Hang vs Lay Flat



  • As I type this I am sitting and waiting for 35 lbs of snack sticks to finish up on the smoker, but it has been 9 hours.

    I built my smoker 5 years ago and I have run hundreds of pounds of sticks, summer sausage and rings through it without issue and have kicked out really awesome products. Recently I have tried to start hanging instead of laying flat on racks and ever since haven’t been able to churn out the quality within the smoke time as I used to. No change in recipe or protocol, just that I started hanging things vertically.

    I run 120-135-150-170 increments and the probes in the product start to read 152-155 so I go out and start getting ready to pull and temp other areas and the temp drops 5-10 degrees.

    Smoker is 6 feet tall 18”x24”, propane fired and I use an a-maze-n tube for smoke.

    Do probes not read right when they are vertical in a smoker vs horizontal?

    Has anyone else had issues vertically vs horizontally and had to change things up?


  • Walton's Employee

    @Holden-Nyhus That’s an interesting issue with it actually dropping, what is happening there is that evaporation energy coming off your sausage is greater than the thermal energy trying to raise the temperature. My guess would be that you might have an issue with your thermometer though, is there a way to calibrate it?

    Orientation shouldn’t really be changing things too much. The air will be able to completely flow around the sausage where when laying it down you have the grates in the way, but that isn’t going to change much. I think if you increase your relative humidity, this will make it harder for the moisture to evaporate off of the surface of the sausage. Check out Cured Sausage 205 Advanced Thermal Processing for some more information on this.

    Have you thought of pulling your sausage once they reach about 140° and finishing them up in hot water? Might sound weird but we have a bunch of people on here who have been using this process and the results have been great. For more information check out this post https://meatgistics.waltonsinc.com/topic/683/summer-sausage-nightmare where it was first brought up on here. I also used this method in my advanced cured sausage processing https://meatgistics.waltonsinc.com/topic/1108/cured-sausage-206-advanced-cured-sausage-processing



  • @Holden-Nyhus You might want to add a convection fan to your smoker to mix and circulate the air to provide a more constant temp throughout the space, I added a convection oven fan in the top of my smoker and it seems to help keep a more constant temperature.


  • Regular Contributors

    @Holden-Nyhus I can just speak for my smokers. I use a 30 inch and 40 inch and hang as many as will fit then lay any leftovers on a rack in the highest position. I have never had anything not smoke and cook internally to the same temperature at the same amount of time.


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