Meat Processing Equipment: 208 Low Temp Oven
Meat Processing Equipment: 208 Using Oven at Low Temperatures
Attend this Intermediate level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!
For almost any type of cured sausage one of the best things you can do is to start the temperature of your smoker or oven at no more than 20° higher than the body temperature of the animal was. This prevents the proteins in the meat from suffering too much heat shock damage.
The problem is that most home smokers or ovens won’t go that low. One of the ways people combat this is by propping the lid of their smoker or oven open to let some of the heat “bleed” out. To do this you will need a probe thermometer that has the ability to act as an ambient temp thermometer so you know what the actual temperature of the oven is. We began by setting the oven to 175° which was the lowest that our oven will go and propping the door open a good amount to let the heat escape. We quickly found out that this was too much propping and that only a very small opening was necessary.
We were able to stabilize our top rack at exactly 120° but our bottom rack continued to change dramatically so we gave up and moved everything to one rack. We are also lucky enough to have a convection oven option in this oven so for the first hour I turned that on to keep the air moving, this mimicked the are flow of a smoker with dampers wide open so it worked well for our initial drying phase.
After they had cooked for an hour at 120° we began to experiment with moving it higher and higher. We were able to get the top rack to reach 130° by closing the door even more and then 150° by opening the door more and raising the temperature and finally 180 by simply closing the door and setting it to 175°.
Finish Sous Vide Style
We also decided to pull these and finish them up sous vide style. We moved some into a sous vide cooker 100°, some at 120 and some at 135 and we moved one of the 120° pepperonis to a pot of water that we had set to 170° on the stove to prove that even if you don’t have a sous vide cooker you can still get a sous vide style finished product as long as you are patient and carful.
We have done this before and we again found that you should wait until your product is around 120-135° before moving it. The pepperoni we moved at 100° did not have as good of a texture as the ones that had dried longer in the oven/smoker.
@Jonathon @LaBarca-cf What I take @Jonathon is saying is that you might just want to “pre-grill” your fresh sausages all the way up to full cooked temperature (71 C/160 F) and then bag them. Store them on ice until you are ready to serve them. When you get ready to serve them, throw them, bag and all, into a 160 F/71 C kettle of water for 20 minutes. Your sausages will be serving temperature, smoky and delicious. You will also bypass any chance of serving bad meat. This will work especially well if you have a vacuum bag sealer. If not, slowly work the air out of a ziploc bag and seal that as well as you can.
let us know if any of this is helpful.
@Jonathon sure did, and so did the other 11 out of 12 people conpared to that half hog i did. They said that both were delishous but like the black bull better. Now with that said the 1/2 hog had alot more hours of smoke time which gave it alot of smoke flavor where the black bull had more seasoning flavor. 1/2 hog was 23 hour cook with approx 6 hours smoke and one 8 lb pork butt only had 2 hours smoke. Took both meats up to 160° then cut off smoke, wrapped in foil and finished cook to 200°. Both were extremely juicy
@Dave-R Interesting. I would have not expected that much difference between the two.