I am new to sausage making

  • image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg ! One of the guys at Walton as to post a pick of my cold smoke box. Your blogs and videos are tons of help I just have one question right now I tried two batches and not good results with snack sticks is there a good method to cold smoke before they’re cooked. I have reg sausage down pretty good but I would really like to make good snack sticks for my customers I also only have a Traeger which starts cooking at a higher heat. My next investment will definitely be a smoker that I can control the heat starting in 120°. My question is really all mostly about cold smoking.

    Thank you for any help you can give me

  • Cast Iron Canning Green Mountain Grill Team Orange Masterbuilt Power User Military Veterans Regular Contributors Yearling Nebraska

    tracyezzell Can’t offer much help on the cold smoking but wanted to comment on that amazing looking smoker box. I did smoke sticks in my GMG. I would load the grill first, then start the grill. The GMG starts at 150°. Once the grill got to temp I’d leave at 150° for two hours before raising the temperature. The best sticks weren’t too bad. I do like the ones I do on the MB better. It starts at 120° and has a separate cold smoke attachment.

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Power User Arizona Dry Cured Sausage Dry-Cured Expert

    tracyezzell beautiful smoke cabinet!

    I saw you mention “customers”… that kinda changes a lot. If you are not actually selling stuff, the below may not apply, but will still give you the info you need to safely cold smoke then heat process.

    The quick answer I believe is this: total time your product can exist between 50f and 130f, before reaching a valid pathogen lethality time-temperature from tables below, is 6 hrs. Any time spent cold smoking in this band will count. You really only need a couple hours of smoke for flavor, and hot smoking during your cook usually imparts good flavor and works fine. Remember, “cold smoking” flavor originally was just a byproduct of keeping meat from freezing solid in winter while you tried to dry it! So meat was kept juuust above freezing with a smudge fire so that it could be dried, and the drying made it safe to store. There is nothing inherently better or more tasty (IMO) to cold smoke than hot smoke…it is ALL smoke chemicals generated at same ignition temperatures, just in one case the exact same gases are cooled down over a 10 to 20ft distance before wafting past meat. No difference, except the tendency of bitter ascorbic acid, vinegar, to condense onto cold meat during cold smoking.

    If you are making product for commercial sale, you must comply with all the USFDA Food Safety Inspection Service requirements. Specifically, your process for making snacksticks must be in accordance with a FSIS approved HACCP. When you’re asking about how to probably heat up your product into the 50 f to 130f “danger zone” for cold smoking, then replies from us home producers are probably not going to solve your problem correctly. What you actually need is a pre-approved cooking i.e. lethality treatment process Hazard Analysis acritical Control Point plan. Tons of small producers already cold smoke, and have solved the issues while still complying with FSIS requirements to pass inspection as commercial producers. I use the recommendations for all my own production, as best-practices, though am not required to as I am not commercial.

    The booklet you want to start with is:

    FSIS Cooking Guideline for
    Meat and Poultry Products
    (Revised Appendix A)
    December, 2021
    Document ID: FSIS-GD-2021-14

    You can just google that name for a download, they also have one for jerky making.

    *Here is a paste of the blurb explaining bookelts purpose. The back is filed with how to make your HACCP process plan for submission and approval:

    The information in this guideline is provided to assist meat and poultry establishments in
    meeting the regulatory requirements. The contents of this document do not have the
    force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document
    is intended only to provide clarity to industry regarding existing requirements under the
    regulations. Under the regulations, meat and poultry establishments may choose to
    implement different procedures than those outlined in this guideline, but they would
    need to validate and support how those procedures are effective.
    This guideline is focused on small and very small plants in support of the Small
    Business Administration’s initiative to provide small businesses with compliance
    assistance under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA).
    However, all meat and poultry establishments may apply the recommendations in this
    guideline. It is important that small and very small establishments have access to a full
    range of scientific and technical support, and the assistance needed to establish safe
    and effective Hazards Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems. Although
    large plants can benefit from the information, focusing the guideline on the needs of
    small and very small establishments provides them with assistance that may be
    otherwise unavailable to them.
    Purpose of this Guideline
    This guideline contains information to assist meat and poultry establishments producing
    products that undergo cooking in complying with the HACCP regulatory requirements in
    9 CFR 417. This guideline includes information on:
    • Biological hazards during cooking.
    • Regulatory requirements associated with the safe production of cooked ready-to-
    eat (RTE) products.
    • Options establishments can use to achieve lethality of Salmonella and other

    Hope that is helpful, good luck!

  • Team Orange

    Just a thought. You might try a small batch smoked and dried in your smoker then vacuum seal them and finish them sous vide.

  • Thank you for your comments. They are definitely helpful. I’ve been giving away beef jerky for years and I’ve just started giving out sausage I own a restoration company and it’s just a nice way to say thank you to my customers I just always wanna make sure that what I’m giving them is safe and of course taste better than what they can get in the store

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Power User Arizona Dry Cured Sausage Dry-Cured Expert

    tracyezzell that’s very nice of you, and simplifies things that they are not actual meat product customers! Best to stay away from the customer word 😉

    Edit---- Hey, I just saw you were brand new here, sorry I didnt see that and say WELCOME! Saw that awesome cabinet and figured you were an old hand here 😉 Ask away on questions, lots of helpful folks and many ways to skin the cat here. I’d rather be typing you an answer than watching the news, so don’t be shy to keep asking 😉

    I do woodwork myself, and your cabinet is real smokehouse art, really something to be proud of!

    Anyways, if you’re just looking to smoke some snack sticks 120f to 170f, then Walton’s has a ton of good videos here, and there are literally hundreds of well documented threads with pictures and processes here you can mostly find with SEARCH. I’m happy to chat about tips I’ve read and tried, just filling time here, let me know!

    Here is the nice Walton’s thread if you haven’t found it yet, though you probably have since you mentioned their videos, I just like to point out the great info Walton’s has produced because a lot of folks do miss it. Jonathon and Austin have so much content, it can be easy to miss a great one with the perfect tip.


  • I have been watching a ton of your videos there awsome by the way I just love the way things taste after being cold smoked. All the steps to that point are perfect but after I cold smoke I was lucky to have some 40-50 degree days here in Texas but I think I have gotten some great answers already I did not see anything on cold smoking snacksticks in your video blogs it works great on all my sausages

  • The link you just sent I did my last batch on I did not cold smoke they came out good but can still use some work I’m going to invest in a high end control smoker

  • Team Orange Power User Canning Masterbuilt Regular Contributors Veteran New Mexico Sous Vide Gardening

    tracyezzell Welcome to the communty. Did you build that smoker yourself? Very good craftmanship.

  • Power User Regular Contributors Smoker Build Expert Bowl Choppers Nebraska Veteran Team Camo

    tracyezzell Greetings!
    That is by far the classiest cold smoking cabinet I have ever seen. It has character.
    Since you are cold smoking, you may want to look at finishing out your thermal processing with the sou vis (hot water bath) methods that others here have had good success with.

  • Yes I have a great suppler for cedar I get it for about 2 dollars a board foot for number #1 or close but I have to mill it all myself

  • And I think your right a hot water bath makes sense would you vac pac or just straight into water

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Power User Arizona Dry Cured Sausage Dry-Cured Expert

    tracyezzell here’s a thread I did on my process, with some comments on bare or bagged. I cook a lot of bratwurst bare in sous vide, but have bagged my snacksticks as I intended to dry them a bit after.

    But honestly, looking at the humidity in bag and seeing how brats work, I don’t think the bag is really needed. A lot of guys sous vide sticks just bare, and swear by it. I think mdseaside actually might, and I got a lot of good info from him when I first started sous vide finishing.


  • Yes Dave that will be my next try at it I have some big yeti I make the sticks 34 inches so I can fit 20 lbs on my Traeger the stall usually happens around 135-140 so good advice ty

  • What would you recommend as a good quality heat stick for my ice chest

  • And can most ice chest take the heat or is the a recommendation for the container

  • Power User Regular Contributors Smoker Build Expert Bowl Choppers Nebraska Veteran Team Camo

    tracyezzell said in I am new to sausage making:

    And can most ice chest take the heat or is the a recommendation for the container

    An ice chest works well because it retains heat better than a metal container.
    Another option is to use an electric roaster filled with water and carefully monitor the temperatures to avoid excess heat and fat-out.

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Power User Arizona Dry Cured Sausage Dry-Cured Expert

    tracyezzell said in I am new to sausage making:

    What would you recommend as a good quality heat stick for my ice chest

    I know my 1000W Anova Pro was able to keep a 40qt cooler at temp. However, I boil a big pot of water and dump it in to start, to speed things up. There were 2 recent threads on what were good SV, with a lot more experience and comments, like last week

    Also, Yeti coolers should have no issue with SV temperatures. The plastic used in most cheap Coleman coolers easily withstands boiling water and is food safe. Never seen anyone mention having an issue using SV in one. Most SV is done 130 to 160f.

  • What would be a good heat emitter for a large ice chest?

  • Will look at the anova

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