Venison Snack Sticks - Qview and Questions

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by exromenyer, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. So this was my first attempt in the MES 40 with the AMNPS, Pitmaster blend and Maverick ET-732 dual probe gauge.  Here is what I did....

    These are 4lbs Venison burger and 1lb straight pork cap fat...... with a Hi-Country seasoning mix from my kit (need to use it up).  I also added a few tbls of powdered soy milk and cure #1 as it's less salty then the packet that comes with it. 

    First I hung them on the dowel for 1 hr while the MES came up to temperature.

    Into the smoker at 8am internal temp at 130*....


    9am - Temperature pushed up to 140* and added smoke with the AMNPS.

    9am - 11am - Smoked at 140* with smoke....

    11am - 1pm - Smoked at 150* with smoke....

    1pm - 3pm  - Smoked at 160* with smoke .... Internal Temp sitting at 126* with Maverick gauge.

    Pulled AMNPS out and to my delight I couldn't believe that I might have dialed that bugger in.. I placed the AMNPS on top of an 8x8 aluminum pan in the bottom LEFT corner (THANK YOU TODD for that info)....


    3pm - 4pm - Temperature up to 170* - NO AMNPS and IT is reading now at about 4pm at 151* so I pulled them out and layed them on the cutting board for about 1hr (We went to evening Mass so they sat while we were gone)...



    Upon coming home I put them in a brown grocery bag, rolled it up and tied it and placed in the refrigerator for the 24 hour sitting.

    So here is my question...... I calibrated again that Maverick ET 732 and it seemed to vary a good bit with internal temperatures and food temperatures...  If you look at the 2nd to last picture you can see the temperature probe hanging in the clip which actually worked in between the metal rungs that the grates slide in between.  You will also see the two food probes, 1 from maverick and 1 from MES ( I know the MES one stinks but I wanted to see if it was even close and honestly it was only 4-7 * off the whole smoke)

    So am I doing this correctly ?  Is there a better way to suspend that temperature probe ?  Do the links get to a point where the temperatures just do not read 100% accurately because they seemed to fluctuate more as it got to the end and I really thought I would be going longer than I did?   .[​IMG]

    Any advice, ideas, thoughts would be so greatly appreciated.... Once I cut them, I'll post some more Q-Views....

    Thank you for looking....

    Tony

    UPDATED Q-View Pictures

    So as you see from the above strategy I kept smoke on for about 5 hours and the taste is absolutely delicious.  I would definitely recommend smoking it like the directions above for 4-5 hours.. This was the first time I was able to obtain TBS and it was a beautiful thing!!!!


     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012
  2. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks good to me Tony -sorry cant help ya onthe mes or the probes thou I dont use either one of them

    Steve
     
  3. boykjo

    boykjo SAUSAGE MAKER Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    hey Tony.....They look good to me..... What your doing sounds good..... I would take the sausages to 160 degrees IT just to make sure all of the sausage has hit 154 as a precaution. next time Before you pull the sausage out of the smoker, probe different areas  of the sausage in the smoker and find out where your coolest Sausage spot is and that will give you an idea where to place your therm next time
     
  4. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Your sticks look great!

    Bet you're gonna make more

    Todd
     
  5. I took them to the temp stated above since that seemed to be the consenus and the information I got from Nepas and others.. Mine seemed to hit right around the 151* to 154* before I pulled so I felt pretty safe with that.  I also did like you suggested and probed them in the middle, top and bottom and the temps fluctuated a little but nothing to be alarmed with.  I also used my small stick thermometer that is very accurate... Thanks for the advice, I'll remember that as well.

    Tony
     
  6. they look fantastic. my only question for you, were you happy with the fat content. i used venison, and 1/5 the weight of pork fat. and for me it was too much. i had a bit of rendering even at 160 degrees. the next time i made them i cut the fat amount in half and was much more happy. but, that being said, i also like a dryer stick than most.

    look great!
     
  7. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Sticks look good.

    I dont use meat probes, fat can give off readings in the meat.
     
  8. wildgame

    wildgame Newbie

    If you don't use a meat probe, how do you know when they are done?
     
  9. Thanks for the great post and pictures on making venison snack sticks.  Although I have been smoking game jerky and fish for about 45 years but have never smoke sausage.  I just bought a new Smoke Hollow smoker and recently did a jerky shake-down run to test is functioning. I learned that my through-the-door temperature gauge is on the money, and that I needed to do some minor mods to get the smoker to generate smoke at low temperatures.  Now I want to make venison snack sticks and I can not think of a nicer complement to a deer that sacrificed so much.  Your post really helps, but I have questions:

    1) I have been to the High Country web site and seen the snack stick spice mixes.  I am reluctant to get the variety package selection because I think that pepperoni is the one most similar to what I prefer and have had made at a local game processing shop in past years.  Which spice mix did you use and can you comment on the 5 variety pack mix if you bought it?

    2) Can you provide a source that details the temperature step-up procedure that you used through the smoking procedure? What is the target internal temperature for the venison/pork snack sticks?

    3) My experience with fish smoking and jerky making is that there is a considerable temperture gradient from the bottom to the top of the smoker.  I haven't measured it, but can tell from the need to rotate shelves from bottom to top during smoking to get a uniform finish on the game.  Have you sensed the need to rehang the sausage to reverse top and bottom portions to get uniform level of doneness (that a word?) on the snack sticks?

    4) From your photo it appears that you got almost no melted fat in the drip pan.  Is that a fact when using 20 pork fat?  Were you satisfied with the lean to fat ratio that you used?

    5) Did you use collagen casing or natural and where did you get them?

    Thanks a bunch for any help you can provide.
     
  10. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nice looking sticks. I really appreciated the Qview.

    Disco
     
  11. 1) I have been to the High Country web site and seen the snack stick spice mixes.  I am reluctant to get the variety package selection because I think that pepperoni is the one most similar to what I prefer and have had made at a local game processing shop in past years.  Which spice mix did you use and can you comment on the 5 variety pack mix if you bought it?

    I bought a Hi Mountain Snack Stick package a while back.  It was very salty to me. Therefore, I looked thru several posts on SMF and used a recipe I found.

    2) Can you provide a source that details the temperature step-up procedure that you used through the smoking procedure? What is the target internal temperature for the venison/pork snack sticks?

    Again I found that on SMF's site I believe NEPAS put that out there.  Many folks start at 120 degrees for the first 2 hrs then move the temp up hourly until they get to 170 and the internal temp of the sticks reaches 152-160.

    3) My experience with fish smoking and jerky making is that there is a considerable temperture gradient from the bottom to the top of the smoker.  I haven't measured it, but can tell from the need to rotate shelves from bottom to top during smoking to get a uniform finish on the game.  Have you sensed the need to rehang the sausage to reverse top and bottom portions to get uniform level of doneness (that a word?) on the snack sticks?

    I never moved or rotated mine.  They did get a little brittle and broke quite easily when I took them out though.  This next smoke, I'm going to put them on the racks in the MES and try it that way and see how that works.  I think I can also get more in there.

    4) From your photo it appears that you got almost no melted fat in the drip pan.  Is that a fact when using 20 pork fat?  Were you satisfied with the lean to fat ratio that you used?

    I didn't get much fat at all.  I stuck to the 20% fat and thought it was really good.  I'm still learning how to get that SNAP though, haven't mastered it yet.  If I don't get a deer here soon, I won't figure that out this year!

    5) Did you use collagen casing or natural and where did you get them?

    I used Collagen which is what I believe comes in those Hi Country seasoning kits.  These were edible and were very good.

    Hope this helps some.....
     
  12. Tony, 

    Thanks for the quick answers.  One last question - did you use a water pan or just dry smoke the snack sticks?  I have never used a water pan, but again have never smoked large cuts of meat or sausage.

    Larry
     
  13. Larry,

    Glad I could offer some advice. I haven't ever used water in a pan when smoking snack sticks or summer sausage. When I was learning the ropes I did a ton of reading on the posts here and some used water and some did not. I read where the meat had enough water that adding more wasn't really necessary. Just my opinion.

    Tony
     

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