Help learning Water bath finishing Summer sausages

  • Team Orange

    trying to learn all I can about water bath finishing summer sausages after smoking

    I have done probably 10 batches of summer sausages in the last 2 years and love making them but the inconsistent finishing times are driving me up a wall so I am looking at water bath or Sous Vide finishing as it seems like it really cuts down on finishing time
    So Please dump your knowledge on a “beginner”
    Why and how should I proceed in this endeavor please be as specific as you can as I know nothing about this
    Thanks in advance for all responses

  • Team Blue Dry Cured Sausage Admin Walton's Employee Canning

    DeerSlayer Here is the best place to start with Parksider first brought it up.

    An important note, if you are using an actual Sous Vide cooker you should vac seal it or you run the risk of fats and bits of casing clogging up your pump. If you are using just hot water with a heater underneath then you really can just ut the entire casing in the water, it doesn’t lose the smoke or anything. “The last one I want to bring up is pulling your meat out of the smoker and finishing it up in water. I have been doing some testing here on this method and I think it has a lot of promise. So far I have found that the best results are when you smoke it to 130-140° and then move it to water that is a steady 170°. Usually, the 130-160° range takes 3 or more hours, depending on your relative humidity, from 140° your sausage should be up to temp in one hour. Surprisingly putting it in a vacuum bag does not seem to make a noticeable difference in the quality of the meat or the amount of smoke flavor. I am still going to recommend you vacuum bag it for an extra level of safety but plenty of people are doing it without them. One note, if you DO use a vacuum bag and you want to see what the temperature is, make a small cut in the up near the seal, insert your thermometer and then you don’t need a new vac bag if it needs to be cooked longer.”

    and we touched on it breifly during the pro processing tips section of this episode of the podcast

  • Team Orange

    Jonathan many many thanks for that explanation. I will read all the links.
    Just one question comes to mind
    do you cool the sausages from the smoker BEFORE vacuum packing or just vac pack hot from the smoker
    Again many many thanks
    and of course GO TEAM BLAZE ORANGE 🙂 🙂

  • Team Blue Dry Cured Sausage Admin Walton's Employee Canning

    DeerSlayer Good question, no, you can go right from the smoker to the vac bag. If you are using a chamberless machine I recommend you put some paper towels into the mini chamber as you will be almost assured to get some moisture pulled in with all the heat from the sausage.

  • Team Orange

    some background before I continue.
    Being born in Deutschland (Germany) and my wife an US Army Brat that spent an extended time there we have been for years looking for a Brat in the Regional flavor we were used to.
    Made my first batch of 100% pork Blue Ribbon Bratwurst Seasoning last week… Saw her eyes light up . I must say its as close as we have found anywhere. Will be making much more of these for sure

  • Deerslayer, I’ve been using Sous Vide on smoked and unsmoked sausage for years. It really does take all of the guess work out of the process. I won’t do it any other way! Jonathon’s suggestions are pretty much spot on. As an aside Thermoworks makes a prong specifically for designed for using with Sous Vide. I have one it works great.

  • Team Orange Power User Masterbuilt

    How water bath will be the new norm. Done it my last three batches. Once with a turkey cooker and twice sous vide. No issues either way. Did not vacuum seal with the sous vide and had no issues. Summer sausage finished in less than an hour and snack sticks in minutes.
    Goodbye stall… 👍

  • Team Orange

    Thanks guys . definitely looking into the sous vide.

  • Team Orange

    Thanks guys . definitely looking into the sous vide.

  • Team Orange PK100 Dry Cured Sausage Sous Vide Regular Contributors

    Yes, indeed. Sous vide is fantastic. My last batch of Summer sausage came out wonderfully.

    I brought that batch very slowly up to 150F over about 12 hours to get it semi-dried, but I finished it by sous vide. The shots vide took something like 30 minutes, if that. Then, the water bath, and then I let them sit out for a good hour or so to dry out the casing enough to package and freeze.

  • Team Orange

    OK got a Vnova Sous Vide and a container . Making Kielbasa Sunday afternoon and Smoking Monday .
    Looks like Smoke to 130 internal then Sous Vide to 152 internal temp.
    Thanks for all the responses

  • Team Orange PK100 Dry Cured Sausage Sous Vide Regular Contributors

    DeerSlayer That doesn’t sound like a bad plan at all for kielbasa. You probably can just set that sous vide wand to your target 152 and drop the kielbasa in for 45 minutes to an hour (probably not even that long, but it won’t hurt, and you’ll know you got it where you want it.)

    For Summer sausage, I recommend putting in the time to slowly bring it up to 150F (or so) in the smoker and then finishing briefly in the sous vide at 158-160F. It might take all dadgum day, but the texture is worth the work. I did my first batch of Summer sausage along the lines of your kielbasa schedule, and the texture was more like baloney. Not bad, mind you, but not what I wanted.

    Happy cooking!

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