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.
In the past while making summer sausage I have used ground beef 80/20 about 8 pounds and about 4 pounds mixed together… what mixture do you use for summer sausage
@KSHusker First, yes they should be safe to eat. You cooked them to 160° which will kill anything harmful. Now, obviously use common sense and your senses, if it smells bad don’t eat it!
The first thing to know is if you used sure cure (or another version) or not? From the sounds of it, you did but I just want to make sure we are looking at all possibilities. Were the butts untrimmed? If they had a nice fat cap on them then you should have been okay, I still like to use a little more fat than that but you should have been in the realm. How did you mix it, was it by hand? If you mixed for 30 minutes in a meat mixer that is a long time to be mixing it (I don’t think this was your issue, just pointing it out). Starting at 200 is a little high but it also sounds like it came down to 180° pretty quickly but this would be my thought on why the casing stuck, cooking too high can cause this.
For the color, the only thing I can think of (if you used a cure) is that it looks pinker around the edges because you got a nice smoke ring around it? How deep does the nice pink color go and what type of casing did you use? With wild game, I always use some sort of cure accelerator, either Encapsulated Citric Acid, Smoked Meat Stabilizer or something, it helps burn the color more and then you can skip holding it overnight and go right from stuffing to the smokehouse.
Anyone else have thoughts?