Which wood chips
hinoon last edited by
Got all my ordering done from Waltons, now to make sure I have all my ducks in a row before I start my maiden voyage. I have the jalapeno spice mix, the eca, the colagen casings the mixer, the stuffer, the carrot binder, etc… Now I just need to know what wood is good to use in the smoker and how long and when to hit it with smoke. Also have been reading to keep the door open on the smoker. Just opening the vents on top of my Masterbilt is not good enough?
@hinoon I responded to the door opening in the other post but just to keep everything together I will hit it here too. If your smoker won’t start as low as 120° then you might want to crack your door to be able to achieve that low of a temperature. Once you are past those low smoking phases you should close it. Whether or not to leave it open for the initial drying phase will be a matter of testing, I find that opening top and bottom vents is enough.
As for what wood to use for snack sticks there is some good information in Meatgsitics University Using Different Woods but with a snack stick you can use a strong smoke like hickory or a softer smoke like any of the fruit woods.
I generally don’t add smoke until the second hour when doing snack sticks or summer sausages, it usually best to let it dry for that initial hour but I have also done it where I start the smoke right away and that did not create any real issues.
Hope that helps!
sstory last edited by
@hinoon I prefer a more mild smoke flavor, so like Jonathan mentioned, apple wood is a really great choice. If you are doing natural casings (or not smoked colagen casings), you can add a little cherry wood which will give the meat a nice mahogany color.
hinoon last edited by
@jonathon Thanks. You are the whip when it comes to this stuff. I am really excited to start making my own sausages and snacks.
I do it all the time. Still remember my mom saying it’s not a good idea. I’m sure if you are buying a nice steak and intend it eat it as a grilled T-bone you might notice some flesh cell break down (texture change). If you are going to use it in sausage you will not notice any difference. Made brats last night. Once frozen pork and elk. Refroze the brats. I do it time and time again.
Here is a link to a website that has a handy Excel spreadsheet. It is, as it says a free non-commercial site.
As for Waltons dropping the ball, I vote they are doing a great job.
I think for all of us there are general guidelines, but unless you have a temperature and humidity controlled environment, both for the preparation, cooking (if you cook them) smoking, hanging etc, the results are bound to vary from batch to batch.
Personally, I am searching how to get my home made smoked and dry cured pepperoni to the exact texture and firmness of Margarita pepperoni from the store.
Through trial and error I have the flavor where I want it, but not the texture or firmness. I know time, temperature and humidity are all crucial, but the best I can do is in the basement and then subject to the environment that is there.
I figure as long as I am not killing anyone or making anyone sick I am making progress. Thanks Waltons for all of the great information so far.
Having said that, it would be nice to have your chart in an Excel spreadsheet.
Thanks Jonathon! One question tho! You eluded to 178 being high for a temp! Don’t you guys recommend setting the temp at 175 during the final stage to completion to internal temp? Three degrees shouldn’t make that much difference should it??
Sounds reasonable. Thanks for your input. Pulling the meat at 152 will make a big difference I bet! Thanks again.
@Kinger Thanks for the information. Your process, other than going to 178, is on in my mind. The only thing I do differently is an ice bath for 20 minutes. Showering for 10 minutes, if you are running a cycle and a fan in your smoker can work, but I still think an ice bath would bring it down faster and more. Last time I did thick summer sausage it was down to 110 in 20 minutes, I also tried showering it at 2 minutes on 2 minutes off for 20 minutes and it was only down to 136 (ish) but i did not have a fan running on them.
One more thing you might want to try, if you are stalled towards the end you can finish them up by putting them in a vacuum bag (I have done then hot, right from the smoker, some condensation in the bag but it still gets a good vac) and get some water going at around 165, it should get up to temp in under an hour depending on the thickness.