Advice on building a smokehouse.
cayenneman last edited by
I have been wanting to build a smokehouse for andouille, smoked sausage, tasso, turkey necks, etc. for a while now. The thing that I want most is to be able to get a good hard smoke on the meat, but I don’t want to have to constantly monitor the temp and add fuel. I guess thermostat controlled but I don’t know if electric or gas would be sufficient to get the house up to temp. Not sure on dimensions yet. Anyway any advice is appreciated. The pics below are kinda what I have in mind.
@cayenneman I’m no expert on building a smokehouse but I will say that if you are looking for something that you won’t have to worry about the temp fluctuating I would probably go with gas. It might take some more figuring initially to find the correct level of gas to introduce and what to set your dampers at but electric smokers will fluctuate intentionally. If you were to graph the temp of an electric smoker it would look like a series of waves, this is because it kicks on until it reaches the target temperature then shuts off the heat source and then it cycles through that. However if you are using a thermostat then either full source might have this issue.
One other tip, if you are smoking for long periods of time then pellets are a better choice. For shorter jobs chips and dust are good but for longer smokes pellets will burn and smoke significantly longer.
Anyone built a smoker here and have some advice to share?
bowhunter extream last edited by
I’m building one (started this morning)and have decided to cannibalize my Trager smoker as my smoke source. My plan is to have the Trager components in a separate box with the smoke piped into my main smoke house so I can cold smoke salmon and other fish. Tragers are expensive $700 plus but it will keep applying smoke without me managing that part of the process. So far it looks like I will have a thermostat temperature controlling electric element inside the smoke house. I would rather use gas if I could find a therestate that could regulated the heat of the flame in stead of just turning it on and off while working at the low temperatures I need for the first stage of smoking my braut sausage 130* . Electric ones are available.
So I spent many years watching my great Uncle Cecil run the smokehouse after butchering pigs. Looked like #2. It had a small pot belly stove in the middle and “vented” out the sides around the rafters. FYI never saw a thermometer in his hand ever…he’d run the smoker during the day let the meat rest overnight and start it up again the next day. So to get a hard smoke he’d repeat that process over several days until the color was right- deep cherry color.
Now I don’t have the time or maybe it’s patience… but I built a metal smoker box 4’x4’x2’ with a propane burner. You’ll see it in some earlier posts. I think it works great, consistent temp within a small range I can add small chunks of wood as needed.
My brother made a wood box that is is elevated on legs and is fired by a small wood burning stove and uses the vents to control the temp. The smoke comes in through the bottom.
So I think it will come down to are you going to be a purists and go wood only or can you sleep with yourself using propane. I sourced my burner from Amazon. Got any questions let me know.
How do you know how much sure cure to put on your mix if it’s less than 25 lb ?
@peculiarb You can have an issue with pickled jalapenos and getting the meat to properly bind to them.
You can blanch fruits and veggies before adding them to sausage and that will help. Some people add them straight in, but blanching will help the meat bind together with the jalapenos. Not a requirement though. If the jalapenos don’t bind perfectly into the meat, when you slice the summer sausage, the jalapenos may not fully stick to the meat and just fall off the slices. It won’t hurt the sausage, but it may not be 100% perfect. I would at least dry the jalapenos thoroughly, but blanching would provide the best results.
Has anyone ever used pickled jalapeños in their summer sausage? I have a buddy who gave me a jar of picked jalapeños to add to his summer sausage I am going to make for him. Is this a bad idea? I’ve always used dried jalapeños in the past. Please advise! Thanks.
I have only made about three batches of snack sticks so far but, I have found that adding an extra ounce of water ( per 5lb batch) over what is called for in the recipe, makes the meat “flow just a little easier when stuffing into casings.
So far, the texture of the finished product has been great and I have had no problem with casings breaking etc. from the excess moisture.
I recently had a 26 lb batch of summer sausage end up with brown spots here and there? Could this be from cure not evenly mixed ??? Or from encapsulated citric acid not fully mixed in??? I’m thinking eca wasn’t mixed in good enough because cure was put in initially with spices and binder and I mixed by hand till I got good protein extraction because it was very sticky ???
I am going to be making a 10 pound batch of pepper stick snack sticks how much water do I add for easier stuffing. or is the water that I mix the sure gel in enough for the batch is there a ratio for sure jell to water?