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need help with snack sticks.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

 Hi all, I am new to smoking and want to give it a try. I made some snack sticks that turned OK but I am sure they could be much better. I have been reading alot here and have learned some things. I have a couple questions I hope you will help me with.

 

1. I have read here the smoke coming out of the smoker should be kinda blue. My smoke is way more white is this a problem?

 

2. Been reading alot about making beef sticks and smoking temps. I have read to start out around 120deg. and raise it about every hour till meat temp is 160deg. is this correct?

 

3. I made a batch of snack sticks using 70/30 beef and the sticks were a little greasy tasting should I have used 80/20? Or what do you recomend? Should they have been in the smoker longer?

 

4. My sticks were kinda soft but the inside temp was 160. I put water in the smoker the whole time the sticks were smoking. To much mosture? I didn't cool them after taking them out of the smoker, Just left them cool to room temp.

 

5. When do I put water in the pan to make steam? At the beginning, middle or end of cooking?

 

  Thanks for the help.

Herm

 

post #2 of 6

Herm,

 

I have been making deer sticks for awhile and can give some guidance.  

1.  White smoke might be too much wood or not enough venting.

2.  I usually dry the sticks for about 60-90 minutes at 130 to dry them.  I take mine out after 155, anything over tends to dry the meat.

3. I use a 20% ratio for deer, so I would use the 80/20 

4. I don't use a water pan for the sticks or summer sausage. You want a dry heat.  The meat has plenty of moisture and with sticks you are usually coking at low heat anyway.  

 

When you take them out, cool them with water or fridge to stop the cooking process.  This also lets the fat set up.

 

There was a lot of trial and error when I first started making my own sticks, hang in there, it keeps getting better.  Good luck on the next batch.

post #3 of 6

Hey Herm, what was your recipe for the sticks?

where you using natural or collagen casings?
 

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

  I used a pack of Lem hot sticks and collagen casings.

post #5 of 6

Sometimes sausage can get mushy if you use to much of certain ingredients, if you used to the mix lem makes you should have been fine there, like sib says a night in the fridge will let the fat set up in the sausage, if it was still mush after that I am not sure what could have caused that

30%fat is getting up there for fat, but I don't think that would have caused your issue, unless maybe you got them too hot and the fat rendered out of your sausage, you can tell that by a crumbly sausage and there will be deposits of fat under your casings.

 

if you were using collagen casings that were mahogany color you could have used water in your pan, but it is not needed, when you use natural casings or clear casing they need to be dry so they turn a nice reddish brown color while smoking, you would definately not want water for those.

but I did add water to my pan while making summer sausage once with  clear fibrous casing after the casing had gotten to the color I wanted and it worked out well

 

hope some of that helps

 

post #6 of 6

Herm

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herm View Post

 Hi all, I am new to smoking and want to give it a try. I made some snack sticks that turned OK but I am sure they could be much better. I have been reading alot here and have learned some things. I have a couple questions I hope you will help me with.

 

1. I have read here the smoke coming out of the smoker should be kinda blue. My smoke is way more white is this a problem?  Your smoke should be very thin and kind of blue.  If it is white and thick you have incomplete combustion.  We say as long as you smell it, it's working  What kind of smoker are you using?

 

2. Been reading alot about making beef sticks and smoking temps. I have read to start out around 120deg. and raise it about every hour till meat temp is 160deg. is this correct? I don't see any problem with that.  Just make sure the sticks are dry before going into the smoker.  Bring the IT up slowly

 

3. I made a batch of snack sticks using 70/30 beef and the sticks were a little greasy tasting should I have used 80/20? Or what do you recomend? Should they have been in the /moker longer?   You need to follow the recipe  70/30 might be a bit fatty.   Snack sticks in particular are one thing I like kind of dry.  Did you shower the sticks with cold water after smoking?

 

4. My sticks were kinda soft but the inside temp was 160. I put water in the smoker the whole time the sticks were smoking. To much mosture? I didn't cool them after taking them out of the smoker, Just left them cool to room temp.  There again I am not sure what kind of smoker you are using.  If you are burning wood, the wood produces a lot of moisture.   I don't think moisture in a pan will have a big affect on the consistency of the snack sticks but I will differ to others on this

 

5. When do I put water in the pan to make steam? At the beginning, middle or end of cooking?

 

  Thanks for the help.

Herm

 



 

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