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Smokey Film on Venison Sticks?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Ok, 1st.. Hey All! Rookie Smoker Enthusiast here. Some back ground, built my own smoker, ran a batch of venison/pork (20/5) mixed with PS Snack Stick Kit mix and some ad lib pepper and cracked red pepper.. Mixed the night before, put them in a LEM meat tub in the fridge over night, 2 hours at 105F ramped it up to 160F with Apple chips for smoke for 4 hours, then took chip pan out and let the heat get up for an IT of 155F. Then to the sink/cold water and ice to cool quickly..


My sticks taste pretty good, but there is this black film on them. I wiped it off a bit (read: as best I good quickly). No "numbing" tase on the tongue, don't taste overly smokey. But the black on the fingers, counter, meat tub, sink, etc.. has me concerned..


Thoughts: Creosote?


Poorly vented smoker?

      Mine vents out the back top, not out the top.. I think I'm going to add another vent out the top.. thoughts?


Not dry enough whe I started smoking??


Also and off topic slightly, decided to go to smaller casings in the future. I have a 5# stuffer from Cabelas, will a LEM or other 3/8 tube work?


Thanks Folks.. gotta figure this out, absolutely despise paying for sticks, ring bolgna and summer sausage! I can do this!! I hope!



post #2 of 12

Creosote.  Was your smoke billowing white?  Wood chips properly seasoned?

post #3 of 12

That would be my first guess is that the smoke wasn't properly vented.  Did you use natural or artificial casings?




Thanks for introducing yourself and welcome to the forum

post #4 of 12


post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Well, I used Apple and I soaked the chips in water for quite a while (1.5 days). No justifyable reason, just poor timing! Smoke was never "billowing" just wisping out the back, dark color. That bad? I thnk I'm going to cut a 4" dia hole in the top and add another vent with a damper. That way I can run it a bit hotter, without it being hotter?! Make Sense? I have 20 pds of venison and 5 pounds of pork I am going to mix with some LEM Summer Sausage mix and give it another go.. 

post #6 of 12

My first thought is the wet chips and excess moisture inside your smoker is  the issue.


Did you use a water pan?

Electric, charcoal or gas for heat?

How about a tour of your smoker?

Natural or collagen casings?


If the casings are wet, they will attract soot.

I do not use in my water pan inside my smoker.  You add extra water when making snack sticks, in-order to push thru the small filler tube, and this is enough moisture for the smoke.


Just my 2 cents, but the first time I made snack sticks, I had the same black film as you described.  I made some small changes, and no more black film.




No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

post #7 of 12
if it is a gas smoker and the flame is yellow instead of the nice blue color like it should be it will put off soot like you described...
post #8 of 12
Originally Posted by erain View Post

if it is a gas smoker and the flame is yellow instead of the nice blue color like it should be it will put off soot like you described...

Good call Erain!

Never thought of the flame.

Could be low pressure or a dirty orifice



No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Awesome info. Thanks folks. I will get some pictures up this weekend. I'm a shop teacher and its homecoming week so its kind of chaotic around here now. I also teach a Fire Fighting class nights (tonight and Tuesday night.. so I have the sausage made and in casings sitting in the fridge. I will fire up the smoker saturday.. I should have just bought a smoker, but I said, heck! I can make one of those.. too dang stubborn to admit defeat, so I appreciate the help here! Jo


btw, the flame was blue I checked that often. When I get the pictures up I bet you guys will tell me my "chimney" is the problem. Hope to have that fixed Sat am!


Oh, and casing were collagen (sp?)

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

And while I am here and thinking about it, no water pan, gas flame,.. casings were dry to the touch when they went in and I dried them some more as stated above..


the sticks taste very good. little residue on your fingers after eating a couple, but again, they're really pretty good.. hope I can get this figured out 

post #11 of 12
betting there still something going on with burner, just my thought... let us know what you find.

one other thing i just thought of, With the new(er) safety valve system in place, I would make sure to turn on your propane @ the tank first, then the valve on your smoker to prevent inadequate fuel flow. This could cause your propane burner to not burn properly and might cause the sootiness.
post #12 of 12

I'm thinking it's got to be an incomplete combustion issue, or any chance you have a grease pan that it getting hot and heating the old grease? that will leave a black sooty film on your meat also.

just a thought.

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