Too dry.

  • Well just taste tested my very first attempt at making venison snack sticks. I would give myself a C on the end result. I used excaliber jalapeno seasoning and added cheddar cheese (high temp).My ingredients were, 3/4 cup &3 tbsp. of seasoning, 1 cup & 1 tbsp. of carrot fiber binder, 1 1/4 tbsp. ECA, 1 1/4 tsp of sure cure, and 26 oz. of ice water. I followed the smoking time table to a t. My end product was ok taste wise, but the consistency was poor and they were pretty dry. The only thing I might have done wrong is leave my vents open the entire cooking time. I also used no water tray. From everything I have been reading, to prep up for this adventure, the idea is to get all the moisture out of the product. I think I am wrong on that assumption. Please help me out all you sausage gurus. I really want to get this right.

  • Why use fillers

  • I forgot to add that I used 7 lbs. of venison and 3 lbs. of pork trimmings.

  • @hinoon I make a lot of snack sticks with very lean meat including venison and goose. My first attempts were much the same as you describe. The fat content you are describing is exactly what I use. How much fat/grease is at the bottom of the smoker when the batch is finished? When I have tried to do a 10 pound batch in a small smoker it can take 18 or more hours to finish if you are sticking to the maximum temp of 170. The small heating elements can’t produce enough heat to bring the meat up the desired temperature in the time most of us are willing to spend making a batch of snack sticks. When we urn up the heat to shorten the cook cycle the fat melts out and the sticks taste dry. On a positive note the jalapeno seasoning you chose produces one of the best game snack sticks I have ever tasted once you get the ratios and cook process figured out.

  • Walton's Employee

    @hinoon Adding a water pan would help slightly, it adds a few percentage points to the smokers chamber but I think its main advantage is that it speeds the cooking process. Think of how much hotter 90 feels when its humid than when it is bone dry?

    I’d guess that your vents being wide open the entire time was the real issue. You want that initial drying stage with the dampers (vents) open but after that you should shut it down to keep moisture in the meat. There are some people who are looking for very dry snack sticks, they are generally looking for something very specific and usually a shelf stable product but for taste having more moisture is a better thing.

  • Power User

    @cuddless More meat isn’t exactly a ‘filler’ and you get more product without sacrificing quality!

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  • U

    @Jonathon Braunsweiger was pork liver, beef liver, 40% meat 60% fat pork grind, salt, dextrose, cure #1, NFDM, onion powder, pepper, marjoram, ground cloves and ginger. I cured the liver in a wet EQ brine (water, salt, dextrose and #1 cure). After brine I ground the liver and emulsified it with a food mill. Mixed spices with 2 cans of Straub Dark Ale added to farce mixed well and stuffed into 32mm smoked casings. Placed into 130 degree preheated smoker to dry, after 2 hours went to increase the temps and found everything all in my catch pan. Snack sticks were Salt, dextrose, cure #1, NFDM, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, cheddar cheese and spicy V-8 juice. Mixed all except V-8, let age for 48 hours in fridge, mixed again adding v-8. Stuffed into 19mm collagen casings, after 2 hours at 130 degrees had the same dissolved casing result. The sausage shop that carries your casings in my area said I must have got them to wet. I come home and took a piece of casing and put it in water for 3 days. It swelled up and got kind of rubbery but didn’t dissolve.

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  • @mcherbies I find that when I use carrot fiber I like to use 1.5 qt to 25lbs of meat for snack sticks. It is boarder line too much water but the finished product is top notch and everyone raves at how much moisture is still in my sticks.B7227925-D767-4E00-A5C8-57F1CC3AAF73.jpeg

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  • @mcherbies Yeah, 2 quarts of water per 10 lb is going to present a few problems for you for sure. We would recommend 1 qt per 25 lb batch. I’ve done as much as 2 quarts per 25 lb batch and even that was pretty soupy. Now, it DID stuff like a dream, hardly had to turn the crank but it gave me an odd texture…don’t remember if it did anything to the casing or not.

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