Snack Sticks 101

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Those are going to be good.
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Been a crazy couple of days running around so hadn't had a moment to sit down until now, sorry for the late follow up



Overall taste is phenomenal, blows store bought out of the water and overall flavor even beats the sticks I typically get from the processor when I get a side of beef.

Unfortunately they ended up a tad dry for my liking. I'm not sure if it was due to my MES having some issues regulating temperature (overnight ended up dipping to high 20s low 30s with a steady wind, morning after wasn't much better and had some rather large fluctuations) or if the beef I had from the processor wasn't actually 80/20 like requested, did seem a bit lean.

Anyways, they still taste great and gives me an excuse to grab a cold one 
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Dang it those look great, sorry they turned out dry you can always send me them I have a "Free Taste Testers" License LOL 

Yep way better than store bought for sure.

Great job. 

A full smoker is a happy smoker 

DS 
 
Both of those sticks look great.  I have never done the naked sticks before.  For those who have done them, how would a high temp cheese work with them?  I have used the cheese before with sticks with casing and it worked good.  Thanks
 
Thank you for this post!  I love the thorough information!

Do you have the recipe for your seasoning of the sticks?  
 
I wanted to perfect an oven recipe as a baseline before I tried it in my homemade smoker. Here are the results and I appreciate any advice given.

Snack sticks first attempt
Ingredients:

3 pounds of ground beef (about) 2 pounds of 90/10 and 1 pound of 85/15
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder (about)
2 teaspoon of paprika
3 tablespoons of Morton’s Tender quick salt
2 tablespoons of fennel seed
1 1/2 tablespoon of crushed red pepper
1/4 cup water per pound of meat (3/4 cup in this mix)

21 mm collagen casings

Mixed well in kitchenaid mixer. Let sit for about an hour. Made a bunch of 2 foot long sticks using jerky gun. Oven cooking schedule was:
2 hours at 200 degrees
1 hour at 220 degrees
45 minutes at 240 degrees
15 minutes at 300 degrees
Showered the links in cold water and let reach room temperature. About 2 hours. Taste test...oh my, tastes like excellent spicy pepperoni, but dry. Gritty dry. The beer helped but I don't want to blow 15-20 bucks on the next batch.
I'd appreciate any help on what I missed.

DS
 
My thought, to get something more like a "slim Jim" I would add some fatty pork. A buddy and I years ago did a similar recipe with wild game birds, venison and ground fatty pork. We had to go 50/50 mix or we had that "dry gritty"texture. We did use his smoker to finish.
 
I wanted to perfect an oven recipe as a baseline before I tried it in my homemade smoker. Here are the results and I appreciate any advice given.

Snack sticks first attempt

Ingredients:

2 hours at 200 degrees

1 hour at 220 degrees

45 minutes at 240 degrees

15 minutes at 300 degrees

I'd appreciate any help on what I missed.
DS



Do not raise the smoking/cooking temperature above 150 deg F ....
 
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The lowest the oven will go is 170. So, maybe try 170 and go by internal temperature alone?
 
The lowest the oven will go is 170. So, maybe try 170 and go by internal temperature alone?


170 will cause "fat out" in the sticks.... which will lead to a grainy, sawdust like texture....

Also, about the amount of Morton's TQ you added... It is recommended that 1.5 tsp of TQ be added per pound of ground meat....
So, at 4#'s of meat, 6 tsp. would have been the correct amount to add... 6 tsp. = 2 Tbs... FWIW....

http://www.susanminor.org/forums/showthread.php?736-Curing-Salts



Snack sticks first attempt
Ingredients:

3 pounds of ground beef (about) 2 pounds of 90/10 and 1 pound of 85/15
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder (about)
2 teaspoon of paprika
3 tablespoons of Morton’s Tender quick salt
 
Excellent information on curing salts. I'm going back to the drawing board and trying the following recipe:

Snack sticks test 2

Ingredients:

1 pound of ground beef

1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of paprika

1.5 teaspoons of Morton’s Tender quick salt

1 tablespoon of fennel seed

1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper

1/4 cup water

dash of liquid smoke

collagen casings 21mm

Directions:

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Let rest in fridge for 1 hour

I have a dehydrator that goes from130 degrees to 145 degrees. I'll try this batch at 130 degrees and check inner temps after a while. I see recommendations for inner temps ranging from 150 to 160 plus on here. I think I will err on the safety side and go for 160.

Suggestions are definetly appreciated
 
Question here for all those that posted here. I've got a snack stick kit from High Mountain. It makes a 10lbs of sticks. It says smoke or oven cook at 200 for 1-2 hrs. Does this sound correct or should the time and temp be adjusted? I'm using 7lbs deer meat and 3lbs of 73%-23% ground beef. Not sure if a longer smoke will make them bitter or dry. Using an MES 30 with a chip tray and hickory. 
 
Question here for all those that posted here. I've got a snack stick kit from High Mountain. It makes a 10lbs of sticks. It says smoke or oven cook at 200 for 1-2 hrs. Does this sound correct or should the time and temp be adjusted? I'm using 7lbs deer meat and 3lbs of 73%-23% ground beef. Not sure if a longer smoke will make them bitter or dry. Using an MES 30 with a chip tray and hickory. 

Does the package contain nitrite, cure #1.... if so, I would smoke them at 100 ish degrees the up the temp to 150 and let them "cook" for 24 hours... IT should be around 145 ish when done.....

Temperature Time Temperature Time
°F (°C) (Minutes) °F (°C) (Seconds)

130 (54.4) 112 min 146 (63.3) 169 sec
131 (55.0) 89 min 147 (63.9) 134 sec
132 (55.6) 71 min 148 (64.4) 107 sec
133 (56.1) 56 min 149 (65.0) 85 sec
134 (56.7) 45 min 150 (65.6) 67 sec
135 (57.2) 36 min 151 (66.1) 54 sec
136 (57.8) 28 min 152 (66.7) 43 sec
137 (58.4) 23 min 153 (67.2) 34 sec
138 (58.9) 18 min 154 (67.8) 27 sec
139 (59.5) 15 min 155 (68.3) 22 sec
140 (60.0) 12 min 156 (68.9) 17 sec
141 (60.6) 9 min 157 (69.4) 14 sec
142 (61.1) 8 min 158 (70.0) 0 sec
143 (61.7) 6 min
144 (62.2) 5 min
145 (62.8) 4 min

Table C.1: Pasteurization times for beef, corned beef, lamb, pork and cured pork (FDA, 2009, 3-401.11.B.2).
 
The kit says it has all ingredients included but ill double check. How long at 100? Not sure if it will run that low. Plus the wife said she just picked up about 10lbs of ground pork at a local Mexican meat market, so I will probably supplement that for the beef.
 
I usually smoke stuff at 70-110 deg. F... just to keep the surface dry and no possible fat out..... I smoke from 2-8 hours depending on the product... 2 for some cheeses, 4 for others, 4 for bacon, 6-8 for Andouille... then the temp goes up to start the cooking process.... The smoke seems to penetrate and take better at lower temps for cured products... Non cured products, the temp thing is totally different... Just be sure the sticks are at least smoker temp before the smoke starts or you may get condensate on the sticks... water and smoke make for a very ugly acidic taste...
 
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