I am a newbie with sausage and snack sticks and was looking for some help, I searched a bit but could not find the answers I needed. I know there are a ton of variables with Sausage and stuff, but I want to learn. I want to make some snack sticks, hopefully like a slim Jim type snack stick and here is what I have to work with. I don't want it like jerky 1) Sausage stuffer 3/8" and 5/8" tube for my Kitchen Aid mixer 2) Food Grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer it hast two grinding plates — one for coarse grinding and one for fine grinding. 3) Nesco seasoning, dry 4) Cabelas pepperoni seasoning with casings, dry 5) Nesco Jerky shooter First off is it better to start with ground beef and if so should it be on the fattier 80/20 or leaner 90/10 If using whole meat which is better and do I need to add fat. If fat is needed where can I get fat and what should I use. If I grind which grinding plate is preferred, Fine or coarse. How would I smoke it, by time or by internal temp. What temp range should I smoke it should it be one long ling that hangs in the smoker I made ground jerky once and it was horrible, I ran already ground meat through the fine grinding plates, it was like eating powder. Hopefully I will have some luck and can invest in this a little more. Sorry for the list of questions, but I have a lot of faith in my fellow SMF buddies!