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Thread: Sausage and Smoke Cooking

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    Quote Originally Posted by cudarunner View Post
    One of our local chain stores (Albertsons) had boneless skinless chicken thighs and or breasts on sale at $1.47 per LB. So I picked some thighs up, got the excess fat off, trimmed them up a bit and got them in a curing brine for 30+ hours.

    To make smoked meats, you need something that will 'smoke' like damp wood. I use a vacuum sealer for breaking down large packs of meats etc since there's usually just me here at the Boars Nest. I wash and rinse the bigger ones and reuse to store dampened Hickory Chips. That way I've always got them on hand plus I've been known to space off getting them dampened the day before I'll need them.

    Attachment 267594

    The difference between 'Smoked Meats' and 'Cooked Meats' is that when you are smoking the temp is kept 'low' so things happen 'slow'. Here's the temp at about 1/4 of the way through the process;

    Attachment 267595

    And the chicken at about the same time (I would be turning them so they don't shrink up on the wire grates)

    Attachment 267596

    Here's the temp at the end of the process;

    Attachment 267597

    After about 5-6 hours the chicken is done. (I'd turned them a few times during the smoking)

    Attachment 267598

    All cooled, packaged and ready for the freezer

    Attachment 267599

    Thanks for looking

    NOTE: When it comes to the 'Low and Slow' there is a point of diminishing return as if you keep the temps too low for too long you'll dry the product out just as if you were making jerky.

    This is a great use of a sale item. Buy em up. Cook em up. Package em up.
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    'with that said' cudarunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCDshaver View Post
    This is a great use of a sale item. Buy em up. Cook em up. Package em up.
    'IF' I had a decent refrigerator that would hold a much larger container to cure the chicken in (the bottom is plastic and I've Mickey Moused it for several years but the landlord won't replace the frig just because of that); I would have all of those cross rods filled with the wire racks and chicken.

    I 'could' make room in the frig but I'd have to almost empty the shelves so that I could fit the container inside. But then I'd have no place for most of the contents. Oh well, I've got enough of the tender smokey flavored thighs for awhile. Maybe next time
    Our house is as Neil left it- an Aladdin’s cave of ‘stuff’
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    Roy, lets talk grind. The sausages I just made I put through two different grind plates. Half went through the 1/4 inch, the other half through the 1/8. I like to mix them to get a pleasant texture. Its dense but not overly so. Do you mix different grinds for texture? I find that the 1/4 inch can leave the texture kinda mealy even with a decent primary bind.
    Last edited by OCDshaver; 07-07-2017 at 10:26 PM.

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    'with that said' cudarunner's Avatar
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    I've used the 1/8" for the fattier pieces and a larger for the other but not usually

    I have done it once but different and that was when a friend was helping me figure out a good recipe for Linguisa. He's of Portuguese decent and his grandparents used to make it. I had a recipe from a book and ground the meat with 3/4-1/2 and 3/8's dies in three different batches then mixed them together before adding the spices and liquid (small batch).

    Here's my dies:

    Name:  003 - Copy.jpg
Views: 39
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    When I got the sausage made and gave it to him to try, he said it was close but not right but he had some frozen that they would buy in an ethnic market somewhere in California so I took a chunk home to try and with some playing I made another small batch and took it over and they were thrilled!

    However while his store bought linguisa was ground; traditionally it was hand cut so I made a 20# batch all cut by hand! What a chore!

    My friend told me that his parents were driving up for a couple weeks visit and he'd called his dad and said: "When was the last time you had linguisa that was hand cut?" His dad said not since his parents had died and my friend told him "Well you'll be having some when you get here!

    I guess my friend sent a bunch of frozen back with his folks in an ice chest and dry ice.

    His parents raise olives and almonds in CA. A few weeks passed and a large package arrived via UPS, his folks had sent me a couple cases of canned olives from the company that they grow for. There were un-pitted olives, stuffed olives, mammoth sized etc. There was also a 1/2 gallon mason jar with home canned olives!! Those homemade weren't the prettiest as they were green with brown splotches on them but they were better than Any Canned Olive I've Ever Tasted!

    There also sacks of raw almonds, slivered almonds etc.

    Well my friend and his wife later divorced and he moved on so I haven't made any linguisa in a few years, I may have to do that this fall.

    The next time I make some sausage I'll give the 1/2 & !/2 different grinds a try.

    Thanks for the tip
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    I always grind twice. Sometimes courser grind than I want for the final product. Then hand mix in the spices and then grind again for the final mixing. Or twice through the same plate.
    "Let fear push you. Not slow you down."

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    I always match the blade to the plate for wear. I have a blade for each plate. Actually one side always matching.
    OCDshaver likes this.
    "Let fear push you. Not slow you down."

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    Quote Originally Posted by cudarunner View Post
    I've used the 1/8" for the fattier pieces and a larger for the other but not usually

    I have done it once but different and that was when a friend was helping me figure out a good recipe for Linguisa. He's of Portuguese decent and his grandparents used to make it. I had a recipe from a book and ground the meat with 3/4-1/2 and 3/8's dies in three different batches then mixed them together before adding the spices and liquid (small batch).

    Here's my dies:

    Name:  003 - Copy.jpg
Views: 39
Size:  61.3 KB

    When I got the sausage made and gave it to him to try, he said it was close but not right but he had some frozen that they would buy in an ethnic market somewhere in California so I took a chunk home to try and with some playing I made another small batch and took it over and they were thrilled!

    However while his store bought linguisa was ground; traditionally it was hand cut so I made a 20# batch all cut by hand! What a chore!

    My friend told me that his parents were driving up for a couple weeks visit and he'd called his dad and said: "When was the last time you had linguisa that was hand cut?" His dad said not since his parents had died and my friend told him "Well you'll be having some when you get here!

    I guess my friend sent a bunch of frozen back with his folks in an ice chest and dry ice.

    His parents raise olives and almonds in CA. A few weeks passed and a large package arrived via UPS, his folks had sent me a couple cases of canned olives from the company that they grow for. There were un-pitted olives, stuffed olives, mammoth sized etc. There was also a 1/2 gallon mason jar with home canned olives!! Those homemade weren't the prettiest as they were green with brown splotches on them but they were better than Any Canned Olive I've Ever Tasted!

    There also sacks of raw almonds, slivered almonds etc.

    Well my friend and his wife later divorced and he moved on so I haven't made any linguisa in a few years, I may have to do that this fall.

    The next time I make some sausage I'll give the 1/2 & !/2 different grinds a try.

    Thanks for the tip
    My grinder came with two plates. I need to see what other choices I have available. I should some other options. I'm sure I can work with fewer choices than you have but a third and a coup,e more blades (good point 32t) would be wise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 32t View Post
    I always grind twice. Sometimes courser grind than I want for the final product. Then hand mix in the spices and then grind again for the final mixing. Or twice through the same plate.
    How does the double grind affect the outcome for you?
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    Another thing I did differently this go around was to do more to eliminate air pockets. Once I filled the stuffer, I slammed it down on the counter top a few times (probably to the annoyance of my wife) to compact what was in the stuffer. Very little air remained in the mixture. Thus, there were very few holes in the final product.
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    'with that said' cudarunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCDshaver View Post
    My grinder came with two plates. I need to see what other choices I have available. I should some other options. I'm sure I can work with fewer choices than you have but a third and a coup,e more blades (good point 32t) would be wise.
    While I didn't buy my #22 plates for my hand or electric grinder from this seller I did buy different plates for my Kitchen Aid Grinder from them (I only use it to grind small batches of cooked meat etc) I would imagine that they have the proper size die for your grinder.
    smokehouse.chef on eBay

    Quote Originally Posted by OCDshaver View Post
    Another thing I did differently this go around was to do more to eliminate air pockets. Once I filled the stuffer, I slammed it down on the counter top a few times (probably to the annoyance of my wife) to compact what was in the stuffer. Very little air remained in the mixture. Thus, there were very few holes in the final product.
    I've never had problems with excessive air when stuffing. I place a bit of the mixture into the stuffer, then use my finger to 'pre-stuff' the tube or 'horn' as some call it, then punch the mixture down well between additions.

    Once I start to stuff, I wait until the sausage has reached the end of the tube/horn and Then I place the casing on the tube.

    Something that I do use when stuffing is a needle to remove any small air pockets as I see them while I'm stuffing. I use the same needle to prick any air pockets that I find after stuffing.

    I hope this is of some help.
    Our house is as Neil left it- an Aladdin’s cave of ‘stuff’
    Kim x

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