First Batch of Slim Jim style beef sticks

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by jsk53, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. jsk53

    jsk53 Smoke Blower

    Being the Slim Jim lover I am, after reading a number of posts here on the forum, I decided to give making my own a try. I started out using a recipe posted by Nepas a while back. He put together a great QView on the process as well. Here’s the link to his post:

    I accumulated the 19mm collagen casing, a 3/8” stuffer tube for my LEM and  went to work. The one change I made to the spice recipe was to substitute ECA for the buttermilk. I also used beef only and did not include the pork. As this was an experiment, I decided to make a 2.5 lb batch so I adjusted the ingredient amounts accordingly.

    After mixing up the spices and meat, leaving out the ECA, I refrigerated the mixture overnight as I didn’t have time to stuff and smoke right away.

    The next morning, not sure of what I was doing, I got everything ready and started stuffing the casings.

    I learned a number of lessons as I progressed. First, collagen casings burst easily! It took me a couple tries to learn how much pressure and how quickly to feed out the casing as it was being stuffed. The second lesson is that it’s easier to do a continuous stuff and tie off at certain increments versus making a certain length, cutting it and tying it off on both ends.

    Hard Way...

    Easier Way....

    As you can see, not the prettiest or even sized sausages, but…..Now into the smoker at 120° for an hour. 

    From there, I started the smoke using hickory chips and raised the smoker temp to 140° for and hour or so, then over time up to 160° and finally 170° until the sticks had an IT of 154°

    The smoking process ended up taking about 11 hours and here they are just off the smoker.

    After letting them cool, I cut them into semi even lengths and vacuum packed them. 

    By the way, they actually do taste like a Slim Jim! Thanks Nepas!!
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice Job, jsk!!![​IMG]

    They look great !!![​IMG]

    NEPAS is one of the Sausage guys here---Can't go wrong with him on sausage!!![​IMG]

    I like the way you had to cut them into semi-even lengths----Wonder what happened to the little pieces that had to be cut off????[​IMG][​IMG]

  3. jsk53

    jsk53 Smoke Blower

    Thanks Bear! It was a lot of fun and a heck of a learning curve.....The uneven ends just had to be used as tasters to insure a quality product....I just happened to be the taster!

  4. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Jeff.. sticks look great... only things I can suggest for next time would be... I'm thinking you could cut a few pieces of 3/4" dia. oak dowel rod to fit on top of the top rack holder... I would also try it without the string...I just pinch the end of the casing closed... fill the stuffing tube up full of casing and stuff the whole length... If it's to long to fit over the dowel and hang freely just cut them in half and squeeze some meat out of both cut ends (about an inch or so)... save the excess meat and fry it up for a taste test ...

    Here's a picture to see what I'm trying to say about just squeezing the ends...

    (click to enlarge)

    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
  5. jsk53

    jsk53 Smoke Blower

    Great idea. Looks much easier to manage. My only concern is I'm not sure my MES30 is big enough to do it. I originally tried to put a whole section of casing on the stuffer tube, but couldn't get it all on so I need to figure out increments of casing. I really like your method and will definitely give it a try on the next batch. Thanks for the suggestions!

  6. Nice job with the sticks man!  [​IMG]   That ECA is some pretty handy stuff  [​IMG]
  7. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    JSK Those look great, how was stuffing the 19MM last time I did them, your arm new you did them, did 22 last time was alot easier. I may try 19 this weekend, we are to make another 25lbs of sticks for a buddy 

    Great job!!

    A full smoker is a happy smoker 

  8. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    What a waste of vacuum  They wont last long....Nice.............[​IMG]
  9. Hey guys I used to do about #300 of slim Jim's a year and about #200 of summer sausage and trail bologna when I had my deer processing business. LEM products has several curing products that will help preserve your meat. Also to make them look more plumped steam them for about 15 minutes let them cool them vacuum pack. They also have high temp cheeses
  10. jsk53

    jsk53 Smoke Blower

    Stuffing the 19mm casings actually worked OK. I got a 3/8" tube and once I learned to control the pressure, it went pretty smoothly. I did burst the casing a couple times while I learned how to feed it off the tube.

  11. jsk53

    jsk53 Smoke Blower

    That turned out to be soooo true!
  12. Run off to a Big Box Hardware store, get yourself some wooden dowels.  Measure the distance across your racks, cut the dowels to that length.  On each end of the dowel, at the same 'plane, cut a little chunk out, so the dowels stay and do not rotate.

    I have done this, about 5 dowels fit where the top rack slides in, with slim jims hanging on them.  No racks needed, just hang and smoke.

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