Sunday, March 15, 2009

Smoked sausages II

The sausages sat in the fridge overnight, their skins drying out a little (this is supposed to make the smoke stick better); this morning they went into the smoker.

Let me introduce my smoker to you. Here it is:

Yep, it's a rubbish tin - not a pre-used one I should add, but bought especially to turn into a smoker. It sits on top of this gas burner:

I usually use it in my garage, as the slightest puff of wind is enough to blow the flame out.

I modified the top of the tin by a) drilling a hole and inserting a thermometer:

and b) drilling many more holes and attaching an old grill rack to the underside, and then attaching several hooks to the rack:

The sawdust goes into the bottom of the tin:

You don't actually need much, I use manuka sawdust, and this wee bag lasts for ages:

I first put the tin on the gas to heat up for half an hour or so - there is no thermostat, so you have to get the flame at the right level by trial and error before you add the article(s) to be smoked. It takes a fair while for the temperature inside the tin to equilibrate, so this is a bit of a tedious process. Once the temperature inside the tin is constant and the heat I want it (in this case ~80˚C) I pour in a cup or so of sawdust and hang the sausages (or the chicken breast or whatever) on a lid hook - this can be a bit fiddly, because the lid is hot - and put the lid on the tin.

Then I go away and forget about it for a while.

You'd think, or at least I did, that there would be billows of smoke coming from the smoker, but actually very little escapes the tin so it's quite OK to use it in the garage. The first time I did I moved the car out, but I don't bother any more.

When I think they're done I remove the sausages from the smoker. This took about two hours today. Here they are looking delicious:

I'm taking a couple of them to work to give to Stephen (who brought me smoked eel the other day), and I had to taste one didn't I?

They're perfectly edible straight out of the smoker - see how juicy it is? The little yellow bits are melted cheese. They are, according to my calculations, at least 300 Cal each. Definitely to be eaten in moderation! Or by other people, as most of these will be.

The rest of the sausages will go into the freezer when they've cooled down, ready for me to take away next weekend.

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