Bearcarver's Pepperoni with My Changes

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by disco, Jul 17, 2014.

  1. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Lots of us have made Bear's pepperoni snack sticks and his pepperoni loaf. I have and they are my favourite snack sticks.

    Here is the link for his thread and recipe:

    I usually make them into unstuffed logs by running the meat through my LEM Stuffer with no casings and then smoking them. They turn out great but look a little rough. Bear solved this by making the snacks in a loaf and then slicing them. This improves the appearance.

    My other problem was the texture. It was very good but a little coarser than I like. So, this time I made a few changes in the procedure to try and make it a bit finer blend.

    I followed Bear's ingredients but scaled them back to use 4 pounds of meat. Instead of using 4 pounds of 80/20 hamburger, I used 3 pounds of what is called lean ground beef here in Canada. It is a bit leaner at 17% fat. Then I ground up one pound of pork shoulder butt steak through the fine plate of my Kitchen Aid.

    I mixed up the spices and liquids as Bear suggested. It is critical that you adjust the Tender Quick to match the amount of meat you use. I used 26 grams for the four pounds. If you use too much, it can make you ill. If you use too little, toxins can form in the meat from bacteria.

    As for the other spices, I didn't change anything. I used the same proportions as Bear as I really like the flavour profile.

    I added the spices and liquid to the meat and mixed it thoroughly by folding vigorously for 3 minutes. Here is where I made a second change. I then put the meat in the bowl of my Kitchen Aid and beat it with the mixing paddle for 3 minutes at medium. I didn't do it all at once as I was afraid of burning out the Kitchen Aid and I didn't want the meat to break. I would mix it for a minute and then put it in the fridge for 15 minutes to cool. Then I did a second mixing for a minute, another 15 minutes in the fridge and a last mixing for a minute.

    I didn't use a foil tray like Bear. I used a 12 by 9 inch pyrex cake pan. I lined it with cellophane. I pushed the beef in and covered it with cellophane and put it in the fridge for four hours. Then, I turned the meat onto a smoker rack and left it in the fridge overnight uncovered to develop pellicle.

    I put it in the smoker and followed Bear's recommendations for smoking:

    One hour at 140 F with no smoke

    3 hours at 140 F stating smoke (I used oak/whisky barrell)

    2 hours at 160 F

    2 hours at 180 F

    To and internal temperature of 165 at a smoking temperature of 200 F (this took about an hour)

    I wiped the meat down on both sides with paper towel to remove any excess fat (there was very little). Then I put it in the fridge overnight.

    I sliced the loaf on the bias to get the thickness of snack I wanted and then cut them in half to get the size I wanted. I wrapped them in six slice packages of cellophane and then put the packages in a Ziploc for the freezer.

    The Verdict

    These turned out great. Of course, they had the great taste of Bear's snacks as I stuck with his seasoning ingredients. However, the touch of pork and the extra processing of the meat gave me a more dense and smooth snack than my prior efforts. I really like that. I'm not saying it is better, just more to my tastes.

    Many thanks to Bearcarver for this recipe, I have really enjoyed it.


    If you make great pepperoni snacks you have to enjoy them. I used some of the trimmings to make a grilled cheese sandwich. However, if you are using a great product like Bear's snacks, you need to up your game. I used whole wheat French bread, smoked provolone, smoked cave aged gruyere and the cuttings from the snacks. 

    This is the best grilled cheese sandwich I've ever had.

  2. dandl93

    dandl93 Smoking Fanatic

    Disco thanks for adding this I know I will be adding this to my list of todos.Also thanks Bear

  3. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Dan.

    I use a lot of Bear's recipes, good stuff.

  4. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Disco I like how you used the Kitchen Aid to mix the meat, I have been doing that for a while, never gave it a thought that it could help any one, making sausage. Great post I have checked out a few of Bears recipes So thanks guys

  5. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Many thanks, Tropics. I do love these snacks.

  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That looks Awesome, Disco!!![​IMG][​IMG]

    You're doing Fantastic Work!![​IMG]

    If I'm ever up to making more, I'm going to try some with Pork Too!!![​IMG]

    I'm betting other than taste, your next favorite thing is the same as mine--------The Red/Mahogany color we get after smoking is always Awesome!!!

    And Thanks for the Compliments!!

  7. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Bear. I do love your snacks.

    However, if it is true, it isn't a compliment, it is just a fact.

    Thanks again for the great recipe. I intend to try your loaf method with my bacon sausage soon. Also, I am going to try some teriyaki beef snacks using your methods.

  8. Nice job Disco, the loaf looks great. I have used Bear's recipe as well and make the nekked snax stix, tweaked it a tad on the heat, and is my go to rescipe for stix. Will try the pork addition next time I make this.

    Thanks Disco for sharing the pics and to Bear also.
  9. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Santa!

    I have a buddy who listed the snax stix as the best thing I ever made. It is great when you find a go to recipe like this.

  10. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Disco, that looks awesome.

    I need to try some.  Maybe I can do it?  Maybe not?
  11. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Har, Adam, you do make me laugh. I have seen you do projects that are mightily impressive. You could do this when drunk, however, I do not recommend it!

    Thanks for the kind words.

  12. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Great job on that loaf!!! Love the color also. Compliments to Bear also for the recipe.  Reinhard
  13. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Reinhard. Doing is easier than inventing.

  14. Hey Disco, great post.  I think this fellow Canadian may just have to try that.  I do not have a KA mixer, but my hands can do the same thing.
  15. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, fellow Canadian!


    The only thing the Kitchen Aid will give you is a bit finer texture. I made this several times without the beating of the meat (no snickers) and really enjoyed it.

    Give it a try, I'm sure you will like it. Bear makes good Q.

  16. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Disco, that Sir looks so darned good..... I do believe I have at least gotta give that recipe a go ! Not sure I can do it the justice yourself & Bear do, but I'd give er a hell of a go ! Fantastic lookin snack.... Just home from a long day at work & I could sure make a few of them slices disappear with a cold one ! Just thinkin about it ! :drool
  17. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Brew! I am sure if I can do it anyone can. It is only fair to warn you, I usually have more than one cold one with these snacks.


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