Meat Processing Equipment - 104 Smokers

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    Meat Processing Equipment 104 Smokers

    Attend this entry level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    Different Types of Injectors

    Automatic/Pump Syringe - These types of injectors have a draw tube that will go into a

    Rotisserie Smoker
    Vertical Smoker

    How Do They Work?

    Vertical Smokers -

    Vertical smokers have a heat source, usually, gas or electric, at the bottom of the smoker and the pellets or wood chips sit on top of the heat source causing them to smolder and smoke. There will be one or more dampers on the bottom of the smoker and one at the top to allow smoke come up from the bottom and out of the top, drawing the smoke up and over your product. The one disadvantage to these units is that they are not suitable for grilling, they really can only be used as a smoker.

    Offset / Barrel / Ceramic -

    If you like Charcoal and wood smoking then a Ceramic, Barrel or offset Smoker like the ABS Pit Boss might be the best way for you to go. These work great for smoking large amounts of meat at a time or large cuts of meat. The Pit Boss has a rotisserie inside it that keeps the meat moving to make sure everything gets the same amount of smoke and prevents you from having to worry about any cold spots in your smoker. These smokers can range anywhere from basic to very advanced with electronics monitoring the amount of air flow and rotisserie. These types of smokers provide the most classic smoke flavor as they use wood chunks and/or charcoal as both the smoke and heat source. In my opinion, the only disadvantage to these types of units is the cleanup and setup required.

    Pellet / Combo Smoker -

    A pellet combo smoker is a good choice for someone who will do some smoking but always wants to be able to easily grill on the same piece of equipment. These use wood pellets and can smoke at temperatures as low as 150° or grill up to 500° or more. They have a hopper with the pellets on one side, an auger that feeds those pellets down into a heat source than then burns the pellets to act as the heat and smoke source. A chimney will be set off to the opposite side from the hopper to draw the smoke out of the grill area. The advantage to these units is the ease of use, just hit a button and they are ready to go. The disadvantage would be that you are not going to pick up as much smoke as you would with a wood smoker and you generally won’t be able to start below 150°

    How Important Is It?

    Smokers are an essential part of the homemade sausage and meat snack making process. For commercial processing, a good smokehouse is where I would recommend you spend more money as you can make it back faster than on almost any other piece of equipment. For home processors, a quality smoker will give you a much better-finished product and make your entire process more enjoyable.


    People without a way to smoke can absolutely still make Summer Sausage, Snack Sticks or really any other type of meat snack. You can cook all of these items in an oven and you can add smoke flavor by using Hickory Smoke Powder. Of course, a smoker is preferable as it will give you a more authentic taste.

    Should You Buy One

    Absolutely you should get a smoker. If you don’t think you will smoke enough to spend the money on a dedicated smoker you can get a pellet combo grill to replace your propane smoker! Meat that comes off of a pellet grill/smoker has a much different flavor than meat cooked on a propane grill.

    Best Choice For Beginners

    The Weston 30" Vertical Smoker is an inexpensive and easy to use vertical smoker that, with some practice, will let you smoke almost anything you can think of!

    Other Information

    Make sure that you are using the correct fuel source for you vertical smoker. Some, like the PK-100, need to use sawdust only and pellets can create issues.

    Shop for Vertical Smokers

    Shop for American BBQ Systems Smokers

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Recent Posts

  • B

    Cooked a batch of summmer in PK 100 casings are 1 7/8 by 12 cooked at 120 for one hour then 140 two hours then 180 tell internal of 152 but when I went to pull them the fat had liquefied any ideas

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  • T

    Tom T from Boise, ID

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  • D

    Oh… I ground the pork fat and the venison at the same time. 2 chunks of venison, 1 chunk of pork, back and forth…

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  • D

    Yes… sure cure and sure gel binder. The venison and pork fat were both still partially frozen when I ground them. First through the large course plate, then again through the small plate. (Not sure of sizes, but these are the plates i normally use for summer sausage). I probably should have put the meat back in the freezer before seasoning but i was pressed for time. I mixed by hand for 14 or 15 minutes. I also think I might have added to much water. The video said 2 quarts for wild game 2 pints for fatty pork. I put in 1 quart and about another cup. I mixed until it got tacky and then mixed some more. The meat seemed soupy to me but the video said that would be ok.
    The shriveling occurred before I bumped the temp up. I was using a digital thermometer with a probe, when the temp stalled for a couple hours, I suspected the temp might be reading inaccurately so I opened the door to confirm with a dial thermometer. The digital was accurate but the sausage was already shriveling.
    Another thing that bothered me was the casings… these had perforations for some reason. I e never used perforated casings before and seemed like I was losing a pot of moisture through them. Did I have the wrong casings? The other fibrous casings in the catalog said you were supposed to poke them anyway.

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