So I may have jumped the gun making my first pepperoni snack sticks, and I want to know if I made any mistakes. Here is the recipe I used: 2.5lbs. Chuck roast 2.5lbs. Pork loin 1/4C Kosher salt 1tsp. Pink curing salt #1 1tsp. Cayenne pepper 1/2 tsp. allspice 1tsp. Anise seed 2tsp. Fennel seed 2Tbsp. Paprika 2Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar I ground the beef and pork through the large grinder plate (Kitchenaid food grinder attachment) then added all the ingredients, mixed, and then re-ground through the small plate. Then I stuffed the mixture into 17mm calogen casings. Next I hot-smoked them over applewood until an internal temp of 150F. I let them cool and vacuum sealed all but a few of them. I froze the vac-packed ones. That was all last night, and I just tried my first one tonight. I think they taste very good, but I was surprised by the texture. I'm used to the denser texture of the packaged Hormel brand pepperoni sticks. These are soft. I don't have anywhere to dry-cure so I had to hot-smoke, and I didn't use a recipe that called for bactoferm. Here is a picture of the finished product: Some Questions: 1. Should I let them cure before smoking them? How long? 2. After smoking should I give them some time before freezing? How long? 3. Ruhlman's Charcuterie recipe for Peperone calls for Bactoferm and says that you can hot smoke them instead of dry curing. Is the bactoferm always needed (in which case did I ruin 5lbs of meat)? 4. Ruhlman's recipe also calls for only beef. Any changes that I should make since I wanted to use a mixture of beef and pork? 5. How Do you figure out your meat/fat ratio? Do you trim all the fat from your beef/pork and then add the correct percentage of the fat back in? I just ground the fat that was in the cut of beef/pork. 6. Any other thought/suggestions?