Snack stick without casings

  • I am new to the beef jerky world, i recently got a traeger and wanted to make some snack sticks but dont want to invest a lot of money into it since i am just starting out. I plan to use a 80/20 or 90/10 ground beef and ad some waltons seasoning to it. Anything i need to know or ad to the beef to get it to taste good and last for longer? Thanks for the help!!!

  • Team Blue Dry Cured Sausage Admin Walton's Employee Canning

    lmhayes88 If you are wanting to make sticks without a casing I would suggest you use a binder, since you don’t want to spend a lot I would suggest Carrot Fiber as it is low cost but holds 26 times its weight in water. If you want to increase shelf-life then adding Encapsulated Citric Acid will help, if you don’t have a water activity meter you will still have to assume it is not fully shelf stable but it will add some shelf stability.

    What are you going to use to form the casings, something like a jerky gun? I’d also suggest you go with 80/20 at least and preferably 75/25 or even 70/30 beef. 90/10 is too lean and will give you a dry product.

    Make sure you get good protein extraction (obligatory protein extraction mention from me!) when mixing as without a casing the possibility of fatting out becomes even greater.

    We also prefer pork fat over beef fat as it has a creamier texture but 100% beef stick absolutely can be made and be tasty as well!

    Anyone else got anything they want to chime in with?

  • Jonathon so in order to get pork fat in the sticks, what is the best way to go about that? I don’t have a meat grinder I was just gonna but the meat from the store.

  • Team Blue Dry Cured Sausage Admin Walton's Employee Canning

    You could always buy the fattiest ground pork you can find and mix it in with your beef, which is probably what I would do as I am not aware of anywhere that sells straight ground pork fat. However, 80/20 beef plus a binder like Sure Gel should do it, it just won’t have as creamy of a texture as pork fat>beef fat (at least in our minds) when it comes to making sausage.

  • Masterbuilt

    As Jonathon said, be sure you get good protein extraction and use a binder…although with deer burger I haven’t used a binder yet and still get good caseless snack sticks. I just mix the meat, let chill overnight, shoot them out with my jerky gun with a snack stick attachment. Smoke for 2 hrs at 165degrees then stick in oven at 300 degres to finish cooking to 165 IT. easy peasy.

  • Jonathon ok great so if I use fatty ground pork with 80/20 beef do I still need a binder if I let it chill all night and use a meat gun to make the forms? Also can I cook it entirely on my smoker or do I need to use an oven also?

  • Team Blue Dry Cured Sausage Admin Walton's Employee Canning

    lmhayes88 you don’t 100% need a binder, but I’d recommend it. Also, just to make sure you use your meat gun before you hold it overnight, otherwise it might set up and break your meat gun.

    Yes, you can use your smoker the entire way as long as it starts low enough. We’d recommend 120-125° but if your smoker will start as low as 150° then your oven probably starts that low as well so maybe not a reason to start in oven? Though, for best results, I’d still say prop a door in your smoker or oven to get an hour in at 120 (ish)°.

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