After all the sausage I've been making lately, my sons were wondering WHEN I was going to make some slim-jims or beef sticks?
So I ordered a few mixes from AC Legg. I had on-hand some 19mm colored collagen casings so onward.....
Simple set up & ingredients.
I decided to make two small (5lb) batches on the snack stick mix; one regular flavor, the other BBQ:
Two 5lb bags of beef I cut up the night before, partially frozen:
First grind using the 4.5mm plate:
Since these were small loads I mixed by hand ('old-school'):
All mixed & ready for one more final grind:
Final grind through a 3mm plate:
I used the cabela grinder 'speed' attachment for stuffing these sticks. (I use the Kirby Cannon for bigger loads—10lbs+).
I ran out of the 19mm collagen casing near the end so grabbed a couple of collagen rings to make two larger sausages:
Loaded in the 'extra-wide' smoker. Plan was to do 2-3 hours with the a-maze-n with a progressive increase in the temps:
One hour in....
After nearly four hours, IT reaches 160° so out they come.
The larger 'rings' are still hovering around 145° so they still need some more time. They are picking up some nice color.
About an hour later, they hit the 160° mark and I pull them to bloom.
Sample time: My sons all tried the sticks & the feedback I'm getting is very good! Real nice texture to the sticks, just the right amount of saltiness. Casings have a good snap. The BBQ is probably my favorite of the two.
All these will sit in my fridge overnight and tomorrow I'll decide how I'll store these stix.
I'm very happy with the results! Considering my last two sausage-making fiascos, I'm glad to have a winner!
Edited by Couger78 - 7/10/11 at 8:38am