I can't get snack sticks right for the life of me.

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by justinkp, Feb 28, 2016.

  1. I know there's lots of threads about snack sticks on here but I think I'm missing something or doing something way wrong. My sticks always turn out overdone, or too moist, or just not flavorful enough.

    I use ground beef. Mix in black pepper, salt, garlic and paprika. I think that's part of the issue. Wrong seasonings??? Then I add cure.

    Then I mix together real well and stuff in 19mm callogen casings that I got from Cabelas. The local smokehouse I get beefstick from uses mahogany casings so I'm thinking I should use those instead?

    After stuffing, I hang in the smoker and smoke at 175 and it seems like they hit 140 internal pretty quick. Seems like the beer inside the casings doesn't stick to the casings real well. And there's definitely still moisture inside. I know I'm messing up here. Can someone help me out?
  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dont start the cooking at 175. Start low like 120 if you can then bump up 10 degrees every hour til at 175.
  3. Thanks. What IT should I smoke to with snack sticks?
  4. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I go to 155
  5. boykjo

    boykjo SAUSAGE MAKER Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you have a cabelas near by I would try one of their snack stick seasoning package or a recipe here. Use fresh beef (not previously frozen). I like to use 90/10 lean. The collagens you have are fine. I would try to start at a lower temp. Try to get your smoker down to 140 to start or lower if possible. Try not to add too much water (or beer) to the meat. Its hard not too cause you have to soften the meat to reduce the stress on the stuffer. Take the sticks internal temp to 170-175 and don't give them a bath. Bloom them in the fridge for several days. They will firm up and dry out and the flavor will get better

    My 2 cents

  6. I personally like the AC Leggs snack stick seasoning, Google it you can pick it up on line, lately I have been almost cold smoking mine for 3 - 4 hrs & then finishing up in the oven set at 170 up to a IT of 160, then allow to air cool on counter then vac seal.
  7. stayhot

    stayhot Smoking Fanatic

    This is my process for pretty much all the different sticks I make and it seems to work well for me.

    I have a MES 30 and I use the MES cold smoking attachment as the smoke generator.

    1 hour @ 100-110 no smoke drying time

    3-4 hours @ 135-145 smoke

    at the 5th hour start bumping temp up 10 degrees every 45min until IT of 152-155

    Ice cold water bath to stop cooking, hang to bloom 1-2 hours then into a paper bag in the fridge for a day or 2.
  8. donr

    donr Smoking Fanatic

    Several commercial mixes I have seen call for 1oz per pound of liquid.  I think this helps distribute the cure more evenly, without adding too much moisture.

    The directions on Hi-Mtn seasonings call to use more spice for ground meat "jerky" than whole muscle jerky.  
  9. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    So you don't ice bath your sticks anymore? Just put them in a bag in the fridge? I'll have to try that.
  10. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Here is my time and temp chart. Woks for me.

    Here is the temp and time scale i use for most of my sausage making. I use this for chubs and sticks. Please note that YOUR RESULTS MAY VARY. 

    Outside weather conditions can also have a big part of how long it takes the meat to target IT.


    I do not use a meat probe while smoking, the probe can cause fat cavitation and give false readings. Use a Thermapen to check IT of meat. I know that opening the door is going to increase your time, just the nature of the game. 

    Hang your stuffed casings at room temp for 2 hours to dry and set. Have your smoker pre heated at 130* I use a Masterbuilt electric. Keep your top vent open. Closing the vent off will increase moisture inside your smoker and give you an unpleasant discoloration on your product. Remember this is semi dry sausage, not dripping prime rib.

    1. Hang in smoker at 130* for 2 hours (no smoke)
    2. 140* for 1.5-2 hrs smoke (Use of a water pan is your call) In my Sausage Maker smoker i have no need for a water pan.
    3. 150* for 2.5 hrs (smoke opt)
    4. 160 for 2.5-3 hrs (smoke opt) check meat IT here from the top of the chubs. You may have a stall in this time period.
    5. Increase smoke temp to 170* (opt smoke) For 3-4 hrs. Check IT again, You should be close to your target IT of 152.
    6. IF NEEDED, increase smoker to 175* for 2 hrs. DO NOT GO HIGHER OR YOU WILL RISK A FAT-OUT. CHECK IT OFTEN
    7. If you dont have time to do a complete smoke you can use hot water to finish to your IT. DO NOT EXCEED A WATER TEMP OF 170 AND MOVE THE CHUBS/STICKS AROUND IN THE WATER. Cold water bath after your IT is up to you.

    With edible collagen stick casings i condition them in the fridge overnight. Open the bag.

    Just my way.
    c farmer likes this.
  11. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

  12.  I was told that after stuffing your sticks to put them in the fridge over night. It should help with the flavor. Then take them out I dab them off with a paper towle. Then hang them up for about two hours till they are dry. They won't take on any smoke if they are wet.
  13. fizzy jizzles

    fizzy jizzles Newbie

    Do you bag them to sit in the fridge over night, or leave them exposed? 

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