@jonathon that is interesting & in some ways, I am not surprised. But Jee, was I one of the only few hailing from Alabama these days? I wish I could do something to improve that because the potential really is there. On the other hand, there are just so many more folks in Texas now & so much potential. Alaska has a lot of potential too, but not the numbers. Interesting.
@herbcofood agreed plus you could add the cooking aspect to it if the teacher pre prepped some
Sausages and had them ready to cook after everyone makes their own. Sausages can be a tricky think to cook correctly. It could be similar to what ATBBQ does in Wichita with cooking classes but a step further.
@jonathon The numbers from Texas should be the reason for Walton's to open a retail store in Houston. I would be honored to run it for you.
Imagine the business, the in person classes. The list could go on for ever.
-- I use 1/2" dowels cut to 17.5". That was on advice from an Account Executive at ProSmoker who cooks on a PK 100. That's been more than adequate. I managed to catch a sale on hickory dowel, so that was even better.
-- I'd go ahead and cut 5 or 6 dowels, just to be sure. I've only needed 2 for my largest batches (11 lbs when you count in meat and cheese), so 5 probably is good enough. However, it's the sort of situation that you don't want to find out you're one short when you need it.
-- How you want to link your sausage is pretty much up to you. Personally, I just run as long a length as I can and then twist into links. I have been thinking about doing more rope style, though.
-- You'll need to do 2 levels if you want to smoke 25 lbs. at a time.
-- Rotating is not impossible, but it could be difficult. As others mentioned, it might not even be a good idea.
-- There are a couple things you can do to make better use of the bottom of the smoker. First, put in a water pan. That pan is not only good to help with humidity, but it also works as insulation between direct heat from the heating element and drip tray. The other thing to do is take a little extra effort and switch between the 1250 W and 625 W settings (more on that below).
-- Extra Tip #1: Give your PK time to get up to temp. Even though you might get to your target temperature fairly quickly according to the thermometer, it takes more time for every part of it to come up to temperature, even if you only are at 120 F for drying. Give it a good 15-30 minutes after you hit that initial setpoint, and you'll see flatter temperature swings and a more consistent cook. I use a separate thermometer in the cooker (for a few reasons), and I see the difference between it and the PK thermometer start out fairly far apart at first but then get pretty dadgum close after 20 minutes or so of hitting the initial setpoint.
-- Extra Tip #2: Switch between 625 W and 1250 W as appropriate. 1250 W is great for when you first turn on the cooker and are trying heating it all up, but leaving it on there leads to larger temperature swings (the overshoot is greater when set on 1250 W). I'm good having it on 1250 W when raising the temperature 10 degrees F or more, but I switch it back to 625 W when I'm around 5 degrees F from my setpoint. That's done a LOT to flatten out the swings. There always will be swings because that's how electrical cookers work, but it's nice to flatten them out a bit. I might even just leave it on 625 W if I am not in a hurry and doing something semi-dried (like Summer sausage), as long as the weather lets me (not cold and windy). It's a little more work and a little more time, but I like what I'm getting for that effort.
-- Extra Tip #3: Get a remote thermometer so you can see what's going on while you're away from the cooker. You don't need it, but you'll like it. I use my Thermoworks Signals.
-- Extra Tip #4: As already mentioned, you won't need or want smoke going all the time. 90-120 minutes likely is plenty. While you might want a little more (for something REALLY smoky), you might even want less (matter of taste). In any case, you don't want 5 hours of smoke. The smoke you get from sawdust and in the PK is pretty potent stuff. I actually measure smoke more in how much I put in the bowl instead by time. A full bowl is plenty, but I suppose that also can depend on what you put in there (I usually use a mix of oak, mesquite, and cherry). (On that, the 40 lb. bags are going to last you quite a while!)
Another thing, keep in mind that a "25# batch" of sausage is more than 25 lbs., especially if you are adding cheese. I expect you'll need to split your batch for smoking. If you have the freezer space (and I hope you do, since you're making all that sausage), you also could put some of that pork butt in the freezer and come back to it (go ahead and cube it up for grinding, if you want).
The Swiss and cheddar cheese are quite good, but the ghost pepper cheese is amazing for those that like it spicy (it's not as hot as "ghost pepper" suggests, but it still has plenty of kick).
@herbcofood interested in learning what a buck stick is? With the seasoning and mix ratio im sure its nothing more than what we call a snack stick or landjaeger. What is the diameter of your buck sticks? I make mine at 19mm. My favorite top 4 flavors is.....
#1 Bourbon Peppercorn
Current smoker is the Pro Smoker 100SS 240 volt electric
@PapaSop just made the fajita and ranch last weekend, i love them. Bourbon Peppercorn is my favorite. Like @Jonathon said the ranch has very little ranch flavor, you might get a slight hint of it at the beginning or end of bite.
My top 4 are #1 Bourbon peppercorn #2 Fajita, #3 Ranch and #4 Willies. Cant taste any ECA in it. The top 3 mentioned are perfect for kids and adults that dont like hot or spicy
ButcherBrown In my opinion the PK100 is about as good as it is possible to get with this size smoker, I have done hams and bacon, ribs and pork butts in it and it the color and smoke flavor are on the same level as the big commercial smokehouse. Now, it is not without issues, the price is pretty high and you can only use sawdust in it but that’s about it, other than that the insulation is amazing, the heat wave is very reasonable compare to other smokers and the vents system adds some good versatlity. Also, we never use the lower watt setting.
@M-Saboe I bought a brisket a couple weeks ago and made snack sticks and summer sausage. I did a #3 test batch of the summer sausage first. I used 50/50 brisket and pork butt. I didn’t trim any fat on the brisket. It came out way to fatty for me. It coated the inside of my mouth with fat and not in a good way. After that I trimmed the brisket of most of the fat and mixed 50/50 again with pork butt. The summer sausage and snack sticks were both spot on.
@zbigjeff The Kona isn't cheap, but buying the #3 makes it affordable to drink and if you wanted to blend, it makes it perfect. The beans are not perfect grade, and the coffee board in Kona has strict guidelines on grading. Most places just sell them to the cheap wholesalers who make the Kona blends offshore. I'm the only one who drinks coffee here at home, my wife says she does like the taste, but I gave some Kona Macadamia Nut brittle without her knowing it had coffee in it and she loved it. If you are ever interested in Kona beans, Lyman's is the place to get them. The price is up a bit right now, the #3 green is about $20 lb. My last big buy was at $16 lb. compared to $28-40 for most others. www.lymankonacoffee.com/buy-coffee.html#!/GREEN-Coffee-Beans-Retail/c/14249081