Thank you. I was actually a bit short on fatback so I chucked in some bacon, maybe that was part of it.
Pretty sure i did something wrong
This whole process has been like getting bucked off a bull and getting stomped on…
How so? Everything looks great.
PapaSop too much shrinkage and casing wrinkle
I’ve had that happen many times. It used to bother me years ago but not now. Too many variables involved for us weekenders to go for picture perfect. The last batch I did the same as yours, my casings were even tough. Just peeled the casings off, no worries. As I said, those look great! Eat and enjoy.
twilliams I agree with pop. They do look great. I like them slightly wrinkled. You might have had your heat a little too high. I never go above 170. I also don’t put snack sticks in with summer sausage as the summer sausage can take 24 hours in the smoker.
twilliams My guess, without knowing your entire process, would be that the either they were not placed in an ice bath quickly enough, or it was either not cold enough or not left in long enough. However, it clearly looks like they had some wrinkling before they were finished smoking. So, I would guess that they were slightly understuffed and or you didn’t use a binder that helped them plump up.
From looking at your drip pan it doesn’t look like there is any fat down there but you tied them so that wouldn’t really happen anyway. Have you noticed a layer of fat between the meat and the casing? I am wondering if the fat rendered out of the meat and is trapped between the skin and the inside of the casing.
Can you tell me what smoking schedule you adhered to?
Other than the wrinkling and the shrinkage were there any other problems? Were they overly dried? If the fat hasnt rendered out and they arent overly dried than I would say it is an understuffing issue.
Jonathon i did notice that between the batch of willies and chedder that had only 2 1/2 cups of water compared to the honey bbq and swiss that had 5 cups of water was more wrinkled. Which makes sense. While stuffing it felt like they were about ready to burst. Some areas were a little light as we use a hand crank stuffer. The fat was perfect, no rendering or pooling at the casing. I do not use a binder.
One thing im wondering is if the lack of pan of water halfway through the cook as i have no room with the sticks looped to the top of the drip pans. Sticks were great axcept for the cosmetic appearance.
Preheat to 125° then add snack sticks
Top and bottom dampers wide open for 1 hour no smoke @ 125°
Increase heat to 140° top damper closed to 1/8 bottom closed to 1/4 with smoke for 2 hours
Increase heat to 155° with smoke for 2 hours, however it reached an internal temp of 160° after 1 hour after increasing to 155° with the great insulation of the prosmoker.
Here are the two different batches in summer sausage from the remaining meat i couldnt get out of the stuffer. Hand packed into fibrous casings
chrisndee2 my smoker is very well insulated, i had it set for 155° but the smoking chamber was about 180°. I take sticks out with internal meat temp of 160°. I have never known of summer sausage to take 24 hours. Usually its a 5-6 hours depending on how loaded up the smoker is. The summer sausage is just remnants of meat at the bottom of the stuffer. The stuffer i own is a very poor design. I should design my own and run with it
twilliams Okay so I’ve been thinking and pondering this for about a day now and I think what you hit on with the smaller amount of water being the main thing. If the amount of water is less to low to begin with, or your smoke schedule is off (which yours doesnt seem to be but may hev been, more on that later) then you can get some wrinkling before you finish. This is because it is going to cook the moisture out and the casing shrinks with the volume of the meat. I really do recommend a binder or something like carrot fiber to help with this, it keeps them nice and plump.
The other thing is the fact that your smoker was at 180 when it was set to 155, now your Pro Smoker is an electric model so it is going to go up and down but 25° seems like a large variation. Usually, our Pk 100 will not fluctuate more than 15° and I believe the 100 SS is an upgraded version from the PK so I find it odd that it is doing that. So maybe when you were stepping it up it was not at 120 but at 145? I don’t know though, its probably more likely that the lower amount of water to start is what caused it.
twilliams The 180 temp could definitely be a factor. I have had some pretty big temp swings in my MB40’s, but I have noticed that the more meat I hang in the smoker, the less fluctuation I get. I usually hang about 20lbs at a time.
Do you finish your SS in a hot water bath? I don’t think I’ve ever had SS go above 143 in 6 hours. I normally use the 2.56x12 or 2.2x16 casings. Time is usually close to 16 hours, but it has definitely taken longer.