problems with slim jims

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by ldrus, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. ldrus

    ldrus Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    well my first attempt at slim jims was not as i had hoped.  i followed the directions to the T  there was really never a mention of a "soak time" after mixing the meat up so i let it set  in fridge for about 2hrs then fired up the smoker and smoked at 150 for 2hrs then jumped to 170-180  for the remaining time of about another 4 1/2 hr for a total of 6  1/2 hrs  had a temp prob in  one coil and it only read @ 130 IT but pulled them becasue they looked done. after getting in  i found they were over done  (on the dry side )  . my main question is .... they did not have the TANG that has been mentioned on previous slim jim threads  nor did they taste any thing like a slim jim . dont get me wrong they tasted good  just not what i was expecting. where did i go wrong??
     
  2. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    What recipe did you use.

    Slim jims can take 2 ways, moist or dry style like a Landjaeger.
     
  3. ldrus

    ldrus Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    it was the recipe nepas posted  for slim jims
     
  4. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What did you use for Tang? Did you use ECA? ECA should not be ground and added in just before stuffing.  ECA in the meat overnight will start to work and make the meat dry and turn whitish and mushy. Fermento can be added then fridgd.

    Start at 130-140 for an hour or so to dry the casings, then bump to 150 for 2-3 hrs, check IT, bump to 160 for 2-3 hrs, check IT (you should be close here around 130 IT) bump to 170 2-3 hrs check IT. Depending on how many lbs in your smoker it can take anywhere from 6-12 hrs for sticks to IT. You will get a stall time in there around the 130 mark, they may look done but are not.

    When you say soak time?

    What was your mix ratio to fat? When i had dry sticks this was one of the problems.

    Did the sticks have to much salt?

    What cure did you use? Cure #1 or MTQ? If used MTQ you need to cut back the salt in the recipe.

    I dont use a probe, it can cause cavitation pocket by the probe tip and give you false reading. Use an instant read,

    Thats why pics are good to post so we can see what the cut looks like.

    Hey i been there to, I know its frustrating to have meat not turn out like you want. I dumped 10 lbs in the trash a couple times cuz i forgot this or that or was not paying attention to the smoke.

    Let me know if i can help further.
     
  5. ldrus

    ldrus Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member


    here is a link to the original post with pics

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/113340/1st-time-slim-jims-today-pics-added

    the meat was 96%lean then added  a lb of ground pork. i followed your recipe exactly on ingredients not adding or taking any thing away  i used cure #1 and dextrose  didn't add  ECA or  any thing  else but buttermilk  because your recipe didnt call for it  did i miss something???
     
  6. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Your meat was to lean, should be 80/20 no higher than 85/15

    Did you use cultured buttermilk?

    Other than that i dont know what went wrong? What kind is your smoker?
     
  7. ldrus

    ldrus Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

     
  8. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I used regular buttermilk, dont know if it makes a difference. As for your smoker i dont see that it would hurt smoking the sticks.

    Dont know then, just one of them things that happens.
     
  9. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Let me throw a few questions out there.

    Have you calibrated your thermometers lately?  Maybe it was reading 130 but was really higher.

    Is there a chance the fat melted out while cooking? Any pockets of fat under the casings?

    Before stuffing did you get a good bind with the meat? it should be tacky, stickin to your fingers .

    As far as the tang goes, I've heard of using butter milk with good results but I have yet to use it, so I can't help ya there. maybe back off on the water and add more BM.

    Like Nepa mentioned , share some pic's of the finished product, it might help figure out what went wrong.

    It sucks when they don't taste the way you wanted, it happens to everyone once in a while.
     
  10. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    After thinking about it some more I did some math, and I think it boils down to just not enough fat. I had trouble reading the label on you ground beef package but it looks like 1.16 lb @ 96/4. If the added pork was 80/20 this would give you a total meat to fat ratio of about 89/11, which would make it dry.

    Could ya post a link to Nepas recipe, I can't find it [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2011
  11. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Weird cuz i cant find it either.

    I figured it was to lean.
     
  12. ldrus

    ldrus Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    here it is guys thanks for the help

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/110217/smokies

    also is there a difference in buttermilk and cultured buttermilk? im new to the sausage stuff  so  any help is great 

    i ordered my dex and cure #1 from butcher/packer and if needing any other supplies i will go thru them
     
  13. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I will make these again this time with a video.
     
  14. ldrus

    ldrus Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member


    will be patiently awaiting!! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     

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