Being the Slim Jim lover I am, after reading a number of posts here on the forum, I decided to give making my own a try. I started out using a recipe posted by Nepas a while back. He put together a great QView on the process as well. Here’s the link to his post:
I accumulated the 19mm collagen casing, a 3/8” stuffer tube for my LEM and went to work. The one change I made to the spice recipe was to substitute ECA for the buttermilk. I also used beef only and did not include the pork. As this was an experiment, I decided to make a 2.5 lb batch so I adjusted the ingredient amounts accordingly.
After mixing up the spices and meat, leaving out the ECA, I refrigerated the mixture overnight as I didn’t have time to stuff and smoke right away.
The next morning, not sure of what I was doing, I got everything ready and started stuffing the casings.
I learned a number of lessons as I progressed. First, collagen casings burst easily! It took me a couple tries to learn how much pressure and how quickly to feed out the casing as it was being stuffed. The second lesson is that it’s easier to do a continuous stuff and tie off at certain increments versus making a certain length, cutting it and tying it off on both ends.
As you can see, not the prettiest or even sized sausages, but…..Now into the smoker at 120° for an hour.
From there, I started the smoke using hickory chips and raised the smoker temp to 140° for and hour or so, then over time up to 160° and finally 170° until the sticks had an IT of 154°
The smoking process ended up taking about 11 hours and here they are just off the smoker.
After letting them cool, I cut them into semi even lengths and vacuum packed them.
By the way, they actually do taste like a Slim Jim! Thanks Nepas!!