So my first attempt at any type of snack stick is today. I've used my smoker so far to smoke ribs, and chicken, but this is the first time I've done anything with jerky or snack sticks.
Bought a jerky shooter yesterday and 19mm callogen casings from Cabela's. Seemed kind of pricy, but what do I know, this is my first time :) $19.99 for 3 big strands (to use for 25 lbs of meat). Went to the local meat market and got 5 lbs of 90/10 lean ground chuck to start with.
Came home, mixed up a homemade recipe just to experiment with. Black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, seasoning salt, burger seasoning, paprika, and a bit of meat tenderizer. Among some other spices here and there that I'm not remembering. I mixed the meat and spices real well and loaded into the jerky shooter, and stuffed the casings. Made about 48 good sized sticks. Started the smoker at 120 degrees. 2 hours later, up'd it to 140 and added hickory chips for smoke. Upping about 10-20 degrees an hour. So far they're looking good, but look like they're gonna take a while to get that deep red color though as they are still light grey in color. Might up the temp a little more, but I don't want to cook them too fast and dry them out.
Also debating on the "ice bath" when I take them out of the smoker when they are done cooking. I've read where some people dump them in ice water to "prevent shrinkage", and some just let them sit out for 2 hours before vacuum sealing. Any suggestions?
Really hoping these turn out well!