More snack stick questions

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chipmanbbq

Fire Starter
Original poster
Mar 1, 2016
69
11
I'm finally getting around to making snack sticks for the first time this weekend and have a few questions.

1. What is a good fat/meat ratio? I planned on using chuck roasts. Think that is enough fat or too much?

2. Can I mix the meat, seasonings and cure the night before? Does this have any effect on the cure?

3. What about stuffing the night before? (I have zero experience with collagen casings.)

4. Ice water bath when finished cooking. Do the sticks go directly in the water or do I need to bag/vacuum seal them before going into the ice water? I feel like taking the time to bag them all up would defeat the purpose of quickly getting them in ice water to cool them down.

Appreciate any advice!
 
Hi Chipman. 80/20 is a good ratio for beef. You certainly can mix or mix and stuff the night before and I would recommend doing so. It lasts the cure do its magic. If your doing the ice water bath the sticks go right in the water. Then leave them out on the counter for a few hours. Lots of guys store them in a paper bag in the fridge for a few days before bagging and freezing what won't get eaten right away.
 
Lean to fat is up to you. Most go 80/20, at times i have done 85/15 & 90/10 with great end results.

If you stuff the collagen you can fridge overnight, Use a slightly damp cloth and put over the stuffed casings. Let the stuffed casing come to room temp before you put in your pre heated smoker. The ice bath is your call, if you pull the stix at IT of 149-150 and just let hang they will IT to 152 on their own. Your call

Smoke On.
 
Well my first batch of sticks are on the smoker although I'm not very happy about it. Yesterday was 65 and sunny. Woke up this morning to 35 degrees and 20-30 mph wind. :( Just too cold to enjoy it. I'll probably put a couple hours of smoke on them and then just throw them in the oven.

That being said, the process was a lot easier than I expected. Put the meat thru the coarse then fine grinder plate. Seasoned, mixed and stuffed. I really thought the casings were going to be a pain to stuff, but they were actually easier than stuffing brats.

Could be worse I suppose. Could be a foot of snow on the ground. :P
 
I'd try to get at least 4 hrs of smoke on them. I haven't finished in the oven before I use the water bath method. Show us some pics when theyre done. It's-7*C here about 20*F
 
I put ~two rows of pellets in. I'm just going to let it ride in the MES I think. My oven only goes down to 180 degrees.

Sometime next spring I'll invest in some sort of sous vide system. After buying a smoker, grinder and stuffer this year my wife would kill me if I spent any more money.

I'll take pics IF they turn out. If not, I'm going to pretend this never happened. lol
 
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I couldn't resist trying a piece(several pieces) after they rested for an hour or so. They came out way better than expected for my first try. And with the crappy weather.

 
 
Those look great!  I like to tie off my sticks the width of my smoker so they can just lay on the racks.  Easily manageable and they don't get all twisty from hanging.  And you're right; collagen is a lot easier to stuff than even hogs!
 
Thanks! I intended to tie them off but my butcher string that I ordered from Amazon came a day later than it was supposed to. I ended up eating all the "corners" as I cut them so it turned out okay. :)
 
I put ~two rows of pellets in. I'm just going to let it ride in the MES I think. My oven only goes down to 180 degrees.


Sometime next spring I'll invest in some sort of sous vide system. After buying a smoker, grinder and stuffer this year my wife would kill me if I spent any more money. I see anova is having a black Friday sale. $99 usd


I'll take pics IF they turn out. If not, I'm going to pretend this never happened. lol
 
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