Snack Stick Internal Temperature

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
Nov 10, 2011
Oklahoma City
I have made a lot of snack sticks using the recipes and instructions found on this forum. Everything turns out well and the quality and taste are excellent. The problem I have is that using my MES 40 smoker and the AMNPS I cannot reach an internal temperature of 152 degrees that I see recommended on this site. I do not go above the 170 degree smoker temperature as recommended and even after 10 to 12 hours my internal temperature was at 140 degrees. Since they have plenty of smoke provided by the AMNPS I bring them in and finish them in the kitchen oven. I use a Maverick Temperature Probe for the internal temperature check and a digital laser point temperature probe to make sure the smoker is a the temperature shown. My MES has always been right on or very close to the displayed temperature and does not vary much when reheating. I do a full smoker of snack sticks or 10 pounds of meat. The sticks are draped over two dowel rods with plenty of space in between to allow proper smoke penetration. The smoker is full but the sticks do not touch and there is room at the front and the back for good smoke contact to all sides of the sticks. I use 19 MM smoked and edible collagen casings and they have always held up to the long smoke time. After I vacuum seal the sticks after a day in the fridge the casings take on a nice chew texture and the sticks taste better than anything on a store shelf. That is all the criteria for my snack stick smoking and I look forward to hearing if anyone has some suggestions to this situation,


Just my two cents, I have had sticks take upwards of 16-18 hours. I use the step method starting the pit at 130°, and upping the temp 10° degrees every hour. I would suggest upping the pit temp to 180° and see if that helps get you there. Your final pit temp really needs to be 25°-30° above the targeted internal temp in order to get there. 

Have you tested your maverick probe for accuracy?

Another thing is that electric smokers cycle so there's always heating and cooling going on in the pit. It's not a constant heat.
Thanks for the reply Sir

Yes I tested the Maverick and it is right on and I do stage the smoker temperature starting with 1 hour at 130 with no smoke and then adding the AMNPS and putting it up to 140 for an hour and 10 degree add each hour until I hit 170. I was afraid the 180 would cause a fat out but I will be more patient and start earlier to get that magical 152 temperature. My MES cycles fairly fast and at 170 it will drop one or two degrees and back on and up to 170 or a few degrees above set temp. Thanks for the advise and I will give your suggestions a tray.

I 2nd what Dirtsailor said.  I usually can get a 5 pound batch of sticks in 7 to 8 hours in the e-WSM.  But the last batch I did took almost 13 hours.  Sometimes it is what it is with time and temps.  Even with cure, they need to be "done" and temp is important, especially if you are using ECA which does not even release until above the 140* range (I use ECA in my sticks).
Thank you Sir!

A friend of mine did a 5 LB batch the same time I did my 10 LB batch and he finished faster and hit 152 in the smoker. We have the same smoker and the quantity must have a lot to do with it. I go through them so fast it does not pay to do the smaller batch. I do not use ECA but I always make sure I hit the 152 degree mark even if it is in the oven. By the way even using the oven the stick`s texture and taste are great!!!! 

Thanks everyone for the good advise. I will try the higher end temperature and see if that gets me to the needed IT.

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