I need some Forum Help. I have made a couple of batches of snack sticks using both elk and venison and store-bought seasoning mixes, stuffing them into collagen casings and drying/smoking them in a Bradley bisquit smoker using cherry wood. I am struggling with achieving the desired amount of dryness in the finished product. Is this a function of fat content in the meat or time/temperature in the smoker or a combination? The meat I have used so far has been extremely lean and I have been reluctant to add pork fat for fear of making them greasy. The seasoning mix contains cure so should I be concerned about doneness or just dryness. Do I need to provide smoke during the entire drying process or just at the beginning? And finally if I happen to have some sticks that are on hand for over a few days, what is the preferred method of storing them? Refrigerate? Vacuum seal? Freeze? In a jar on the counter like at the tavern?
Thanks for your help. Fat Dad.