Troubleshooting Andouille

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Troubleshooting Andouille

Postby OccasionalCooker » Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:59 pm

I'm new to smoking and I made a batch of andouille that was just a disaster. Im in a condo so I have a stovetop that actually works very well. I've smoked store-bought sausage, ribs and chicken with good results. This was my first experiment with cured/smoked sausage.

So I made a batch and put it in the fridge for a day and then stuffed it the next day. It looked as expected. after about an hour at 175 degrees in the smoker, I tried to take the internal temp; when I pricked one of the links orange liquid came out like a geyser. That never happened with the store-bought stuff. The temp was 165 so I took out a link and ice-bathed it.

The result was dried out and didn't taste right. What could have gone wrong?
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Re: Troubleshooting Andouille

Postby NCPaul » Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:33 pm

Welcome to the forum. :D Your smoking temperature was too high from your description. Are you smoking with a stovetop smoker? It may be better to smoke at a lower temperature then finish by poaching at 165F for 15 minutes.
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Re: Troubleshooting Andouille

Postby OccasionalCooker » Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:47 pm

Yes, a stovetop (nordic-ware). It's not clear how accurate the temp is. I assume "not very".

What is the magic temperature; is the problem that the fat melted? Why doesn't this happen at 210 degrees with store bought sausage?
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Re: Troubleshooting Andouille

Postby NCPaul » Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:46 pm

If it were me, I'd hot smoke at 140F (above the danger zone) then poach or cook in a low oven, if that is an option, to get the internal temperature up to 154F (cooked). The liquid was probably both water and fat; the commercial sausages probably had binders to retain these. The sausages will also respond better if heated slowly so that the heat transfer is uniform.
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Re: Troubleshooting Andouille

Postby OccasionalCooker » Mon Jun 20, 2016 8:57 pm

not really "commercial" sausages; they're made in-house at Fresh Market. Since my OP I've discovered using better thermometers that the gauge on the unit is total junk. On "low" my stove is over 150 degrees, and it stops smoking on low, so it doesn't look like I'll be able to get it there without rigging something
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Re: Troubleshooting Andouille

Postby NCPaul » Mon Jun 20, 2016 8:57 pm

Also, could the store bought sausage be already fully cooked?
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Re: Troubleshooting Andouille

Postby OccasionalCooker » Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:12 pm

no, they're fresh. They "claim" that they don't add anything, but you can't really trust them.
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Re: Troubleshooting Andouille

Postby OccasionalCooker » Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:10 am

To get back to a question I asked before, what temperature do wood chips begin to smoke?
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Re: Troubleshooting Andouille

Postby NCPaul » Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:43 pm

The range I found with a Google search seems to be 170-200F. Have you looked into a cold smoke generator?
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Re: Troubleshooting Andouille

Postby OccasionalCooker » Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:35 pm

No can do in a condo. Even if I can sneak it in, some old fart will see smoke and call 911.

Today I'm ramping it up to see how low I can get it. I spend 4 days relying on a slow read thermometer that was as much as 50 degrees off. So it's like starting from square 1
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Re: Troubleshooting Andouille

Postby OccasionalCooker » Thu Jun 23, 2016 3:10 pm

Just an update. I think I have this down. I can get smoke with about 145 degrees air temperature,and maintain it under 160, which should be as good as I'll get.

One Question: I see that ground meats should be taken to 165 degrees, but I see most "tutorials" on andouille and Kielbasa instructing to take out the sausage at a 150-155 IT. What's the story with that? Is it the cure, or is 165 just overly cautious in reality?
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