Smoke meats

Mainewoods

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Last fall I upgraded my smoker and went with a propane set up over the older charcoal one I had. I like to do a lot of fish, salmon, bluefish etc and now with a meat grinder and sausage stuffer, I've been doing a lot of venison sausage.

Sunday I smoked up about 6 pounds of veni brats and 3lb roast. This was my 3rd sausage try on the smoker and they are better every time. I used a bratwurst recipe, natural hog casings and smoke with apple wood chips for ~2.5 hours at 225 degrees or until the internal temp reaches 160 degrees. Once they hit the temp mark, I take them out of the smoker and immediately immerse in ice water to stop the cooking and keep the brats from drying out. Then eat what you want with some good mustard and vacuum seal and freeze the rest for later.

For the the veni roast, I injected the roast with a mixture of warm beef broth and butter, then rubbed it with olive oil, put on a dry rub of brown sugar and spices, then wrapped it in bacon. The broth and butter injection, and the bacon will keep the roast from drying out and I took it out of the smoker when it hit 140 degrees internal temp which took about 3.5 hours for the big one. The small roast came off with the sausage and was awesome eating, plenty moist and medium rare. I let the large one cool, vacuumed seal and froze it, and will slice that one up thin for superbowl.

smoke IV.jpg

smoke I.jpg

Final product.

smoke V.jpg
 
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Lavman

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My mouth is watering! Good work!
 

NH Hunter

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Damn Nate!!!! That sounds and looks awesome!! I might be making that trip to Maine with you, if you are going to bring that for eats!!
 

802-603hunter

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That looks awesome Nate!

Coincidentally I undertook my first solo smoke this past Sunday. A former co-worker and I smoked 25lbs of venison sausage a few years ago at his place, and he gave me his old "Little Chief" smoker he hadn't used in awhile. I hadn't gathered up the courage to use it before Sunday, I have to believe this smoker was at least 30 years old. Well I fired it up and couldn't get the cavity temp up past 97* so it was time to breakout the yankee ingenuity. My wife had an electric hot plate so I busted the old burner out of the smoker and placed that one inside. It was taller so I had to shim the racks on fire bricks and flip the handle on the sawdust pan upside down just to be able to remove it through the access door to refresh the shavings during operation. In hindsight I should have shortened the hang stings on the sausage because with the elevated pan the bottom of the sausage was done before the tops (where my temp probe was) so they got a little overcooked. I made 20lbs with 40% of that going in the smoker and the other 60% going in the oven. The smoked stuff is head and shoulders above the oven cooked stuff without a doubt. I did 10lbs of jalapeno summer sausage and 10lbs of trail bologna. Kept a few out and vacuum sealed the rest for the freezer.

Based on the flavorful outcome I don't see myself going back to oven cooking the summer sausages, and with the cobbled up system I used this past weekend I think an upgrade in smokers will be in order. What are your recommendations without breaking the bank? Once I find a reliable system I am anxious to try the roast and a pastrami recipe someone else posted recently.
 

Mainewoods

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Based on the flavorful outcome I don't see myself going back to oven cooking the summer sausages, and with the cobbled up system I used this past weekend I think an upgrade in smokers will be in order. What are your recommendations without breaking the bank? Once I find a reliable system I am anxious to try the roast and a pastrami recipe someone else posted recently.
Travis,

I was in the same boat and didn't want to spend a ton on a smoker. I checked out a few at Cabelas and some other stores and then ended up going right with Amazon and getting this model https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007YX9KRU/ref=twister_B0135TFX7M?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1. I bought the extra gasket material as well and used that around both doors to make a better seal for heat and smoke. So far I have no complaints and this was my 4 smoke. No peeling paint, no rust and the burner is sufficient at keeping the heat where I want it at the mid level even in colder temps. I actually bought two, the charcoal and propane, compared them both, and decided on the propane for ease of use.

My first batch was a jalapeno and cheddar brat which were great but I went a little too long, so they were not as moist as they should have been. Question for you, it sounds like you hang yours for smoking, does this effect the moisture between the top and bottom?

Summer sausage is next on the list for sure and just looking for a good recipe that's simple.
 

802-603hunter

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Thanks for the input on the smoker Nate.

I am not very experienced here, but I think if I had better separation between the meat and heat source I would have been fine with the hanging method. Also if my temp probe was mounted lower in the smoker I would have kept the heat a bit lower which would have helped. They are a bit more done on one end but only slightly. As far as seasoning recipes go I have made my own fresh sausages (brats, chorizo, Italian, etc) from scratch but thus far have only used the kits or premeasured seasonings for the cured sausages. I buy those from LEM with no complaints. I still have another 21lbs of venison chuck in the freezer waiting for the next wave of ambition.
 

BDB

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Looks good!! One of the things I have been doing lately and it has been coming out excellent is I have been putting the deer roast into a brine for about 6 hours prior to the smoking. I use a pretty basic brine that I google, water, salt, brown sugar and some Worcestershire sauce.

I started using this recipe for the rub.
http://www.smokegrillbbq.com/smoked-elk-roast-recipe.html

The finished result is amazing!!! Now I need to do some brats though :)
 

Mainewoods

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Next on the christmas list for me is one of those temp probes that has a smart phone app. Wouldn't have to keep coming back to check on the temp!
 

BDB

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Next on the christmas list for me is one of those temp probes that has a smart phone app. Wouldn't have to keep coming back to check on the temp!
I highly recommend one. I bought one from Lowes, not connected to the cell phone but it has a little base station that I keep in the kitchen. It has 2 probes, one goes inside the meat the other just lays on the rack so you can see the internal temperature of the smoker and the meat at the same time. I just have one of those cheapo charcoal smokers so if I have to take the lid off the check the meat temps its hard to regulate the internal temp of the smoker. The wireless thermometer has been a huge help! This is what I bought:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FLRBMU4/ref=asc_df_B00FLRBMU44809658/?tag=hyprod-20&creative=395033&creativeASIN=B00FLRBMU4&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167151412737&hvpos=1o5&hvnetw=g&hvrand=11952994747298367302&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9051510&hvtargid=pla-93931073340
 

802-603hunter

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I'm still just dipping my toes into the smoked meat pool, but I am already glad I bought the double probe with remote display. I keep the remote display in my pocket and it has max and min alarms to keep me posted, just have to check on the shavings periodically to refresh. Money well spent.
 

802-603hunter

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Smoked 5lbs of venison summer sausage and 5lbs of venison bologna today. Rabbit season is over, shed season hasn't kicked off yet, so outside of sugarhouse hoppin' this was the next best option to pass the time. I should have a decent variety for sampling at the gathering at Browseline place, have we picked a date?
 


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