Here is the method I used to make my first batch of sticks. I will explain my method and then ask you for help fixing my problem.
I used 5 lbs lean venison and 1.5 pounds pork trim. Sent through the grinder with a course plate.
Used Lem’s pepper stick seasoning and cure pack with 5 oz water and mixed until tacky.
Stuffed into 19mm collagen casings and rested in fridge over night covered with saran wrap. ( I didn’t add additional water before stuffing but wished I would have. Maybe part of the problem?)
Put on racks of smoker at 130 for 1 hour to dry with my damper open.
3 hours of smoke at 130 ¼ damper.
Then 10 degree increase every so often. I was trying to keep my cabinet temperature and stick IT as close as possible.
I opened the cabinet periodically to rotate the racks front to back and up and down.
At 152 ice water batch for about 10 minutes.
Then rested at room temperature for two hours.
All in all my sticks turned out pretty good. Suffered a little shrinkage but I think a normal amount. My biggest issue is the texture. I am looking to make stick that has the texture of summer sausage but I am not sure what to change to make that happen. I know moisture can be affected by both process and ingredients. So I am looking for advice. Bigger casings? Soy protein? Quicker cook time by ramping up temp? Different recipe? Maybe stuff right before smoker?
Thanks for anything that you share!