Snack stick ?

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andy riley

Fire Starter
Original poster
Nov 11, 2013
Hanover, PA
Hi all, I've been reading a lot of threads to try and learn as much as I can since joining the forum in the last couple weeks, at least concerning the meats I'm wanting to get into smoking, which is mostly venison.

I have a question which would be the same for beef or pork as well and it involves curing in making snack sticks. There are far more members on this general forum than on the wild game forum which is why I'm posting here.

Some members say in threads they cure the meat in the fridge overnight, and some stuff their casings right away, even though there is cure in the recipe for both.

Is it ok either way or am I missing something?

I've got some meat curing in the fridge now and plan to stuff it tomorrow morning and start smoking it. Just wondering. Thanks. Andy
Hey neighbor.  When you make snack sticks from ground meat you should fill the casings right after your done mixing same with jerky. You should form your jerky strips right away and then put them in the fridge to cure overnight.  The meat will cure the same either way but the meat gets stiffer and harder to work with the longer it sits. have any other questions just give me a PM.
Jerky nut, Nice rock . Stuffing right away makes sense now. I usually make jerky from a kit and the one I use said to cure in fridge anywhere from 4 hours to overnight and then form with a jerky gun so that's what I always did. I just never thought about doing it right away, but it's very sticky and harder to work with after sitting overnight for sure. I guess it will be difficult to stuff into casings now.

Some members making snack sticks mix and stuff and smoke right away though even with recipes that have cure in them. What about those? Andy
Andy, cure #1 will activate faster when heat is applied, I use cure#1 in my venison sweet bologna and pepper sticks and I always smoke and cook them right away usually because of time. I usually cut my deer up on sat. let the burger drain overnight and then make bologna Sunday morning and hopefully get them in my smoker by 1:00am  cause it takes about 6 to 8 hours.  I never had a problem been doing it that way for 20+ years never had a bad batch or had them spoil. When you buy the kits you don't know what kind of cure they are using so I follow their directions.  If you have trouble tomorrow with your meat you can add a little more water to make it easier to work with. the only problem with that is it will  take a little longer for the casings to dry, which is when you want to start to smoke.  This is also a good reason for letting things in the fridge to mellow over night they loose some moisture in the fridge.
I think with snack sticks stuffing them right away would be the way to go since you're dealing with smaller diameter casings and stuffing tubes. Once stuffed they should be refrigerated overnight to let the flavors of the seasonings and the cure to blend in and set in my opinion.  having a sticky finish to the mix is the way it should be.  When i make smoked summer or smoked sausage [link type] i dont stuff right away but let the covered mix set overnight in the fridge.  I never had a problem stuffing with these type of sausages.  The whole idea about using cure, is to let the cure blend in and set and then smoke/cook.  This can be done by stuffing it first and letting the seasonings/cure blend in overnight or by not stuffing and letting it blend overnight and then stuffing it followed by smoking.  Reinhard
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Thanks to both of you for your replies. I went ahead and stuffed the casings (21mm) tonight. Will rest in fridge overnight and get up early (6am) and get them in the smoker.

I'll  post some Qview  here when done. Andy

Got the sticks loaded into the smoker.

Some stuffed on the counter top. Not very consistant length huh?

Stuffing with grinder w/ stuffing tube. I want to get a stuffer next year.

The smoker was this years early Christmas present, And then I bought a amnps, a et 73 Maverick temp probe, and a rival slicer. It might be wise to hold off a while on the meat mixer and stuffer.

Here's some Qview for now.
Everything is looking good!!  A vertical stuffer will be one of the best things you will buy for sausage making.  A 5 pound stuffer like that will be just fine for smaller batches.  I make 25 pound batches and smaller myself and that 5 pound stuffer make's everything easier and quicker.  The mixer is something i would get last.  I still mix everything by hand but someday i may get a mixer.  Reinhard

They look good from the cut ends anyway and they taste great.

Snack sticks and another batch of jerky to be bagged. Yum.

After cooling for a while outside I brought them in to be cut up.

They're done now. I don't have an instant read thermometer yet so I took them up to 175 for

the last two hours. They look pretty wrinkled but they have a nice snap to them.

You guy's are getting me excited to do some jerkey as well [sticks will have to wait till my brother brings some venison down from up north]. Great job to both!!!. Here is my last batch of sticks i made without casings.  Reinhard
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