Inaugural Snack Stick Voyage

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GatorAGR

Smoke Blower
Original poster
SMF Premier Member
Jan 30, 2024
138
101
Carmel, IN
Well the day has finally arrived. First time stuffing was touch and go but I eventually got the hang of it. Had a bit of a scare with the cure mixing (still not completely not nervous). This morning we embarked on smoking snack sticks in the new MES40. Smoking with the Amaze-N pellet tray. IT at 138F currently.
 

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Well the day has finally arrived. First time stuffing was touch and go but I eventually got the hang of it. Had a bit of a scare with the cure mixing (still not completely not nervous). This morning we embarked on smoking snack sticks in the new MES40. Smoking with the Amaze-N pellet tray. IT at 138F currently.
Looking good!
 
Let’s wait for the taste test but yes it’s been fun so far for sure. Hope it’s good or my wife is really going to wonder why I spent $$$ on a new electric smoker, stuffer, casings…😂
 
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I understand now why everyone has PID controllers. MES reads 20 degrees higher than my remote probe that is calibrated. Trying to finish them off so I had to crank it up 20 degrees over what I want. Frustrating.
 
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I understand now why everyone has PID controllers. MES reads 20 degrees higher than my remote probe that is calibrated. Trying to finish them off so I had to crank it up 20 degrees over what I want. Frustrating.
That’s just reality and learning to run a cooker. Don’t be frustrated with it, rather learn it and work with it.
 
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I understand now why everyone has PID controllers. MES reads 20 degrees higher than my remote probe that is calibrated. Trying to finish them off so I had to crank it up 20 degrees over what I want. Frustrating.
Don't go above 165-170 or you stand a good chance of getting "fat out". This will make your sticks dry/crumbly. What finish temp are you striving for?
 
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Maiden voyage looks like a success from here.
PID controller can be added anytime . Pretty much a set it and forget it smoker then.
Congrats. . . on the new rig !
 
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Thanks for all the input guys. I was very close to finishing when I increased temp at the end and never got above 165 on my probe. MES was set to 180 so it reads nearly 20 degrees high. Took the sticks to 154 IT . Turned out great. Need to improve flavors profile and I’ll use sheep casings next time. Used collagen for my first go and they’re a little chewy. Overall I’d call it a success.
 

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Final post on this. For others new to sausage making, I thought I’d recap some things that I would try/do different next time.

1. MES40 thermostat is terrible. I used a Maverik remote probe in the smoker as well. Trust the remote probe, not the MES reading. This caused me to ultimately take longer than it should have so it may have affected the casing texture somewhat. A PID is definitely in my future.
2. Didn’t realize that the MES won’t produce smoke at very low temps which is why many do the mailbox mod. I had an Amaze-N pellet tray so I fired it up and set it in the bottom of the smoker. Worked great.
3. I used Lem 21 mm collagen casings since it was my first time and I didn’t want to attempt sheep casings while also learning the nuances of sausage smoking. They are too chewy for my liking. Next time I’ll use sheep and probably smaller diameter. 21 mm is a little too big in my opinion. Sort of like the jumbo Slim Jim’s.
4. The fry test patty is a good thing to do but the final product taste is different. Use the fry test to gauge flavors in general.
5. Make small batch for fist time until you get the process and flavors how you want them. I made 6 lbs and it turned out really good but I wish I would have done smaller batches so I could tweak the recipe using less meat.
6. Overall just follow the processes offered by others on this forum and it really isn’t that difficult. Get yourself a cheap electric smoker and go for it. It’s super fun for someone who likes the “process” side of smoking meat and the final product looks really impressive. Have some to friends and they couldn’t believe they were homemade.
 

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