Snack Stick Issues

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PapaRed

Smoke Blower
Original poster
SMF Premier Member
Dec 16, 2021
88
82
Glendale, AZ
First time for snack sticks. The recipe I used called for 100% beef (hamburger) to include 0.29% Cure #1 and 2.2% NFDM. Combined dry and wet ingredients (except cure) ground and fried a small sample. Satisfied with sample, combined cure and proceeded to stuff. And that’s where my troubles began – using the smallest (3/8” OD) stuffing tube on my stuffer and 19 MM cellulose casings. The mix was extremely difficult to stuff. At one point a plastic “Jerky Gun” was used, but the meat mix was so thick that the gun cap blew off!

The meat mixture was cold – around 31 degrees F, and the task was completed with the stuffer and 19MM cellulose casings. If I had a weight lifter friend, he would have been placed into service! The entire mess was refrigerated overnight and is currently resting in my Weber smoker at 155℉.

If this was typical, I don’t think I'll do snack sticks again. There are no photos (proof) of my disaster, and no doubt none are needed. Any suggestions?
 
Add more water to make the meat looser, not as tight. Just add very little at a time and mix.
 
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How much more water to add to a 5# mixture? The recipe called for 118g. (5.2%) And how does that effect the smoking/cooking of the links?
 
How much more water to add to a 5# mixture? The recipe called for 118g. (5.2%) And how does that effect the smoking/cooking of the links?
Add 60ml per Kg of meat, so for 5# something close to 120ml (120grams) mix it in if it’s still tight mix another 120 grams in or you can go half as much the second time until it feels right. The little bit of extra water won’t change anything except make it flow through the stuffer easier.
 
SmokinEdge for you fixed up, I don't measure water. Just go by feel.
 
Yup... 1/4-1/2 cup water to 5 lbs..

ALSO ... Since we are wanting the meat to cook (warmed up)... Lay the meat on the counter (if properly cured) a couple of hrs before a quick remix (cheese or other that needs to be added at this point) and stuffing... Warm meat is much easier to work than 31 degree meat...
 
Yup... 1/4-1/2 cup water to 5 lbs..

ALSO ... Since we are wanting the meat to cook (warmed up)... Lay the meat on the counter (if properly cured) a couple of hrs before a quick remix (cheese or other that needs to be added at this point) and stuffing... Warm meat is much easier to work than 31 degree meat...
Properly cured being the operative comment - I've always been cautioned about the 40 to 140 degree warning concerning bacteria and fat smear. Maybe I've been over reacting to the "cold meat" warning.
 
NO NO... Not at all... That is the rule of thumb for uncured meat....

But for cured meat, in this case for snack sticks. .. it will be sitting at room temp (close to it) for many of hours ... It will be fine on the counter for an hour or two to come up to those room temps ...
 
NO NO... Not at all... That is the rule of thumb for uncured meat....

But for cured meat, in this case for snack sticks. .. it will be sitting at room temp (close to it) for many of hours ... It will be fine on the counter for an hour or two to come up to those room temps ...
Thanks, Kieth - just proves once agin a fella is never too old to learn! Photos for next go at snack sticks! :emoji_wink:
 
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