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Apr 20 / scott.campbell

Smoke Screen

Some of the recipes I’ve been using for fermented sausage get mixed up in my head: refrigerate for 2 days, let sit at room temp, cold smoke for 4 hours, etc.  I had forgotten the Landjager needed to be cold-smoked before drying, and so I fired up the smoker for the first time yesterday.  Needless to say, smoking meat isn’t so compatible with the modern workplace.  Some of my co-workers caught a whiff of hickory and assumed I was up to more no good.  Others, concerned for the demise of our company, sniffed a few times and said “is something burning?”  Note that I didn’t attempt to smoke sausage indoors – the smoker was just close enough to the building to get into a vent or something.

Actually operating the unit was easy, even with the cold-smoke adapter.  I attached everything up, put the hickory pucks in the feeder, and voila:

Note FedEx boxes pressed into service.  This was a bit annoying – having to elevate the smoker over a foot higher than the puck-eater.  It wasn’t a totally cold smoke, either – temp got up to 50C after 3 hours.  All in all, though, the end product looked tasty – deep red in color, and smelled good, too.

This is a pic of the post-smoke Landjager relaxing back in the fridge.  I didn’t spray any mold starter on the Landjager, just the Soppressata.  We’ll see if it gets some by association anyway, or even whether the good mold grows like I want it to on the Soppressata.

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One Comment

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  1. Stooxie / Apr 25 2011

    The best way to get the right mold onto your sausages to buy a cheap brie and gently(!) rub the rind on the the outside. Penicillin candidum is the right stuff. The spray mold from CFR Hansen works fine (it’s penicillin nalgeovense) but at $15 per pack it’s expensive unless your doing 200 pounds of sausage.

    For good bloom the water activity in the sausages should be .95 to .98 with a humidity of 90% or so. This is exactly analogous to the fermentation stage anyway so you kill two birds with one stone. Once the Aw starts to go below .9 and you crank the rH down below 80% the mold will spread more slowly.

    Everything about dry curing is a foot race. You can’t eliminate the presence of bad organisms so the key is making sure that your lactobacilli cultures and your good molds grow rapidly enough to beat out the competition. Managing salt, temperature, humidity and water activity is the way to do that!

    As for smoke sausages, the acids imparted by the smoke generally inhibit any molds from growing on the surface.


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