Summer sausage - normal for some fat out?
Just finished a small batch (5 lbs) of venison summer sausage - 75% venison/25% pork fat. I used 3 tblsp of sure gel and I mixed it by hand until it was VERY sticky - a good 10-15 minutes. The stuff definitely stuck to my open palm when turned upside down. The meat was refrigerator cold when it was mixed.
Started the cook at 100 degrees and bumped it up 10 degrees every hour. By hour 7, smoker temp was hovering around 160. It did get up to 178 at one point but only very briefly - a couple minutes or so. I noticed at that point that I had a little bit of dripping coming from a couple of the sticks- not much but some. IT was 141 at that point. So, I decided to pull them off the smoker at that point and put them in a 170 degree water bath. In about an hour, IT reached 155. Moved them into an ice bath at that point.
I haven’t cut in to them yet but I’m concerned about the dripping - there was a good bit of oil/fat in the tub of water after they came out. I know fat out is not good but is a little of it to be expected?
The cutting will tell the real story.
It’s a good idea to check your smoker chamber thermometer /temp probe periodically with a known to be accurate remote reading thermometer. Your smoke schedule is only as good as your data and an temperature reading error makes everything else questionable.
Another thing to remember is that localized hot spots in the smoker could also create a situation where the temp probe says one thing and the actual temperature is something else. A remote reading thermometer can be placed in different parts of the smoker chamber to see if you have localized hot or cold spots.
Well, I was pleasantly surprised this morning after getting my first taste - came out pretty good. Texture is firm and not at all dry. Flavor is good.
processhead - yes… I used an external grate temperature probe as well as a meat probe. It’s a good quality unit from Thermoworks that I trust. I use a small smoker from Cookshack (SM009-2). The cooking grates are small - only 12" X 12" or so. I had 3 10" long chubbs on the center grate with the temp probe placed in the center of that grate (right in between the chubbs). I don’t see how in an area that small that there could be some spots significantly hotter than others - but who knows.
At any rate, it all turned out well. I was just curious about the small amount of fat out that I saw when I know that the overall high temp in the box never exceeded 180.
ppelaez Sounds like a successful smoke to me. Good job.
You are correct, a smaller smokers should be able to keep a more uniform internal temperature. Loading it with just three chubs also helps a lot.
Overloading a smoker with more product than the smoker has the heating capacity to manage can give uneven results.