snack sticks problem... again

Discussion in 'Wild Game' started by Pool_shark_dc, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. Pool_shark_dc

    Pool_shark_dc Newbie

    so I tried some venison sticks again. used a cabelas snack sticks mix and 75/25 mix for pork butt. used a masterbuilt smoker and first set to 140 and ran for hour with no smoke. then i added a water tray and started using smoke. turned up to 175 for a couple hours. I seen the temp internal was 160 and I was done. went to cut one of the sticks and a ton of juice poured out. after pulling the sticks out I noticed that the ones on the bottom trays were slightly blackened on one side and somewhat light on the top.... the top trays seemed like they were hardly even done. do I need to rotate top to bottom? why all that juice? do I need to flip them? I layed them on the racks.. do I have to hang them instead? smoking is obviously new to me and need some help. thx
     
  2. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    PSDC, Start with a lower temp about 120 for an hour no smoke and then bump up slowly BUT do not exceed 165-170 for heat. You need to check your smoker to see how accurate the temps actually are. I like to hang my sticks and don't take the IT temp above 155 or so. Then get them cooled quickly to 115 -120 and then air rest for some time before refrigerating.IMHO you have some heat/temp issues also.
     
  3. Pool_shark_dc

    Pool_shark_dc Newbie

    So all the juice... what happens to that?
    If I hang will they burn more at the bottom and not top?
    If I don’t hang them do I have to rotate and flip?
    I’ll try different temps too but wanted to get all the other stuff fixed too if it’s wrong.
     
  4. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I am assuming you cut into the stick while it was too hot and hadn't been cooled or had time to set back up,also the high heat has the fat(juice) running out. Try laying them down with a flip/rotation half way through the smoke.I am unfamiliar with the working of a MES but as I said it sounds like temp issues.
     
  5. Pool_shark_dc

    Pool_shark_dc Newbie

    if I hang the sticks it'd seem like all the juice would end at the bottom. i'll try flipping half way through. should I preheat the smoker first or just put the stuff in and turn it to 120. ?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  6. CM has you covered. I agree you likely have temp issues. How are you verifying your cabinet temp. The temp on the mes controller is very unreliable. I use a mes 30 for sausage and sticks and find the highest i can set the controller at is 160* or the temp swings from the element will be too high and i get some fat out. If you follow CM's temp instructions the sticks heat up slowly and the meat firms up before it can squeeze the moisture out so hanging is not an issue but it is a good idea to rotate the the sticks from front to back and side to side for more even cooking. You should preheat the smoker and get it to stabilize before you add the sausage. Good luck
     
  7. Pool_shark_dc

    Pool_shark_dc Newbie

    so i'll try again. I just watched a youtube vid.... should I be poking holes here and there with a fork? I didn't do that. Also should I be tying the ends? I tied the ends
    not sure if it matters but I have a MES30 as well. I used the probe that came with it.
     
  8. My mes doesnt have the probe so i have no personal experience with their probe but have read they are not necessarily acurate. If you are able test the probe in boiling water to see how accurate it is. I use a weber igrill2 to monitor the cabinet temps and the IT of whatever i am smoking(i have tested them for accuracy). Knowing that your smoker temps and meat temps are acurate is the best way to turn out consistent results. Yes you should tie the ends of the caseings and no i wouldnt be pokeing them with a fork to put uneeded holes ( you can poke with a needle to remove visible air pockets). Read more threads on here on sausage and snack sticks to gain more knowledge then try again. Post results with pics.
     
  9. Pool_shark_dc

    Pool_shark_dc Newbie

    Anything around the house I could use as those hanger tubes? Can’t seem to find any at the store If they make them.
     
  10. Pool_shark_dc

    Pool_shark_dc Newbie

    Never mind that. Just seen a thread about rebar and stuff.
     
  11. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    You should only poke a pinprick hole IF there is a large air pocket.I tie hog/sheep casings but not collagen casings. I think you need a more accurate probe like a Maverick
     
  12. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    Hi there and welcome!

    The answer to your "juice" question is:
    If the smoker temp is managed properly for making sausage (or bacon) you should have NO juice.

    Sausage (and bacon) are done at lower temps specifically to avoid melting the fat to a liquid. That is what is called "Fat Out" and is a bad thing for sausage making.

    The practice of bringing the smoker temp up slowly and not going over a max smoker temp of 170F or so, should all prevent the juice issue.

    As other have mentioned the MES will swing it's temps. So if you set to 160F it may actually swing up as high as 190-195F and as low as 130F. That high swing is not good at all for sausage and I think that is what is causing your fat melting/juice issue.

    Also the MES smoker and meat probe temps are ALWAYS wrong. I would suggest you get a wireless 2 probe (or more) thermometer and you follow what it says. I usually suggest the ThermoPro TP-20 but there are others that will do the job.

    In short with proper temperature management you won't have an issue... you just have to fight a little bit with the MES temp misbehavior to get things right :)

    Best of luck!
     
  13. myownidaho

    myownidaho Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    tallbm has you covered. I do rotate my racks and it has worked well. I also let them cool before trying them.
     
  14. Pool_shark_dc

    Pool_shark_dc Newbie

    So dumb question.... what do u do if the temps swinging on the high or the low?
     
  15. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    You will just have to smoke at a set temp that results in a lower top end swing.

    To answer your question about what "I" did... I rewired my MES and use a PID Controller so my temp is never more than about 2-3 degrees off in either direction :D

    I didn't like the temp swing aspect of the MES and mine couldn't hit 275F so I solved it all with a rewire and a 3rd party controller :)
     
  16. Pool_shark_dc

    Pool_shark_dc Newbie

    Ok. Think I’m going to buy a different temp gauge. What about that water pan? Put water in it or no?
     
  17. Pool_shark_dc

    Pool_shark_dc Newbie

    ?? No ideas? Not sure if I should be using water in pan or not
     
  18. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    In the MES no one puts water in the water pan, it is not needed. Most just foil over it to keep it clean or the remove it all together :)
     
  19. Pool_shark_dc

    Pool_shark_dc Newbie

    typically how many times do I have to put smoke chips in? The failed ones I just did tasted like a ton of smoke.
     
  20. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I fill mine with sand and foil over to use as a heat sink. It helps keep the temperature swings to a minimum.
    Also, while I'm no snack stick expert, 25% fat seems a little on the high side to me. That might account for the "juice". I've made decent snack sticks using 20% or less fat.
     

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