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.
In the past while making summer sausage I have used ground beef 80/20 about 8 pounds and about 4 pounds mixed together… what mixture do you use for summer sausage
@KSHusker First, yes they should be safe to eat. You cooked them to 160° which will kill anything harmful. Now, obviously use common sense and your senses, if it smells bad don’t eat it!
The first thing to know is if you used sure cure (or another version) or not? From the sounds of it, you did but I just want to make sure we are looking at all possibilities. Were the butts untrimmed? If they had a nice fat cap on them then you should have been okay, I still like to use a little more fat than that but you should have been in the realm. How did you mix it, was it by hand? If you mixed for 30 minutes in a meat mixer that is a long time to be mixing it (I don’t think this was your issue, just pointing it out). Starting at 200 is a little high but it also sounds like it came down to 180° pretty quickly but this would be my thought on why the casing stuck, cooking too high can cause this.
For the color, the only thing I can think of (if you used a cure) is that it looks pinker around the edges because you got a nice smoke ring around it? How deep does the nice pink color go and what type of casing did you use? With wild game, I always use some sort of cure accelerator, either Encapsulated Citric Acid, Smoked Meat Stabilizer or something, it helps burn the color more and then you can skip holding it overnight and go right from stuffing to the smokehouse.
Anyone else have thoughts?