Ok so made my first attempt at snack sticks. I used 7# deer meat to 3# of ground pork. Used a a spice and cure kit with colored collagen casings. Ground mixed and stuffed the sticks all in same sittings. They turned out fair but not as I expected I'm sure my process needs a good tweak or 2. Advise,critique, pick it apart please so I can make the next batch better. There's so many of you guys/gals posts I've read with some awesome looking sticks.Deer meat is rare to screw it up. So here's the process as follows.
Rested overnight in the fridge, then pulled out to set at room temp about an hour while I preheated the MES30 to 130*.
Put sticks in at about 7am with no smoke for an hour, then smoked for 8hrs at 130* using hickory chips.
After 8hrs bumped temp to 140* for 2hrs, then 150* for 2 hrs, then 160* for 2hrs. The sticks would never get above 135-140*. I read from several posts here of the magical temp of 150-160*. The weather here was 45-50* drizzly with a slight breeze. I don't think it effected me temp very much. Ended up letting these things go all night while waited on the IT to come up ended up pulling them off at 7am the next morning with about same IT as I left them at 2am. I used 3 different temp probes to test them all about them same temp. Here's how the looked when they came out after a 15min bath. I know I over cooked them, but I was looking for that magical temp.
Some of the sticks look prey plump and others wrinkled fan. The part that concerns me is the sections that are light colored. Not sure what happened there, but those sections were farther away from the heat source.I did notice that the casings on the light ends was split but I'm not sure if that happened when it was cooking or in the bath or due to if they were under stuffed.
The cross section shows pretty good color but the outside of it has a grayish color ring. Not sure if that's fat out or not. The texture was chewy for the most part, and very hard on the wrinkled sticks. All together the flavor was good, just appearance and texture was displeasing. Can't complain to much for my first attempt, they could have been railroad spikes or soup tubes. LOL
Thanks in advance for all the advise, hoping the next batch will be spot on. Jason