NEED HELP!! Made sticks for the first time and they didn't turn out at all..

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by stayhot, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. stayhot

    stayhot Smoking Fanatic

    I made sticks for the very first time yesterday and they were so horrible that I had to throw them away. I have made smoked polish several times with great results thats why I was surprised how terrible these were.

    Here's what I did:

    4# Venison

    1# pork fat

    1t cure

    1 cup water

    8T AC #116 seasoning

    4T buttermilk powder

    1 1/2 t celery seed

    17mm collegean casings(which were a pain to work with)

    In the smoker at 100 no smoke for an hour

    125 degrees, 4hours heavy smoke

    start of the 5th hour--kept bumping up temp until internal temp hit 158

    Ice bath after taken out of smoker then rested on counter.

    The sticks were very soft/mushy and the casings were pulled away from the sticks.

    Any help or advice would be very much appreciated.
  2. nepas

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

    When you internal of 158, is that meat temp? if so its to high


    Here is my table for sticks. I use a Bradley smoker with a PID.

    1. Start at 130* for 1 to 1.5 hours (no smoke or water in the pan) This gives the casings time to dry some.

    2. 140* with smoke for 2 hours. I use my water pan here, keeps the casings from being to brittle during the heat PID programs.

    3. 150* for 2.5 hours. Check IT of the sticks with thermapen (from the top of the sticks) smoke opt

    4. 160* for 2.5 hours, check IT again. You should see approx IT of 125-130 and may even see a stall time. smoke opt

    5. 170* for 2.5-3 hours. Again check IT as you should be getting close.

    6. If needed bump to 175* while checking IT. Your looking for an IT of the meat of 152*

    6a. Try not to exceed 180* smoker IT or you could have a fat-out of the meat.

    At times i pull the sticks at 149-150 IT and let them at room temp (no cold water) they will IT to 152* by them self.

    This is how i do it. Sometimes the times are shorter. Your results may vary.

    Yes its a long time but you will like the end results.
  3. stayhot

    stayhot Smoking Fanatic

    I don't have pictures I tossed them earlier. You could squish them between your fingers they were so soft. What about my fat content? Type of casings? I have read on SMF all over cooking times and temps and I pretty much followed them that's why I'm so confused??? All of the other posts on here that I hae tried turned out really well.  
  4. doctord1955

    doctord1955 Smoking Fanatic

    What are u using for a thermo?
  5. stayhot

    stayhot Smoking Fanatic

  6. nepas

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

    Its not your thermo, its the temp

    Did you use a water pan after your 100*  Heat can make the collagen casings dry and brittle
  7. stayhot

    stayhot Smoking Fanatic

    I wish it were only the case of dry and brittle both which these were not. You could bend the sticks in half without breaking. The issue was that although they were done the stick insode the casing was so soft that you could mush it between your fingers. Not mushy like raw but not solid like that of summer sausage.
  8. nepas

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

    Did you grind the meat? If so how many times.

    I found over the years that if you make sticks and grind 2x the meat is soft. Couple of my friends like the double ground sticks.
  9. johnnie walker

    johnnie walker Smoking Fanatic

    How  tight did you stuff the casings? I use the collagen casings all the time and haven't had any issues yet. I think nepas probably already gave you your answer.

    Try another batch again and only grind once and stuff the casings a little fuller.
  10. Rick is dead on with the answers, but then again he is one of the Sausage Gods!!! I only grind one time now - the first I made were like mush too but I ground the meat twice.

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