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Pepper sticks, pepperoni sticks, and venison hotdogs......a journey with qview!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, my first attempt at a qview here so go easy on me!

Started getting the meat thawed for some sausage smoking tomorrow. On the dockett are 25# of pepper sticks in collagen casings (19mm I believe), 5# of pepperoni sticks same casings (first time trying these), and 5# hot dogs in natural sheep casings (first time trying these as well). These are all venison based using this years ground deer, mixed with a couple pounds of 90% pork fat from when we butchered hogs a couple weeks ago, and a little 85-90% lean beef, tough stuff from an old cow that broke her leg last year. Shooting for somewhere between 10-15% lean mix overall.

I have made the peppersticks several times before to rave reviews always. The hot dogs and pepperoni sticks are a first try. This is a seasoning for #100 of pepper sticks, and #25 each of the other two, but I mix the spices well and measure out what i need. I learned to mix every time before measuring if you are dividing larger bags of seasoning, my last batch of summer was pretty salty because it had settled. As always, using recommended ammount of sodium nitrite sure cure.

Here is a pic of my workroom/laundryroom/mancave. Yeah i know its multi purpose but we are saving up for a bigger place so gimme a break! I also do custom decal work so you can probly see some of that stuff lying around. I lay the meat out for about 3-4 hours or just until the outside starts coming thawed then it goes in the fridge for the rest of the day. I lay out tin foil, then cut a trash bag, then roll up the edges of the tinfoil so if things bleed it all stays nice and contained. I do the same thing in the fridge on the bottom shelf when its moved in there. All my meat is preground to fine except the pure fat, which will need ground once. I also plan to partially imulsify the hot dogs by running it through the grinder about 4-5 times after mixing.

I use Excalibur seasonings that I order from midwesternresearch.com. I started out with these seasonings on the suggestion of a butcher we use to have make some of this stuff for us, and have so far in a year not strayed much. Prices are good, and I am always amazed at just how great the flavors are, especially if you add a little extra to spice things up sometimes. Its also great because midwestern always and I mean always ships same day if you order by 4:30 central, and I am single day shipping for them, and they have a ton of stuff as well as some great bulk spices.

I weight out each and every package, because they range in size from 1 pound to 1 pound 8 ounces. When its flyin out the grinder its hard to always be perfectly consistent. I keep track of pounds of the left, and ounces on the right, then when i have enough ounces for a pound I roll that to the left side. Its a good system for me.

And here is where we stand as of this morning. Left is the pepper sticks, right is 10# that will be diveded for the two other batches. Give it about 3 hours til the outside is just at about 35 degress using an infa red thermometer to view and then into the fridge til tonight. I will post again tonight when we mix things up, and again tomorrow when we stuff and get things in the smoker.....that is if I can remember.
post #2 of 14
Looks like u have the q-view figured out. Welcome from another Kansasn. Straight down the interstate.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Which direction? I was raised west of here in Hoxie and my wife is from out by gove.
post #4 of 14

Hot Stix

I am working on some hot stix also. Using Collagen casing. Researching right now to find out what times and temps people are using. What do you plan to use on your very large batch of meat. My kid has a hockey game tomorrow afternoon and Sunday morning (ugh). That I was unaware until this morning. So now I am trying to figure out how to pull this off.

EDIT: found where I need to be been checking the jerky section. Thought it wierd so few post on snack stix.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
I dry at 110 for 1 hour, then increase to 1bout 140 for a couple hours with a good smoke then slowly increase to about 180. I don't put a whole ton of smoke to em, just til I think its "bout right" then I just finish out with no smoke. I probly only have the smoke on them for roughly 4 hours, and its not super heavy. 25 pounds usually takes me about 6 or 7 hours, 50 pounds i get done in around 8 hours. Done at internal meat temp of 165, held for at least 15 minutes.

***Edit*** After reading things here I am going to start only taking them to 152-155, always thought they seemed a little over done, but that was the temp I had been told before for sticks.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

Q-View of finished

Alright guys, well I didn't get pictures of the rest of the mixing and grinding of the hotdogs....it was late and I forgot. However, I do have the qview of the finished sticks and hot dogs. Just finished up the hot dogs this morning.

Here is the pepper sticks the next morning after curing. Its stiff stuff to be sure, but as long as you don't go crazy the stuffer seems to handle things just fine.

We use a 19mm casing for these. Its hard to filt the whole casing stick over my stuffing horn, so we string it out and premeasure to fit hanging in the smoker and precut them. Seems to work best for us because we don''t end up with a bunch of short pieces then.

Here is the wife loading the stuffer up.....grabbed a quick picture when she wasn't looking.

Here is a full smoke stick headed out to the smoker. Yummy!

Here is the smoker loaded up and ready to roll. My door is too flimsy (shoulda built a frame) so I have to screw it shut, but this smoker only has to last me until I get the money saved up to build my new metal cabinet gasser.

It was about 8 hours til I got these done, too cold outside. They got a little dry, reaffirms that I think I need to be running a water pan. Flavor was amazing, and they took on good smoke. I let them cool outside in the smoker since it was about 5 degrees out, brought inside cut and vacuum packed. Great for having with you in the deer stand hunting next years.

Here is the hot dogs packed and ready to go, don't mind the air in a couple of them.....oops :D.

In the smoker, still working on getting to the illusive thin blue smoke....but I think I am getting closer. This was probly the heaviest it was rolling.

All done at 155 internal. MMMM HOTDOGS.

Straight into an ice water bath to get the temp down.

Once they are at about room temp out of the ice bath and set at room temp for an hour or so to bloom. These turned out a little strong in the venison flavor to me. I wanted to try straight venison with just enough pork fat first and go from there, but I think next time there will be alot more fat, and about half pork and beef and half venison, just to smooth out the flavor a bit. The casings were great though, and they took on good smoke. I went out and grilled one, and the casing had a great snap to it and the dog was flavorful. I ground these twice after mixing and it felt really mushy at that point so I stopped, but I think next time I will grind another two times to get the texture more to that of a hot dog......I know its not the proper way to imulsify meet but I think it will work great.

So there you have it, my first qview from start to finish!
post #7 of 14
Welcome from another Kansan in Kansas City, KS...

Great looking Sausages & Sticks...points.gif

Have you tried stuffing and then letting them cure, it make them easier to stuff...
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yes, thats the way I did it in the beginning. I know this goes against the grain here, but I like letting things cure overnight and then stuff once its stiff.....allows me one last going over of the meat after it changes colors to make sure I got it mixed good. Just personal preference, but since i got the stuffer it stuffs anything we throw at it with no problems.
post #9 of 14
Good looking stuff PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #10 of 14
All looks great!

Nice job! PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

post #11 of 14
Looks great and great info.
post #12 of 14
Not those are some mighty fine look dogs and snack sticks you made there. I'm in the middle of doing some my self for the boys in Iraq.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thats a good idea.....I have a cousin over there, I think I will throw in a batch for his unit and get them headed over.

Thanks for inspiring me!
post #14 of 14
Nice hot dogs!
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