Cold smoking

See you in 12 hours...Ever since I made my first batch of homemade sausage a few years ago I have had an bit of an obsession. While still in the early stage of my sausage making career, I’ve made traditional hot and sweet Italian and caramelized red pepper and onion sausages, as well as a non-traditional German Weisswurst.

The finished products were very good and I enjoyed the process so much that I spent some of my hard earned allowance on a proper set up with a motorized grinder (its 3/4hp motor can handle 360 pounds of meat per hour, cue Tim the Tool Man Taylor style grunting), a meat mixer and a digital electric smoker.

If I had the means I would totally relocate my family and do an apprenticeship with a salumist to make my dream job a reality. So, Mario Batali, since I know you’re reading my blog, please ask your father if he needs an intern at Salumi. Tell him I will work for charcuterie :)

Recently, I got the bug again to make some sausage, but I wanted to experiment with cold smoking techniques. My culinary cohort and I had made a similar sausage before, but since we didn’t totally know what we were doing, we smoked it at too high of a temperature. Needless to say we were a little disappointed in the results.

Our intention was to craft a sausage that would combine the goodness of our eight hour pork roast with the convenience of a sausage. If you’re a fan of pulled pork, just imagine how great would it be to have slow roasted BBQ goodness anytime you wanted without all the work. With our sausage you would be able to serve it up on a fresh roll with your favorite BBQ sauce in minutes rather than hours.

When I first told another friend about our idea, he suggested I try to produce them commercially. He even suggested a name for this burgeoning enterprise: Pete the Heat’s Smoked Meats, which is a play off the nickname his brother bestowed on me while we were in Vegas for my friend’s bachelor party. How I became ‘the Heat’ for doing nothing more than standing behind them at craps table drinking for free I’ll never know, but it’s funny and stuck over the years.

After consulting with Bruce Aidell’s Complete Sausage Cookbook, I set out to create my cold smoked masterpiece. Through my research I determined that what I wanted to make was going to be similar in style to a Cajun Andouille sausage. So, when I broke down the pork shoulder I separated the fat as best I could from the meat to grind them with different size plates.

Fatherhood Friday @ Dad-Blogs.comWith the meat ground, seasoned, cased and cured, I patiently awaited the twelve hours it took to smoke them, adding apple and pecan wood chips every three hours. Overall I’m very satisfied with the final product and who knows, maybe someday you’ll be able to pick some up at your local grocery store.

If you have any interest in trying your hand at making your own sausage, be sure to pick up my ebook ‘peaches en risotto: a dad’s place is in the kitchen’ coming out on November 30th for the scoop on how I made my cold smoked BBQ sausage.

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About PJ Mullen

PJ Mullen is a dad, husband, amateur chef and prolific air drummer blogging about his life as a dad and anything else that is on his mind. Occasionally he blogs about being a dad in the kitchen at peaches en risotto and is a contributor over at Digital Dads.

Facebook comments:

  • http://dadunmasked.com/ DadUnmasked

    Dude. You have quite the culinary skills. I am envious and now…hungry.

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  • http://belladaddy.blogspot.com/2009/10/friday-foto-fun.html BellaDaddy

    Dont wanna wait, send me some..NOW! LOL…P.S. have you tried turkey meats yet?

  • http://www.sugarmilkbook.com/ R_Mattocks

    You can make sausage too?! I used to work on pig farm run by cousin's Polish grandfather. They used to make it all the time, and it's not as easy as it looks. When's the Daddy Blogger Gourmet Cookbook coming out?

  • http://LifeofaNewDad otter321

    Your cooking prowess is starting to scare me. I do love sausage though. Andouille is one of my all time favorites. If you used that as a guide I don't see how you could go wrong. I am pretty sure if I made sausage I would be inclined to drink too many beers to finish the job properly.

  • http://www.pjmullen.com PJ Mullen

    Just a fun hobby for me, getting better a little at a time. Making sausage doesn't require much technical skills, just time and some cool gear.

  • http://www.pjmullen.com PJ Mullen

    Ha! Maybe I'll start a Dad Blogs' sausage of the month subscription service :)

    No, I haven't been brave enough to attempt making sausage out of poultry, there is a lot of other things to consider. I'm still trying to perfect what I do, maybe in the future.

  • http://www.pjmullen.com PJ Mullen

    It's a lot easier when you have a motorized grinder. Casing the sausage is always the most tedious part of the process. Sometimes when I”m making a simple batch of sweet or hot Italian sausage I'll just leave it loose. I like to use it to make a ragout or just form into patties. Automation of that part is slightly out of my budget unfortunately.

    Now that I'm back from Cali I'm going to start compiling the last month and a half worth of kitchen posts and start editing. I have about 70% of the content uploaded into fastpencil, I'll just need to edit it and write chapter introductions. Shooting for 11/30, assuming I can also get the site online by then too.

  • http://www.pjmullen.com PJ Mullen

    Ha! No prowess, just a lot of time and research into a fun (for the most part) hobby. If I could still drink many beers it probably would help the cold smoking process go by faster. Watching pork smoke for 12 hours can be boring.

  • http://www.steelydad.com steelydad

    Dude, I'm starving and this looks AWESOME! I love the pulled pork idea. I would love to learn how to make my own sausage. Have you ever tried making your own steak tartare with that grinder of yours? I have an amazing recipe (it's actually my mother-in-laws..she makes it for me all the time!) that perhaps I'll share on my blog.

  • http://www.pjmullen.com PJ Mullen

    No, I've only ground meat to make sausage, although I am interesting in grinding other things, just because it is so much fun watching it tear through a giant pile of meat in minutes :)

  • http://www.almightydad.com/ Keith Wilcox

    I get hungry every time I visit your site! I was going to eat cereal for breakfast — again. Now I'm going to have to go get some sausage even if won't be anywhere as good as fresh stuff. :-)

  • weaselmomma

    I'm coming for dinner. I don't know when, but I am coming.

  • ohmommy

    Holy SMOKES…. you just gained admission to my google reader (I try to not overwhelm myself) with posting that you make your own sausage. Geesh…. you know how to make a Polish girl drool.

  • http://www.pjmullen.com PJ Mullen

    Ha! Sorry man, maybe I need a disclaimer on my RSS feed. Do not visit until you have eaten.

  • http://www.pjmullen.com PJ Mullen

    Sure, come on down, I can crank out enough to feed all the Weasels.

  • http://www.pjmullen.com PJ Mullen

    I'm flattered, and I totally know what you mean. I had over 100 blogs in my reader and I had to do some pruning. Just not enough time in the day.

  • lifewithkaishon

    I am popping over from Teacher Tom's today! What a great idea! I hope Mr. Batali calls you promptly! : )

  • http://www.pjmullen.com PJ Mullen

    Hi there, thanks for stopping by, love Teacher Tom's blog. Nice photos on your blog, looks like a lot of fun.

  • lifewithkaishon

    I am popping over from Teacher Tom's today! What a great idea! I hope Mr. Batali calls you promptly! : )

  • http://www.pjmullen.com PJ Mullen

    Hi there, thanks for stopping by, love Teacher Tom's blog. Nice photos on your blog, looks like a lot of fun.

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  • myrontaylor

    how much time should Iallow to cold smoke 7-8 lb. pork butts prior to cooking then in a moist oven

  • http://www.pjmullen.com PJ Mullen

    I honestly have no idea how long to cold smoke a cut of meat that big, the sausage I cold smoke are at best 1/4 pound links. To be honest, I'm not sure cold smoking will accomplish much with that large of a piece of meat unless you smoked it for days. I've only ever hot smoked a pork shoulder at 225 degrees for eight or nine hours.

  • http://www.pjmullen.com/ PJ Mullen

    I honestly have no idea how long to cold smoke a cut of meat that big, the sausage I cold smoke are at best 1/4 pound links. To be honest, I'm not sure cold smoking will accomplish much with that large of a piece of meat unless you smoked it for days. I've only ever hot smoked a pork shoulder at 225 degrees for eight or nine hours.

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