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I love my shack but I just cant do good homemade sausage on it.

I called CS last week and they sent me here, said not many of them cooked sausage in theirs.

also told me they dont have a model that will hold lower temps like 100 for drying.

I have been fiddling with mine for weeks now, trying different things like proping the door open to lower the temp and what not.

Most of my recipies call to dry the sausage for an hour at 100 then to bring it up slowly to 140 for x hours to smoke then to 160 to finish.

I cant seem to produce reliable smoke at 140.

If I hold the door open to dry when I start the cs it keeps the burner on for 20 mins, lights the wood just fine, but the wood goes out sometime in the hour i am drying. Once I shut the door and bring it to 140, i can never get teh wood to relight. If I shut the door and restart it, the temp goes over 200 as the burner runs for 20 mins.

I think I give up Smiler

I did a salmon filet in the cs friday night and jerky in it on saturday and I LOVE it. The salmon was to die for.

It just wont smoke a sausage for me to save my life.
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Sorry to hear that.

You're trying to cold smoke, if you're trying to keep temps below 100.

There are two options.

1. turn the unit on and off just to keep the temp up to burn the wood (use sawdust or pellets) but not on long enough for heat

2. Add a little burner pan and put a pie plate and sawdust on it. Most of these have an adjustable temp.

The CS isn't a low temp smoker, that's not it's strength. You can make it work with the above, but it's not designed so you have to figure out some workarounds.

I am not trying to cold smoke, I listed the temps I want to use in my post and all of them are over 100 and as high as 160.

Regardless thanks for your help, this is a great machine and I do love it, its just not for sausage smoking (not home made really)

I am sure it works perfect for store bought that you want to smoke at 225 or higher.
Not sure which unit you have, but I regularly cold smoke cheese in my 025. I bought the cold smoke baffle and use foil pans filled with ice on top of the baffle to keep the temp down. I don't know if this will help or not. Check out some of the smoked cheese links on the forum and you may find information that will assist you with your sausage issues.

Actually, those temps are "cold" smoking, so it's my use of the term that we've always used for lower temp smoking.

It just means lower temps, not smoking in a fridge. Big Grin

There really isn't a definition of what temps are what, but we generally reference lower than 175 or so a low/cold smoking; smoking from 200 to 275/300 or so; high temp/grilling above 300; but there's no hard/fast.

The reference is to the fact you want to smoke, not heat/eat the meat. That's why so many times they suggest cures since smoking at lower temps/below 140 are unsafe (from a food safety perspective)

There are workarounds, but if you're going to be doing a lot of them, then get something specific.

My recommendation is build a box, get a heat plate and use sawdust. That will be the lowest temp for true low temp/cold smoking.

If you look at other units, like say a Puck machine, realize the smoke/temp has it's own issue, just like any smoker.

You'll get there.

During my first adventures with homemade smoked sausages I used my CS55. I will agree it was a bit of work, but I was successful at producing very fine smoked sausage from my electric CS.

As you mentioned the initial step is to dry the casing at 100 degrees. I was able to prop the door open and keep the temps close to 100 for an hour. I didn't add any wood until that inital first hour was complete. I added the wood just prior to closing the door and setting smoker to 140. I also used thin pieces of wood so they would burn easier at the lower temps. You could try wood chips as well.

As I increased the temp I would get some spikes as the heating element would kick on, but I always averaged within 5-10 degrees of my targeted temp. The key is to keep below 200 so you dont start breaking down the fat content of the meat. I've made summer sausage, snack sticks and polish sausage in my CS55 and it all turned out great.

After purchasing my FEC100 I now use it for all my sausage smoking. I still have to prop the door open for the first hour since the FEC can't be set below 140, but it works great and has lots of capacity.

Good luck on your sausage smoking adventures. It's very rewarding to make your own sausage.

now theres info i wanted to see.

I had really considered upgrading to a fec and even called the factory about it.

so you are having luck propping the door open and since it cooks with pellets (I am assuming all this) it still smokes well when you set it to 140.

See that woudl be fine, I was more or less ok with propping the door open (except I got wild swings in temp and had a hard time even getting it down to 100) but the inability to get it to smoke at 140 once I closed the door is what made me give up.

But you say the fec smokes fine there, and even if I tried mine to try using small wood chips or pellets to smoke at 140?
It's been my experience that the FEC produces more smoke at lower temps. So yes, you'll get plenty of smoke at 140. When I prop the door open on the FEC (set at 140) I can usually achieve a temp in the pit around 100. I adjust the door as needed to keep the temp where I want it. Because it's burning pellets to achieve the heat you get smoke.

Unless your hell bent on getting another smoker (can't have too many smokers)I'd suggest you pick up a 1 lb pag of BBQ'er Delights pellets and try them in your current smoker. They should ignite much easier at the lower temps than with solid wood.

Let us know how it goes.
Originally posted by DMassey:
vesteroid my "work around" for the drying step has been simple and made some great sausage. I simply hang the sausage in the fec and place a fan on it for the first hour it "dries" the sausage and casings just fine and then i start the unit at 140 and go from there.

That sounds like a great idea. Recently, I heard that the ignitor fires up anytime the temp drops below 140. If that's true then during my method the ignitor is essentially on for the entire time, which can't be a good thing. I did have an ignitor go out, but I can't say for sure its related. I'll give your method a try next time.

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