Low Temp Cooking in Your Oven (And Sous Vide) - Meat Processing Equipment 208

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    Low Temp Cooking in Your Oven (And Sous Vide)

    Starting at Low Temp

    For almost any type of cured sausage, one of the best things you can do is to start by setting your smoker or oven to a very low temp, no more than 20° higher than the body temperature of the animal was. This prevents the proteins in the meat from suffering too much heat shock damage.

    The problem is that most home smokers or ovens won’t reach that low temp. One of the ways people combat this is by propping the lid of their smoker or oven open to let some of the heat “bleed” out. To do this, you will need a probe thermometer that has the ability to act as an ambient temp thermometer, so you know what the actual temperature of the oven is. We began by setting the oven to 175°, which was the lowest that our oven would go, and propping the door open a good amount to let the heat escape. We quickly found out that this was too much propping and that only a very small opening was necessary.

    Probe Thermometer
    Sous Vide
    Pepperoni Texture

    Cooking Temperature

    We were able to stabilize our top rack at exactly 120°, but our bottom rack continued to change dramatically, so we gave up and moved everything to one rack. We are also lucky enough to have a convection oven option in this oven, so for the first hour, I turned that on to keep the air moving; this mimicked the airflow of a smoker with dampers wide open, so it worked well for our initial drying phase.

    After they had cooked for an hour at 120°, we began to experiment with moving it higher and higher. We were able to get the top rack to reach 130° by closing the door even more and then 150° by opening the door more and raising the temperature, and finally 180° by simply closing the door and setting it to 175°.

    Finish Sous Vide Style

    We also decided to pull these and finish them up sous vide style. We moved some into a sous vide cooker at 100°, some at 120°, and some at 135°, and we moved one of the 120° pepperonis to a pot of water that we had set to 170° on the stove to prove that even if you don’t have a sous vide cooker, you can still get a sous vide-style finished product, as long as you are patient and careful.

    We have done this before, and we again found that you should wait until your product is around 120-135° before moving it. The pepperoni we moved at 100° did not have as good of a texture as the ones that had dried longer in the oven/smoker.

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Walton's Inc. sells meat processing equipment and supplies, including all of the Seasoning, Equipment, Supplies, Packaging, and Casings needed to make almost any type of sausage. Walton's sells to the commercial customer with a focus on the small to medium-sized processing plants or butcher shops, and directly to the hunter or processor who makes their own product at home. Whether you are a commercial or retail customer of Walton's you will be receiving the exact same seasoning and supplies, we do not have a different "line" for commercial and retail customers so that everyone can make the best sausage or jerky possible!

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