Inaugural smoke on the 40in. MES, Snack Sticks

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by johnnyb54, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. johnnyb54

    johnnyb54 Smoke Blower

    After a few days of testing temps and figuring out some of the MES naunces I decided to make some snack sticks. I wanted to do an all beef product so I picked up a couple of choice chuck roasts for this little experiment. I used Hi Mountains original snack stick kit which includes mahogany collegen casings.

    Day one.
    I started out with my coarse grind of the chuck roasts.

    Once the coarse grind was finished I mixed in the seasonings but not the water.

    I then did a second fine grind and mixed in the correct amount of water.

    Once mixed into my stuffer and ready to stuff the casings.

    With the casings stuffed I cut them into lengths the would fit into the MES. I wanted to hang the snack sticks but since I need to make the support hangers with dowels I decided to just rack them. In the MES.

    Once they were cut up into the lengths I put them in the fridge overnight.

    Day two smoking time.
    I used my Pro-Q cold smoker for smoke. Once loaded up the Pro-q gave me 4 hrs. of nice hickory smoke. As you can see in the second picture the smoke from the Pro-Q was spot on.

    After a total cook time of 7 hrs. The snack sticks were ready to come off as they reached an internal temp of 155.

    I started the snack sticks at 120 for the 1st hr. to dry them out a little with no smoke. After an hr. I started smoking them and bumped up the temp to 130 for an hour. I increased the temp to 140 and maintained that for another 4 hours. For the last hour I raised to temp to 180 and pulled the snack stick when they reached an internal temp of 155. All temps were monitored by my Mavericks (ET-732 & ET-733). The outside temperature was 35 degrees so when they came out of the smoker I lt them sit in outside for 10 minutes to cool down. Once in the house I let them sit another hour and a half to bloom. Then into the fridge.

    Day three

    Here they are all cutup and packaged

    I along with my wife are very happy with the result. Thanks for looking and keep on "Q"-ing.
    tropics and crazymoon like this.
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great Snacking you got there, Johnny!![​IMG]

    Nice Job!![​IMG]

  3. soflogator

    soflogator Fire Starter

    Hi Johnny,
    Good looking sticks! I've never tried that before and will need a grinder and stuffer to do so. I like the way your finished sticks look...what make/model of each do you use if you don't mind me asking?

  4. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Nice job on the sticks and a very good q view [​IMG]
  5. johnnyb54

    johnnyb54 Smoke Blower

    SoFloGator, the grinder I use is a #12 Kitchener. I've had it awhile now and for my needs it works great. I like that grinder plates and blades are readily accessible from various sausage suppliers. Here is the website that I purchased it from.

    The stuffer I use is a 5lb. LEM stuffer. The 5lb. unit works well for me. While I would have liked the 10lb. stuffer I usually only make 5lbs. batches. The few occasions I make a larger batch I just refill the stuffer. Information on the stuffer can be found here.

    If you have a Kitchen-Aid mixer you could grind your meat with their meat grinder attachment. I used this a few times and it works OK for small batches. I would not recommend the their meat stuffer attachment. In my opinion it's worthless. Hope this helps.
  6. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Nice looking sticks johhny................[​IMG]
  7. soflogator

    soflogator Fire Starter

    Hi Johnny,
    Good looking sticks! I've never tried that before and will need a grinder and stuffer to do so. I like the way your's look...what make/model of eeach do you use if you don't mind me asking?

    Hi Johnny,
    Thanks for the reply and the information on the grinder and stuffer you use. I have a real newbe type question. The grinder is capable of stuffing the casing but you use a seperate stuffer. I assume the seperate stuffer allows for more control/precision in stuffing the casings without perhaps adding extra heat during the process that the grinder might?
  8. johnnyb54

    johnnyb54 Smoke Blower

    SoFloGator, you are correct that a dedicated grinder and stuffer does allow more control but more importantly you don't have the added heat. I know that buying both units is costly. My suggestion if you are looking to save on cost would be to grind and stuff with the grinder until you can pull the trigger on a dedicated stuffer. While I am not a fan of stuffing with a grinder I would rather see you start your sausage making experience. One thing you could do to control heat would be once grind your meat take the grinder horn, worm feed, and plates put them in a large ziplock bag and place the ziplock bag in your freezer for 30 minutes or so to get them real cold to help with the heat. I am sure there are way more qualified sausage makers here that could help you with this issue. Regardless of what you decide as long as you maintain a clean & cold work envirement you will make some good sausage.
  9. So question on stuffing technique...

    I love eating my own snack sticks.  I've been stuffing mine with a jerky canon.  But I've found that twisting and tying string is the the biggest pain in the butt.  I like to use the string and hang them because I can fit so many more in the smoker.

    I would like to make those coils like you have there...and then somehow twist them and tie them all at once.  How would you have stuffed and hung them if you had your dowels ready?


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