So I realize this isn't about making sticks however tonight I used the Honey BBQ Snack Stick Seasoning (using the 2lb conversion ratio) to make burgers topped with provolone cheese.... AMAZING!!!!
@Sincitylv It all makes a difference, might not be a huge difference but as we try to say often, its when you add up all the little tips and tricks that yous ee real improvement. I would recommend cutting them and laying them out so it is just a straight run from side to side. Even spacing throughout willlet the air flow more evenly around and give you a little more even of a cook.
Most important thing when doing it on the woodwind is to start your smoker with the product already in the smoker. This will give the meat a small conditioning phase to start with.
I will be making my second batch of snack sticks with all of your products. The first batch was very successful and the best I have ever done. My question is this, I smoke the sticks on my Camp Chef 36" woodwind pellet grill so last time last time I just bent the long strands back and forth on my racks and then cut to size after cooling and letting air dry and sit in the fridge until that evening. Would it be better to cut at least to the length of the jerky racks so I could keep consistancy in spacing the sticks or does it not really make a difference? Also, I didn't place any water in the unit but kept the lid propped open to keep the temp down until I elevated up the temp scale so would the water make much of a difference in your opinion. I am in the desert of Nevada so not a lot of natural humidity. Love the site and products! Thanks.
@Midwest_kc I use it at about full strength, so if you bought this one https://www.waltonsinc.com/bacon-taste-booster then it is 1.25 oz per 25 lb, if you bought this one https://www.waltonsinc.com/bacon-taste-booster-msg then it is 2 oz per 25 lb.
However, anytime I add a new ingredient I always add small amounts while I am mixing and then I pan fry a little to see where I am at in regards to taste, so I would say use 1/2 what I recommended above and then stop there if you are happy but add more if you think it can take it. Good luck!
@Midwest_kc Yes, smoked meat stabilizer is something you could use instead of the Encapsulated Citric Acid for sure. It will still impart somewhat of a tang but not as much as the ECA would. Another option is sodium erythorbate but you need a very accurate scale for that that can read fractions of grams. I love that you are using the booster, have you tried it before? We used to tell people not to use it even if they were making imitation bacon....now I tell people to feel free to toss it into anything bacony!
Making my first snack sticks soon, going to be ordering a couple things I need, so want to make sure I have it all. I am making pork sticks, with the maple bacon seasoning. I will also be using bacon booster, and sure gel....but trying to decide if I want the tang from ECA. Would smoked meat stabilizer work as well in this set up, so that we can have maple-y, bacon-y goodness?
@keoni02 that would be sodium erythorbate or smoked meat stabilizer. The sodium erythorbate will not impart any flavor change but you must have a very accurate measuring device as the recommended amount is 7/8ths of an ounce for 100 lbs of product. The smoked meat stabilizer will give a slight tang but not as much as ECA. However, without the equipment to measure water activity and ph levels you still should not treat it as a shelf stable product. I’d still freeze til ready to consume then thaw and refrigerate for no longer than a week
Never thought about that. I mean I wash my equipment before use and lay parchment paper down on my counter top as well for an extra barrier while stuffing. But didn't really think about it in helping with shelf life
@keoni02 said in [How To Make Homemade Snack Sticks](/post/37037):
> I have a question as far as curing and shelf life. Aside from sure cure, what else can be used aside from the encapsulated citric acid to help with the curing and having the snack sticks last longer? I honestly don't like the tang that the citric acid produces.
We see a lot of questions about ingredients that will extend shelf life and probably not enough discussion about general cleanliness of equipment, work surfaces, hands, and ingredients. This, and proper thermal processing is where you need to start.
If you start with clean ingredients that have been properly stored at cold temperatures, then the goal is to keep them that way through thermal processing.
This will take you a long way towards extending the shelf life. Commercial processors live and breath sanitation at their facilities for this exact reason.
We see a lot of questions about ingredients that will extend shelf life and probably not enough discussion about general cleanliness of equipment, work surfaces, hands, and ingredients.
If you start with clean ingredients that have been properly stored at cold temperatures, then the goal is to keep them that way throughout processing.
This will take you a long way towards extending the shelf life. Commercial processors live and breath sanitation of their facilities for this exact reason.
I have a question as far as curing and shelf life. Aside from sure cure, what else can be used aside from the encapsulated citric acid to help with the curing and having the snack sticks last longer? I honestly don't like the tang that the citric acid produces.
Yep. Lifted the skin above the breast and seasoned. Coated the outside as well. A little butter doesn't hurt. Perhaps some olive oil. In fact... just shove some butter in every orifice :thinking_face: , season to your heart's content and enjoy.
Ran across the same thing a couple years back. Was going to brine the bird until I read the label. Smoked it as is. Just added seasoning to it. Came out great. Think it was a Butterball but not certain.
Definitely would not want to inject and over salt it.
This may come off as rather elementary, but if I'm confused, a hundred other people probably are too. My son-in-law dropped off the 2 frozen turkeys for me to smoke. I read on the wrapping that they contain 9.5% turkey broth, salt, sodium phosphates, sugar & flavoring. Does this mean I should not inject and brine prior to putting them in the smokehouse? Will it be a waste of my Walton's Turkey Cure, and my Cold Phosphate? I've got eight days to figure it out before I fire up the smokehouse.
@processhead - Had the smokehouse up to around 250 for a while, when I made my first batch of jerky. As long as I preheat with lump charcoal, I think it should be OK. That's the plan, at least for now.
@jonesy said in [How To Make Homemade Cured & Smoked Turkey \- Recipe](/post/36500):
> So, my son-in-law says to me...ok, since you're reviving the old smokehouse, I've got a couple of turkeys in the freezer to get rid of. How about you smoke them for me? Now I've got to peruse the vast knowledge base here and educate myself enough to give it a try. This is fun stuff! I'm on a mission.
One important condition for using your smoke house is that it be able to get up to and maintain 200 degrees. That can be tough for some traditional smoke houses made of concrete block or other uninsulated material.
You would be wise to do some dry runs in the smoke house while monitoring the temperature before taking on the turkeys.
So, my son-in-law says to me...ok, since you're reviving the old smokehouse, I've got a couple of turkeys in the freezer to get rid of. How about you smoke them for me? Now I've got to peruse the vast knowledge base here and educate myself enough to give it a try. This is fun stuff! I'm on a mission.
@twilliams said in [How To Make Homemade Snack Sticks](/post/35451):
> @keoni02 like McCormick artificail bacon flavored bits or real bacon cut up into bits pieces?
Two pounds of bacon fried up then put through the food processor to make my own bacon bits.
Not a fan of prepackaged bacon bits. And, I buy the "irregular slices" so it's cheaper too
I use a cold smoke generator and a few inexpensive electric burners to get the lower temperatures with smoke. There are a bunch of cold smoke generators out there, but I use one called the Big Kahuna from smokedaddyinc. Oftentimes, I don't even bother with the pellets and just vacuum seal the snack sticks and throw them in a sous vide bath at 155 degrees for about 60 minutes to finish them off.
@randyman No pellets, no heat source. They create the smoke and the heat, cracking the door will drop the temperature but will also increase the amount of pellets being used since the thermostat will try to keep the temps up.
I don't have a pellet smoker and not sure if this will work but what if you don't put any pellets in the hopper and crack open the lid? A remote thermometer would let you know what your temp is inside the cooker. After an hour at 125 and then an hour at 145 you'd be able to add pellets and set the temp for 160 for 2 hours. Then set the temp for 175 till the snack sticks reach 155 internal. Hope you can find a way to make it work. Randy.
@beefstickgirl said in [How To Make Homemade Snack Sticks](/post/35029):
> I have a pellet smoker and the lowest temp it will go is 160/ how do I go about smoking low and slow so my casings don't pop
Your options are limited since this type of smoker is not really designed to process sausage.
One thing you can is try is to crack the door so all the heat is not contained inside.
The problem is, If your smoker has temperature controls, it may just try and compensate for the temperature drop by feeding more pellets and air to the fire pot.
Allllllll riiiighty... so, some test batches are done. First group is the "surprise" batch I've been working on. Unfortunately I apparently didn't stuff them as well so texture isn't where I'd like it 😔 but the flavor is BACON CHEESE BURGER!!!!
Yes, actual bacon bits are in there!
Center batch is Honey BBQ which turned out perfect! The small batch at the right is using the Parmesan Garlic Bratwurst seasoning and it turned out pretty good.
Overall, very happy with today's outcome
@lkrfletcher said in [How to Make Homemade Summer Sausage \- Recipe](/post/34686):
> @processhead - I have put cubed goose breast in with some cubed elk meat into a chili that came out incredibly tender in the slow cooker. Just thought I would mention it.
I have a good friend that shoots a lot of geese and he has figured out how to turn it into pretty good jerky and snack sticks.
Wild goose can be a little challenging. I will have to suggest chili as another use for goose.
I usually have a freezer full of game, so I am generally looking for new ways to use up venison trimmings and game birds. This usually means my sausage recipes are venison/pork or venison beef.
This might be a bit limiting on my part, since I don't automatically think of recipes using just domestic red meat.
My focus has always been figuring out new way to make wild game meat into something really good and share that with other hunters looking for ways to utilize the harvest.
So I made up the pork cheddar summer sausage the other day. It was a bit of a s---- show, with my pellet cooker having issues, so I ended up doing them mostly in the oven and then sous vide. It's good, but certainly not what I would call summer sausage. More of a ham loaf, or something of the sort. I'll tell ya though, with some more cheese and some crackers? I ate it up!
So, while I didn't get what I was necessarily after, I'm calling my first crack at cured/smoked sausage a success. I have some wagyu beef brisket trimmings that I'm going to turn into snack sticks next, and I'm going to work on changing my jalapeno cheddar fresh sausage into a cured one.
Thanks to everyone for all the help I've received over the last few months as I've gotten into this. You guys rock!
My name is Johnny Radford. I’m from Illinois. I started making my own deer sticks this year using Waltons seasonings. And everyone that has tried them really liked them. The question T. Williams told me to ask you is: is it feasible for me to use the cheeseburger cheddarwurst brat seasoning to make deer sticks?
@jonathon said in [How To Make Homemade Snack Sticks](/post/34510):
> @keoni02 "Surprise snack stick is the the name of new band, called it"
> Shoot, it isnt there, if you are referring to https://www.waltonsinc.com/parmesan-garlic-bratwurst-seasoning then it would be .8 of an oz of seasoning for 2 lb of meat if this was a regular fresh brat you were making but for a snack stick you will want to use that amount of seasoning to 1.6 lb of meat, or to go the other way 1 oz of seasoning to 2 lb of meat. That second one might not be 100% correct but it would be really close.
For the adjustments to seasoning and meat, I get those same numbers, we are either both right or both wrong, but I'm betting right:+1:
@keoni02 "Surprise snack stick is the the name of new band, called it"
Shoot, it isnt there, if you are referring to https://www.waltonsinc.com/parmesan-garlic-bratwurst-seasoning then it would be .8 of an oz of seasoning for 2 lb of meat if this was a regular fresh brat you were making but for a snack stick you will want to use that amount of seasoning to 1.6 lb of meat, or to go the other way 1 oz of seasoning to 2 lb of meat. That second one might not be 100% correct but it would be really close.
@jonathon said in [How To Make Homemade Snack Sticks](/post/34455):
> @processhead It is a combination of that and the fact that the salt content 'needs" to be higher in the cured sausages because the salt plays a functional role as well as taste. Good question.
I just re-read my question and realized I misread what you wrote. ie misread decrease the meat amount as decrease the seasoning amount.
Yeah, decreasing the meat so the salt level is proportionally higher makes sense to me.
Yes, processed, that is the seasoning I was looking at trying. I really want to try a Parmesan Garlic flavor of beef snack sticks. I've been only doing 2lb test batches as it is. And I have been frying up meat to test, as you mentioned Jonathan, however the fried bit always has a different flavor than the smoked... a stronger and better flavor when fried than smoked. Honestly, kinda disappointing flavor smoked cause it is so subdued compared to fried.
Jonathan, I already know the amount of cure I need for a two pound batch but what would I use for the seasoning? I looked at the conversion chart but it wasn't listed.
@jonathon said in [How To Make Homemade Snack Sticks](/post/34440):
> @keoni02 I agree with @processhead (as usual) make a small batch to test it out. I would start at using it at a ratio of 4/5th the amount of meat (20 lb of meat to a 25 lb batch of seasoning) and then just fry up the results to see how it goes. Absolutely use sure cure if you are going to smoke it.
Just curious Jonathon, is reducing the seasoning by 4/5 because of the added drying and overall moisture loss in the meat during thermal processing?
@keoni02 I agree with @processhead (as usual) make a small batch to test it out. I would start at using it at a ratio of 4/5th the amount of meat (20 lb of meat to a 25 lb batch of seasoning) and then just fry up the results to see how it goes. Absolutely use sure cure if you are going to smoke it.
I am not sure if I can answer your question, but here are some things to think about.
Most bratwurst recipes are fresh sausage recipes and have less salt and no added cure.
Most snack stick recipes are a cured and cooked product that have somewhat higher salt levels to aid with shelf stability and curing.
Assuming you wanted to make a bratwurst flavored snack stick, I think you would need to adjust the salt levels and add cure before cooking/smoking.
The result would be something with quite a different flavor profile than a freshly grilled fresh bratwurst. You would taste the seasoning, but being cured and cooked/smoked it would be different.
@gchart said in [How to Make Homemade Summer Sausage \- Recipe](/post/34152):
> I'd be curious to hear of your results of you do try it. Mine is almost always 50/50 venison and pork butt. But sometimes those pork butts are so darn cheap, I'll likely forgo the venison at some point when I want to do some experimentation.
I'm going to try it this week. I'll let you know. I think I'm also putting some cheddar in it because I have extra high temp cheddar sotto g around I need to probably use.
I'd be curious to hear of your results of you do try it. Mine is almost always 50/50 venison and pork butt. But sometimes those pork butts are so darn cheap, I'll likely forgo the venison at some point when I want to do some experimentation.
Has anyone ever done all pork summer sausage? I have an abundance of pork butts, and was thinking trying just a cheddar/pork summer sausage. My concern is that missing out on some red meats would change the flavor too much from what we normally think of with summer sausage.
If you used the country brown sugar cure than you need to Use 2 lb of cure to each gallon of water for a 10% pump. For a 24 lb ham you should only need 2.4 lb of the solution. Take the remaining and then use that as your cover pickle. If you are not adding sodium erythorbate you will want to hold it 3-4 minimum probably 5-6 better. It is better to start at lower than 180 but you work with what you have.
I just received all my ingredients that is listed above and injecting today and cooking tomorrow. As I read through here there are conflicting instructions. Do I need to use 1 gallon or 2 for a 24.5 pound ham? I’ve also read instead a overnight hold it’s 3-4 days. I’m cooking on a pellet grill and plan on cooking at 225. The low as it will go is 180. Is that too hot?
@alex53 11.3g/5lb, 2.2g/1lb cold phosphate per the conversion chart. If you are going pump, add 10% the weight in injected solution, weigh the remaining brine an dilute by half. Pretty much what you already mentioned. If there isn't enough brine to cover, create an additional 1/2 - 1 gallon. A bucket liner will help keep things covered and clean up.
so i am going to use the sweeter than sweet for smoking a turkey, my turkey is 21 lbs would the above 1.75 per gal of water stay the same as long as I inject it to 23.1 lbs? and would the 2.4 ounce of cold phosphate be enough?
@keoni02 If you are not adding a cure accelerator like Encapsulated Citric Acid or Sodium Erythorbate you will need to hold it about 12 hours to allow enough of nitrite to start breaking down into Nitric oxide. Sorry, just reread your question and realized you are asking how long. So again with no accelerator Sunday-Tuesday you are ok. If you added a cure accelerator it would depend on other factors like how was the Encapsulated Citric Acid mixed and you wouldn't want to hold it any longer than 24 hours if you added sodium erythorbate. That speeds the conversion up and you might lose a decent amount of curing power. Having said that though, you would most likely be fine with 72 hours though I wouldn't recommend it.
OK. So heres what happened. I got all excited because everything finally arrived to start making 2lb test batches. Well somebody didnt read thigs right on the website and ordered the wrong 3/8" tube, not the one that was actually for their stuffer (LEM 5lb). OOPS! Well before I returned it, I checked to see if it would fit my jerky gun and it did. So I kept it for that and ordered the correct one for my stuffer. Those Jerky guns dont hold a whole lot, and I was having issues with air pockets that I obviously did a poor job with getting out, but the rest I had no issues with air. My thought was, for experimentation sake, do 1lb of each flavor in the smoker and one in the oven. So all the batched looked good, they felt good in the casings, the cooked well too and everything temped out correctly.... except for the first batch, there must have been too much air cause when you bit into it, it was just mush (and that came out of the smoker). Aside from that one 1lb batch, the rest were pretty much the consistency I was looking for. The flavor on the other hand, not so much. But that can be easily remedied by adding more seasoning and continuing to practice with small batches until I get exactly how I want it.
Also, YooperDog, thanks for the tip. I'll try that once I use up the carrot fiber.
I do have a question though. Once you add in the Sure Cure and mix everything, how long can it sit in the fridge for? I ask cause my schedule at work is ever changing. So like today, Sunday, if I made up the mix and stuffed the casing, would they still be okay to smoke on Tuesday?
@jcflorida Sorry yes I did, they are smoke permeable. The exact verbiage was "they are permeable to flavors and colors as intended during the smoking process, but are impermeable to other unwanted aromas." I am unsure what the unwanted aromas are and I would think that is subjective so not sure about that.
@keoni02 there is a conversion selection in the drop down menu that will help you break down your additives, cure and seasonings on the left side of the page. I would recommend using sure gel instead of carrot fiber if you have it. Snack sticks are a semi dried style sausage and carrot fiber will hold up to 26X it's weight in water and sure gel will help with adding a bit extra protein during protein extraction. Both will work, but typically carrot fiber is used in fresh sausage to help with juiciness and sure gel in cured sausages. Your numbers appear to be okay, I just haven't done a batch that small of cured sausage and I go by weight.
@jcflorida Since my original post, I have made several batches of skinless hotdogs using the cellulose casings and am happy to say they are in fact permeable. I have been very happy with the look, taste and color of my finished product.
Hi. I'm relativvv..... ok. I'm new! LOL 😆 So this will be the first time making snack sticks with the Sure Cure and carrot binder. Also, I'm only doing 2 or 5 pounds of meat at a time.
So say I wanted to just 2 lbs...
-Carrot binder - 2 tbsp + 1 tsp
-Sure Cure - 1/2 tsp
-water - 2.5oz
Mix meat, carrot binder, sure cure, and water together. Then do you stuff it into the casings and let it rest in the refrigerator over night; smoke the next day..... does that sound correct?
Jonathon - A while back you replied to bpschuebel that you were pretty sure that the cellulose casings are smoke permeable, but you would check and update. Did you ever confirm? (I looked and apologize if I missed the update).
@Groucho-Smith I recommend holding for a min of 3 days. We inject to 20% then vac tumble and we still hold for 3 days min. We are also adding sodium erythorbate as a cure accelerator and if we cook any sooner than 3 days we will get uncured spots.
@Groucho-Smith did you add any cure accelerator? @Cabelas90 and @blackbetty61 do more with hams than I do. Country brown does not.come with an accelerator though so your gonna need to hold it in a 50%/strength solution for at least a few days to allow the cure to equalize inside the meat
@vvsarpsjr Crucial, at a certain temp proteins wont extract, we normally don't get into that as it is well into the danger zone, I think it is around 50° that it stops extracting and you don't want to be in that range ever with raw meat. Could it have been that warm?
Thanks Jonathon and JoeB, it was [probably both of what you all suggested. For sure something happened with the bind since fat came out and after the final 3rd grind it did seem to look more fatty than I was expected. It was the first time I used pork fat alone with venison. I'll use pork butt next time. The mixer is small and although it did seem to end up as a sticky paste when completed, I do stop it occasionally and pull the meat off the paddle because it does look like it gets wound around the paddle axel without at lot of mixing action. How critical is meat temperature during the grinding/mixing process to keep the bind? I had read elsewhere that the hot dog meat temperature needs to stay below 40 degrees the whole time for the emulsification to not break. Is that true? Would seem difficult to accomplish in the home setting.
@vvsarpsjr If your going to use pork fat not pork butt i would ratio 4lbs to 1lb. Pork butt ratio 3.5lbs-1.5lbs. If you have a fatty issue i would think there was too much fat in the batter, my thoughts. Could have lost the emulsified state, batter with water / fat separation, but my thought is too much fat to meat .