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Smoking Commercial Summer Sausage & Shelf Life

 
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Double Eagle



Joined: 22 Apr 2009
Posts: 12
Location: Central Kansas

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23 12 10:52 am    Post subject: Smoking Commercial Summer Sausage & Shelf Life Reply with quote

Stealing an idea from a friend, I smoked a commercial summer sausage I bought at Sams. I removed the casing, sliced it in pieces 1/4" thick and smoked it for five hours at about 140 deg. I like the firmer texture and the additional flavor from the smoking.

My question has to do with shelf life without refrigeration. Will this sausage last for three or four days without refrigeration? Does the extra smoking increase the non-refrigerated shelf life? Would a longer smoke further increase the non-refrigerated shelf life?

I would like to take some in a on an upcoming hunting trip.
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Jarhead
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Joined: 11 Oct 2009
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Location: Marionville, Home of the White Squirrels, Missouri

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23 12 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm no expert, but I believe smoking it won't give you the benefit that you are looking for.
That is done during the curing and cooking (dehydrating) phase.
Is it a refrigerated product? If so, keep it below 40F.
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Double Eagle



Joined: 22 Apr 2009
Posts: 12
Location: Central Kansas

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23 12 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jarhead wrote:
Is it a refrigerated product? If so, keep it below 40F.


No. It was a non-refrigerated product.
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Jarhead
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Joined: 11 Oct 2009
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Location: Marionville, Home of the White Squirrels, Missouri

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23 12 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never done one off the shelf. I make my own, cure and smoke (cook) to 151F.
If you decide to smoke it, I would use a cold smoke for 2-3 hours, wrap in plastic or vac pack it. Let it age with the smoke so it will mellow out. Like smoking cheese. Rest it for a week or 10 days. I would keep it cool during this time though.
You should be just fine.
HTH
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Seminole
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Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05 12 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trying to answer the question using some logic. It is dangerous so I might get lost somewhere.

First of all there is little difference between smoking and drying.
For example we cold smoked meats for weeks at the time not because we liked so much the flavor or the texture of the product. We were drying the meat with cold smoke which was a byproduct of a burning fire. The pigs were slaughtered in Northern Europe in December and it was already cold. The temperature in a smokehouse will drop below freezing point, the water in a sausage would freeze, become crystals and will rupture the meat cells. So, the heat was introduced into the smokehouse by a separate channel or a small fire was slowly burning right inside in a smokehouse chamber. The meats were hung at least 5 feet above. The fire was burning not to provide a smoky flavor but to dry out the meat. The meat was heavily salted to slow down bacteria from growing and the meat was drying. As it was loosing moisture every day, it became more stable as bacteria cannot multiply without moisture. A point was reached when meat contained so little moisture that it would not spoil at room temperature.

Italians and Spaniards had a better climate and did not need to warm up the drying chambers. No smoke was produces and the majority products never acquired smoky flavor.

Going back to the question, any smoking will remove more moisture from the product. You don't need hot smoke for that, although moisture will be removed faster at higher temperature.

The less moisture in a product the longer shelf life it has.
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