1st effort, casings tough

Started by ebohatch, April 28, 2004, 01:27:20 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Just tried my first smoke with the new smoker.
I got Usinger (of Milwaukee) sausages (from Sam's Club, bulk pack with about 18 sausages).
I preheated the smoker, then started the bisquettes. The thermometer in the door read about 220 F. I had a remote probe unit on the second shelf from the top it never read above 156 F.
I hot smoked them for about 3 hours. They taste great but they were dry and the casing is tough as leather. When we tasted a sample at the store they were juicy and I don't rememnber the casing being tough.
2 questions the seemed to be a big descrepcancy between the two thermometers, why??  I obtained an oven thermometer and will test it again this week.
What did I do wrong, did I cook it to long, to make them dry and tough??


If your thermometer in the door was correct, 3 hours is far too long to smoke cook a sausage at over 200F.  What kind of sausages were they?  Were they already cooked or were they fresh sausage like a bratwurst?  If they are uncooked, you could have inserted a thermometer probe into one of them and smoked them until they hit about 155F.  Also, what position was the vent in?  The more the vent is open, the more you will actually dry your sausage.  Hope this helps, and verify those thermometers with a 3rd temp gauge and see which one is funky.[;)]

Let your trout go and smoke a salmon instead.


I agree with Trout,
Are these breakfast sausage links? If the sausages were already cooked you could have cold smoked them. It sounds like they really got dried out or over cooked.I've made fresh sausage and smoked it for 4 hrs at 200F.Internal temp must reach 152F. The smaller thinner links would get done much quicker.As far as the thermometer descrepancy something is wrong.I also use a 2 probe thermometer, one inside the smoker the other inside the meat. the one inside the smoker is usally 2 or 3 degrees off, not 64.trying a third one is a good idea.

<i><font color="blue"><b>Jack</i></font id="blue"></b>


Thanks for the response Trout.

The sausages were fresh (uncooked) bratwurst.
The vent was only open about 25%.
Remember this is my first attempt at smoking.
I got another oven thermometer and will try smoking some chicken parts tomorrow.


Wondering what you deemed as dried out?
I prefer if my casing "breaks" off when biting it - not chewy and stringy[xx(]

I agree with the others about the temp, I've had bad sausage smoked at the abatoir before - too tough and too dry, but is it too hot or too long???  Don't know unless you do it yourself.

I smoke sausage at 180-190deg and in the Bradley it was done inside four hours.  Good Luck[8D]

<b><font color="green">whitetailfan</font id="green"></b>
"Nice Rack"
Lethbridge, AB
Vegetarian is an ancient aboriginal word meaning "lousy hunter"
We have enough youth...how about a fountain of smart?
Living a healthy lifestyle is simply choosing to die at the slowest possible rate.


a good thing to keep in mind is only smoke the food for about 1/2 the time the food (whatever you happen to be cooking)is in the smoker. if you smoke the food the whole time, that is what will dry it out. also the smoke flavour may be overpowering.  another rule of thumb is once the outside layer of the meat is cooked, stop smoking. this way the meat is smoked throughly and you will just want to finsh it off by cooking. if you smoke the whole time the outter layer will be tough. have the heat control slide 3/4 the way to the right when smoking and all the way to the right to finish off cooking. have the vent open 1/2 way while you are smoking, and closed when you are cooking. hope this helps!

Chez Bubba


The thermometor in the door is the Achille's heel of the Bradley IMO. I don't rely on it at all, your probe temp is almost guaranteed to be the more accurate of the two.

Next time, I would insert the probe into the middle of the sausage and look at internal temp as opposed to external. They should be done at about 150F-170F, depending on the sausage & your preferance.

Can't say I've done Usinger's fresh ones but I have done their white brats (technically cooked), about 1 1/2 hours & very yum.


Ya think next time I check into a hotel & they ask "Smoking or Non?" they would mind?
Ya think if next time I check into a hotel & they ask "Smoking or Non", they would mind?