First Time Smoking Summer Sausage and Sanck Sticks

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Original poster
Dec 8, 2022
Hey guys,

I’m new to the site. I have started making my first batch of summer sausage and first batch of snack sticks. I wanted to run it by y’all and see if I’m doing right so far.

I started with 7.5lbs of venison and 2.5lbs of pork fat which I made one pass through the grinder. Next I mixed the meat, fat, and high temp cheese. I then separated them into 5 lbs batches each. Then I mixed in my spices…4.7oz of willies snack stick mix from Walton’s on one 5lb batch. And 4.7 oz of Walton’s summer sausage mix on the other batch. Next I added .2oz of Walton’s sure cure to each batch and mixed by hand(this is where I think I have made a mistake, I did not dilute with water. I wasn’t aware I needed to as the package didn’t mention it.) after hand mixing both batches, I ran them through the grinder for the second time. I then vacuum sealed the two batches and set them in the refrigerator to rest until I get time tomorrow night to stuff my casings. Did I mess up? I thought I might could take each batch and put them in my wife’s kitchen aid mixer tomorrow night and add water to make sure the sure cure is dispersed properly? I don’t know if that will be sufficient though? I plan to smoke them once I finish stuffing into casings. Any help would be much appreciated!



Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
Jul 10, 2018
Algona IA
You should be fine, if go to Waltons cure conversion chart for sure cure, it says water N/A.


Smoke Blower
Nov 28, 2014
Greenwood, IN
Guessing you already figured it out already but you don't want to send the cheese through the grinder and you want to stuff it right after mixing, probably not much of an issue stuffing a summer sausage afterwards but the snack sticks probably took a ton of elbow grease to get into the casings after setting overnight.

The water is mostly there to make stuffing easier but also helps a bit with distributing the seasonings/cure. It's probably not needed too much for summer sausage but for smaller diameter casings there's a lot of pressure to force the meat into the casing and water can make it flow easier, downside is that it'll take longer to cook and it can also water down your flavor if not enough of it evaporates out.

I did a batch a few weeks ago that I put 2 oz of water in per pound (not recommended) because LEM's motorized stuffer is garbage and has problems stuffing it otherwise. I took it to about 130-140 and then vac packed and finished sous vide and as a result a lot of the water didn't sweat out and the end result was meat that tasted almost entirely of the pepperjack cheese in it, bright side was it was easily fixed by setting my smoker to 150 and just tossing them on to sweat for a few hours since they were already fully cooked, ended up with much better color and flavor.

TLDR: water makes stuffing easier but too much water slows down cooking and can dilute your seasonings if it doesn't sweat out while cooking is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts

Hot Threads