I’m not a big fan of the acidic taste that ECA creates (I’ve noticed it when I bought summer sausage from the store and never knew what was causing it – I thought the meat had gone bad). So I was glad to find out that I could leave it out and just have to keep the stuffed sausage in the fridge overnight before doing the smoke process the next day.
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RE: Acidic or strong Vinegar taste
RE: Which wood chips
@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.
RE: Smoking Summer Sausage
@okkipp I just made my first batch of summer sausage over New Years. I used the 2.4" fib casings. Doing the same 125/140/155/170 schedule using my Dad’s 30" Masterbuilt, it took almost 10 hours to get to 160 internal temp. But I think I may have had a little too much water in the mix, which meant longer time time evaporate it out of the summer sausage and allow the meat to get to temp. But, just like smoking any meat — It’s Done When It’s Done. You want to go by internal temp of the meat, not the time.
Another thing that may have lead to such a long time to get to temp, I had 21 summer sausages hanging in that 30" smoker. So there wasn’t a lot of empty space. I have the 40" Masterbuilt and I think with the extra room, I would have had a little more space between sausages, which might have helped with getting them to temp quicker.
RE: Boston Butt, to brine or not to brine?
@calldoctoday I have never brined a pork butt. We used to inject them when we competed, but that was to impact as much flavor as we could in a small bite that a judge would take. For cooking at home, I don’t inject. But I do like more bark for pulled pork sammiches. So before cooking, I’ll remove the bone and butterfly the pork butt to get more surface area. I’ll slather it with mustard then apply black pepper and Head Country rub and into the smoker at 250 till it reaches about 165 internal temp. Then I’ll wrap it in double-layer of HD foil with a stick of butter on the top of the butt and sprinkle a good amount of brown sugar and more Head Country rub around the butt (on the foil, not directly on the butt) and then I’ll pour in about 1/4 cup of Old Orchard Apple Strawberry Banana Juice Cocktail. Wrap that back up tight and back into the smoker – I’ll take it to 202 if I’m going to be shredding it. When we competed, we would slice the money muscle into medallions – so I’d only take that butt to 190 so it would slice beautifully without falling apart.
It’s probably hard to see my profile pic, but that was one of our turn-in boxes at a competition in Claremore, OK the year we took 2nd place in Pork (the team that took 1st place had a perfect score, so I’d take 2nd to a perfect score any day). Here’s a larger view of that pic.
RE: Summer sausage to wer
@marctrejo IMO it was the mixing by hand that may have caused the issue. I just recently made my first 25lb batch of summer sausage. I was worried about being able to get the mix done correctly by hand, so I also ordered a 44# meat mixer – and I’m really glad that I did. I think that allowed the better distribution of cure and binder for the protein extraction.