New to Forum - having issues with venison snack sticks

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Original poster
Jan 11, 2014
Good evening everyone.  I am from CT and have been hunting for over 20 years. A few years back I started butchering, grinding and making my own sausage. I have been very successful with simple things like bratwurts, jerky, links, and patties. I have had mixed success with venison snack sticks in the smoker and am beginning to get very frustrated. Let me give you the run down on my frustrations and see if anyone can help.

I have a masterbuilt electric smoker with digital controls. Here are a few attempts I have made. I have had some come out ok and tried to follow the same exact step with very different results.

All have been with Backwoods snack stick seasonings.

I use the built in meat thermomter as well as an additional digital one and I also check the temp with a pen thermometer. I try to only open the door once during the cooking cycle. I have found that my thermometers have been accurate.

1st attempt

60% venison

40% center cut pork loin (as fatty as I could find)

19mm collagen casings

course grind all meat

stuff using a LEM stuffer

in fridge overnight

let stand on counter the next day for a few hours

preheat smoker with no water to 100 degrees and let stick hang for 1 hr to dry

120 for 2 hours after adding water but no smoke

120 for 1 hour with smoke

140 1 hr

160 until internal temp of 152

They came out with very little color and were extremely dry

2nd attempt

same meat and pre smoke instruction

100 degrees for 1 hour no smoke to dry

135 for 1.5 hours with smoke

145 for 1 hr

155 for 1 hr

165 until internal temp of 152

Very dry again with little color (these have come out good in the past with the same seasoning)


40% venison

50% pork loin

10% pork back fat

same presmoke info

130 for 1.5 hours

140 2 hrs

145 2 hrs

150 2 hrs

160 until internal of 152

no color and again very dry

On another attempt that I found on this forum I also tried the 60% venison and 40% pork loin mix smoked at 130 for 3 hrs and then poached in water at 175 until internal temp of 155. I am sure this works for some but these did not work for me. Pale color and dry.

Please help me figure out what my issue is. I can cook summer sausage all the time with no issues.

Thanks Travis
I'm no pro... but you say your using pork loin ? there is no fat in the pork loin... next time try using boston butt instead... butts have almost a perfect ratio of fat to meat... try a 70/30 mix with boston butt and see what happens... myself i don't use a water bowl in the smoker.... let's see what some of the pro's have to say tho....
Hello and welcome from East Texas. This is a great site, lots of information and great people that are willing to throw in their two cents worth on about anything.   
[/h1][h1]  [/h1][h1]Gary[/h1]
Thanks. I have been checking out the site for a while...just joining now. Travis
TJE Welcome!  Give Jeffs 5 day E course a shot.  It has GREAT information and will give you a good foundation for successful smokes. and IT'S FREE!

Worked for me.  .just saying...


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