Using a water bath for cooking

tooth
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Hot water bath after smoker?

Post by tooth » Mon Jan 02, 2012 18:03

Hi Chcukwagon, I've got a quick question for you. I was on another sausage making site, and most of the guys I saw would smoke their sausages and then finish their sausages to temperature in a hot water bath. Then the sausages went into an ice bath to stop cooking.

My question is: Why finish the sausage after the smoker in the hot water bath? Is this commonly done? My experience is limited to making only fresh sausages at the moment, so I'm trying to understand more about smoking and curing.
Thanks!
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Chuckwagon
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Post by Chuckwagon » Tue Jan 03, 2012 06:11

Hi Tooth,
That`s a great question. Most sausages require little smoke actually. Most beginners tend to over-smoke beef, making it bitter. Pork is a little more forgiving if it is left in too long. Smoke will penetrate casing with no problem (unless the fat in a sausage has "smeared" the inside of the casing while being stuffed). Most often, the smoking is done much before the sausage is cooked. If the sausage remains in a smoker to finish cooking, the process requires only a couple of degrees of higher heat every twenty minutes or half-hour until the internal meat temper of 152° F. (67° C.) is reached. If this procedure is not carefully and strictly followed, the fat will "break" and becoming liquid, will run out of the sausage leaving behind a totally worthless mass of something resembling and tasting like sawdust.
To help overcome this problem, many sausage makers put the smoked links into hot water at only about 170°F. (77°C.) to finish cooking uniformly with slightly raised increments of temperature spread out over a long period of time. This will ensure that the fat will remain solid throughout the entire process. Once the IMT of 152° F. has been reached, cold water stops the cooking and keeps the casing from shriveling. Many folks use a kitchen range oven to finish the cooking process after smoking, to furnish an even, uniform temperature, especially when making semi-dry-cured sausages.

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Chuckwagon
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Post by Devo » Tue Jan 03, 2012 13:55

I have used the hot water bath a few times. It cuts down on my time by about half to get to the IT of 152*F.
If your going to try this you must and I say must pay very close attention to the bath. They will stall for about 15 minutes but then take off real fast so you can't be off doing something else or you will fat out. Being able to control the hot water bath with a PID is also a good idea so the temp will stay at 160*F
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Post by Blackriver » Tue Jan 03, 2012 19:28

So my question is do you get better results with the water bath vs leaving the semi dry sausages in the smoker?
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Post by sam3 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 19:42

I've done two batches of Keilbasa and finished them off in the hot water bath. Water temp between 160-162 degrees.
I personally like how the meat stays plump and moist.

For jerky, I prefer to go all the way in the smoker.
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Post by Gringo Loco » Tue Jan 03, 2012 22:29

I smoke my sausage to 135 IT and then I put in a pan of boiling water on top of the hot plate in the smoke and steam them off to 152 IT. Save a lot of time and the come out rel good :grin: .
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Post by Chuckwagon » Wed Jan 04, 2012 00:20

We have a member who is very proficient at hot bath sausage cooking. He even has a specialized "bath tub" made from an old turkey roaster. I'll PM him and see if he will join us on this topic. His name is NorCalKid (Kevin). Let's see what he says about all this.

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Post by Devo » Wed Jan 04, 2012 00:39

This was posted by a member of the forum that Kevin and I belong to. He is the go to guy for hot water baths. I'm sure kevin picked up any tips from him.(Mr Walleye)

Here is what he has to say about hot water baths.
I have done a few hundred pounds this way and haven't noticed any loss of smoke flavor. I do thinks it's important to properly dry your casings for best smoke penetration. I don't smoke mine to any particular IT. Instead what I'm looking for is the consistant mahogany color. I have checked the IT of the sausage when I put them in the hot water bath and they are typically around 135 degrees.
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Post by Keymaster » Wed Jan 04, 2012 01:24

Ive been watching craigslist for a turkey roaster to do my kielbasa's in, but waiting for a good priced one in my town, Diesel is expensive. I think you get a more store like baught Kielbasa instead of a raisan skin type out of the smoker.
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Post by Dave Zac » Wed Jan 04, 2012 02:33

I too find I get better results from a hot bath. Faster and better control. Like mentioned by Devo, you must pay attention though. But only for a short time :lol:
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Post by ssorllih » Wed Jan 04, 2012 02:45

The very few times that I have used a water bath for finishing my sausage I used my enameled canner kettle it holds about 4 gallons or 32 pounds of water and five or ten pounds of sausage don't change the temperature much.
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Post by NorCal Kid » Wed Jan 04, 2012 04:26

My question is: Why finish the sausage after the smoker in the hot water bath? Is this commonly done?
I started using the poaching method after seeing another much-more experienced sausage maker using it to finish his products. One of the biggest advantages, it seemed to me, was the huge reduction of cook time with no apparent loss of quality in the final product.

My first few batches I did them side-by-side (took half & poached and the rest continued to cook in the smoker. My results were inline with those of Mr Walleye ( Devo alluded to above in his post). I frankly couldnt tell any difference in taste. Just as 'smokey'. In fact, the links tended to be a bit 'plumper' and have less shrinkage than those I cooked for the entire time in the smoker. Plus I reached the target internal temp in less than 1/2 the time.

These results sold me on the method.

One note, as someone mentioned, temperature control is critical. A too hot bath will result in a greasy 'fatted-out' sausage (much like what happens in a too-hot smoker) bobbing about in a greasy pool of water. I try to keep the temp in the 165f range at all times. For most batches-around 10 pound of links- final IT is reached in about 30 minutes or less; Bigger, thicker chubs take longer.

Big chub of bologna:
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Franks:
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smaller links:
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Big brats:
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Bockwurst:
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From Craigslist; a 1950 westinghouse turkey roaster for about $35. Rarely used...until now! :wink:
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Post by Dutch » Wed Jan 04, 2012 05:35

Now I know why I need a roaster-for poaching. Thanks for sharing Kevin; now I gotta call my mother-in-law and see if she still has hers. She tried giving it to me a year ago~now I'm wishing that I took it!
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tooth
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Post by tooth » Wed Jan 04, 2012 14:13

Thanks guys for all the great answers. It explains a lot, I'll have to try this out the next time!
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Post by DLFL » Wed Jan 04, 2012 14:20

Great post!
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