More snack sticks

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doubles shooter

Meat Mopper
Original poster
Sep 28, 2014
217
186
Upstate Western NY
I've been looking for a good snack stick recipe for a long time. In getting close. Our family sausage was traditionally dried for many years. It was stuffed and hung in a cool cellar or porch. When it dried, it had an incredible almost pepperoni flavor. I have no place I can dry it here, so I got the idea of making snack sticks with it then throwing it in the smoker. It was great.
Last night I put in a 20 pound batch. Unknown to me, My smoke generator went out. That really made them shine. They taste great. Just a kiss of smoke. They were in for almost 16 hours at temps from 130-160. My controller shut off when internal temp hit 152 degrees. Getting close.
 

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That looks good! How dry were they?
Do you think you snap them in two using three fingers on one hand? Or would they just bend?

I tried a similar long-duration approach, but I might've had some case hardening that got in the way... If yours are that dry, I'll certainly try to recreate your method and let you know the results.
 
That looks good! How dry were they?
Do you think you snap them in two using three fingers on one hand? Or would they just bend?

I tried a similar long-duration approach, but I might've had some case hardening that got in the way... If yours are that dry, I'll certainly try to recreate your method and let you know the results.
The sticks have a pepperoni texture to them. No case hardening. They will break when bent. The main reason I went so long is the flavor of the sausage explodes when it is dried. Years ago freezers were scarce in the family. The sausage was just hung in a cool dry cellar for storage. No cure added and nobody got sick or died. I did use cure #1, but it does change the flavor a bit.
 
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Awesome! Thanks for letting me know. I just tried a batch that attempted to increase drying with low pH via fermentation, and that definitely wasn't it. I also tried a freezer converted into a dry curing station, but that wasn't quite it either -- it dried the meat, but it didn't get that wrinkly texture that I'm after.

So I think it's really back to drying technique for me. Doing that right has to be the way. I'll try something like 130-160 for 16 hours with little smoke and see how it works. There was someone else around here daveomak daveomak who also recommends a longer duration drying cycle. Something like: 115/2hr, 135/2hr, 140/14hrs. I think I'll try that.
 
Also... To help achieve the wrinkly exterior... Don't stuff to tight... Leave room for the casing to shrink and shrivel up (wrinkles)
Ah, good point! Thanks! I've been stuffing tighter to try to help ensure I don't get case hardening or collagen separation (which would get in the way of good drying, I believe). But that's probably why they're not wrinkling as much now!
 
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