What Size for Snack Sticks?

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by mneeley490, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've made some caseless sticks with my Cabela's Jerky Blaster, but now I want to give cased ones a try. So I will be buying a long nozzle for the Blaster, and some collegen casings.

    My question is, what is the normal size you guys make? From reading the threads here, it seems to really vary. I want something akin to the store-bought size. It's also tough converting fractions to millimeters, thanks very much manufacturers. I'm thinking, do I use a 3/8" nozzle and 21 mm casings?
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
  2. There are usually 3 sizes for the snack sticks and they are 17 mm, 19 mm, and 21 mm. I usually see the 19 mm ones being used, but I've got a pack of the 21's at home. Any of these would work just fine to produce a good snack stick.
     
  3. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The nozzles I see for sale are 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2". I'm assuming 3/8" would work with those, or not?

    Also, I use 95/5 beef for jerky, but it appears most folks go fattier with sticks?
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
  4. I picked up the 3/8 LEM stainless tube from a member here and that should fit mine. Can't speak to it fitting anything else though it is pretty slender. 

    It all depends on how you like your jerky as to what mix you use. I've seen people using as low as 75/25, but personally I wouldn't go any fattier than 80/20.
     
  5. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just my 2 cents, but I do 1/2" sticks ! I've done beef (80/20) and these turned out great... I've also done venison with 15% beef fat mixed in, they were good but I think next time I'll stick with the 20% ! IMHO, the 5% did make a difference !
     
  6. I use 17 mm and a 3/8 tube, mix 80/20 and 90 somethingfor a drier stick
     
  7. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  8. I use a 3/8 tube with my 5 LB Lem when I use casings 19mm. When I do naked I use a 1/2" tube. You can use what you have or what you can find. their are no rules. I prefer 80/20 ground chuck. The last time I used 80/20 ground beef and could tell it was of lesser quality.

    Happy smoken.

    David
     
  9. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    17mm is about the diameter of a dime like a slim jim. 19mm is about the diameter of a nickel like a beef stick with a piece of cheese with it. Most people use the 19mm. those 17's make for a lot of stuffing. 21mm's..... well about the thickness of a Oscar Mayer

    Joe
     
  10. That's very helpful. I can work with visual aids [​IMG]
     
  11. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    19mm is almost the same size as 3/4". (.748031")

    I have the 3/8" tube and it works well for all snack sticks, however, be patient!  When you first use it, you're going to think that your meat batter has turned into epoxy, it's slow going at times with the 3/8" tube.  Coarse meat grinds make it even tougher.

    For snack stick case diameter, my family and friends have decided that the 19mm is about right, and I have as well.  They smoke easily, cook fairly fast, and shrink up well for a dried look.

    Just my $0.02.

    Have fun!  [​IMG]
     
  12. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks for the visuals! Yes, I think I'll be going with either the 17mm or 19mm.
     
  13. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I would not go with the 17mm.  I would go 19mm or even 21mm.  Remember, the stick will shrink in size as it is smoked/heated or dehydrated.  Also the 17mm casings are a pain to get on even the 3/8" stainless tubes. I also like to stuff my snack stick casings pretty tight for the same reason.  The 21mm is the easiest to work with IMO.

    As to 90% lean beef, I would go 80/20 or add some fat to what you have.  Lean meat tends to be dry in snack sticks. You want the fat for that mouth feel you are expecting.  Just don't heat them over too high a temp as they will fat out which is also no good.
     
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I make sticks from the 21mm.... they are perfect... and a lot easier than the smaller casings.... IMO....
     
  15. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    My diameters are what the finished product will be after they have been cooked.without binders and extra water using beef and pork... Extra water and binders will make them larger and plumper

    19mm or nickel sticks....lol

     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
  16. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I guess I'll see what my butcher has in stock. I'll probably try the 19 for the first run, or the 21 if he doesn't have it.
     
  17. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use 15 to 19mm

    for casing sizes 13-15mm you will need a 1/4" tube

    3/8" tube for 16mm casing

    7/16 tube for 16-21mm

    straight stuffing tubes with little or no flare at the end.
     
  18. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    13-15's are insane...lol
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
  19. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I would go with 22 mm for snack sticks.  Here are the general guidelines for types of sausage for sheep casings.

    18 to 20 mm   snack or beer sticks

    20 mm to 22 mm  breakfast small link sausage

    22 mm to 24 mm  small hot dogs

    24 mm to 26 mm  larger wieners [bockwurst style for example]

    Then of course it's personal preference.  Reinhard
     
  20. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You guys are a wealth of information. Thanks!
     

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