What did I do wrong?

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Bubba
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What did I do wrong?

Post by Bubba » Thu Feb 14, 2013 01:47

I would appreciate some advice on my past weekend's project (this was part 2; part 1 was smoking Pork Loin Ham which came out good)

These photos are posted in reverse order of a 2 lbs sample batch Viennas being made, they have a very good flavor, moisture and texture, my problem is the smoke did not adhere.

They were dry outside before I hung them in the smoker. Then about 1-1/2 hrs Beech wood smoke was applied at 140F, when they came out of the smoker they had a good smokey color. From there they went into warm water pot (168 F water temp) until they reached 162 IMT, and then into a cold shower.
Problem is they lost most of their smoke color, even though I hung them out to bloom after the cold shower.
The recipe is a combination of two posted in the MRI, and I can post the recipe.

What did I do wrong that they lost the smoke color?

They are very moist and have good flavor
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They lost their smoke color
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Linked, tied and ready to be hung to dry
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Ron
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Post by el Ducko » Thu Feb 14, 2013 03:34

I've read (I forget where) that smoking at a lower temperature allows better penetration. You are right to make sure that the sausages are dry. Can you possibly (with your rig) smoke at a cooler temperature? My efforts start with the sausage approaching room temperature and the smoke temperature at whatever the ambient temperature is, plus about 5 degrees. After about two hours I start increasing temperature. ...but then, I separate my smoke source from the smoker cabinet by a 10 foot section of rain gutter downspout, and use a 1500 watt electrical heating source to raise the temperature gradually. Sometimes, hitting my target (usually 154 deg.F) is tough. If you are gas-fired, you'll have the opposite problem- - too hot.

...lots of ways to skin a cat, er, sausage. Some more folks will weigh in on the issue, I'm sure. Keep trying, though. ...looks good. As long as they're tasty, you're doin' great!

...would love to see (and try) the recipe, next time you're in a sharing mood.
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Post by ssorllih » Thu Feb 14, 2013 05:33

Some species seem to make smoke that colors the sausage better than others. While the color is nice it is the flavor that we want. Taste before and after the cold water bath and see if you are loosing the flavor. I have also encountered condensate on what had been perfectly dry sausage when I started because they were too cold when I put them out. All types of combustion produce water vapor.
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Post by NorCal Kid » Thu Feb 14, 2013 06:38

I've never used beechwood, but as Ross pointed out, some varieties of smoke wood truly 'color' the meat more so than others (hickory is a definite 'coloring' wood).

When I know I'll be finishing of sausages in the water bath, I tend to be a bit more heavy-handed with the smoke application, knowing I'll lose a bit in the bath. How much? Hard to say, but the water post-bath is often quite dark, indicating some residue washed from the links.
With regards to the 'smokey' flavor & how it is impacted by the bath, I've not detected a noticeable difference between those finished in the smoker & those finished in the hot tub. I've done side-by-side to compare. Hot tub links do tend to be moister & more tender; those finished in the smoker a bit tougher & some chew to them.

So long as they taste great, the color is secondary. :wink:

Kevin
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Post by JerBear » Thu Feb 14, 2013 07:10

I third Ross and Kevin's response on the wood. I switched to a 70/30 blend of hickory/apple as I wanted the color from the hickory and the apple mellows some of the flavor. I can't much about adherence because I typically just cook my from smoked/raw stated when I want to eat them or roast them.
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Post by Chuckwagon » Thu Feb 14, 2013 07:12

Ouch Duckster! I`ve got to differ just slightly, on a point you made. You wrote:
I've read (I forget where) that smoking at a lower temperature allows better penetration. You are right to make sure that the sausages are dry. Can you possibly (with your rig) smoke at a cooler temperature?
Smoke penetrates meat much faster at higher temperatures. A case in point may be a sausage perfectly smoked at 120° F (50° C) for 4 hours. Further, the same sausage may acquire a bitter, over-smoked flavor if smoked at 250° F (120° C) for the same length of time.
However, I agree with you as far as deeper penetration goes in cold smoking - especially if it is done intermittently.

Bubba`s problem, I`m sure, is his choice of wood. Beech is not the best choice for smoking meats although it is safe. The woods to avoid completely are cedar, cypress, elm, eucalyptus, fir, pine, redwood, sassafras, spruce, and sycamore.

Moistened wood is not as acrid and produces a better tasting sausage. As a rule, any hardwood free of resin (or sap) is generally good for smoking food. If the tree produces edible fruit or nuts, the wood is typically good for smoking.

You may want to check out a list of woods at the following link. It also describes the properties of each. See it here http://wedlinydomowe.pl/en/viewtopic.php?t=5154

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
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Post by el Ducko » Thu Feb 14, 2013 13:59

Chuckwagon wrote:Ouch Duckster! I`ve got to differ just slightly, on a point you made. You wrote:
I've read (I forget where) that smoking at a lower temperature allows better penetration. You are right to make sure that the sausages are dry. Can you possibly (with your rig) smoke at a cooler temperature?
Smoke penetrates meat much faster at higher temperatures. A case in point may be a sausage perfectly smoked at 120° F (50° C) for 4 hours. Further, the same sausage may acquire a bitter, over-smoked flavor if smoked at 250° F (120° C) for the same length of time.
However, I agree with you as far as deeper penetration goes in cold smoking - especially if it is done intermittently.
Bubba`s problem, I`m sure, is his choice of wood.
I bet you're right on choice of wood, CW. As for the temperature comments, if he would smoke at about 120°F (as you suggested), he'd probably be happier with the smoke penetration. The "I forget where" was a book on hot smoking for the brisket-&-rib crowd. At those higher temperatures, the outer layers get cooked early on and, since meat becomes more dense when cooked, it forms a barrier to smoke penetration. ...or so the guy says. (...probably some of your protein hocus-pocus is going on, too.) If that's true, smoking at 140° may have caused the outer layer of sausage to begin to cook, get denser, etc. (Plus, temperature control may not be that good. I know mine could be better.) Whataya think?

I dunno, but I hope he keeps on tinkering. It's a recipe that I'd like to try.
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Post by ssorllih » Thu Feb 14, 2013 16:11

I have a supply of bradford pear, apple, maple, mulberry, red oak and hickory and have found that they impart color and taste in the same order as I listed them. The pear is quite mild and works well for raw salmon. I like a smokier taste on chicken and use maple or mulberry.
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Post by redzed » Thu Feb 14, 2013 17:24

Bubba I think you did everything correctly here and the sausages look good from up here. The colour is most prbably the result of the wood. On the Krakow Culinary Institute website (http://www.culinary.com.pl/drewno.html) beech is described as giving off a lemony colour, and considered ideal in smoking fish, duck breasts, geese and turkeys. As far as the temperature, for that type of sausage, most recipes recommend 60-90 minutes of smoke at 140 t0 155, then finish by poaching. Some of these types of sausages that are produced commercially are not even smoked at all, but rather made with liquid smoke and then steamed. That's why when you see some varieties in the supermarkets they are quite pale looking.
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Post by sawhorseray » Thu Feb 14, 2013 18:12

I'd never heard of using beech wood to smoke with before today, sounds like that was the cause of the loss of color. I think your sausages look great Bubba, and noticed that you appear to link them as they come off the stuffing tube. I've got a vertical stuffer coming in a few days and would like to know if you twist the links right out of the tube, or just pinch a space and hold it one at a time until the entire casing is filled, then twist into links? Is there one tie between the links, or two, and then cut between them after smoking, or before? Sorry if that's too many questions, I'm hoping to smoke a 25lb batch next week and I really would like to avoid another sausage smoking failure. RAY
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Post by sawhorseray » Thu Feb 14, 2013 18:32

NorCal Kid wrote: Hot tub links do tend to be moister & more tender; those finished in the smoker a bit tougher & some chew to them. So long as they taste great, the color is secondary. :wink: Kevin
Question. At what time does the transfer from the smoker to the bath take place? I'm thinking that both the smoker temp and bath temp will be at 165°. The smoker temp get raised gradually from 130° to 165°, sausage is done at IT of 152°, then the ice-bath. Maybe after the sausage has been in the smoker for a hour after the smoker temp has reached 165°, then transfer to the bath? When I tried that with the pineapple sausage everything turned to goo and got tossed, no more pineapple efforts. RAY
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Post by NorCal Kid » Thu Feb 14, 2013 23:13

sawhorseray wrote:Question. At what time does the transfer from the smoker to the bath take place? I'm thinking that both the smoker temp and bath temp will be at 165°. The smoker temp get raised gradually from 130° to 165°, sausage is done at IT of 152°, then the ice-bath. Maybe after the sausage has been in the smoker for a hour after the smoker temp has reached 165°, then transfer to the bath? When I tried that with the pineapple sausage everything turned to goo and got tossed, no more pineapple efforts. RAY
Ray, after the sausages have been given an 'adequate' amount of time in the smoker- approx 3-5 hours of moderate to heavy smoke-and the smoker temps have been raised during that time from 130 to 170°-I'll plunk the load into the hot bath (165°F). Usually the IT of the sausage at that time is anywhere from 110 to 125° depending on the size & diameter. Most loads take about 30 minutes in the poacher to reach an IT of 154°
The alternative is to keep them in the smoker (no bath) for another 2-4 hours...or longer.

Ice bath & bloom time immediately after the poach.

And pineapple is wonderful........for turning meat to mush. :oops:

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Post by Bubba » Fri Feb 15, 2013 01:33

The Beechwood is definitely my problem with the lack of smoke color.
When I tasted the sausage after letting it rest in the refrigerator for 2 days, it did have the good "smokey" taste.
It's a simple case of appearance and I will change to using Hickory for the next batch. In the past I have smoked Chicken Thighs and Breasts with 50/50 Hickory/ Apple wood. It gave a divine smokey flavor.

For the next batch I will use a 70/30 blend of Hickory / Apple.

Two more things I realized in reading CW's, Kevin and Ross' responses on moisture and smoke time:-
I refrigerate the sausages overnight in my modified refrigerator, then transfer directly to the smoker the next morning. That will change on my next batch, I will let them hang at room temp for about 2 hours then transfer to the smoker.
Then, as Kevin said, rather "over smoke" because the warm water bath will reduce the amount of smoke color. I did notice a yellow color after the warm water bath because it removes some of the smoke color. With my home made wood chip smoke generator I can simply remove it after a certain time and work on timed smoking with what I would call smudge.

and sawhorseray's question:-
and noticed that you appear to link them as they come off the stuffing tube. I've got a vertical stuffer coming in a few days and would like to know if you twist the links right out of the tube, or just pinch a space and hold it one at a time until the entire casing is filled, then twist into links? Is there one tie between the links, or two, and then cut between them after smoking, or before?
As they come out of the stuffing tube, I use my right hand, thumb pointing out at 90 degrees along the casing, when the link is the length of my hand palm plus my thumb I squeeze the casing closed with thumb and index finger while guiding the next link out. I keep the thumb and index finger on the casing until about half of the next link has been stuffed. In this way I get a nice gap between links. Afterwards, every second one is tied off, and it gives me enough space to tie a second twine for the next link. The 2 links without twine in-between I can then twist to "adjust" the length between them to suit my smoke sticks.
:) Sorry If I explained that too complicated, I can record a video next time and post it. But this method helps me a lot to link, keeping in mind I stuff on my own.

I will post the recipe in a while as well.
Ron
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Post by sausagemaneric » Fri Feb 15, 2013 01:34

I have noticed that the color of the final product has a lot to do with the ingredients in the sausage. Lots of Paprika in Cajun sausage, dark color. Take a sausage like Rytek's Polish and you wind up with a product like yours, which I think looks pretty delightful by the way.
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Post by Bubba » Fri Feb 15, 2013 02:30

sausagemaneric wrote:Take a sausage like Rytek's Polish and you wind up with a product like yours, which I think looks pretty delightful by the way.
Thank you! :)

The promised recipe is below, it is a combination of CW's and Kevin's (NorCal Kid) recipes in the MRI index.
Over the years we learn that making sausage is time relevant, as much as we would like to taste asap, but time on this one made a big difference. I ground the meat through the course plate on Friday night, mixed all the ingredients (including the cure) in thoroughly except the Heavy Cream.
Saturday morning I mixed the cream in and ground through the small plate, stuffed and let the links hang over-night. Sunday I smoked them.
The flavor and texture is very good, nice "snap" on the final product after grilling and "juicy" to my liking.
Note on the recipe that I did not add more fat, the Boston Butt fat was the only fat.
I like this recipe and will stick with it.

2 Lbs Sausage:-

1-1/2 lbs Pork
½ lbs Beef Chuck
2.1g Cure #1
18g Nonfat Dry Milk
13g Kosher salt
4.4g Onion Powder
3.7g Dextrose
0.7g White Pepper
0.7g Ginger, ground
0.7g Mace
1g Dried Parsley
0.5g Celery Seed, ground
¾ cup Heavy Cream
Ron
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