tbone Yeah, if you have Carrot Fiber, I would absolutely add it and maybe just a touch more of water as well. For cooking I would go 120 for an hour then 130 for an hour then 145 for an hour then 155 for 2 and then 175 until internal temp is 160°. It’s similar to summer sausage schedule just a little slower. If you don’t have a way to control humidity in your smokehouse then you might need to bump it to 185 at the end to get the bologna to reach 160 in a reasonable time.
Jonathon Is a ten hour cook time common on a big chub of bologna? It took a little over 6 hours to reach the 140 mark and another 4 to reach 160. I used a water pan for the entire cook cycle. Even with the use of cure, 6 hours seems along time to be in the danger zone. Other than that…WOW. Really great bologna. The carrot fiber worked great and the bologna seasoning you guys carry is top notch. I did double check the temps on my smoker and they where within plus or minus 2 degrees.
Jonathon I have to give ya more info on that cook on the chub of bologna. Sometimes pride and enbarressment gets in the way…I apologise. I think this is what happened, and I would very much like your advise. I packed these things tight, however…I forgot to p***k the casing. I think during the cook fluid built up between the casing and the meat which created a thermal barior. Which caused a snowball effect and pulled more fluid out of the meat. When I pulled these and took the temp probe out, about 2 1/2 pints of fluid came out. Essentially a water balloon with a log if meat in the middle. I went from a beautiful 5inch chub…to a case of water with a 3 inch sausage floating in the middle. Took a chance…( stupid ). Ate some anyway. Awesome. Bologna is my arch nemesis. Even with this fail it’s still the best bologna I’ve ever made. Am I correct on this failer to p***k the casing or am I missing something else?
tbone Glad that the taste was great! If you are using a non-stuck casing then yes you do want to perforate it, this allows for the sausage to bleed out of the casing and then the casing to form tightly to the meat. What sort of casing were you using? If it was a fibrous casing you still shouldn’t have had this issue but if it was plastic I can see that happening. The time it took to get there seems pretty high but you weren’t in any danger there, the cure had you covered.
It sounds like too much water was used in the mixture, I know you used carrot fiber, how much water did you use for your 10 lb chub? I would suspect that the correct level of protein extraction was not reached, the water should have been bound up in the meat better than that. Now, I know that some people reading this will be saying to themselves, or maybe even out loud, there he goes blaming protein extraction like he ALWAYS DOES! Well, that is because it is so often the issue with any cooking problems you might have. Seriously, if you are making a cured product, once you have gotten what you think is good protein extraction mix for another 3 minutes or so, it will help!
I’d also try using a probe thermometer and check the actual temperature of your smoker. If you set it for 150° is it actually there or did it only reach 140°, the easiest way to do this is with a probe thermometer system like the GrillEye or the GrillEye Pro Plus, they come with a clip that allows the probe to not touch the metal so it will give you an accurate reading.
So, in short I think you are right in what happened though, I think the meat released all of the added water and then that created a barrier and it was having problems passing meat through that and then into the center of the meat. That should never have happen to that extent though and I think protein extraction was more of the culprit!
Hope this helped, let me know if you need anything else.