1st snack stick questions, Bronco smoker

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broozer

Fire Starter
Original poster
Feb 3, 2024
51
150
Portland, OR
A buddy & I have a road trip planned to the NASCAR race in Sonoma in June, and we both like snack sticks, the perfect road trip snack. I've got an LEM #5 grinder, a 5 lb. stuffer, an LEM jerky gun and a Bronco smoker.

1st question: is a Bronco the right tool for the job- I see a lot of folks use a cabinet smoker.
2nd question: Although I have a grinder, I'm thinking of using 80/20 ground beef. I've used that before for jerky gun jerky, and it came out great.
3rd question: I'd like to make these Slim Jim size; I'm thinking of a 3/8" tube and 16-17mm smoked collagen casings. The smallest tube I have is 16mm, and that seems too big for the smaller casings and the Slim Jims size.
4th question: I'd rather not buy a teriyaki mix, and wonder if anyone here has a good one they could share.

Thanks for any guidance!
 
Not a lot of help for you except to bump the post.
I've got a 1/4" tube that I picked up off Amazon in a package to update my very old cast iron stuffer.
After using store grind and home grind ...
I will never use store grind for making sausage. Why?
Publix down here actually make great ground meat. Only complaint is often the 80/20 I prefer is much leaner.
Back in Minnesota local grocer makes great ground for the fat ratio, EXCEPT they add a lot of ice in the grind
 
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Waltons Bloody Mary mix is good. Have done both jerky and snack sticks.
Owens BBQ has great seasonings also ( jalapeno 😉 )
Not sure what temps your Broncos run at. Best if you can start around 130-140° and ramp it up from there.
 
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Not a lot of help for you except to bump the post.
I've got a 1/4" tube that I picked up off Amazon in a package to update my very old cast iron stuffer.
After using store grind and home grind ...
I will never use store grind for making sausage. Why?
Publix down here actually make great ground meat. Only complaint is often the 80/20 I prefer is much leaner.
Back in Minnesota local grocer makes great ground for the fat ratio, EXCEPT they add a lot of ice in the grind
Native MN here; Uff Da!
 
I take the option to go no casing sometimes . I just cook them in the oven at 170 until finished .

20221201_070908.jpg
I use my jerky racks .
20221201_072116.jpg
20221201_115137.jpg
 
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While I can't help with the Bronco question, I can highly recommend Owen's mixes, they are great every time. As for the tube, I have 1/2" and 3/8" tubes that work well for some of the smaller casings. A word of caution, make your mix a bit "wetter" than normal and go SLOW with the smaller tubes.

As for the ground beef, I prefer to grind since I know what I'm getting, but, if you buy pre-ground, DO NOT buy the tubes of meat, buy it in the trays that have preferably been ground in house. The tubes tend to be pretty mushy and have a high water content.
 
A buddy & I have a road trip planned to the NASCAR race in Sonoma in June, and we both like snack sticks, the perfect road trip snack. I've got an LEM #5 grinder, a 5 lb. stuffer, an LEM jerky gun and a Bronco smoker.

1st question: is a Bronco the right tool for the job- I see a lot of folks use a cabinet smoker.
2nd question: Although I have a grinder, I'm thinking of using 80/20 ground beef. I've used that before for jerky gun jerky, and it came out great.
3rd question: I'd like to make these Slim Jim size; I'm thinking of a 3/8" tube and 16-17mm smoked collagen casings. The smallest tube I have is 16mm, and that seems too big for the smaller casings and the Slim Jims size.
4th question: I'd rather not buy a teriyaki mix Arlington Deck Building Contractor, and wonder if anyone here has a good one they could share.

Thanks for any guidance!
I have been watching BBQ USA on food network and have noticed many of the competitors they talk to at the KCBS contests use drum smokers. I haven't bought a new toy in a while so started looking around and the Oklahoma Joe Bronco caught my eye. Anybody have any experience with one? I'd like a cooker that can produce a better smoke flavor than the egg but not as big and high maintenance as an offset. Will something like this fit the bill or should I keep looking?
 
I used to have a small offset smoker, but got tired of constantly having to add charcoal or wood to the fire box. I also wanted something bigger and more adjustable, so I got a Bronco. The thing I like best is you can load it with charcoal and it will run for hours without adding charcoal- I've run mine for 12 hours on one fill. You also have the ability to hang sausages inside, or quickly convert it for grilling. It's a heavy duty, well built smoker.
 
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I ordered a 1/2" stuffing tube, some 21mm smoked collagen casings and some encapsulated citric acid for my first upcoming batch. I have some LEM Backwoods Original jerky seasoning that came with my jerky gun- would that be OK to use for snack sticks?
 
First snack sticks getting started on the Bronco:

beef sticks 1.jpg

I'm finding it pretty challenging to go low & slow from a start with charcoal, but I think I'm figuring it out; it just takes a lot of airflow management.
The 1/2" tube I got from The Sausage Maker didn't work on my stuffer, but I found one from HAKKA Bros. that did. It's a 10mm and the 19mm casings I got for the 1/2" tube are a little too big. Next time I'll get some 16MM. Still learning...
 
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