As we prepared to shoot the sausage, I was once again Very Pleased we had collected that new Cabela's One Horse Commercial Grinder this year! We would have been there for DAYS with the old machine! LOL!
Deciding on 2 foot lengths, we then shot the product into standard hog casings, coiled and hung the sausages to dry a spell:
They were then held for ~ 8 hours at 60 degrees F and were nicely dry to the touch.
Pre-Heated the Smoker to 160 degrees F for an hour or so, then the lot was stuffed inside - arranged most carefully such that none touched each other or any of the walls:
Even in my Big Box, this run damn near had her at Capacity!
Initial Smoking (Hickory Chips btw) started at 140 degrees F for 2 hours. Then gradually over many more hours the internal temperature of the sausages was brought up to 154 degrees. The Entire Neighborhood simply knew what I was up to, as the Awesome Smell wafted Everywhere!!
That process was Greatly Facilitated by the use of an "Auber" Smoker Control Unit - kind of like a Thermostat on Steroids. It has 6 programmable settings, allowing you very precise control of the heating / smoking process.
Here's a shot of it in action. The left reading is the temperature inside the smoker, and the right, the internal temperature of the meat:
When the product's internal temperature reaches your desired level, the unit shuts it all down, sounds an Alarm to let you know, and flashes the fact it has done so:
We've done a PILE of smoking over the years, and now having one of these little units, I honestly do not know how we managed without one! It is a close to Plug 'n Play as it gets!!