Venison Snack Sticks - Test Batch #2

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by mickey jay, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. mickey jay

    mickey jay Meat Mopper

    I posted a couple weeks ago about finding a great eating venison snack stick recipe. I used Big Casino's recipe and riffed off it a bit. The first batch had good taste but the texture was a bit pasty for me. This time I added salt to 2 3/4tsp for 2lbs lean venison, 1/2 lb of pork butt, and 1/2 lb of beef fat. I upped the heat to a full tsp of chipotle powder. The taste is spot on now for me. I also added a half cup of NFDM and .24oz of ECA. They're still chillin overnight in the fridge, but my initial taste test shows more moisture. Still a bit pasty, but we'll see what a couple days in the fridge does. So far, better than the first batch!

    May need to order up some Amesphos.

    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
    crazymoon likes this.
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    They sure look good from here!

  3. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    MJ, That fat /meat ratio should be fine. Are you overcooking your sticks or cooking too fast? They look good in your photos,I'm guessing that your mean dry or crumbly by calling them "pasty"? I can't help you on the NFDM or ECA as I use soy protein concentrate when worried about moisture loss.I'd eat those sticks if you send em my way ! [​IMG]
  4. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    just wondering If you are putting meat in the freezer and partially freezing before grinding (especially the fat) ... If not cold enough it will smear when grinding and becoming pasty as you describe...
  5. mickey jay

    mickey jay Meat Mopper

    By 'pasty' I mean the meat has sort of a liver-like texture. Adding NFDM this time around helped some, but my wife still wont eat them.

    It's possible the meat was a bit grinder smeared; it was ground a while ago but has that sort of look. The fat looks good; not smeared at all.

    Regarding temps; to my knowlege and equipment, I'm following the standard step up process and not exceeding 180. I do get common 15 degree deviations due to wind, but if if it goes over 180 my Maverick alarm goes off and i run out there. Need to better insulate my smoker.

    Amesphos looks out of stock at the ingredient store. Going to order up some of butcher packers Special Meat Binder.
  6. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Try some Amesphos or Butcher & Packer's "Special meat binder".  Both are phosphates that really help with texture and moisture retention in sausage.  I've used it in my last 3 batches of sticks and two batches of summer sausage.  Makes a difference and it's not expensive and you don't need to add much
  7. I tried Big Casinos recipe using ground turkey earlier this week.  Mine fatted out a little bit and I thought it was a bit salty(and I like salty).  I used tender quick rather then cure and salt, and think I added too much.  On the TQ bag it says to use 1 Tbsp per LB, but I have read elsewhere, including this forum, to only use 1/2 Tbsp per pound.

    I am trying another batch tomorrow that I added 55 grams of NFDM to, and omitted brown sugar and added 1/2 cup of maple syrup instead, and also added 3-4 cups of cooked wild rice.
  8. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well the label says......

    But if you read the bag label, the 1 Tablespoon per pound is for a dry rub that is on the outside of meat as an external cure, not mixed into ground meat.  A search of Morton's website for sausage recipes using tender quick shows 3 results.  All 3 of them list 1 1/2 level teaspoons per pound of ground meat (1/2 Tablespoon).  So the answer for a ground sausage or snack sticks would be 1 1/2 level tsp per pound of meat.

    I would also drop back the amount of salt in the rest of the recipe if the original recipe called for Cure #1 as Tender Quick has a significant amount of salt in it.  If my memory serves correctly, Big Casino's sticks used cure #1 so double check the salt amount. quick sausage

    Also back to Mickey Jay's original post, I suspect at 180* you had a fat out issue.  That will affect texture big time.   I don't take the pit temp for sticks over 165* and pull them at 152-154 internal temp max. I guess it depends on what sort of pit you are using as to holding lower temps.  That is why I'm convinced an electric unit with PID controller is the best way to go for snack sticks.  The last couple of snack stick batches I've run are pre-programmed into my PID for 2 hours at 135*, 2 hours at 145*, and 1 hour at 155*, then on until done at 165*.  I apply smoke in a pellet tray at the start with about 3 hours worth of pellets loaded.  I light the pellet trail from both ends for a good smoke.  That's been working for me.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2016
  9. hgklhhlkhklhlkhk
    Thanks Dward51!  That is what I suspected, but I didn't research.  I did check the bag and reread it specifically looking for any mention of ground meat.
  10. zachd

    zachd Fire Starter

    Looks good only a couple more weeks and we can start harvesting more deer! Cant wait never did my own sausage before only jerky going to give everything a go this year.
  11. mickey jay

    mickey jay Meat Mopper

    Rather than start a new thread, I wanted to give an update on Test Batch #3 with phosphates. I ordered up some Butcher Packer 'Special Meat Binder', and used .04 oz in my latest 3lb batch. The texture was indeed better than with using no binder or NFDM, but the pasty/liver texture is still there just a bit. I had a buddy try them who knows his snack sticks and the first thing he said was that they taste great, with great smoke, but that I might need to use a coarser grind. I've been using fine grind on everything so far, so Test Batch #4 I'll have to get more involved and bust out the grinder, or I might have some course grind venison around that I'll use. I'm out of ground pork fat so I'll course grind my fat chunks too and see what I end up with. Hopefully, this will get it done and I can move on to ultimately a 10-15lb batch which should put a big dent in my available venison supply.

    I've also been noticing that my time in smoker seems off from what others see. I usually read that these should take 6-8 hours; mine have been pushing 12 hours despite even temps according to my therms and even then I'm lucky to hit 153. They're safe according to Omak Dave's pastuerization chart that is floating around, but it would be good to mirror what other folks are getting. So, I'm off to verify/calibrate my therms.
  12. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've been running 5 pound batches in my e-WSM (18.5" WSM modded to run on electric element on a PID). Consistently in the 7 to 8 hour range. I usually do 2 hours at 130*, 2 hours at 140*, 1 hour at 155* and finish at 165* (PID is pre-programmed, I load the smoker, flip the switch and come back to check temps at the 6 hour mark). I always use cure #1 so the pasturization chart does not really apply (the cure is what makes it safe, not time at temp). I'm using one of Todd's pellet trays for smoke when I'm running in e-WSM mode. If you were running a huge batch it could take longer, but I see in the first thread you are pretty much in line with what the rest of us are doing.

    Are you still using the GS40? And yes, check the thermometer accuracy for sure.

    A fine grind does give that "hot dog" consistency which is not what I think of in a snack stick. I have a 1/8" plate, but I reserve it for certain projects, not sticks. I'm using the medium plate if I grind fresh, and often just buy the 80/20 at Sam's Club for all beef sticks. Their quality is good and the price is also good. I use their 90/10 to make uncased "jerky rounds" in the dehydrator. So a medium hamburger grind works for me either way. I also use encapsulated citric acid for that twang (mix by hand and right before stuffing/smoking as it does not work well if you let it sit mixed in the fridge overnight - CA can turn the meat mushy and white).
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016

Share This Page