I am going on a couple of road trips. One of them is with a buddy who likes hot pepperoni sticks. Obviously, it is the time to try and learn how to make snack sticks. I relied on a couple of posts from someone who has taught me a lot with his posts, Bearcarver.
The posts I used are:
I liked the technique from the pepperoni sticks but my buddy likes hot so I used the mix from the beef loaf.
The first problem I ran into was we don't use the same meat/fat ratios for our ground beef here in Canada as you do in the states. Bear used an 80-20% meat fat mix. Here we have medium ground beef (77-23%) and lean (83-17%) so I used a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of each for 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of ground beef.
As the US has not caught up to the rest of the world, I had to convert the recipes to metric and adjust for the fact I was using 2 kilograms instead of 12.5 pounds.
Here is the mix I used.
8 ml (1 1/2 teaspoon) black pepper
8 ml (1 1/2 teaspoon) red pepper flakes
8 ml (1 1/2 teaspoon) cayenne
8 ml (1 1/2 teaspoon) mustard seed
8 ml (1 1/2 teaspoon) fennel, partially ground
8 ml (1 1/2 teaspoon) anise seed
5 ml (1 teaspoon) italian seasoning
2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) garlic powder
2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) onion powder
32 grams (1 1/8 ounce) Tender Quick
50 ml (1/4 cup) soy sauce
75 ml (1/3 cup) ice water
I mixed that together and then poured it over the 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of ground beef all had been chilled.
I mixed it thoroughly, covered and put in the fridge over night.
The next day, I ran it through my LEM sausage stuffer with the 3/4 inch tube. I wanted to use 1/2 inch but from other posts, I noted that gave some trouble.
Here are the sticks.
Into the fridge overnight to develop pellicle.
When I went out to get the smoker ready, we had a visit from a merlin. It has been hanging around for a few days. It is pretty but it is hard on the songbirds.
I fired up the AMNPS with a mixture of maple, hickory and cherry. Bear used more smoke but I only did one row.
I put the sticks in the Bradley and closed her up.
The smoke went like this:
One hour with no heat and just the smoke.
One hour at 120 F (Internal Temperature (IT) on starting 59 F)
One hour at 140 F (IT on starting 91 F)
One hour at 160 F (IT on starting 99 F)
One hour at 180 F(IT on starting 113 F)
Two hours (smoke had run out on AMNPS) at 200 F (IT at starting 125 F)
The IT was 160 F. I didn't take it off at 165 to 170 as Bearcarver did and put it in a cold water bath. I took it off at 160 F and let it sit figuring the IT would rise with sitting.
Here is the results.
The verdict. This is a really good snack stick. It has a good heat (my buddy will thank you Bear) and an great texture. I would recommend it to anyone. However, this time I think I can improve on Bear's recipe. I think this stick screams for a 50/50 mix of pork and beef with the pork ground a little coarser. The next time I make it I will try that and see if I am right.
Thanks, Bearcarver, you have done it again.