MORE Pepperoni Sticks...

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by couger78, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. couger78

    couger78 Smoking Fanatic

    This weekend, I had some free time (a rarity!) to make some snack sticks. Thanks to Nepas for providing the recipe!

    Although this isnt my first 'go-round' with making meat sticks, I've had requests from my sons for some pepperoni.

    So I thought I'd give it a shot. 

    I pretty much had all the ingredients except for these two, so I ordered some online before I began:

    Anise seed. I bought in bulk this time as I use a lot of it in making italian sausage, baking, etc. Saved a few dollars that way.


    ..and Fermento—which as many of you know, is essentially finely-powdered buttermilk—use to replicate the 'tang' of dry fermented sausages (without the time, trouble or the effort). My first 'go' at using the stuff....


    I picked up some 19mm collagen casings too. The last sticks I made were 22mm, so I thought I'd go a bit smaller...


    10 lbs of lean (90/10) beef & pork ground (pork butt) & mixed with spices & cure. One Change: I used about half the stated amount of red wine the recipe called for.My concern was 'overpowering' the flavor profile with a 'boozy' or 'winey' taste—something that'lI drive my boys away from trying them. I let these sit overnight & then stuffed the sticks.

    I let the sticks hang for about an [email protected]° to dry before applying any smoke. Then I began applying the smoke. I'm using Hickory here. Smoking just started...


    Two hours in. I noticed the left side was getting 'more' color than the right so I moved the smoke generator (A-Maze-In smoker) to the right side in an attempt to balance the smoke application.


    I gradually raised the smoker temp over the course of the next 6-7 hours up to 185°—about 10° every hour, until the IT of the sticks hit 155° & then I pulled the sticks.

    Blooming on racks...


    Getting that nice color & texture...


    I'll let these sit in my fridge about 2-3 days to continue to firm & dry a bit more before cutting them up into serving sizes & placing them in containers.

    Two days later:

    All sliced & ready to put into containers...


    Close up in containers...


    All loaded & ready to go....


    Very tasty sticks! Definitely a strong pepperoni aftertaste that hits you after a few bites. Plenty of heat, too.

    Thanks again, Nepas, for sharing this recipe. My boys & I give it a thumbs up!

  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Great job Kevin!

    The sticks look awesome!

    We made pepperoni last week & it didn't have the flavor that I wanted. 

    Going to try the fermento next batch. Thanks!
  3. bluebombersfan

    bluebombersfan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Those look great.  I have never tried fermento does it add that nice tang taste??
  4. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks great!

    I bet they don't last very long...

  5. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Those look picture perfect Kevin, have you ever tried citric acid for the tang and how does it compare to the fermento. I've yet to try the fermento.

    I need to look up Nepa's recipe and give it a try.

    thanks for the great post and Q-view.
  6. couger78

    couger78 Smoking Fanatic

    Compared to the ECA I've used before in a few sausage recipes, the fermento is not as 'sharp' or 'tart' as the citric acid. 

    It adds a distinctive 'tang' to the sticks, but not as sharp as the taste ECA gave the taylors ham when I used it there.

    I guess if I can use this analogy in describing the taste of fermento vs ECA: compare the tangy taste of buttermilk compared to the 'sharper' bite of orange juice.
  7. couger78

    couger78 Smoking Fanatic

    Side note: my son came in while I was making these, saw the container of anise seed & said, "Anus Whole!!? Really?!!"

    "ANN-iss..not 'anus," I corrected after a good chuckle.[​IMG]
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cougar, evenin'..... fermento and powdered buttermilk ?????? I have bought powdered buttermilk in the store.... bride uses it for soaking chicken and coating chicken before frying... she makes good fried chicken.... Is it the same you think ??? (saco cultured buttermilk blend) .........   Dave
  9. couger78

    couger78 Smoking Fanatic

    Fermento ingredients: (Cultured Whey Protein and Skim Milk), which is essentially the same as powdered buttermilk.
  10. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nice job on the pepperonis.
  11. jc1947

    jc1947 Smoking Fanatic


    Thems some fine looking pepperoni sticks!


  12. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Far out!!!

    I've been trying to buy Fermento, but can't find anyone that will send it here, I have both of those ingrediets on hand, any idea of the percentages of each?

    Thanks for the info,

  13. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    they look great a nice idea of fermento will give it a go.
  14. bluebombersfan

    bluebombersfan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    In you opinion which one tastes better?  I would like to try and order one of them and give it a try. 

  15. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Very Cool!

    I have ECA and wondering if I should use it or buy some fermento??

    Any opinions?

  16. couger78

    couger78 Smoking Fanatic

    Personally, I prefer the sharper tang I've gotten using the ECA. It's more 'in your face'—but be forewarned: Add it just before stuffing and be careful: use too much & you may not like the results!
    I see no reason why you couldn't go the ECA route. If someone knows the equal percentages of ECA vs fermento (Nepas?), I wouldnt be afraid to go that route.

    I was thinking about using the ECA I had, but I figured this recipe gave me an excuse to order some of the fermento.

  17. slownlow

    slownlow Smoking Fanatic

    looks great nice job!!
  18. is there anyway you could post your recipes for pep? id appreciate it just starting out want to make a good impression first time out. then maybe some orders from the family and friends santas coming could use some extra prsent money =) thanks
  19. couger78

    couger78 Smoking Fanatic

    Pepperoni Sticks

    Courtesy of Nepas

    For 2 1/2 lbs


    1-1/2 Lb Pork butt (25% fat)

    1 Lb lean Ground Beef (10% fat)

    Spices & such:

    (When increasing the amount or size of a recipe, I find it much easier and more accurate to measure by weight versus volume (i.e. tsp or tblspoon). For example, if 1.75 tsp kosher salt weighs 11grams, doubling the recipe means using 22grams of salt, etc.)

    1 3/4 tsp salt

    1/2 tsp cure #1

    1 Tbs paprika

    1 1/2 tsp cayenne

    1/2 tsp garlic granules

    1/4 tsp anise seed, slightly crushed

    1/4 tsp allspice

    1/2 cup powdered dry milk (make it fine)

    1/4 cup fermento

    2 Tbs corn syrup (Karo)

    1/4 cup red wine (*I actually cut this amount in half in my sticks)

    6 Tbs cold water

    Mix all the dry into the liquids. Mix well in a plastic bowl or measuring cup. Place liquid mix in fridge for 15-20 mins. Add chilled seasoned liquid to the ground meat and mix well for 3-5 min. 

    When ready stuff the casings. Take ropes or links and place on racks or cookie sheet and cover with paper towel and put back in fridge overnight (important: dont skip this step)

    Next morning hang pepperoni in smoker at 130° for 1-2 hours (no smoke) until casings feel dry. Start smoke after the dry period at 140° & continue raising temp over the next 4-6 hours until 170-175° is reached. Your target IT is going to be 160° (although i pulled mine at 155°).

    cooling racks/sticks (do not water shower) and allow to bloom at room temp. Place pepperoni back in fridge uncovered overnight.
  20. If you were to replace fermento with ECA, how much would you use so to not over due the bite?

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