Monday, December 19, 2011

Do I fill the water bowl and open the dampers in an electric smoker to make sausage?

Paul from Waxahachie, Texas asked:

When using an electric smoker to make sausage, how open or closed do I leave the damper on top? And also, when smoking, do I fill the water bowl, or leave it dry?
Thanks Brad!

Great question Paul,

The damper on the smoker is often overlooked and it's a very important aspect of smoking meats. We talk about this in several segments of The Advanced Sausage Processing DVD

By opening the damper, you allow moisture to escape the smokehouse. You make the burner run harder to keep the temperature up, and this dries both the air and your product. 

By closing the damper, you do the opposite - hold moisture in. The heating element runs less to maintain the cabinet temperature, creating a high humidity environment. This will also allow natural smoke to stay in the cabinet and penetrate into your sausage product. 

You may want to dry the surface of some products a little before you begin smoking. To do this, open the damper and let the moisture out. You can also experiment with opening the damper 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 of the way. 

The general purpose of the damper is to control the amount of moisture and smoke in the cabinet. The purpose of the additional water from the pan serves the same purpose - to put additional humidity into the cabinet. 

Thanks Paul,

Meat Man! 

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