Snack Stick Casing
MarkP last edited by
I made some snack sticks this past weekend and wanted to get some input on the chewiness of the collagen casing. I stuffed them into 19 mm mahogany collagen casings and cooked them in the oven at 170 until they hit 160. Then I put then in an ice bath for 5 minutes and removed them and put them on the counter on an oven rack for an hour. After that I just put them in the fridge until this morning when i tried them. I was hoping for a more snappy bite to the sticks but the casings were a bit chewy. The meat was nicely adhered to the casing and there was no slippage, but i thought they would have more snap. Is there any recommendations that could be the reason why they were not very snappy?
My first guess is something related to humidity. The casing being dry is where you get a lot of the snap and bite from.
Did you package them once storing them in the fridge? Once you get them cooled after cooking, packaging (especially vacuum packaging) is recommended. I would guess that if you just put them in the fridge without packaging for a while the higher humidity could make them soggy or chewy.
I smoke my sticks, but as a regular step in my process I hang the sticks with no smoke until the are dry then add smoke. It seems the drier the sticks are before i smoke they have more of a snap. I would try a couple things if you are using an oven:
- crack the door of the oven, stick a wooden spoon or something in there in the beginning to let the humidity out.
- I agree with Austin, i spray mine with a hose to drop the temp, then into a refrigerator-they are designed to remove moisture.
- Make sure they are completely cool before vacuum sealing.
@scottwaltner i too used to have that same problem until I made my mix about 30 percent fat added non fat powder milk for a binder and mixed till it gets good and sticky and then the rest cooking temp and water shower @ end.
@parksider I am using fibrous casings and soaking in warm water for alt least 30 minutes. I mixed the meat, 20 pounds for about 12 minutes. The casings were tight when I was stuffing them. I was processing at 125 for 1 hour, 140 for 1 hour, 155 for 2 hours and 170 until the internal was 165. I water bathed them, forgot to hang them over night, but just put them in the refrigerator. I didn’t take the internal temp after I water bathed them.
The outside of the sausage does not appear fatty and the flavor is great.
Ive been wrong many times before lol! But i dont feel like it would turn out super good unless you found a seasoning mix that would blend well with the bacon taste which might take some nasty sticks to figure it out. Possibly willies snack stick from waltons might be ok… if you do this please let us know how it turns out. Commercially seems like a bit of a bad thing, the cost of bacon/pork fat is huge. Profit margin would be horrid!
@scottwaltner i agree with parker on a few things. You always need to soak your fibrous summer sausage casings for sure! At least 30 minutes if you got time. Also you dont want the casings to stick too much to the meat either though. Fine line there. I think maybe you need to mix the meat longer for that protein extraction would be the main thing. Also you want to stuff those casings about as tight as you can with out exploding, but those casings are tough. What temperature is the summer sausage after cooling them down?
I want to make fresh not smoked nitrate free Hot Dogs. After stuffing I am hot bathing them to 160. These are all beef I must add. What can I use to keep the color so they don’t end up grey looking and have that nice pink color?
Very similar process. Try dividing the spice into 1/3’s. Rub 1/3 on each day for 3 days. Yes it’s very thin, doesn’t take much. Local hardware store had crocks on sale so i got 2. I rub, and rotate each day.
After day 3, rotate each day for 5 more days. If it’s cold out i leave on the floor in my garage, if not it goes in the fridge-great either way just depends on weather.
Hang one day-i never rinse. Cold smoke (100F) for 6 hours. rest overnight, cold smoke for 6 more hours. Rest overnight.
I like mine to be a deep cherry color, that’s how i determine when to stop smoking. If it’s not that rich cherry color, smoke it more! Then rest it for 3 days and slice. We slice it on a slicer so i get super thin slices. Uncle Cecil said slice it thin enough that you can read the paper through it!
One tip-Walton’s has the little drying pouch that’s in the store bought jerky, They are cheap and make it last forever in the fridge or freezer. I also vacuum seal to 98% with the chamber vac or it get too hard. Here is a pic of what I’m looking for. The fellas have named this George Washington Jerky. It was the only way i could explain it to them before i made it. Told them we were going VERY old school, and now they love it!