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Beef Sticks do's and don'ts - Page 2

post #21 of 27
I use an old Enterprise myself. I stuff my slim jims into 16mm collagen casings. This requires a 3/8" OD stuffing tube and believe me, you can build some arm muscles cranking that thing.
post #22 of 27
My grinder/stuffer instructions says to remove the knife and plate for stuffing. I ground the meat first then removed them and stuffed. Worked great with no effort at all.
post #23 of 27
I use a mix available from Nesco who makes dehydrators - It's a 2 packet deal, 1 cure and one spice to 1 lb of ground meat. Available in packs of six spice and six cures at most Wal-Marts for about $3.95 in the section where you'd find the dehydrators and small appliances

I don't use casings as they dry up just as pretty and tight as you please without them.

I used to use a jerky shooter but that practically gave me Carpal Tunnel Syndrome so I tried the Jolly old Kitchen aid. The kitchen aid attachment for grinding stuffing sausages come with a little plastic gizmo for keeping the auger centered in the absence of knife and plate when stuffing already ground sausage - It has a disk-like center portion with a hole in it for the tip of the screw that usually sits in the grinder plate and an ear at each end that fits into the grinder plate slots on either side - worked like a champ but it then becomes a 2 person operation - one to ram the meat into the throat of the grinder and one to try and keep up with the output.

I've never tried smoking them, just used my Excalibur dehydrator and patted the grease from the surface occasionally.

Never had a complaint of sickness and they're delicious- taste like Slim Jims on steroids and without all the fat - We call em' (affectionately) Tijuana Terrier Turds.

And, as stated eslewhere, once they're put out they disappear quickly!
post #24 of 27
BIg Arm,
Won't work for me. I am one of those backward folks that still uses the #22 universal hand crank. I remove the plate and knife and replace it with the small ss pieces provided with the stuffing kit. It works great on anything larger but not on snack sticks.

post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice guys. I just got back from the meat wholesaler where I picked up 10lbs of pork belly, 20lbs of beef bottom round and 20lbs of port shoulder. I guess I will be busy this weekend!. First on the agenda is making the beef sticks. I will get the meat cut up and ground tomorrow and smoke on Saturday and when that is going on, I think I will make up a batch of italian sausage just to have something to do in between beers and adding wood chips.

Next up will be to try and found out how to build a curing/drying room or if I can make one out of a fridge. I haven't quite figured that one out yet. I would love to make a sausage my uncle called "Nosecchi" it was great cured and dried. I have his recipe that he said was never told to anyone and has never left the family, but I bet someone on here has heard of it.
post #26 of 27

Do a google search for Sonoma Mountain Sausages (I can't seem to post a link to them). They show exactly this in the tips section of the site.
post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
Well, I made my beef sticks this last weekend and it was an experience. First, not having the proper feeding tube for my enterprise. So I took the feeding tube from my grinder, mcgivered a holding washer out of the plastic lid of a coffee can. That solved that problem. Stuffing took awhile and man, those casings at 22mm are small to handle.

The product took about 5 hours total to smoke and cook. I made a couple of mistakes though, and am learning as I go. Don't get me wrong, the beef sticks taste pretty good, but they don't look that appealing.

Here are the mistakes I think I made:

1) oversoaked my hickory wood chips. It didn't seem like it was smoking very long at 140 degrees, so I kept adding more wood. By the time I wanted to be done with the smoking process and cranking the heat, the extra heat got all those wood chips going big time and I had more smoke than I knew what to do with. I let it go for about 20 minutes and then finally had to open it up and pour out the wood.

2) I had all four trays filled with beef sticks, 10lbs total. It was packed. The heat distribution did not seem very good. The right side of the sticks (hinge side) got well done and very dark, while the middles stay pink. The left sides got a little color. I am thinking I had too much food in there.

3) I left the water pan in. No water though. Either I needed to take the pan out or add water. I am thinking this may have caused the uneven heating.

So, the end result, a few beers were released from my fridge, the sticks came out and actually taste pretty good, a little smokey, but not bad.

So, if any of you have any tips and could let me know what I am doing wrong, it would be appreciated.
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