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Kolbász Heritage and Tradition - NOTES

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 27 December 2012 at 10:54
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 December 2012 at 13:50
I have a few recipes for Kolbasz I pulled out of the files. I got these from a couple of different old timers who claimed they were the family recipe of their ancestors. I believe them. Pretty simple sausages really. They're made many ways as your links show to be the case. The basics are pork, garlic, black pepper and maybe paprika, but not always.

I might as well dump these recipes here. Maybe they will provide inspiration. These are as written by the original authors, so if the recipes lack in any way, I claim no responsibility. Also haven't made them, so here ya go.

Kolbasz #1

For every 2 pounds of pork
1 1/2 Tbs Salt
Black pepper to taste
Garlic mashed in luke warm water and allowed to set overnight, after which strained and liquid reserved

Mix pork, pepper, salt and garlic together till it tastes good. Stuff and dry. Cold smoke if possible.

Kolbasz #2

(I took the liberty of converting the all metric numbers given in the following recipe.)

22 pounds of ground fatty pork (like in the 40 to 45% range)
7 1/2 pounds of ground lean beef
14 Tbs salt
2 Tbs black pepper
3 packed Tbs crushed garlic
3/4 Cup of good paprika

Mix it all together real well and stuff it. Dry the sausage before freezing.


You'll notice the directions are... well... lacking. Not my recipes. However, I can assure you that in the #2 recipe 3/4 C of paprika is A LOT. Like TOO much and I don't think I, or you, would like it. #2 also lacks any additional liquid and I'm pretty sure this is an omission of sorts, as I believe it was assumed I knew to soak the garlic in water over night and use the strained liquid. You have to add liquid of some kind or stuffing becomes difficult.

From my other sausage exploits I can add a few things. Plan on it taking a few days. First day make the mixture up and allow it to mellow in the cooler overnight. Then cook some to get a sense of the final flavor and adjust accordingly, while trying to imagine the addition of your desired smoke to what you're tasting. These sausages should be stuffed sort of tightly. Start with maybe half a foot of empty casing then the individual foot long sausages twisted as you go. I don't like tying knots in slippery guts.

About twisting links: Stuff, say, a 10' length of casing, coiling it up flat on the wet table in front of your stuffer. To make 1 foot long links, first mark the counter top with masking tape where the twisting will happen and lay out the 1 foot measure, then pinch the first stuffed 1' length and hold at the pinch with one hand, then pinch the second one foot length, and while holding the second pinch in your other hand, spin the second length of suasage. Repeat the pinching and spinning every other length. Don't go for that spin one link this way and the next one the other way stuff. You'll just keep undoing your work. Poke any air pockets with a sterile needle while the casing is still wet.

Hang in a cool, dry, bug free place over broomstick sized rods, with a little bit of air movement if possible. Watch for air pockets under the casing and poke them with a sterile pin and press the air out. Cold smoke these things. My Grand Dad always used apple wood and maple. Probably because that's what he had, but it was good. I don't have Gram/Gramps recipe, probably because there never was one, but it was garlicky and had a lot of black pepper, with just a little paprika. I guess in order of intensity, it was black pepper, garlic, smoke, salt then paprika.

Just mix it together till it tastes good!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 December 2012 at 14:10
hey, rod ~ some good information there, and this is the 2nd time in 2 days that i heard about that garlic/water method, so i intend to try it.
 
i've been working with richtee on this pictorial project - sort of a tribute to him and his hungarian heritage for all the help he's given me over the course of the last year or two, and his "family recipe" seems pretty close to the ones you posted, as far as ratios go, except his does depend on prevalent paprika, and also incorporates a subtle presence of onion, as he remembers it. as you know, in europe, "kolbász " (and its similar-sounding counterparts in poland, slovakia etc.) is a generic name for "sausage," and even though recipes vary from village-to-village or even from house-to-house, there are some common themes, and that's where the good stuff comes in. when it comes to "the real thing," those core ingredients above are the ones to concentrate on, and anything else is simply perfume, more or less. i'm looking for fundamentals, so it looks like we've got a good start.
 
the notes on methods are some good notes, and i do appreciate them. the multi-day stage makes sense, especially where i will be employing a cure for col-dmoking, and also for some hanging/drying - i'm guessing a week and a half total, maybe a little longer.
 
many thanks, rod!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 April 2013 at 09:24
Through reading and talking with folks who do this, I think I have a pretty good plan here.
 
There are many, many variations on kolbász in Hungary; the one I am leaning toward is called Csabai kolbász, which represents a town in Hungary named Békéscsaba. It is a spicy sausage, with an emphasis on the paprika and garlic.
 
My goal is not simply to make sausage but to build a bridge that reaches all the way back to a little village in Hungary during the disznĂłvágás (pig slaughtering time). Keeping in mind that exact, precise "formulas" are nearly always a waste of time, and that tweaking is necessary as you go, here is the "base-line" that I have come up with. Most of the procedures that Rod describes above will be worked into the method, but here is a start:
 
Quote TasunkaWitko's Adaptation of Csabai Kolbász

5 pounds fresh, coarse-ground pork shoulder
7.5 teaspoons (1.5 tsp/lb) TQ
2 tablespoons Hungarian Paprika (I have "The Pride of Szeged")
2 teaspoons freshly-ground black pepper
1 medium onion, milled and steeped in water
3 garlic cloves, milled and steeped in water
1 cup of water, for steeping garlic and onion
1/2 cup milled oats
 
Method:
 
Keep pork and equipment cold, almost freezing, at all times. Steep the milled garlic and onion with the water by simmering them, then allowing them to cool. Stir tenderquick into the slurry.
 
While the onion/garlic slurry is cooling, coarse-grind the pork. Dissolve the cure into the slurry, then add the rest of the spices. Mix these into the pork and oats thoroughly; the pork will take on a sticky texture as it mixes, then in a few minutes will get spongy and firm. Cover well and refrigerate over-night.
 
The enxt day, stuff the sausage into hog casings. Hang the sausage and allow to dry for an hour or two (to help colour and smoke penetration). Cold-smoke over oak, gradually applying heat to raise the sausage to an internal tempearture of 152 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the heat and plunge the sausages into ice-cold water for a few mintues, or until the sausages drop in temperature to around 100 degrees.
 
Hang the sausages in a cool, dry place for about a week, until desired firmness is reached.
 
Enjoy!
 
I'm thinking that's pretty darn close, and that this will be a good one! Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 April 2013 at 10:53
Ron, can you explain "milled garlic?" I'm not familiar with the term.
Thanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 April 2013 at 11:03
hi, brook - it's just cloves of garlic that have been crushed, minced and pretty much turned into paste ~ "run through the mill," so to speak.... Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 April 2013 at 18:18
I would add more black pepper. And in between the over night in the fridge and the stuffing I would add a taste it step. Once it's in the casing, yer done.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 April 2013 at 22:56
Thanx, Ron.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 April 2013 at 09:31
No problem, Brook ~
 
Rod, I'll definitely consider a little more black pepper. The Beautiful Mrs. Tas and I got ahold of some very black-peppery sausage once (it was meant to be Polish, but I think any self-respecting Pole would have fed it to the dog) - anyway, she wasn't too impressed with it and has been rather anti-black-pepper since, especially when it is freshly-ground. Because of that, I wanted to back off of it a little, but I will definitely do a "smell test" after mixing the ingredients in, and make sure that the black pepper is present. I'll also do a "fry test" before stuffing into the casings.
 
Sausage making is something I really enjoy - on one hand, you have timeless tradition and a sense of really knowing what it's like to live in a time and place where EVERY PART OF THE PIG was used, from the snout to the tail, and everything in-between, except the squeal. On the other hand, you also ahve so many options, choices, and varieties available to you - the sky is truly the limit, and your only boundaries are your imagination ~ When you think about it, a big bowl of ground pork is like a blank canvas!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 January 2015 at 00:11
It's definitely past time to get this going - here are my latest notes, and the basic plan:

Country: Hungary


Locale: Cszabi


Ingredients:
 
For 10 Pounds:
 
5 tablespoons (15 teaspoons) Tender Quick
4 tablespoons (12 teaspoons) good Hungarian paprika
3.5 tablespoons (10.5 teaspoons) freshly-ground black pepper
3.5 tablespoons (10.5 teaspoons) granulated garlic (or equivalent fresh garlic steeped in water)
2 tablespoons (6 teaspoons) powdered onion (or equivalent fresh onion steeped in water)
Optional: 1 scant tablespoon (2.5 teaspoons) additional salt

For 5 Pounds:
 
2.5 tablespoons (7.5 teaspoons) Tender Quick
2 tablespoons (6 teaspoons) good Hungarian paprika
1.75 tablespoons (5.25 teaspoons) freshly-ground black pepper
1.75 tablespoons (5.25 teaspoons) granulated garlic (or equivalent fresh garlic steeped in water)
1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) powdered onion (or equivalent fresh onion steeped in water)
Optional: Scant 1/2-tablespoon (1.25 teaspoons) additional salt

Per Pound (up to 4 pounds):
 
1.5 teaspoons Tender Quick
1 generous teaspoon good Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 generous teaspoon granulated garlic (or equivalent fresh garlic steeped in water)
Generous 1/2 teaspoon powdered onion (or equivalent fresh onion steeped in water)
Optional: 1/4 teaspoon additional salt

 
Binder
 
Traditionally, there is no binder, but milled oats might improve texture and moisture retention:
 
For 10 pounds: 1 cup (16 tablespoons) (48 teaspoons)
For 5 pounds: 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) (24 teaspoons)
Per pound: 1/10 cup (1 tablespoon + generous 1/2 tablespoon) (4 teaspoons + 1 scant teaspoon)


Liquid:
 
Water is what is traditionally used (perhaps the steeping water from the garlic/onion simmering), but red wine or a Hungarian-style beer are not un-heard of:
 
For 10 pounds: 2 cups
For 5 pounds: 1 cup
Per Pound (up to 4 pounds): 1/4 cup

 
Smoke:
 
Oak is traditional, other possibilities include beech, plum, cherry and apple.
 
 
Procedure:
 
Grind meat.
Mix cure and spices with liquid in a large container.
Add meat and milled oats to liquid/spice mix.
Mix sausage thoroughly, then cover and refrigerate overnight in order to cure.
Stuff into hog casings, hang overnight in order to dry.
Apply cold, slow smoke, gradually bringing temperature to 152 degrees for "ready-to-eat" sausage.
Plunge sausage into ice-water bath to bring temperature down quickly, then hang sausage in order to "bloom."
Continue hanging for a week or so at room temperature in order to develop texture and flavour.
Enjoy with good bread cheese and beer or wine.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BriCan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 January 2015 at 19:33
This is next on my list to do as I have finally got my cold smoker set up Big smile

Will be using a recipe given to me by a very good friend in Queensland SW Australia who has been christened the best Cszabi maker in them parts 

Following with interest to see how yours makes out Thumbs Up
But what do I know
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2015 at 18:48
Alright, this project is officially underway ~

Parts of this post might be redundant, bit please keep in mind that this thread is mostly for notes, research etc. when the project is finished, I'll post a proper pictorial!

Here are my notes from last night....

Since I first "met" Richtee, I've been very impressed with his commitment to his family heritage; as most of you know, Rich is half-Hungarian, half-Italian and all heart. The time that he has invested in generously sharing his knowledge is truly appreciated, and this project is dedicated to my friend, Rich.

A while ago, when Rich shared his method for Hungarian kolbász with the Smoked-Meat forum, I made it a priority to try this family recipe from his ancestral town of Cszabi.  It took me a while, as opportunities were few and far between, but when I recently bought a new LEM 5-pound sausage stuffer, I decided that the time was finally right to give this a go and make some kolbász!

Rich's recipe is deceptively easy - one might think to oneself, "That's it? No secret ingredient? No elaborate, secret process?" But that's just the thing about good, simple country food - peasant food, if you will. It comes from the land, and it is borne out of necessity - in this case, it stems from the time-honoured tradition of laying food up for the winter in the form of cured, smoked meats. The primary characteristics of kolbász from Cszabi include a prominent presence of good Hungarian paprika and garlic, which happen to be two of my favourite things. After consulting with Rich, here are the ingredients and measurements for 5 pounds of kolbász

Quote Rich's Hungarian Heritage Kolbász

For 5 pounds:

2.5 tablespoons (7.5 teaspoons) Tender Quick
2 tablespoons (6 teaspoons) good Hungarian paprika
1.75 tablespoons (5.25 teaspoons) freshly-ground black pepper
1.75 tablespoons (5.25 teaspoons) granulated garlic (or equivalent fresh garlic steeped in water)
1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) powdered onion (or equivalent fresh onion steeped in water)
Optional: Scant 1/2-tablespoon (1.25 teaspoons) additional salt

If you want to make 10 pounds of Kolbász, here are the measurements:

Quote For 10 Pounds:
 
5 tablespoons (15 teaspoons) Tender Quick
4 tablespoons (12 teaspoons) good Hungarian paprika
3.5 tablespoons (10.5 teaspoons) freshly-ground black pepper
3.5 tablespoons (10.5 teaspoons) granulated garlic (or equivalent fresh garlic steeped in water)
2 tablespoons (6 teaspoons) powdered onion (or equivalent fresh onion steeped in water)
Optional: 1 scant tablespoon (2.5 teaspoons) additional salt

And, if you find yourself with less than 5 pounds of pork, there are the measurements per pound:

Quote Per Pound (up to 4 pounds):
 
1.5 teaspoons Tender Quick
1 generous teaspoon good Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 generous teaspoon granulated garlic (or equivalent fresh garlic steeped in water)
Generous 1/2 teaspoon powdered onion (or equivalent fresh onion steeped in water)
Optional: 1/4 teaspoon additional salt

Note - These measurements assume that TQ is being used as the curing agent. If you use a different cure, be sure to use the amount recommended on the package of cure that you are using per weight of pork, and adjust the salt accordingly.

The method is as important as the recipe; I'll be folllowing pretty much the same method that I used when I made my Slovak klobásy, since Rich was instrumental in helping me through the curing, smoking and drying process with that project. Slovakia, being right next door to the north - and once part of the Kingdom of Hungary - has a sausage tradition that is as old as Hungary's, and the recipes/methods are very, very similar; in fact, the only real difference is probably a matter of local or family taste.

This evening, I mixed 5 pounds of sausage according to the directions above. I had originally intended to begin the night before, but when I went to get started, I discovered that we had no garlic (I wanted to steep the onion and garlic in the "old way" for this attempt). Tonight after work, I bought some garlic, but when I got home, I discovered to my horror that the onions we have had gone pretty soft and "sprouty." In frustration, I said "the hell with it" and broke out the Watkins onion and garlic powder.

Measuring the spices went well, and I made a slurry with a cup of cold spring water before adding the ground pork. You can use beer or red wine if you want, to give your kolbász a nice, artisan character; but tonight I was making plain, old, farmhouse sausage, so I used water. The next time I make this, I plan to try a nice, crisp, eastern-European lager or perhaps a pilsner.

Using a binder for this sausage is optional, depending on your preference or goals. I didn't see any reference to the traditional kolbász using a binder, so for this first preparation, I once again chose to keep it traditional and keep it old school. You are certainly free to use your preferred binder as you choose - there are dozens of choices. The next time I make this, I plan to try milled oats.

After mixing the sausage thoroughly by hand, I put it into an ice cream bucket, pressed a layer of Saran wrap down on it and put the lid on. It smelled great, with a strong presence of paprika and garlic, just as advertised. The ingredients for this Hungsrian sausage are few and simple, but when you use fresh, quality spices in the right proportion, the results will be amazing. As I have learned so many times in my culinary growth, Leonardo da Vinci's words continue to ring true: Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

The sausage then went into the refrigerator, and I'll stuff it into hog casings tomorrow night or the next. Then, after drying the sausage over-night, I'll give it a good, long, cold-smoking over oak, using my A-Maze-N Pellet Smoker, available from Tanya and Marty at www.owensbbq.com. I'll then bring the kolbász up to 152 degrees before chilling it and letting it hang as it continues to dry and age a few days. Once it hits the characteristics that I am looking for, I'll package and freeze it (after sampling some first, of course!).

More as it happens, etc. & c....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2015 at 19:10
For some reason, things kept popping up and brushfires needed putting out the past few days, and it took me until last night to finally get the kolbász stuffed into hog casings. I'm not really worried about the sausage itself, as it seemed fine; however, it was a ridiculous amount of time that kept me from enjoying my new LEM 5-pound stuffer!

I took a few photos of last evening's activities, but they are nothing too special; just sausage coming out of a tube and a pile of finished links. I should be able to get the photos formatted and posted tonight, and will add them to the thread when I can.

The stuffing operation itself was quite easy; for 5 pounds of sausage, I used two lengths of hog casing. After soaking, rinsing and "flipping" each casing inside-out, I would "thread" it onto the stuffing tube and turn the crank, which drove the piston down and pushed the sausage out of the cylinder. It was that easy. The only real complication was that at the beginning of each length of casing, I managed to under-fill them a bit, but this is no real problem in the end. Also, I managed to blow the casings twice, but it was toward the end of each one, and was easy to fix. The operation went quite smoothly, all things considered. I still need to work on twisting the links and getting them to a consistent length, but time and experience will take care of that.

As for the sausage, it looked and smelled really, really good. I expected it to be just a bit darker, given the amount of paprika used, but since I've never made this before, it could easily be a matter of perception. I do know that it will darken as it is smoked and dried, so we'll see how it looks at the end before making any judgements. Even though I had to use granulated garlic rather than fresh, it was nicely prominent in the aroma and I think it will turn out just fine.

After stuffing, I had just enough sausage left in the tube to make a small patty, so I fried it up and shared it with my son, who helped with the stuffing. It tasted very good, with each flavour in excellent proportion; I'm sure that it will only improve after some smoking and drying time. In spite of having no binder such as milled oats, powdered milk, soy protein etc., the texture of the sausage was quite moist and it held together very well, with no crumbliness or dryness. All-in-all, I think we have a winner here!

The links of kolbász are currently in my refrigerator, wrapped in paper towels. Probably tonight, maybe tomorrow night, I will cold smoke them over oak and then bring them to 152 degrees as Rich advises. I will then allow them to dry and age for a few days until they reach the look and "feel" that I am looking for. At this point, the kolbász will be "ready to eat" under any circumstances, such as on a meat-and-cheese tray or as a peasant meal with bread, cheese and beer - or, they will be ready for grilling, baking, simmering or any number of methods for preparation. Finally, I will partially freeze the kolbász (in order to hold the shape of the links) and then vacuum seal - in packages of approximately 1 pound each - and freeze for storage.

All I can say is, if you haven't tried this, you should! So far, it is turning out to be an outstanding, easy sausage that is fit for any table.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2015 at 16:49
Alright, folks, here are a couple of photos. As I warned you, there aren't very many, but they do give you an idea of what we're working with here!

Here is the kolbász coming out of the LEM stuffer:


And here we are, all linked up and ready for drying/smoking:


One thing that these photos are good for is identifying air pockets; if you look at the "coiled" photo above, you will see a couple of places that needed poked and squeezed.

Looking good so far - you really should be trying this!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2015 at 18:28
So, how do you like the stuffer?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2015 at 19:17
I like it a lot, indeed! It is very convenient compared to using the grinder with attachments, and has the advantage of not "mashing" the meat (and fat) as it runs through the worm of the grinder a second time. While I still believe that the grinder with attachments makes perfectly good sausage, the stuffer does allow you to make sausage that is a little bit better, with less hassle. Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2015 at 20:18
You'll like it more, the more you use it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drinks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 February 2015 at 15:30
I have a knockoff 5lb. from Northern, I did not know it had plastic gears so I am holding my breath they do not break as Northern is bad about not having replacement parts.
If it does break I shall replace it with an LEM which has SS gears.
I make a Texas/German/Czech kiolbasa sausage, very similar to what you made.
I usually make 10-12 lbs at a time sometimes just pork, sometimes part beef and sometimes part young wether goat.
I use about 2x as much black pepper as you and add some ground cayenne.
I do not use tenderquick, rather I use #2 pink salt in the amount recommended and use canning salt and dried garlic pieces.
Usually use hickory or mesquite to smoke it after 3-5 days curing in the refrigerator.
I keep the temperature below 120'
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 February 2015 at 04:53
drinks, if the gears break you can just buy the metal LEM gears. They are a direct replacement.

Also, if you do a few things, you'll greatly extend the life of the nylon ones. First, give the gears a light lube with any food grade oil. Second, lube the plunger O ring with the same. Third, dont force the stuffer when it gets to the bottom of it's travel.
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Joined: 06 February 2010
Location: Cumberland, RI
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Points: 3339
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 February 2015 at 07:01
Originally posted by AK1 AK1 wrote:

drinks, if the gears break you can just buy the metal LEM gears. They are a direct replacement.

Also, if you do a few things, you'll greatly extend the life of the nylon ones. First, give the gears a light lube with any food grade oil. Second, lube the plunger O ring with the same. Third, dont force the stuffer when it gets to the bottom of it's travel.
That is darned good advice...I have the same stuffer, a Grizzly with nylon gears and it has been serving me faithfully for years now. The gears still look brand new....treat it well and it will respond in kind.

Go ahead...play with your food!
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