sous vide questions


  • i know very little about this method. ive read of people pulling sausage from the smoker at about 135f and finish in the 170f water. i make my snack sticks 10 inches long so after stuffing i make 41 inch ropes allowing 1 inch for the hang sticks. then when done i get 4 ten inch sticks from each. so when i pull them out of the smoker they are about 20 inches long. if i use a meat lug or other container long enough to drop them into will the pump/heater circulate the water that far? looking online most containers are 12 or so qts.and seem to be short and deep. i would appreciate any help on this…thanks in advance

  • Team Blue Power User Traeger Primo Grills PK Grills Canning

    opah73 you should be fine using a meat lug with most sous vide machines. For example my Anova will heat up to 5 gallons of water.


  • For larger sous vide cooks, I bought an inexpensive cooler with the cup holder indentions in the lid. I drilled out one cup holder with a hole saw the size of my Anova. I figured out the minimum water level and marked the inside so I know how much to fill it up to. The insulation helps with minimizing heat loss and overworking the equipment. Some people get bigger coolers and run two machines, one on either end.

    The main thing is that you don’t create a dam preventing the water to circulate. There are adjustable wire racks to keep pouches organized in the water and keeps the bags off the bottom. You can use those to help ensure circulation.
    20200826_041846.jpg

  • Team Blue Power User Traeger Primo Grills PK Grills Canning

    kevo i have a similar cooler setup for larger cuts. I’ve never used a rack in the bottom, and i haven’t had any issues with bags sitting on the bottom.

  • Team Orange PK100 Dry Cured Sausage Sous Vide Regular Contributors

    You ought to be just fine. I have an Inkbird wand that I’ve used many times with the smaller (“economy”) meat lug that Walton’s carries (LOOK HERE. It’s not quite two feet, corner to corner, so your sticks will just fit (depending on how many you want to fit in there).

    One thing about snack sticks, though, is that they typically are semi-dried. While some moisture will come out, you aren’t going to get any real “drying” effect from sous vide cooking. If you’re fine with that, rock on. If not, you might want to leave your sticks in the smoker for longer, maybe to 150F or so. I brought my most recent batch of Summer sausage to 150F (maybe 152F) before moving it to sous vide, and I was very happy with it.

  • Regular Contributors

    kevo

    I like that cooler setup I did a similar thing with a foam cooler some food was shipped in. Definitely helped with heat retention and keeping the room from getting hot over a long cook.

    sous vide cooler 2.jpg sous vide cooler.jpg


  • thanks to all who replied to my post! very helpful with some great ideas. think i’ll give sous vide a try.

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

    opah73 I think you’ll find that the meatgistics community is a pretty helpful one, especially when someone has an interesting idea or question!

  • Regular Contributors

    TexLaw said in sous vide questions:

    You ought to be just fine. I have an Inkbird wand that I’ve used many times with the smaller (“economy”) meat lug that Walton’s carries (LOOK HERE. It’s not quite two feet, corner to corner, so your sticks will just fit (depending on how many you want to fit in there).

    One thing about snack sticks, though, is that they typically are semi-dried. While some moisture will come out, you aren’t going to get any real “drying” effect from sous vide cooking. If you’re fine with that, rock on. If not, you might want to leave your sticks in the smoker for longer, maybe to 150F or so. I brought my most recent batch of Summer sausage to 150F (maybe 152F) before moving it to sous vide, and I was very happy with it.

    I thought of this as well. I haven’t tried doing snack sticks in smoker+sous vide yet, but one thought i had was bagging them with paper towels to draw moisture, but i am not sure if it would draw any extra moisture then what would just end up in the bag anyway. Maybe silica packs.

    Either way, i think using sous vide after the initial cold smoke to bring it to 165F then remover and finish in a dehydrator at a low setting to reach desired finish weight might be a good way to prevent too much fat out. My problem has always been the casings ending up too tough and chewy to eat. I am not sure if it was cheap casings, or something went wrong during the cook/cooling process. I wonder how well natural casings would work for snack sticks. Something like natural casings for breakfast sausage links.

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