First try at Sticks

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by terry colwell, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. terry colwell

    terry colwell Smoking Fanatic

    Well I started off with some 80/20 ground beef from WalMart ( what a mistake ). This stuff was SOOOO greasy and had so much stringy tissue in it it was a pain to work with. I had to stop several times and wipe out my feed chute just to get the grease out. I finally got them all stuffed ....


     This is half of what I did. With the problem the grease gave me it took a while to do. I tried the ice water, ice chips trick with no luck. I had two sticks that looked like they where ALL fat, when they got stuffed they had a white look about them.

    Mistake #2,,, Took them straight to the smoker and smoked at 100 degrees for about a hour and a half. Then started ramping up the temp. While this was going on I was grilling some chicken for dinner, no pics there. Bumped the temp up to around 180 for the end, went and checked and the IT was 167. Took them in and let them cool and Ice bathed them. 

     I have several that had liquid fat streams in them. popped and drained them. Left them in the fridge over night on paper towels on a cookie sheet. Cut up and cut out the really greasy spots, threw in a paper bag and back in the fridge. They are dry on the inside and greasy on the outside..

     So any "helpful" comments would be great....
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I'm no sausage expert, but most guys take them out at 154 degrees IT. It could be that at 167 the fat was melting out & collecting between the meat & the casing.
  3. johnnie walker

    johnnie walker Smoking Fanatic

    X2 on what Al said. I don't know about the walmart meat because I don't get mine there, but some of the others do and don't seem to have a problem with it.

    On your next batch watch them a little closer and try and pull them at the 154* IT and cold bath them right away.
  4. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    Make sure your machine is well lubed and your meat is very cold when stuffing. Let your sticks sit overnight in the fridge or cold garage around 40° (not sure if you added a cure or not)... This will tighten the casing & form a pellicle (dry semi-crust on the outside, ideal for smoke to adhere).

    Did you add a cure or Mortons Tender Quick? In my opinion I would for snack sticks because I like to smoke them low for two hours and then bump it up till the IT is 150°-160° (like the men above said) so the fat doesn't render or melt. Even if you do a quick ice bath after you raised the IT above 165°+ temp you will most likely get a fat vein. I made the same mistake the first time I made sticks.

    You'll get em next time. Dry sticks aint that bad, it's a jerky stick!
  5. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Smoker temp to high causing fat-out

    Meat IT to high

    I pull sausage between IT of 149-152

    Normally the Wally 80/20 is decent. Buy at Sams, the large GB chubs are clear and you can see what your buying.
  6. ron forst

    ron forst Fire Starter

    were you using natural sheep casings or collagen? if they were natural then you should always hang them at room temp for quite a few hours so the casing dry off or they wont take smoke very good
  7. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    [​IMG]       I take my sausage IT to 160 max and at that temp the sausage will just start to render fat.... Thats when it gets plopped into some cold water

    A plop and a drop

  8. terry colwell

    terry colwell Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks everyone,,,

    1. They where collegan cases

    2. They got plenty of smoke

    3.I was planning on on pulling right at 150,, Checked right before dinner and it was 145,, and right after dinner it was 167.. That was my mistake. I know I made that one.

    4. Yes I used 7 1/2 tsp of MTQ

     I learned I need colder meat, freeze my attachment before stuffing,, and most of all,,, to grind my own meat like I normally do. I went with the cheap meat so I could learn and not waste "good" meat if it didnt work out. Now that I know I can do it I will use a much better meat and control whats in it better. When you have 1"- 2" stringy tissue when you open your meat package,,( I hate those covered chubs) you can not see the meat, you know your gonna have problems while stuffing. ALL the grease was just a "fun" extra to deal

                                                                                                                                 Thanks everyone for your help
  9. Stuffers generate heat, The meat should be chilled in the fridge b4 stuffing, and depending on what type of stuffer you are using you can chill those parts too, Fat in meat will start to smear just from mixing meat with your hands so never over work it while mixing in your ingredients, the best I have found is to  use a cup of ICE cold water to mix your cure and ingredients and spices, pour that mixture over your ground meat and then mix for the least amount of time as possible

    I have used the wallyworld 80/20 GB and well 80/20 is 80/20, I doubt that was the issue, some sausages are made with as much as 30%fat

    And what kind of smoker where you using and what type of thermometers where you monitoring things with?
  10. terry colwell

    terry colwell Smoking Fanatic


     I am using a KA grinder, stuffer.. I figured it all got hot stuffing, but I was committed by then.And like I said,, I know I missed the mark on the IT,, I knew it when I seen it,, that was just MY blunder. And they where smoked in my MES..

                      Thanks for your input
  11. No problem, we have all had problems like these when we were trying our first batches too, Since you mentioned having a MES which is what I have,  did you have another thermometer like a maverick  et-732 to monitor the temp of your smoker?
  12. terry colwell

    terry colwell Smoking Fanatic

    I dont have a maverick (yet) but I have several I check all the time The one that works the best is one I have for a Crook Pot. It has been dead on accurate
  13. I just used the maverick as an example, cause my MES runs a lot hotter than what it says it is running around 20 degrees, that is a big difference for sausage making

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