Water in my sticks



  • I am fairly new to the world of stick making so I’m still unsure of a few things. Today I made a batch (10 lbs) of sticks. I use an ounce of water per pound. These were all beef. After they got up to temp (165) I removed them and put them in ice water and usually I leave them in the ice/water for about ten to fifteen minutes but today I was in no hurry and it probably ended up being about half an hour or so. When drying them so I could cut them to length I noticed they had what seemed to be water under the casing in a lot of them. I use collagen casings. Did I do something wrong? Will the water evaporate out if I let them set for a day or two before vacuum sealing them? Could this be because they sat in the ice bath for that long? Hope it doesn’t affect the sticks too bad. Thanks for any helpful suggestions



  • I just made a 5 pound batch today and I used 7.5 ounces of water for 5 pounds … more than I ever used and noticed no difference. I also added 1.6 ounces of dry milk for 5 pounds. When I say no difference I mean no negative difference. I am using venison and 20% pork and Willie’s Snack Seasoning.


  • Walton's Employee

    @Doug-Kapfenstein I’d think your biggest issue is that you cooked to 165 with beef when 160 would have been perfectly fine. That 5 degrees might not sound like much but it probably took you at least half an hour to get to that temp and that can have an effect. As to why they were allowing water between the casing and the meat I would imagine that is a protein extraction issue, if you don’t get a good bind you can let the fat render out of the meat and it gets trapped between the casing and the meat which would allow water to get in there as well.

    You wont really know until you try them though! It might be a purely cosmetic issue and the texture and taste might be spot on.


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  • @scottwaltner i personally think we found your problem. After the ice bath you need to hang them at room temp for at least an hour. That helps to bloom the product and help set the casing as well. I think thats your issue.

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  • E

    Jonathon,
    There is not much to the process. After I combine the meat and spices (I have been using about 2% salt with cure # 2 @ 1 teaspoon per 5lbs of meat) then stuff it into natural hog casings, I put it in the basement to hang for abut 6 weeks. The humidity is low, so it dries out about half it s weight by then, maybe a little bit less.
    Then we eat it. I have only had one hollow batch so far and i think that may be the stuffing issue or maybe the very low humidity combined with temps of around 42 degrees. The good batches came out when the humidity was a little higher and the temperature stayed around 58 degrees.

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  • @jonathon 😂 thanks man

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  • S

    @lamurscrappy I did not, I put it in the fridge as soon as I water bathed it. The casings were pre stuck

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  • T

    Thanks: I see for hams they call soaking for3-5 days brining and the bacon recipe calls it pickling. Both mean the same? Thanks for the help

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  • @scottwaltner Your meat block and smoking schedule sound fine so it doesn’t appear to be that. You say you water bathed them, was it ice water? Also what @RickHeb said is true, they need to sit out at room temp for an hour after the ice bath and then sit in the cooler overnight befire vacuum packing them.

    Last thing, were your fibrous casings pre-stuck? If they werent this very well could happen?

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