snack sticks/ dehydrator



  • Has anyone tried to dehydrate snack sticks instead of using a smoker?



  • The only kind of dehydrator I’ve used for snack sticks is a jerky dehydrator. The snack sticks will shrivel just like jerky but maintain the flavor.
    I’ll try to upload a pic. The ones on the left are the dehydrated sticks and the ones on the right were slow cooked in an oven. AE1C6B3B-E0E4-4A8C-8A71-E5191A0330B1.jpeg


  • Walton's Employee

    @gerhardus6 I did a video on this a while ago and it should be released soon. We like a smoker better as we think it gives a better tasting and textured finished product but we were also happy with the jerky that we used anb oven and a dehydrator on as well.



  • @Jonathon I was thinking about putting a little liquid smoke. What do you think about that.


  • Power User

    @gerhardus6 oh my… DON’T DO IT…no seriously, I know a lot of people use it. I spent years in the restaurant business making ribs in an oven with liquid smoke. The flavor of real wood just can’t be beat. Too chemically tasting… I like 2-4 hours of smoke until stick get to the cherry color I like. Then into a water bath at 170F till they reach 155F, then into ice bath, hang to dry. The key to this is make what YOU like, don’t be afraid to experiment.



  • @gerhardus6
    I have used liquid smoke in jerky while resting overnight. That is only because I’m using the dehydrator on those. Have never used liquid smoke for anything I’ve done in the smoker. As @Parksider said, use wood whenever possible.



  • @joduff did you put the snack sticks in collagen casings then put in dehydrator or just meat sticks? And did you smoke them for a while before dehydrating? I want to dry some for taking out deer hunting with me.



  • I used the 16mm casings from Walton’s. The only thing that I experienced was that the collagen didn’t bond to the meat quite as well as it does for the snack sticks. I’ll have to keep working on it.
    The flavor was great and the texture was good too.



  • @joduff cool thanx. Did you add any binders? Curious if it would affect the drying. Also what temp did you put the dehydrator at?



  • @Jonathon I am looking forward to that video.



  • Well, I didn’t think to use binder with the notion that this was going to be a batch of jerky sticks. I think I’ll experiment with some binder next time. Thanks for the idea.
    I guess the binder will pull it all together like it does and maybe bond the collagen 100%. As far as the binder retaining moisture, I’m guessing it’ll have to give up the moisture eventually when being dehydrated.I will have to experiment more with it.
    Dehydrator temp: I can’t tell you what temp I used because I’m embarrassed to say I still have one of those old “set it and forget it” dehydrators. A good dehydrator is next in my list.



  • @PapaSop I don’t have a smoker. I don’t have room for one. I use liquid smoke in my jerky and I’ve been wanting to try beef sticks on my dehydrator. That’s why I asked about using the liquid smoke. Thanks though. I hope to be able to fit in a smoker someday.



  • @gerhardus6 just make a small batch and experiment. Everyone has a different taste palette. It just might turn out great!!! Just let us know how it turns out.



  • @joduff I got lucky and found a nice one on Facebook buy-sell for $20.
    Just curious if you have to get these sticks up to a certain temp to be “food safe” or if just drying at a low temp like Jerky is enough. I will have to investigate.



  • @chippewa,

    Well, I guess I should call them jerky sticks instead of snack sticks - since I dry them through just like jerky, as opposed to keeping them plump and juicy like the snack sticks.
    I always do it with the 16mm casings so they can dry through like jerky. Have eaten several batches made with and without a little cure. So far, as long as the sticks dry like jerky, It’s been my experience that there’s enough salt in the Walton’s seasoning to cure the sticks for a 3 hour dehydration. Never got sick. I will try to include a picture to show the end result. Obviously the one on the left is the dehydrated one (jerky stick) and the one on the right is the juicy one (snack stick). Hope this helps. I guess it depends what end result we are after.
    image.jpg



  • @gerhardus6
    I hope you can fit in a smoker some day. Go ahead and use liquid smoke in those sticks. Should give it some great flavor. I’ve never done sticks in a dehydrator before but sounds really interesting.



  • @joduff
    Interesting. How’s the texture?



  • @PapaSop,
    The best way I can describe the texture is equivalent to a ground meat jerky ribbon/strip that you press out of a jerky gun. Still chewy like jerky and you can bite off pieces the same way.



  • @joduff thanks, I think the picture says it all. Time to find room for a smoker.



  • I’d say to try it.
    What the heck, you might find something you really like.
    Me, myself, and I prefer to use my smoker. But probably because where ever I’ve been, I’ve managed to make one up.
    I use a dehydrator to make jerky whenever I want to run a batch. But that’s different than a snack stick.
    I tried Ground Meat Jerky, but never liked any of it.
    But hey, if you don’t try, you will always wonder.


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    @Parksider I used a 11.3 mm at the tip and tapered up tube with no problems with the meat going through it. Just could not get casings on the tube all at once. Hopefully the new tube will work as I like the smaller sticks. I will probably just use these 16mm casings for my personal sticks and use the 19mm for friends batches.

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