. 
  11. boykjo

    boykjo SAUSAGE MAKER Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    no problems here with the amns...... just have to keep the butane micro torch on it for a minute or two to get it good and hot and once its lit  let it sit out for a few minutes to get going then place it in the smoker... i use one of these to get it lit.. they work great


  12. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    GB, If you look at pictures of the AMNS with dust, you may notice that the Dust sold by Todd is very fine textured. Short of seeing what you use I would venture a guess it is too coarse...JJ

  13. Thanks for the replies all.

    I use a pocket butane torch as well, very similar to the one boykjo mentioned.  The Redgum sawdust I use is actually very, very coarse, but I have dried it out thoroughly in the microwave, and that has helped quite a lot.  The thing is, I have no problem whatsoever getting it lit, and it does smoulder for a good while, but often it will snuff out and stop burning.  The exception is when I add a LOT of Methylated Spirits, but this has partially spoiled a previous batch of meat (very mildly though).

    Basically what I want is something that I can light before I go to work in the mornings, and have it (reliably) done it's job by the time I get home.  The key word here is "reliably".  I am strongly leaning towards a fish smoker box, as I can buy an outdoor Citronella Burner, but fill it with Methylated Spirits instead - a perfect heat source over several hours.  But I am concerned that a fish smoker box will just get too hot over a number of hours.  Not as hot as an BBQ or oven, but generally just too hot for a long smoke.

    Is there anything that can be added to sawdust that isn't toxic, that will help the burning/smouldering effect?
    Or has anyone used a fish smoker box, where it hasn't got too hot over a number of hours?
    Has anyone had any experience with either of these issues?  I just cannot get a reliable smoke going, without an external heat source.

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