I cannot speak for the quality or abilities on a Mainca or other brands, but…
We sell and recommend Talsa Stuffers. We have one here in our test kitchen as well. They do not have a problem running snack sticks on a 12mm horn. 10mm can get to be a little more difficult but can work fine still. A 12mm horn works fine for us and stuffing then into 19mm collagen casings.
Even on the smallest Talsa we offer, at a 26lb capacity and 1.75HP, they will stuff snack sticks fine. I think a lot of the capability just relies on what brand and quality of motor is in the hydraulic stuffer.
If you are doing half deer and half pork, the deer is going to be very lean so just make sure the pork used has a high enough fat content. You can safely use up to about 40% of the total product weight in fat and water (approximately 2 quarts water and meat at 75/25 lean to fat ratio), but that’s the limit I’d suggest. If you still struggle to stuff snack sticks at that point, it may just be a limitation on the stuffer you are using.
@jonathon Good Morning Jonathon. Pick the seasoning you want, since you are the one who is going to be eating them. Im interested in how the thighs will affect the texture, how you are going to grind them etc.
Used some ground deer burger with the 19mm casing and the jalepeno stick seasoning and high temp cheddar cheese. Made them on a treager set for smoke for about 2 hours then turned up the heat to 225 to finish them and brought the internal temp to around 163. Immediately chilled the sticks and then let them rest for about an hour before packaging. I was impressed with myself with the result and the quality of the casings and seasonings. Can’t wait to try doing some more. Thanks for your help and suggestions.
@icepro Sounds good, there is nothing wrong with Soy Protein Blend, it should work just fine for you. For how to tell fat content at home there really isn’t a way, it requires specialized equipment. Hope the sticks come out good!
Parksider is right on with how the dehydrators typically work.
For temp and length of time in the oven, 170 to 200 degrees is as low as most ovens go, so as low of a temp in there as you can reach. Then, you want to hit an internal temp of 160 on snack sticks which will probably be several hours in the oven, really just depends on what size of snack sticks you’re making. Really small sticks may be 2-3 hours, or larger sticks could be 4-6 hours. Just throw in a thermometer probe, and when it hits 160, take them out and start cooling.
A sausage stuffer is definitely worth the investment. It will stuff a more consistent product and can be easier. Stuffing off a grinder also has a tendency to overwork the meat and cause smearing (or loss of particle definition).
That being said, you absolutely still can stuff off a grinder, but it’s just not the ideal method to produce the best final product. Starting with just a grinder is a great way to just get started and begin sausage making, and as you advance, then start finding new equipment and tools to start adding to your collection.
@skipdiggidy If you started them at 220° then that might have played a part in drying them out. If you add cure I would recommend a smoke schedule of 120 with no smoke, then add smoke and cook them at 130 for a half hour, then 140 for a half hour, then a 150 for a half hour and finally at 200 until the internal temperature is 165°. This schedule should give you a a finished product with more moisture.
I picked up brisket at the Kroger Chain grocery already for $1.99 a lb. on sale. Walmart has some very nice full brisket with the round for $3.94 a lb. I have checked several butcher shops and they normally stock packer 6 full briskets with the round on it to a box @ $4.99 to $5.99 per pound or most butcher shops would sell you a individual brisket. You did not have to buy a whole case.
@raider2119 I still havent had time to try this but I am absolutely going to be giving this a try in the next month or so. I’m just not sure I am going to be able to find the Yellow Pea, I think I have a local place that will have it but we will see!
If the head size was equal between a pro-cut and weston, the pro-cut would win. But, since the #22 head size is much bigger than a #12, the 22 would win from weston in this scenario. The #22 Pro-Cut at only 1 HP would vastly outperform the Weston #22 at 1.5 hp.
I really don’t have a great answer on the weston grinder knives for their length of use. They are made different from other knives, and don’t provide the same level of visual detail because of how they are designed to see the wear on them as well. If you are using them on all your plates though, it probably is time. For best results, you should pair 1 knife with 1 plate so they wear evenly together. Everything will last longer and be more efficient that way, but it does require more investment in buying additional knives to have 1 for every plate. If you’re plate is worn out though, it’d be safe to assume the knife is as well. I’d just use the plate as a guide for the knife on the weston versions.
I don’t know if the ice pack on the grinder really works. I think it is at least partially a marketing gimmick, but I’ve never fully tested to see if it truly makes a difference and keeps the meat colder. If the meat is really spending that much time in the throat of the grinder too, probably something wrong there or things would be better off with a faster grinder or bigger head to it. I kind of want to test this out though and find out for sure…
@medeling32 Yes, I do it all the time. The casings are softer, smaller and I like them better that way. I use the pizza brat seasoning. Your reason is the same as mine. Sometimes I just want a dog and fries. Yea, I boil them then a quick toasting n the grill to brown them up. Geo.
@BrianB Are you using a thermometer when you are cooking the sausages and pulling them off when they hit an internal temp of 160? Could be bursting even when the cooking temp is low, if you are getting them too hot.
@JSmokedfoods In theory yes, you should be able to do this, however I have never tried it with fish and I don’t know if you are going to be able to get enough protein extraction during the mixing process. My thought is that you would be able to but the water content is probably high enough that you would have to do some experimenting and I am almost sure you would need to add a Binder like Sure Gel or Soy Protein Blend. If you try it please let us know if it worked out or not!
I do not cook or smoke my ground meat jerky. Seasoning and cure I stuff it in a casing put it in refrigerator for a couple of days put it in the freezer for a hour or two them on the meat slicer cut 1/4" x 2 1/2" medallions put them in the dehydrator for about 20 hours or till it gets the texture I like.
We make a lot of sticks and use a hydraulic stuffer, even with that stuffing into 17 or 19mm casings can be hard. We have stepped up to the 22mm collegen smoked casings. It’s so much easier for the cheese to pass through the tube and less stressful on the stuffer and whoever is cranking for you too. I shot my buddy with a cheese chuck that got stuck in the tube of the hydraulic stuffer, he was standing at the end of the table linking…he went down like a soccer player…lot of drama and I hear about it every time we do stick now…
@Bluemtnman If you’re using a seasoning blend it’s definitely best to use pink salt instead of tender quick - here’s why -
Tender quick is mostly salt with 0.5% nitrate and 0.5% nitrite, their package calls for 1 Tablespoon (3 Teaspoons) per lb of meat.
Cure #1 is also mostly salt, but is 6.25% nitrite and calls for 1 Teaspoon per 5lbs of meat (or 0.2 tsp per lb of meat)
If you used tender quick AND a seasoning blend it’s gonna be way too salty!
Plus, depending on what you’re making with your spice blend, pink salt gives you the option of using cure #1(nitrite) for quick cure items like snack sticks & summer sausage (nitrAte is not usually needed for these items, but there might be times you would want to add it) or cure #2(nitrate) (nitrAte converts to nitrite over time and acts as a “time release” cure) for long cure items like prosciutto, pancetta & fermented sausages like salami etc…
Then, on the product pages for collagen casings on waltonsinc.com, each casing will specifically say which type it is, and have a shortened bit of info from the collagen casings help page I linked above.
That looks awesome!!
Also, after the first bacon pie I did, I went out and bought a new pan that was twice as deep, probably close to 4in deep. A deeper dish has really helped a lot for me on subsequent attempts and preventing overflows.
There are so many possible variations on this that could be done that I want to try that I could probably be eating bacon pies everyday for the rest of my life!
@raider2119 I have no experience with finishing off snack sticks in a Sous Vide cooker but other than the temp drop when you transfer them I can’t see any issue with that. My first thought though is you have come up 11 degrees (IT) in the past 40 minutes, so unless you see some case hardening or stall again finish them off in the smoker. I assume dampers are closed at this point?
If the ECA was too tangy, you can just use less, if you are happy with the results of your sausage else wise.
The amount we typically recommend (4 oz per 25 lb meat) is at a level to try and lower the pH enough to get as close to reaching more of a shelf stable product as we can. But, it doesn’t have to be used at that high of a usage level.
I can’t recommend to use buttermilk, because I’ve never used it. The concept kind of makes sense though. You are adding something with a lower pH than the meat, to get the meat pH just a bit lower and add some tangy flavor. The biggest problem I see though with using something like buttermilk and immediately lowering the pH is this… A lower pH will reduce water holding capacity, and can make a sausage dry and crumbly after cooking. This is one reason why encapsulated citric acid is coated, and that coating doesn’t melt until 135 F +. If you add buttermilk and lower that pH immediately, I am not sure that the results will be quite the same, and you could end up with a dryer or crumbly sausage. I’ve never used buttermilk though, so I can’t say for sure, but that’s my thoughts anyways.