need help with snack sticks.

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by herm, Jan 12, 2012.

  1.  Hi all, I am new to smoking and want to give it a try. I made some snack sticks that turned OK but I am sure they could be much better. I have been reading alot here and have learned some things. I have a couple questions I hope you will help me with.

    1. I have read here the smoke coming out of the smoker should be kinda blue. My smoke is way more white is this a problem?

    2. Been reading alot about making beef sticks and smoking temps. I have read to start out around 120deg. and raise it about every hour till meat temp is 160deg. is this correct?

    3. I made a batch of snack sticks using 70/30 beef and the sticks were a little greasy tasting should I have used 80/20? Or what do you recomend? Should they have been in the smoker longer?

    4. My sticks were kinda soft but the inside temp was 160. I put water in the smoker the whole time the sticks were smoking. To much mosture? I didn't cool them after taking them out of the smoker, Just left them cool to room temp.

    5. When do I put water in the pan to make steam? At the beginning, middle or end of cooking?

      Thanks for the help.

    Herm
     
  2. Herm,

    I have been making deer sticks for awhile and can give some guidance.  

    1.  White smoke might be too much wood or not enough venting.

    2.  I usually dry the sticks for about 60-90 minutes at 130 to dry them.  I take mine out after 155, anything over tends to dry the meat.

    3. I use a 20% ratio for deer, so I would use the 80/20 

    4. I don't use a water pan for the sticks or summer sausage. You want a dry heat.  The meat has plenty of moisture and with sticks you are usually coking at low heat anyway.  

    When you take them out, cool them with water or fridge to stop the cooking process.  This also lets the fat set up.

    There was a lot of trial and error when I first started making my own sticks, hang in there, it keeps getting better.  Good luck on the next batch.
     
  3. Hey Herm, what was your recipe for the sticks?

    where you using natural or collagen casings?
     
     
  4.   I used a pack of Lem hot sticks and collagen casings.
     
  5. Sometimes sausage can get mushy if you use to much of certain ingredients, if you used to the mix lem makes you should have been fine there, like sib says a night in the fridge will let the fat set up in the sausage, if it was still mush after that I am not sure what could have caused that

    30%fat is getting up there for fat, but I don't think that would have caused your issue, unless maybe you got them too hot and the fat rendered out of your sausage, you can tell that by a crumbly sausage and there will be deposits of fat under your casings.

    if you were using collagen casings that were mahogany color you could have used water in your pan, but it is not needed, when you use natural casings or clear casing they need to be dry so they turn a nice reddish brown color while smoking, you would definately not want water for those.

    but I did add water to my pan while making summer sausage once with  clear fibrous casing after the casing had gotten to the color I wanted and it worked out well

    hope some of that helps
     
  6. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Herm

     
     

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